DIY Dotted Sharpie Mugs Using Dollar Store Mugs

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If you get a little bit of deja vu with this post, that’s okay.  If you get a little bit of deja vu with this post, that’s okay.  (See what I did there?)  I wrote a post previously about DIY Sharpie Mugs.  It was one of my favorite crafts, so I decided to revive it for the upcoming craft fair and figure the post could use an update.  This time, instead of doing just an initial on the mugs, I decided to put words and some festive pictures on them.  I also made them in bulk.  24 mugs to be exact, so I’ll sprinkle in a few making in bulk tips that I learned along the way.

How to Make Dotted Sharpie Mugs Using Oil-Based Sharpies


Materials for Dotted Sharpie Mugs

  • Mugs (Dollar Tree or Dollar Store mugs work the best)
  • Oil-based Sharpies
  • Letter and picture-print outs (you can grab mine below)
  • Tape

Making Sharpie Mugs with Oil-Based Sharpies and Dollar Tree Mugs



Grab the patterns I used below and print them out or design and print your own mug pattern.

Cut along the outside lines of your pattern.  If you’re having trouble with the inner lines, use an X-Acto Knife.

Pre-wash your mugs so the tape and the Sharpie will adhere better.


Adhere your designs to your mug using tape circles.  If you (or your gift recipient) are right-handed, tape the letters on with the handle facing to the left.  If you (or your gift recipient) are left-handed, tape the letters on with the handle facing to the right.

Joy, Hope, and Love Sharpie Mugs

(I was making in bulk to sell them, so I made a majority of right-handed mugs with a few left handed-mugs.)

If you are using one color, you can use the tutorial below, just don’t change colors.  For the sake of ease, I’m going to explain how to make a mug with multiple colors.

Dot around the letters or shape that is taped on your mug.  Start with one color and dot, leaving space between your dots for the other colors. If you’re making in bulk, do the first color on each of the mugs so they have a chance to dry.

Dotting Mug Using Oil-Based Sharpies

Using One Color to Dot Sharpie Mugs

For each of these I was using three colors.  Notice how I left approximately two dots worth of space between the first color.  If you are using two colors, put less space between the dots.  **Don’t forget the inside space of each letter**

Next, add dots with your second color.  It’s okay to put two of the same color dots next to each other to fill space.  It’ll look less weird once you start adding more dots.

How to Make a Multi-Colored Love Sharpie Mug

Adding More Colors to Dotted Sharpie Mugs

Add your third color and fill in the gaps so your dots are closely packed together.  Once the marker is dry to the touch, you can peel off your design.

How to Make Sharpie Mugs with Taped Letters (1)

How to Make Sharpie Mugs-Outlining the Words with Dots

If there’s any spot that is smeared or splotchy, use a Q-Tip with nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol to remove the mistakes.

Using Nail Polish Remover to Touch Up Dotted Sharpie Mugs

Continue the same process with the outer dots, going one color at a time.  I did two different sections of mug: the dots closest to the design were tightly grouped and the dots farther away were looser.  Working a section and a color at a time, add dots like shown below.

Dotted Sharpie Mug Outline

Three-Color Dotted Sharpie Mug

Completed Dotted Sharpie Mug

As much as I love the look of the dots wrapping all the way around the mug, I wouldn’t recommend it because Sharpies are not food safe.  My dots covered about 3/4 of the mug with space on the back for the own to drink from.

Put your mug in a cold oven and preheat to 250 degrees.  Once the oven is preheated, bake for 2 hours (to see what that temperature and baking time, go here).  Leave the mug in the oven for at least 1 hour so it can cool with the oven.

2015-11-30 22.15.42

Give it as a gift or keep it all for yourself.

How to Make Love Mug Using Oil-Based Sharpies

How to Use Oil-Based Sharpies on Dollar Tree Mugs

Dotted Sharpie Mugs with Words (2)

To download my free designs via Dropbox, click on the patterns below:

Hope   LoveJoy

Christmas Ornament        Christmas Tree


Love your new dotted Sharpie mugs, but want more quick, easy, and inexpensive mug projects? You’ll love Marbled Nail Polish Mugs and How to Transfer a Design to Mugs.

For more DIY mug ideas and patterns (including the secret to making glitter mugs dishwasher safe), check out 10-Minute Mugs.

10-Minute Mugs | Tips, Tricks, and Designs to Make Beautiful Mugs in a Flash | 7 Unique Mug Tutorials | Plus 18 Mugs Patterns

Happy crafting!

For more Sharpie mug tips and tricks, grab the freebie: 17 Tips and Tricks to Perfect Sharpie Mugs.

Looking to make stunning mugs? Get 17 Tips and Tricks for Perfect Sharpie Mugs.

17 tips and tricks for perfect sharpie mugs

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5 Responses to “DIY Dotted Sharpie Mugs Using Dollar Store Mugs

  • Maggie
    2 years ago

    Great tutorial. I especially liked your experiment varying the time and temp. It appeals to my inner nerd. What are tape circles and where would I find them? Thanks!

    • Thank you! Tape circles are a lot less complicated than you think. You take regular tape (masking tape or clear tape) and flip it around so the sticky side is facing out. Then you stick the two ends together to make a loop or “tape circle”. You could also use double-sided tape if you have it.

  • Megan
    1 year ago

    I did this exactly as you described with the oil based sharpies but after handwashing, the sharpie ink still rubbed off! Help!

    • Hi Megan,
      Did you bake the mug after writing on it and before washing? The baking should set the marker. If you did, try using a different type of mug and using a paper towel with rubbing alcohol to clean it before using the Sharpie. If THAT doesn’t work, add a layer of dishwasher safe Mod Podge and follow the instructions on the bottle (just don’t put it anywhere the drinker would put their mouth on because it’s not food safe). Hopefully that helps!

  • Cassie
    1 year ago

    Hey everyone, I’ve been experimenting with a few different options..for those of you who don’t have a printer (like me) I have found dry erase markers to design your mugs works amazingly!!! No need for a printer (or stickers) 😋 let me know how it works!