Custom Coffee Cups – Cats

I’m toying with the idea of making this into a series of sorts and doing other custom coffee cups applying different techniques than those used in this post. Let’s hope I do it – I guess you’ll have to come back to find out (if you’re into coffee cup crafts, that is…). This craft is pretty easy if you just take your time, relax and enjoy the experience. I made a few of these for Christmas for my siblings-in-law since we decided to not exchange gifts this year. I thought’d it’d be a fun way to still give them something to open. Plus, I filled them with candy, so they were an easy hit. The below design is for a cat face, but you could customize for any animal face (or design, really). I even made one cup that was a deer face and neck for a hunter we know.


  • Clear coffee cup (I found mine at the Dollar Tree)
  • White scrap paper (5.5″ x 8″ approximately)
  • Permanent marker (I used black)
  • Paint set with appropriate colors (I got mine from the Dollar Tree with red, blue, green, yellow, black, brown and white)
  • Paint brush
  • Mod Podge (Dishwasher safe)
  • Pencil

First, take the paper and put it inside the cup and press it against the side where you want to put the image (consider which hand your user will drink with if you want to do a face design). Mark the edges of your coffee cup ‘canvas’ (aka the design area of the cup) on the paper so you know how big to make your design. Then, draw your design (cat face, deer face, etc.) within that area of the paper. I looked at a couple of different photos for mine and did some editing to my drawing before I was ready to put it onto the cup. Once you’re happy with the design, put the paper back into the cup with the design pressed against your ‘canvas’ side and trace the design onto the cup using the permanent marker.

Once your design is on, you want to paint. I had two different colors to do – white and pink, so I used my batch assembly approach and drew on all of my cups, then painted all the cups with white and then the pink paint (which was a blend). You may have to do a couple of coats of paint to get the desired opaque. Once your paint is FULLY dry (I did this over 2 days, I think) go over any areas with your permanent marker, as needed.

The final step is to Mod Podge over the whole area. I used my clear dishwasher safe Mod Podge from my Photo Coasters post. You want to apply 2-3 coats of Mod Podge so that your user doesn’t have to worry about throwing the cup in the dishwasher (because NOBODY likes hand wash only items).


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