Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Painted Hearts Ceramic Cup DIY

I've been looking for a cup or tumbler to hold my makeup brushes and pencils for a few months without a lot of luck. Everything I liked was either too tall or too wide, and everything that was the right size just wasn't all that cute. So I decided to paint my own, and you can too! It's really easy. :)

What you'll need:
- cup or tumbler. I bought this one from Target.
- rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad or paper towel.
- paint. I used Liquitex Glossies, which you can find at any art supply store, or online at Dick Blick, etc.
- a small paintbrush. (Ignore that foam brush in the photo; I didn't actually use that.)
- something to mix your paints on and water. (optional because you don't have to actually mix colors if you aren't feeling it; they're fine right out of the bottle.)

The first step is to wipe down your cup with rubbing alcohol and avoid touching it as much as possible before applying your paint. You'll also want to take the tops off your paints and stir them really well.

I tried out a couple of patterns before deciding to go with hearts...everyone can draw (or in this case, paint) a heart, right? (And it would be super cute to make this for a Valentine's Day gift too.)

I started painting my hearts with a medium teal color that I mixed using blue green, almond, and white. Then I added red purple and dabs of other colors that I mixed to vary my hearts a bit from light blue to dark teal with touches of purple. You can absolutely just use one color straight out of the bottle for all of your hearts, and it would be very cute, of course! The painter in me just can't help but add dimension and texture to everything, I guess.

Here's a closeup so that you can see the variations in color a little better. You can also see how the paint dries to a high gloss finish. This paint is sort of slippery on ceramic surfaces and takes a bit of getting used to, especially if you're accustomed to "the tooth" of canvas or paper, but it really is a gorgeous paint.

After you're finished painting, let your cup dry for 24 hours. You can also heat set your cup by placing it in a cool oven, turning the temp to 325°F, and "baking" for 45 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the oven cool completely before removing your cup. (It's important to avoid drastic temperature changes and best to let your cup gradually heat up and cool down with the oven.) Make sure the cup you used is oven safe.

I skipped the last step, as my tumbler is only going to sit on my dresser and hold my makeup brushes. (And my cup is not dishwasher safe anyway; the care instructions on my cup are only to wipe with a damp cloth.) It is important to note that this paint is not food safe. It is ok to paint the outside of mugs or bowls, just make sure to leave about 3/4" at the top of the mug unpainted (where you'd actually be placing your mouth).

Here's my finished heart tumbler and the makeup I use everyday. It goes nicely with my cloud tray from oelwein (that you can see holding the rest of my makeup) as that tray has lots of blues and dark teals also.

One day I'd love to have a vanity table, not that I spend very long getting ready; I've never been very fussy about my appearance. Nevertheless, I do love the idea of having a place to sit and get ready for the day. Our bedroom is very small, as are all the rooms in this house, so for now I'm making do with everything atop my tall dresser. It's lucky, I guess, that the mirror happens to be at eye level for me. In the interest of full disclosure, it's not normally this clean up there. I did remove a few scattered necklaces and rings and the random bits and bobs that always seem to accumulate up there. I think maybe I just need a cute jewelry dish to catch it all. :)

As always, if anyone decides to make their own painted heart cup, please let me know! xo, Mary


  1. Adorable! It's the perfect size. My brushes are in my little makeup bag, just floating around with everything else. I wouldn't mind having a dressing table, either, but like you guys, we don't have space.

  2. I'd love to have a place to sit while getting ready too. It's really relaxing when you aren't in a rush in the morning & can just have a few minutes to yourself. I love the little hearts, will have to try that type of paint!

  3. that looks so cute!! You really should consider putting your artwork on cups!! I'm sure they would sell.

  4. Omg...I have been looking for a new makeup brush cup forever! I am so picky and mostly like older things, so I'm looking for a vintage cup that will work. Right now I'm using a super cute vintage owl mug that I love, but I just have too many brushes now. Also, I spot Tarte on your dresser! I'm using Tarte, too! What's even funnier is that I just posted about makeup on my blog today, which I have never ever done!

  5. Cute, I love that you used different shades of blue :-) I have all my make-up things in old glass jars, I should give them a little va-va-voom too!

  6. simple and lovely!
    Irene from www.one-o.it