Proclaiming that Christmas is a commercial venture is hardly original but it still strikes me how much emphasis is being placed on the what of the giving rather than the generosity of the giving. All of the feel-good movies around the festive season celebrate the spirit of Christmas, yet if you walk into any mall you are being told how this gift or that thing will impress the most. Giving gifts to those you love are about showing your appreciation of them, to remind them that they are special enough that you took the time and effort – aside from the money – to find something that you though they would love.
I remember as a child my mom saying that we should make Christmas and birthday cards for our friends. I always thought it was really lame that I should make them, favouring the brightly coloured store-bought paper and cartoon cards instead. And so I find myself this Christmas not only making gift wrap and cards, but presents as well. And not because I don’t want to buy something but because I think a personalized gift is something to enjoy for so much longer.
For this project you will need:
- Porcelain Art Pen – I used one by Nerchau from my local crafts shop
- Ceramic or porcelain mugs
- Carbon paper
- messages printed onto standard paper
I bought some very inexpensive white mugs from PEP Home – they are the perfect size for a quick coffee.
I used my 2 most-loved and most-used hand written fonts for the messages. I chose sayings from TV shows that I know the recipients watch so it makes for a very personal and quite quirky gift! Overlay the messages onto carbon paper and tape it to the mug with masking tape. Then using pencil, trace the outlines of the text. When you are tracing the outline you still have a lot of control over the writing but once you start working with the porcelain pen it becomes a bit more tricky. That’s why a hand-written font is probably the way to go!
Remove the paper and carbon and make sure that you are happy with the design before you start tracing the lines with the porcelain pen. If something goes wrong you can still wipe it off before you start baking though!
Bake the mugs according to the instructions on the pen – this one required the mugs to be placed in a cold oven and then heated to 160 C. Let them cool in the oven with the door open. Once they have cured you can even put them in the dishwasher.
I placed some gourmet coffee beans in little vintage canvass bags to complete the package. My boys are also getting ones with their names on it, without the coffee of course! The gift that will keep someone thinking of you – every time they have hot drink at least!