In case I haven’t made it clear, the kids really get into this whole crafty thing right alongside me. There hasn’t been much I’ve suggested that they haven’t jumped right on. Wonder how long that enthusiasm will last? This time we made mugs for a whole bunch of folks we care a whole lot about. This one was pretty easy. We bought a set of ceramic markers at Michael’s, a few blank white mugs, and then sat down for a few minutes to make some quick designs. With the black marker, I first divided the mugs into four sections with a thin line. I drew the line free-handed so it wouldn’t be all sharp and perfect. Then each kid picked out one color and one section as their own, and then took turns filling in the spaces on each mug.
Voila! After allowing each mug to dry for a day or two, they were stuck in the oven at 325 (I believe) for two hours (the actual instructions are directly on the pen, thankfully!). We filled them with little things like coffee, tea, hot cocoa, stirring spoons or alcohol depending on who they were going to before wrapping them up and passing them along.
Scribbles of little kids or abstract works of Cy Twombly? All in the eye of the beholder I suppose! It won’t be much longer before their drawings become more formulaic—we’re already losing one to happy-rainbow-heart-star-land—displacing that free and uninhibited expressiveness that is comes so naturally at this age. I find these charming, but then again, I am most definitely biased. I can see this working nicely with older kids as well, and I suspect that we might do a few of these every year. Well, until I come up with another crazy idea anyway.
The markers claim that they are dishwasher resistant, so I’m sending these mugs on their way with no additional instructions, and should the ink eventually wear down, I’m pretty sure we’ll be more than happy to redecorate them… maybe next time with something a little less pre-school and little more pre-raphaelite.