How To Transfer Onto Ceramic


So I’ve just completed a mass order of 42 personalised mugs. FOURTY TWO. Needless to say there was much binge watching of pretty shocking TV, but this was a fun project and without this simple method of transferring my customised images, I would’ve been done for. DEAD.

There are quite a few methods out there for the Sharpie-mug-craze, but I think this one is the easiest and most fool-proof way of getting your image onto glazed ceramic, or any ceramic for that matter, without error and without your hard work washing or rubbing off.

Here’s what you’ll need:



A ceramic mug

Porcelain paint pen (or an oil-based Sharpie)

Black marker





01. Draw your design onto paper. I did this first in pencil and then went over it in black marker. Alternatively you could print your design with a laser printer, but it has to be laser or the ink won’t transfer properly. I preferred to free-hand for this job, since I couldn’t find a handwritten font I liked and I wanted each person’s name to look unique. But you do you boo! 🙂

02. Cut out your design to fit the mug, and tape it down design facing down onto a flat surface (that you don’t mind scuffing) to keep it in place. Now you need to think of all the mean things anyone has ever said to you in your entire life and take it out on this design! Using your pencil (I find a softer graphite works well), draw over the back of your design REALLY HARD without ripping the paper. Seriously – go nuts. This, of course, was natural for me since I used to write just like this in Grade 1, much to the amusement of literally everyone except me. Childhood – good times. I do recommend going over the back a few times, getting as much of the carbon onto the paper as possible, just in case you miss any spots from the front.

03. Remove the design from the flat surface and tape in place on the mug, design facing forward and the pencil marking against the ceramic. Now go over the design again with the pencil to transfer the ink via the pencil marking on the reverse of the design. Like magic, but science!


04. Carefully remove the paper and you should have a faint but clear enough transfer of your design (YAY!). Now go over this design with your porcelain paint pen or oil-based Sharpie (water-based ones will wash away) until you’ve covered the transfer and you’re happy with your hard work! I was using gold so I needed to go over some thinner areas a couple of times. Use some acetone to fix up any mistakes if needed.

05. Depending on the porcelain paint pen’s manufacturer’s recommendations, bake in the oven at medium temperature (mine was 140ÂşC) for about 45mins. You designs will be sealed, scratch resistant and gorgeous, if I do say so myself 🙂

These make pretty easy gifts and are a great way to show someone you love them! Just be sure to tell your recipient not to dishwash them too often. Since they’re not glazed (which you could do if you have access to a kiln), the design won’t survive after too many rounds in the dishwasher. Rather give them a gentle handwashing and they’ll be good to go! Happy DIY-ing!


♥ Dani

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