Monday, 20 December 2010

Hearts and Flowers part 1. - decorate a mug - easy peasy tutorial.

Here's a very simple little project to make a last minute gift for a teacher or auntie. It's lovely for your child to be able to give something which they have made themselves. Fill it with a cellophane bag of choccies tied up with pretty ribbon, and Bob's your Uncle!

Most crafters will probably have a heart and a flower paper punch in their stash. They are very versatile items to own. I'm using Tonic Studio's paper punches for this project. If you don't have any paper punches, then may I suggest that these ones would be good basic punches for you to start off your collection. (And believe me, once you've started your collection - you'll be buying more!!! )
You will need... a willing little helper. This is my sweet and creative 4 year old daughter .

A heart and a flower paper punch...

...and a bunch of other stuff. I have here some Pebeo Porcelaine paint, a sheet of acetate for making a stencil (although you could just as easily use paper for this), an old sponge cut into little blocks for painting, some milk bottle lids for the paint, some masking tape and most importantly, a plain white mug for decorating. I find Tesco's basics range brilliant for this. A straight sided mug is easiest to work with.
{Slight intermission where my daughter discovers building with the foam blocks is fun...I always save any foam from packaging...I think this foam might have come with a laptop computer. }

To start with, I cut a strip of acetate the right size to go around the mug, then after a little help positioning the shapes, my little girl punched them out. OK this was posed, she did need to press with both hands to activate the punch, but she did manage to punch out the shapes all by herself. We alternated heart/ flower/ heart/ flower etc. Now we all know paper punches are wonderful for using with paper to make cards and other paper items, but did you know that using them to create a stencil can be very effective too.
We fastened the punched strip to the mug with masking tape and then my little girl chose some paint. She mixed the colours herself using a cotton bud in the plastic lids.
Using the little pieces of sponge, she dab, dab, dabbed. Then mixed a couple more colours and did the same. We then moved the stencil to the bottom of the mug and repeated the process. Simple!
If you need to tidy up any areas simply moisten a cotton bud with water and clean up the edges a little.

Look what I did mum!
Now, you need to follow your paint's manufacturers instructions for curing and baking in the oven to fix the paint, then it's ready to give.

Of course you don't have to use hearts and flowers, if you have other punches that you would prefer, then go ahead - have fun! Let me know if you try this - I'd love to see the results.

I have another hearts and flowers tutorial coming up in the new year, so keep a look out for it!


  1. Tying Uncle Bob up with pretty ribbon is a bit much I would say even for Christmas!

    Seriously, your daugther is a smasher and I like the way you both have presented the tied candles.

    Have a great Christmas!

  2. Very cute, Doda! I just wanted to thank you for your sweet words about my Pottery Barn inspired doll bedding, cradle, & canopy a short while back! Had a moment this morning to catch up on comments and wanted to be sure to thank you!


  3. Hi Doda... thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind comments!! Blessings to you for a glorious new year ahead!


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