Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Two Gifts I Most Enjoyed Giving

At my "ever-so-terribly advanced" age, I tend to find giving more exciting than receiving when it comes to birthdays and Christmas. I thought I'd share with you the two gifts I enjoyed giving the most and how you can make them yourself if you like.

Gift #1: A Very Weird Custom Coffee Mug

I have a sister who is known for loving to use the word "weird." It's not surprising to hear her comment, "That's weird!" about anything from a corny joke to--well--just about anything else.

I kept this penchant for "weird" in mind when designing her mug. I free-handed the abstract swirly design seen above on one side of the mug, and on the other side...
"Some are born weird, Some achieve it, Others have weirdness thrust upon them."
She loved it. :)

(Click pictures to enlarge)

This gift was super easy to make, and I found it rather addictive. (Watch out dollar store and Goodwill; I just might buy up all your mugs...)

Here's how I did it:
I bought...
A plain white mug at Goodwill
A black, extra fine point Sharpie Paint Pen (these oil-based Sharpies come in a ton of colors and tip sizes)

1. I washed the mug in hot water and dish soap. Then I dried it, sprayed some glass cleaner on a paper towel, and gave it a good wipe-down with that. The reason for this is I didn't want oils from my hands coating the surface to cause the paint not to stick well. After this, I was careful to only touch parts that weren't going to have any paint designs (the handle, top edge, and bottom edge).

2. I free-handed the abstract swirls on the back of the mug--that was fun! I did one part I didn't like, so I used a Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover to "erase" it. I was then able to dab the area dry with a scrap of paper towel and try again. Worked like a charm!

3. Next, I used thin strips of masking tape to give myself a guide to keep the lines of text straight. Then wrote my goofy little saying! Again, I did a little clean-up with a Q-tip when I was done.

4. I signed my initials and the year on the bottom of the mug and then set it on the counter to dry for about 24 hours. After letting it dry, I turned the mug upside-down onto the oven rack, and THEN turned the oven on to 400. Letting the mug and the oven warm up and cool down together keeps the mug from cracking due to temperature extremes. After about 30 minutes, I turned the oven off and let everything cool down.

I would guess that this mug should be handwashed, not put in the dishwasher. Also, since I'm certain Sharpie paint isn't good for you, I would only draw on parts of the mug that will not come in contact with your drink or your mouth.

Gift #2: A Manly Cowl

My husband loves to go jogging, but this winter the cold wind on his face and in his lungs was causing some trouble. He tried winding a scarf around his face, but it never stayed in place with all the movement. I decided he needed a cowl—and not a drapey, girly one, either. He needed something that would stay snugly around his mouth and nose, keep him warm, and look awesome.

The “Jogger” Manly Cowl reachs from inside the collar of his coat, all the way to his nose and ears when needed, and can be folded down to look like a luxurious turtle-neck at other times.

And with the wide ribbing, it's manly.
Definitely manly.


  1. Those are great, Perry! Thanks for sharing. We would love to see more of your projects/crafts/activities/gifts. :) You are just so creative, and I love getting ideas from you!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! I would be happy to share more of my projects. I've been working on writing easy knitting patterns, so more about those will probably surface as I have time. :)
      Hope you're having a great day!

  2. You mean that is a cowl? I always thought it was a part on a hood, which kind of went out over the face more than a normal hood would....this changes the meaning of the Ranger's Apprentice books a good bit. I feel like I've learned something very important today.
    (Oh, and the cowl itself is brilliant, as well as the mug!)

    1. Yes, this is one style of cowl. Often, they're more drapey like this: They can be worn over your head more like a hood.

      I'm not familiar with the Ranger's Apprentice books, but it sounds like you may be talking about something similar to a balaclava?

      Glad you enjoyed the post! :) Hope you have an awesome day!!