You could call these tumblers titillating. That’s right. I said titillating. Who doesn’t love a good set of small glass cups that can be anything from charming votive candle holders to drinking glasses or even holiday candy serving dishes grouped en masse on a coffee table? I’ve always wanted to try my hand at glass paint (the kind that you apply with a pen and bake on in the oven) so I figured using it to create a cute little DIY holiday gift would be just the thing. Or it could be another epic fail- you never know when you start these things…
For this project I originally planned to go to a thrift store for cheap $1 glasses to paint, but when I stumbled across this matched set of four tumblers at Target for $2.50 (less than 65 cents a pop) I couldn’t resist grabbing it. Oh and I got the paint pen – called Vitrea 160 in Scandalwood Green – from Michael’s for just a few bucks (around $3 I think).
When it came to application, I just followed the directions and freehanded some seasonal designs on the outside of each tumbler (feathery spruce trees line one cup, pine needles are the chosen scheme for another glass, and wavy lines and straight stripes round out the other two cups). After allowing the cups to dry for 24 hours (according to the instructions on the ol’ paint pen) it was time to bake them in the oven for 40 minutes at 325 degrees (instructions probably vary, so be sure to follow the ones on your pen when it’s time to get your cook on). Tip: we didn’t preheat the oven and we left them in there to cool for a while before removing them, which seemed to help keep the glass from cracking since major changes in temperature can cause that).
The result was a gorgeously sweet and subtle design that feels festive without looking too over the top. In other words, we figure as far as gifts go, these cups could probably live in nearly any house without feeling too out of place (since we opted for a pretty subtle season-appropriate color scheme, and avoided more kitchy illustrations like colorful snowmen or santas- although those could be really cute if you’re sure your giftee would like them).
They’re nearly impossible to take photos of (but are very charming and even semi “professional looking” in person):
Wouldn’t those look cute filled with candy and grouped on a table or even paired with small votive candles on someone’s mantel? They could also be used to serve warm cider to guests on Christmas or even New Years (since once the ink is baked onto the outside of the glass, it’s ready to use and can even be popped into the dishwasher). So I thought they made nice little versatile homemade gifts for around $5.50 (including the pen and all four glasses). And of course they could be personalized instead of seasonally decorated (with a scripty monogram, each family member’s name, a favorite icon like a horseshoe or a heart, etc). Have any of you guys tried your hand at glass paint? Do you have any other cheap DIY gifts on your to-do list? Tell me all about it.
Update: You can check out all of our favorite holiday decor finds here – many of which are under $15!