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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

watercolor ceramic mugs {diy tutorial}

Looking for a DIY present idea this holiday season? 

It seems like every year, I'm on the hunt for a new project to gift folks with. If done well, a handmade gift can be some of the most precious things a person gives and receives. 
Who is it going to? Will they use/enjoy this? Is this going to be tossed? Ha! - All good questions to pose with handmade gifts. 

And every year, some project catches my eye and makes its way under my tree. 2016? These watercolor mugs!

Beautiful, no?
 How about also inexpensive, quick and easy!

: :  Materials  : :

  - ceramic mugs
 - nail polish of your choice (two colors for a multi tone look!)
 - polish remover
 - towel
 - deep dish or bowl
 - toothpicks

Notes: Avoid super quick dry polishes. They dry too fast for this project. Also, don't use a bowl you're overwhelmingly attached too. A throw away would be perfect, but I used a plastic tupperware one and cleaned it afterwards.

Start by making sure any stickers or tags are removed from the mugs
Hint: Check the bottom! And hot water removal FTW!

Next fill up your bowl with room temperature water and set it over your towel. 

Prepare your work area. This project requires you to move quickly through the steps and you don't want to be hustling around for supplies while your paint dries.
 - Lay out a couple of toothpicks within reach.
 - Fold over a couple paper towels as a place to lay your mugs to dry after the fact.
 - Remove the brush tops from your polish and set aside.

Quickly, poura few drops of the polish (or two) into the water. You want it to sit on the surface and spread out. 

As soon as its poured, grab you toothpick a gently swirl the two colors together a bit.
Make sure your polish isn't globbing together! If it globs, pour the water out and refill. Your temperature might be too hot, or you might not be moving quick enough and your polish is drying.

Then gently dip the mug down into the water and pick it right back out. The polish color should cling to the side of the dipped area like watercolor! 

I usually hold the mug over the bowl for a few seconds to allow any water to run off, then flip it upside down and lay it on my readied paper towel.

Depending on the state of the water and any reside on the surface, you may or may not need to rinse out your water for the next mug. It doesn't have to be fresh water, but you don't want any leftover gunk hanging out on the surface. If it looks clean, feel free to pour more polish and go again! 

I let my mugs air dry for at least 24 hours. Probably also wise to add a "hand wash only" tag if these are a gift since they won't do well in the dishwasher.

And voila! Handmade and beautiful gift!

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