I’m a massive fan of home-design blogs, and whilst reading one a while back I happened upon a link to some very cute cups from Anthropologie.
Whilst they were only $6 in America (a bargain when converted to GBP at £3.72!), when redirected to the European site, they became £6… A little expensive considering they are quite small… (I’d need about three cups of tea in those to start my day!). And so, disappointed, I turned away from the site, closed the browser and went on with my work (ironically, now at the time of writing, some weeks later, they’re on sale for £3.95, which is a far more tempting price again.. But they don’t stock ‘S’, so that’s a bit disappointing!).
However, a couple of days later I came across an entry in a completely different blog about how someone decided to make personalised cups for their family through using ceramic paint… And then I was excited! I could buy plain white cups, a ceramic black pen, and doodle to my heart’s content!
And so I did. I bought a Maribu Porcelain Painter Pen from Ebay (it was cheaper than elsewhere), and some plain white 12 oz mugs – also from Ebay (I honestly don’t know where I’d be without that site sometimes).
I figured it would be safe to buy a 6-pack of cups, to allow for a couple of painting mistakes and mishaps along the way.
I then spent a long looooong time browsing the internet for some cute free fonts. I wanted something quite elaborate, so that it would stand out on the cup and look pretty on a shelf too, whilst not looking overtly handmade once painted on.
I decided to stay with the idea of an old-fashioned font, which whilst elaborate, wouldn’t be too difficult (I hoped!) to trace onto a cup with graphite paper. I happened upon this site: http://www.urbanfonts.com/free-fonts.htm, which offered a wide variety of downloadable free fonts to use, and then narrowed it down to a select few. It was a difficult choice to make, but I decided to use ‘Selfish’, by Eduardo Recife (you can see his website here: http://www.misprintedtype.com/v4/)
So the next step was to create a large stencil on Microsoft word, print, and then cut roughly around the letter. I then attached it to a piece of homemade graphite paper (I used a 6B drawing pencil and scribbled hard over a small area of paper), and then very carefully traced over the outline of the letter on to the cup (make sure that the graphite paper is graphite-side to the cup!).
It looks a bit messy, but the graphite can be washed off when all is finished.
All in all, from the creating graphite paper, tracing on the letters, and painting over them with the porcelain pen, it only took me a couple of hours to completely finish painting monograms on three mugs. The paint pen is perhaps a little too thick for very small details and thin lines, but it worked well with what I wanted, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a cheap and non-messy porcelain paint.
So, after I left the mugs to dry overnight, they looked like this:
I thought they still looked like they were missing something, so I added a little picture to the inside of the cups as well, leaving them looking like this:
I’m quite pleased with the results of my first design project… And am definitely raring to go for my next one now!
In other news, I shall be featured shortly on a cookery blog as a guest chef… I have a cookery photoshoot scheduled in the next few weeks, so that’s going to be exciting!