My Experience with DIY Pinterest Gifts

A lot of women (and even sometimes men) who join Pinterest have great intentions. They pin all these creative projects or delicious looking recipes on their boards with the purpose of actually making them in the somewhat near future. Right…


It’s okay. We all do it.

And because that never usually works out, we just end up pinning more and more funny cat pictures until all of a sudden it’s three o’clock in the morning and we’ve just polished off a brand new tub of Ben & Jerry’s.

But this past Christmas, being a poor college student, I decided that I was actually going to attempt to fulfill my Pinterest destiny and make DIY Pinterest gifts for my family.

Pros: Super cost effective and heartfelt. Your mom will probably display it for everyone to see and then mention it whenever someone walks past.

Cons: Takes up a lot of time and, even when you fail (we’re talking it looks more akin to a sloppy 1st grade finger-painting and less like the professional-looking handprint family tree art piece that you wanted), your mom will display it for everyone to see and then mention it whenever someone walks past.

Luckily enough for me, I perceived my own failure in advance and planned accordingly. I made two fairly simple Pinterest gifts, but because I lack a picture of the second one, I’ll only be talking about one of them.

Sharpie Mugs

Anyone that has a Pinterest account and has glanced at the DIY category has seen this project idea. The basic premise is that you can buy a basic white coffee mug, draw or write (with a Sharpie) a cute little phrase like “This isn’t actually coffee” on the side, bake the mug in the oven at 350 degrees, and after some cooling time – voila! DIY mug.



If the Sharpie doesn’t rub off from your hands, the markings you made will most definitely come off in the dishwasher (and also potentially from handwashing).

A better idea, and what worked for me, is this Delta Air-Dry Permenamel Transparent Glass Paint Set.

Click the picture for the place to buy it.

Click the picture for the place to buy it.

The packaging says it’s for glass projects, but it also works just as well on your run-of-the-mill ceramic coffee mug. There are three different tools in this set: the surface conditioner (the little white bottle), which you brush all over the mug first; the liquid lead (black tube), which I skipped over since this wasn’t a glass project; and the paints.

There’s no need to bake the mugs because the paint is supposed to stay on without heat. Now, you can’t put your finished mugs in the dishwasher, but you can handwash them, which is at least better than having your design disintegrate upon contact.

I don’t have any tips for actually designing your mug (all I did was look at some pictures on Google and tried my best to mimic them), but I do know that this set works. Granted, you’re paying a little extra for it (about $7 plus a $1 mug from the dollar store), but it’s still fairly cheap for what you’re getting.

The mugs were a hit with the family and they’ve still held up after several washes. DIY mission accomplished.


My artistic skills at work.

If you have any other questions about this project, or maybe a failed or achieved Pinterest goal of your own, let me know in the comments.


4 thoughts on “My Experience with DIY Pinterest Gifts

  1. A psycho told my sister 15 years ago I would grow up to be a great inventor. He also said she’d marry a guy named Mike with a big nose. She’s 35 and has never been married. I haven’t invented a thing. This piece you wrote up here has motivated me to get back on track to fulfill my destiny.

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