Easy DIY Hand-Painted Glasses


I am not much of a DIYer.  Instead I prefer to think of myself as a COOPTer.  Celebrator Of Other People’s Talents.  I am under no delusions that I can do everything well enough to meet my exceedingly high expectations, so I graciously turn to experts and pay them for their talents.  I only try what I know I can execute but retile my bathroom floor? Sew Halloween costumes? Hook my own rug?  No.  Not for me.

Since the theme of this week is DIY activities with kids, I have quite craftily I think, repurposed a previous post.  Here’s one attempt at a DIY that turned out nicely.  And fetched $140 for the boys’ school at silent auction.


My boys’ school hosts a silent auction every two years to raise funds for the school’s various programs.  This year they asked that each class contribute a collaborative piece of art to be auctioned off.

I like this idea because it involves the children in working towards a common goal, which ultimately benefits them.

I volunteered to head up the project in my eldest’s grade 2 class.  I scoured Pinterest for age appropriate ideas and finally decided on these hand-painted tumblers and I followed the instructions outlined by Savvy Sugar.

It was a good choice.  The project was easy to manage, required few supplies and was completely child-driven.  I didn’t want the project to require adult participation.  I wanted the students to feel a sense of accomplishment working together, creating something beautiful, and contributing to the school’s silent auction without the micro-managing help from an adult.

Gathering the materials was easy:

The hardware store for quality, sturdy glass tumblers ($10.00 for a package of 4)


The craft store for enamel acrylic paint in the primary colours plus white ($20.00 for four bottles of paint)


A Styrofoam plate for mixing colours (recycled from my veggie drawer)


Two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper


Cotton swabs (1 package from the dollar store)


Before we got started, I reviewed with the students all of the instructions, outlining why it’s a good idea to read through the step-by-steps before starting any project.

Since we would be mixing the colours to create unique blends, I had the students refresh my memory of what colours are created by mixing the primary colours.

After breaking into groups of two (and two groups of three), the students discussed with their partner what colours they planned to dot their tumbler.  It’s recommended not to use more than 4 colours, or else the colours start to muddle together and lose their vibrancy.

Step 1:

Mix your colours.  It’s a nice idea to decide on a palate but not necessary.  What I enjoyed was listening to the partners decide what colours they wanted to paint the tumblers and the reason for it.  The best answer I overheard was, “let’s make it look like a sunrise!”


Step 2:

Lightly dab a cotton swab into the paint and then dab the glass tumbler.  One dab goes a long way – about 5-7 dots.  It’s important that the dots are not too goopy or else the texture of the glass feels funny, not to mention caring for the glass is more challenging when the surface is raised.


Step 3:

Continue dabbing until satisfied, about halfway to 2/3 way up the glass.  There’s a fraction lesson here!


Step 4:

Allow the glasses to dry upside down on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  After about 1 hour the glasses are ready for the oven.


Step 5:

Yes, I said oven.  I know, I was worried too!  Place the glasses into a cold oven.  Turn the oven on to 350 degrees.  After 30 minutes turn off the heat and allow the glasses to stay in the heated oven for 1 hour.

Step 6:

Once the hour is up, your glasses are ready for use.  Be careful when washing – use warm water and soap, hand-wash and air dry.

The finished product turned out pretty fantastic!  Bookmark this idea if you’re looking for an easy to do homemade gift.  I think grandparents would love these!




* Take it a step further: try hand-dotting a glass platter or glass plates.  The possibilities are endless!


14 thoughts on “Easy DIY Hand-Painted Glasses

  1. These are inspiring me to think about making some pretty measuring cups out of tea cups and glasses I like…maybe just mark the 1-c 1/2 c “meaure line” with pretty dots of paint…!!!!

  2. This was a great activity to do at my 8-year-old’s birthday party last summer. Most of the children did dots, the way I’d suggested, but one of them painted lovely tiny flowers–gorgeous. We did the glasses right at the start of the party, and they were out of the oven just in time to go home with the party guests.

  3. I love this DIY. A great gift for my parents and in-laws. Will definitely be trying this out very very soon!
    Thanks for a great idea!

  4. I also made these after Beth-Anne showed me how! The kids and I painted vases as pen-holders for end-of-year gifts for the office staff and principal at the school. We chose each person’s favourite colour (the principal famously loves purple), used three tones of that colour with green for foliage, then filled the vase/pen holder with markers in that shade, too. It went over really well!

Comments are closed.