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Sponge-Painted Mugs

Christine Weber

Easy and economical. Whip up a set of these sponge-painted mugs with Christmas motifs faster than you can brew up the coffee to fill them (well almost)!


Materials and Equipment:

  • a large plastic bag or several sheets of newspaper
  • a ceramic mug, your choice of color
  • air-dry ceramic paint, your choice of colors (if painting the snowman in the photo, choose cream, lilac and purple)
  • air-dry ceramic paint with a pen nozzle for fine details, your choice of color (if painting the snowman in the photo, choose black)
  • a small paintbrush
  • a sheet of compressed sponge (available at craft stores)
  • a lid from a used container (such as yogurt)
  • paper towel
  • paper
  • a pencil


  1. Before starting, clear the table and cover it with newspaper or a large garbage bag to avoid getting paint on the table. Wash and dry your mug.
  2. If you are not completing the snowman design in the photo, take a few minutes to create your design with pencil on paper. The snowman is painted with a combination of sponge printing and freehand brushwork. You can use either or a combination of the two to create your design.
  3. Trace the part of the design requiring sponge printing out on the compressed sponge. Cut the design out, creating a stencil. For the snowman, cut a larger circle, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and a smaller circle, about 1 inch in diameter. Moisten the sponge so it expands and press out the water. Allow to dry until just slightly damp.
  4. Pour a small puddle of ceramic paint on the plastic container lid. Apply paint to the sponge with the brush. Press the sponge stencils onto the mug as per your design. For the snowman, use cream paint and stencil two circles, one on top of the other. Allow to dry completely.
  5. Clean the brush, sponges and the container lid. Pour some of the next color onto the lid and paint the accents onto your design. For the snowman, add a scarf and hat. Use the pen nozzle paint to add fine details. For the snowman, use it to make twig arms, a face and buttons. Set aside to dry completely as per instructions on your paint.
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  7. Fill with cocoa and enjoy, or give to a coffee connoisseur as a gift!

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 29, 20060 found this helpful

I plan to to make some I think they are very nice

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
November 17, 20080 found this helpful

I love this idea for my daughter's birthday party. The kids can make a mug to take home and have a lot of fun doing them.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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