I know this blog is normally food, food, food and more food, but this month, the Lavazza Passionistas were asked to embrace our crafty sides to create a coffee-theme craft project.
Don't worry, we'll return to our regularly scheduled programming of carbs and bacon shortly, but I'm actually pretty jazzed to share something a little different.
Growing up, I was totally obsessed with arts and crafts. I started like most kids do, with pasta necklaces and construction paper collages, and eventually moved on to watercolour painting, friendship bracelets and some pretty elaborate sewing projects.
I even briefly considered a career in costume design before settling for something a little less creative, albeit with better job security. (And by that, I mean a philosophy degree. Can I pick 'em or what?)
As the years went on, life just got busier and busier. These days, my creative endeavors are mostly limited to doodling in the margin of my notebook during boring conference calls, though I do still put paintbrush to canvas from time to time and am capable of knitting up a simple baby blanket when the occasion presents itself.
The inspiration for this project is this month's featured Lavazza coffee, the classic Caffè Espresso. I normally don't buy my espresso pre-ground since I'm a bit of a snob (and need to justify the existence of my very fancy coffee grinder), but I have to say I'm very impressed with the Lavazza. It's full-bodied and balanced with a rich, roasty flavour, and produces a picture-perfect layer of crema.
I normally pour my espresso shots into a set of Ikea shot glasses, but sometimes a gal just needs to class it up a little. I know that drinking from a pretty cup doesn't actually make coffee taste better, but it certainly makes the experience a little more enjoyable!
This project is actually super-easy and surprisingly quick to make.... all you need is a set of plain inexpensive espresso cups, paint markers in your favourite colours, and a few essentials you probably have kicking around in your bathroom cabinet. (Oh, and a little artistic inspiration. But I'm sure you have plenty of that kicking around, right?)
I chose to decorate mine with a scattering of gold and silver confetti, but you can make your design as basic or as elaborate as you'd like.
And with the holidays just around the corner, need I remind you how amazing these would be as a hostess gift? Just package them up in a pretty box with a tin of coffee, and you're guaranteed to be the most popular guest in town.
Want to make a set of your own? Here's how!
Handpainted Espresso Cups ~ Tutorial
- Inexpensive espresso cups and saucers (or mugs, if you're not a fan of espresso)
- Oil-based paint markers (I used Sharpie brand)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cotton balls or pads
- Cotton swabs
- Thoroughly wash and dry your espresso cups and saucers using warm soapy water, then wipe them down with rubbing alcohol to make sure the surface is completely clean.
- Using paint pens, draw your design onto the mugs. Avoid painting anything too close to the rim of the cups, since this area gets more wear and tear, so anything painted here won't last as long. (If you make mistakes along the way, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe them off.)
- Let your mugs dry, then set aside to cure for at least 48 hours.
- Once the paint has cured for 2 full days, place the cups and saucers in a cold oven, then heat to 425F and bake for 1 hour. (Yes, that's right. A cold oven. DO NOT preheat! This ensures your beautiful painted cups warm up gradually, to avoid cracking.)
- After an hour, turn off the oven, but do not remove the mugs. Leave them in the oven with the door closed until they're completely cooled, preferably overnight. (Yes, that's also right. If they cool off too quickly, they might crack.)
- You're done! Celebrate with a fresh-brewed Lavazza espresso in your pretty new cups. (Or, if you made a mug, make yourself a big frothy latte instead.)
Disclaimer: I am being compensated for my participation in the Lavazza Passionista blogger program. All opinions, as always, are entirely my own.