Apr

25

How to Sell Unique Coffee Mugs

By Ceramic Design



The cultivation of the coffee bean as a drink was first developed by people living in the East African mountains of Ethiopia, according to National Geographic reports. The cultural and social folkways that have arisen around drinking this hardy brew makes selling associated specialty items such as coffee mugs a feasible business enterprise in most marketplaces. While a visit to most major retailers’ kitchenware departments will reveal the specialty mug market as competitive, design uniqueness can become your competitive advantage.

  • 1

    Make or buy unique mugs. If you do not know how to make mugs, enroll in a pottery class to learn how to design and make custom mugs. Draft out a mug design and have the specifications developed by an artisan as a commission or from a manufacturer for large orders. Alternatively, develop an inventory of unique mugs from the works of artisans who make mugs and other suppliers with a wide selection of mug designs.

  • 2
    Specialty mugs are especially popular gift items during the winter holiday season.

     

    Sell at kiosks or a store front. Determine the feasibility for a specialty mug shop in your community. Remember that a retail store will require a large quantity of specialty cups inventory. While a kiosk has a much lower inventory demand, it also has a corresponding lower income potential than a retail shop.

  • 3

    Sell to retailers. Distribute coffee mugs to retail shops by offering wholesale prices for specialty mug inventory. The reduction in unit price for distributor-wholesalers is typically recovered by the gain in the quantity of an order.

  • 4
    Valentine’s Day offers an opportunity to sell associated specialty mugs.

     

    Sell on-line. Develop the new business enterprise and launch a website to sell directly to the public on-line. Set up on-line shopping carts for each retail item for credit and debit card purchases. Unique coffee mugs can also be sold at on-line auctions or through “buy it now” features of on-line retailers like eBay.com.

Apr

25

Oversized Coffee Cups

By Ceramic Design



Coffee lovers cannot get enough of their favorite beverage, so having an oversized coffee cup is particularly useful. An oversized mug allows the coffee drinker to have ample servings of coffee at one time, without having to worry about constantly refilling the mug. Making an oversized mug is relatively easy and you can do many things with the finished product, including giving it to other coffee lovers as a gift.

  • 1

    Lay old newspapers down to protect your work area. If you’re working on a table with texture, the newspapers will keep the clay from absorbing the design on the table.

  • 2

    Take a fist-sized piece of clay and roll it into a ball. Put the ball on the table and stick your thumbs in the center. Carefully pinch the clay, extending it out to the desired width of your mug. Keep in mind that for an oversized coffee cup, the base should be wide. Do not worry if the sides start to cave in or are too thin; you can fix any problems in the next steps.

  • 3

    Take another ball of clay and use both hands to roll out a long coil. Slowly and evenly distribute pressure along the coil to ensure that it remains the same size. Avoid rolling the coil too thin; it should be no thinner than a quarter of an inch.

  • 4

    Attach the coil to the bottom piece of clay by first scoring the bottom of the coil. Scoring is done by creating a checked pattern into the clay with a needle. Wet the scored area using a paintbrush dipped in water. After you have scored it, attach the coil onto the bottom slab and smooth the inside and outside edges together. Continue stacking the coils one on top of another until you have reached the desired height for your oversized coffee cup. Read more »

Apr

25

Customized Ceramic Mugs

By Ceramic Design



Ceramic coffee and cocoa mugs are a staple of any cupboard. Practical and fun to give as gifts, mugs can be customized in your own kitchen with materials that are easy to obtain. This project is simple enough that kids can help as well, allowing you to turn a mug customization idea into a project for the whole family. Personalize ceramic mugs for your own collection or create designs to give to others for any occasion.

  • 1

    Sketch your design on a piece of paper so that you have an idea of what you want to create on the mug. Paint the design on regular paper and hold it up to the mug to get the sizing right; this way, when you paint on the mug, it will not be the first time you attempted to create the design.

  • 2

    Spread newspaper down on the surface where you will be working.

  • 3

    Clean the ceramic mug with soap and water. Plain mugs can be purchased at regular kitchenware stores, craft stores or from ceramic and pottery suppliers.

  • 4

    Use a natural bristle paintbrush to recreate your design on the mug with enamel paint. If you find it difficult to paint an intricate design on the curved surface while the mug is standing up, turn it on its side and brace it by placing it between two books or other heavy objects so it does not roll. Allow the design to dry on one side before turning the mug over.

  • 5

    Paint with brush strokes made in the same direction for the cleanest look. To paint small or elaborate details, use a fine-tipped paintbrush. To paint solid colors or the background of the mug, use a larger brush. Fewer strokes will create a smoother finish. Wipe any excess paint off of the brush each time you dip it in the paint to avoid lumps.

  • 6

    Apply several layers of paint to create deep colors.

  • 7

    Allow the paint to dry in-between coats for the length of time recommended by the paint’s manufacturer.

  • 8

    Follow the instructions on the bottles of paint to bake the paint onto the mug with the oven. Most paints will require only a short time baking at a low temperature.

Apr

25

Paint Ceramic Mugs

By Ceramic Design



While you can usually find painted ceramic mugs in most boutique gift shops, creating your own allows you to customize the mug with your own designs. You can add names, favorite sports teams’ emblems and even inside jokes. With undecorated mugs selling for mere dollars at discount shops, painted ceramic mugs also make a perfect and inexpensive party favor. The only limit when decorating ceramic mugs is your own creativity and the dimensions of the mug.

  • 1

    Clean the mug’s surface with rubbing alcohol and your lint-free towel. Most paints will encourage you to start with a clean surface and rubbing alcohol will remove any grease or other unwanted substances from the mug without leaving a soapy film behind.

  • 2

    Choose a design you know will fit comfortably on your mug. As well as size, consider color harmony. For instance, hot pink will probably not complement a hunter green mug.

  • 3

    Paint your design onto the mug’s surface using your craft paintbrush. Allow layers to dry before applying more colors. Clean your brush between colors to ensure you don’t accidentally mix shades and blend.

  • 4

    Place your finished mug in a cool oven and set the oven to 300 degrees. Do not warm the oven before placing your mug inside. Doing so can cause the glass to heat up too quickly, which can cause the mug to crack or shatter.

  • 5

    Allow the mug to bake for 30 minutes.

  • 6

    Turn the oven off after the mug has baked for 30 minutes. Allow the mug to cool down with the oven, as taking it out can cause it to cool too quickly.

  • 7

    Remove the mug from the oven and enjoy.