I was looking for another hobby to try this month, so I tried browsing the web to search for projects that I can do at home without busting my wallet. When I saw ceramic painting projects, I felt ecstatic since I haven’t tried these yet. Before anything else though, what exactly is “Ceramics”? Ceramic materials are used by pottery makers to mold porcelain, artifacts, stoneware, and tableware to name a few. Most people take up ceramic arts as hobby, while there are others who really take time mastering the skill for themselves or as a means of income. This kind of art form is seen in many cultures around the world, each with their unique style. However, the Chinese people seem to take ceramic or porcelain making to another level. With the help of some documentaries and instructional videos in the web, we are exposed to how ceramic painting really works. Most of us have learned how to conceal a once broken ceramic tableware with only pottery-painting skills.
Making Italian ceramics is not as complicated as it seems. With the use of clay and other relevant materials, you can create any shape you desire. How is that possible? While spinning in a circular motion, the clay is molded by your hands according to the shape you want it to be. On the other hand, ceramic making may not be the germophobe’s cup of tea. Your bare hands are consistently exposed to clay, dirt, mud and in sometimes cow or animal dung. Doing this art requires you to always keep your hands squeaky clean when not working. It is imperative that the fingernails are kept short as to prevent bacteria and fungi from residing in them. Pottery-making might have a few limitations compared to other art forms but I hope this doesn’t intimidate you! It’s a relaxing craft and will be enjoyed by the kids and the kids-at-heart. Not in to touching mud but still interested with this art? Why not try painting Italian ceramics?
Here I rounded up several creative examples of pottery art inspirations you can use in making your own do-it-yourself ceramic painting at home.
#1 Forming dots to create a pattern
This method works well with strong, bold colors against white ceramics. All you do is lightly draw the design you want to create using a pencil. This will serve as your guide. Afterwards, you use dots to fill in the design. Pretty simple, huh? You can also just paint the dots away randomly for that abstract look.
#2 Fun striped juice pitcher
To achieve that matte, chic look, use a black chalkboard spray paint for this project. Spray it evenly across the surface, and leave to dry. Once dry, you can let your imagination run wild and paint over spirals or even quotes from your favorite movies. Use white paint for a more dramatic effect.
#3 Color contrasted tea cups
If you have plain tea cups sitting around your cupboard, this is a design you can use to give them a little bit more character. A bit similar to the idea I’ve mentioned above, here you will apply paint using a sponge for that blurred effect.
#4 Cute family photo illustration with pottery painting
The kids will definitely enjoy this idea, because they can draw the family members using stick figures in a porcelain plate. Mom and dad can also help adding more details to the project, making it an awesome family bonding moment! This is one idea the whole household will appreciate without any body feeling left out.
#5 Painted canisters for home use
Instead of buying a new multicolored canister, why not buy a blank one and paint it yourself? This DIY will hone your detailing skills because you will use a fine brush. A canister looks better with more details so grab your small paintbrush and paint, scout the internet for patterns and try recreating them yourself. If your hand is not that steady, you can opt for stencils which you can buy at your local school supplies store. Now, your masterpiece can be used for decorative or functional purposes.
#6 Leaf pattern
Illustrating a leaf in your ceramic flatware is made easy in this tutorial. First, you dip your brush to the paint. Lightly press the brush tip to the piece. Gently press the brush down, pulling the brush hairs down on the piece to flatten and create a teardrop shape. Carefully lift the brush to end the teardrop shape with a fine, sharp point. Shade the brushstroke you created using a darker hue. Use the same technique over the teardrop shape you made, to create depth and dramatic effect. With the aid of a smaller brush, you can add more details to the leaf for a more realistic look.
This DIY will be a bit messy, so I recommend you do this outdoors most especially if you are going to paint a bigger ceramic piece. To achieve a splatter effect, start by dipping a generous amount of any paint color of your choice to the brush. Make sure that the paint is the consistency of milk for a better effect. Now for the exciting part, hold your brush several inches far from the piece and run your fingertips through the bristles. This will produce a fine spatter of color on the base coated ceramic. You have the option of spattering more than one color on the same piece.
#8 Ombré effect
Using a natural sponge, dab one coat of any paint color of your choice to the piece of ceramic. Say for example that your desired color is green. Afterwards, dab one coat of darker green above the light green paint. Make sure the colors overlap to have a seamless finish. Go back to the light green shade and repeat. Continue alternating until you have four shades of green up the mug.
For the coffee lovers out there, I made a special segment in this article limited to mugs only. Here are some DIYs for you.
#1 Custom chalkboard mug
I’m sure you’ve heard of chalkboard paint in most DIY tutorials, and here is another one you will definitely love. The only materials you’ll need are tape and chalkboard paint. Stick the tape in such a way that the cup is divided into two sides, the upper and lower part. Apply the paint evenly to the bottom area, remove the tape and let it dry. Once dried, you can now write a message which can easily be erased with a damp cloth.
#2 Two-toned coffee mug
Liven up that boring old coffee mug, with this next idea I will give you. To achieve a two colored pattern, use crepe paper to cover the part of the mug you don’t want painted. This is to avoid the paint spilling over to spaces you don’t want. Paint over the empty spaces and voila! You can add as many colors as you like.
#3 Striped mug
Stripes are simple patterns that look good even if not perfectly done. For beginners, I advise you to start with this simple method. You will need your chosen porcelain paint color, disposable plate, white coffee mugs, a cup of water and a thin paintbrush. Pour a little paint and dilute it with water, but do it little by little in order to avoid making a watery mess. Paint the strips on the mug carefully using the paintbrush. Note that using tape as a guide is optional because either way, it will look good (Believe me!). Let it dry overnight. Afterwards, bake the mugs for 35 minutes to ensure that it’s dishwasher safe.
#4 Thoughtful messages
You will adore this DIY if you like meaningful messages or quotes. A White mug, some black porcelain paint and a fine brush are all you’ll ever need. Scribble your messages or words in the mug, bake them for 30-35 minutes and there you have it. When you drink your morning coffee, you’ll be reminded of a beautiful quote that will motivate or inspire you for the whole day.
#5 Elegant gold details
Personalize your white mugs with a gold-leaf pen, at the same time making it look elegantly chic. You can draw hearts just in time for Valentine’s day or you can just create beautiful and simple designs. Be careful though, because the design can wipe away. To avoid that from happening, you should put a glaze over it after drawing the design. Always remember to bake it afterwards to set the paint.
#6 His and hers mugs
This Italian ceramics paint design is as simple as it gets. Armed with only a sharpie and a mug, you can make a high quality mug in a matter of seconds. To create this cute mug makeover, write labels or words meaningful both to you and your partner using any color of sharpie you want. Bake it for around 30 minutes to make it dishwasher safe and permanent as well.
With these tips and ideas, you are now ready to start your ceramic painting hobby with ease and (hopefully) more confidence as well. How was your first DIY? Let us know to inspire others!