A Mug for Dad

I’ve mentioned it in previous posts: Myla is a very sensory seeking toddler. She also loves arts & crafts. Combine the two and you can get a pretty decent mess on your hands… or more like HER hands… and arms and clothes and face and hair and whatever is around her. So when I found some “paint your own mug” kits on sale, why did I even think it was a good idea to try to get her handprints on some?

Yes, it’s true that I wasn’t even the least bit successful… but she did have fun dipping all her fingers in the paint and covering the mug - every last bit of white covered in paint. And what do you get when you mix red, blue, green and yellow? A lovely shade of brown, or pretty close to it. Honestly, it’s kind of ugly. Ok, ok… it’s really ugly. Not that her artwork was ugly, she did a beautiful job, but the colors just mixed together too easily and her determination to cover the entire mug made for lots and lots of mixing.

We still had a few more mugs that hung out in the craft closet for months. Every once in awhile she would spot them and want to paint one - another lovely shade of brown. When we had one kit left, I decided to hide it. I remembered that I had some transparent glass/porcelain paints that probably wouldn’t mix into brown. And, since she likes to completely cover each mug the way she did her first I wanted to think of something to make it a little more interesting. That’s when I thought we could add a custom stencil/mask. I used the last mug from the kit and the extra stars I drew on the stencil paper from the Table & Chair Set I painted as a test sample. I let her paint away and it turned out just like I had hoped.

So from there, I took Myla to Target to pick out a special white mug for Daddy. I then drew two designs: “Dad” (with a heart) and “Jj” (which isn’t Justin’s initials, but figured since we are working on upper and lower case letters right now - that it would be a cute reminder of her age).

Once I drew and cut out the stencil/mask, I applied it to the cup (after it was cleaned with rubbing alcohol) and let Myla have a go at it with the paints. And just as I predicted, she covered the whole mug. I had to clean a bit around the top and inside, but after that I just let it dry for a day or so. Then I used an X-acto knife to cut around the ENTIRE stencil/mask and peeled it off. Please note, that since the paint isn’t cured until it is baked or air dried for 21 days, it will peel off like plastic so you need to cut around the ENTIRE stencil/mask as I doubt the stencil material can go in the oven. Then I baked it per the directions and now Daddy has a mug, made with love, by Myla. And I’m keeping the test sample mug for myself.