In recent years I’ve made more of an effort in delivering handmade gifts where I can. It’s pretty much impossible to make something for every person on your list, but mixing in something you’ve created every once in a while can be a delightful treat. My favourite thing about making something is that I can tailor the details to the recipient. It can feel like winning the lottery when you think of that perfect touch to add.
I know my limits when it comes to sewing gifts, so I decided to only make two garments this year. However, I still wanted to craft a few other handmade goodies. After a few conversations with friends it became clear that hot chocolate is pretty much a universal favourite this season. I decided that I would spread the cocoa joy in a hand-painted mug! These make a delightful gift for friends, family or co-workers, that are super easy to make your own. Er…their own?
Instead of just buying a cute mug and filling it with goodies, painting it yourself allows you to make it as personal as you’d like. I chose 4 phrases carefully for each of my friends who would be receiving them, but you can just as easily choose fun phrases that go for anyone.
These are perfect to have on hand for hostesses, secret santa’s and those gifts that just seem to pop up in this last week before Christmas.
- Blank ceramic mugs (as many as you’d like to make!)
- HB pencil
- Ceramic paint in a contrasting colour (I used Pebeo Porcelaine 150)
- Small paint brushes, both firm and soft bristles.
- Brainstorm a few phrases or designs you’d like to include on your mug. Think of who will be recieving it and what they like. Pinterest also has lots of fun ideas. You’ll want to keep it relatively short (2-5 words) so it will be easier to paint.
- Sketch out your ideas on paper.
- Using a soft pencil, sketch your words onto the mug. You can use masking tape to make sure you have straight lines. Once your paint dries, you can wipe any marks off with your fingers.
- Paint! I found a firm brush worked best for printed letters, and a softer brush for script. If you are painting on a darker background you may need more than one coat.
- Follow the paint instructions for drying. For me, that meant letting them dry for 24 hours, then baking for 30 minutes in the oven to set it. This made the paint dishwasher safe!
Once you’ve painted your mugs, it’s time for the really fun part; filling it with a few fun and festive goodies! I chose two different hot chocolate mixes, candy canes, a Jacek chocolate bar, some sewn ornaments and a pom pom.
Go nuts and fill it with whatever you can think of! Other ideas might be marshmallows and cookies, small gifts like lip balm or jewelry, or even a tiny bottle of Bailey’s to go with that hot chocolate.
I’ve already started to give these away and It’s such a joy to pass along a handmade gift. The best part is watching people notice the personal touches.
Are you making handmade gifts this year? I’d love to hear all about em (and steal your ideas for next Christmas…)