DIY: Decorate Your Dishes

Looking for a fun and super easy DIY project?

porcelain pen diy craft project

This is something I’ve been wanting to try for years and never got around to. Then last week I went to Modulor and happened across some ceramic pens and I couldn’t resist buying one. I was so excited to try it out I didn’t even wait to buy new dishes to decorate, and I ended up using a few small plates that I already had.

porcelain pen diy craft project All you need is a ceramic pen and a dish. Super simple. I bought a Marabu Porcelain Painter, but I’ve also heard great things about Pebeo Porcelaine pens.

1. Choose the dishes you want to decorate.

If you don’t want to buy new dishes or you want to practice on dishes you don’t care about, you can always find some plain dishes at a thrift store. I was too impatient to go to a thrift store so I used some that I already had lying around. Make sure the dishes are clean, and have no dust on them.

2. Decide on a design for your dish

porcelain pen diy craft projectIf you like to plan things out, you can create a little sketch like I did here. If you’re more of a free spirit, you can skip this step and go ahead and get drawing!

3. Decorate your dish!

Draw, draw, draw! This is the fun part. Don’t be afraid to keep your design simple if that’s what you like. A few well drawn lines can make a great pattern.

4. Let your dish dry

Check your porcelain pen for instructions. The instructions on my pen were to let it dry for 4 hours, and then put it in the oven for 30 minutes. Easy! Now it’s all done and ready to be used.

5. Show off your dishes or give them as gifts!


I think a nice customized mug would make a great Father’s day gift, or maybe you just want a new set of plates. Either way I think there are tons of fun possibilities for designing your own dishes!

new art supplies make the world go round

Last week I headed over to Modulor on my lunch break. If you are in Berlin and haven’t checked this place out, you need to go right now. It’s art supply heaven, with three floors of supplies and inspiration in every corner. I went there for a few new pens, but walked out with way more… All good things though! It was a great pick me up in the middle of a long week.

Here are my goodies:
steadtler pens

A whole set of Staedtler Triplus Color pens. I love the fiber tips on these (and of course the COLORS). These are 1 mm so they’re a nice change from my finer pens, and they draw beautiful smooth lines. They work great for lettering!

just my type simon garfield

I also got myself this book, Just My Type by Simon Garfield, which I haven’t put down. It’s great, and if you’re a font lover I highly recommend it. Who knew the history of fonts could be this funny and memorable?
And of course, I can’t resist buying a new notebook everytime I go into an art store. I love the cover on this one, and it has graph paper inside which is perfect for practicing hand lettering.

porcelain painter ceramic pen

Finally, a bit of an impulse buy… I’ve been wanting to experiment with ceramic pens for awhile after seeing some great tutorials on the web. I picked up this one in my favorite color. I can’t wait to try it out, and maybe get some more colors if it goes well! I had thought about ordering ceramic pens from Pebeo, but these ones were actually less expensive than the ones I’ve seen online (this one cost about 3€).

I’m looking forward to playing with all my new goodies this weekend. Have you bought any great new art supplies lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Verpackungsmuseum Heidelberg

When I saw the sign for the Verpackungsmuseum in Altstadt Heidelberg, I couldn’t imagine what it would be- a museum dedicated to cardboard boxes and styrofoam? So we checked it out, partly out of curiosity and partly for a laugh. But it was actually the coolest museum I’ve ever seen, so we went inside. It’s a small museum, full of amazing old packaging, machines that were used for wrapping chocolates and measuring out portions of coffee and beans, and great examples of vintage typography and graphic design.

Here are some tobacco and cigarette tins that I loved

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CSS3 magic

This website is my new favorite. As someone who’s getting way into HTML and CSS at the moment, discovering this yesterday was the most inspiring thing.

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They’ve got all kinds of resources, but what I’m crazy about right now is their “Playground” section. I came across these two articles while working on a project:

Ideas for Subtle Hover Effects

Creative Link Effects

And this is only the beginning! It’s more addictive than Facebook.

leaf patterns

A few weeks ago I made it to the botanical garden in Berlin. It’s huge and awesome, if you live here I definitely recommend it. I went with a friend and we had a blast looking at the strange and beautiful tropical plants. I got tons of great inspiration for patterns, and took a bunch of pictures for reference. Here are a few of some crazy cool leaves






I don’t know if those last two classify as leaves, but I love how funky they are! We saw a bunch of other great things so I’ll post some more pictures soon

Thrifting finds!

I’ve recently gotten back into sewing, and this time I’ve starting quilting. I’ve made a couple of simple quilts in the past, but now I’m starting to make more elaborate things and I’m already addicted. I’ve started to notice quilting patterns everywhere (hello, pinterest) AND quilting is a great excuse to buy more fabric, which I obviously love. Because fabric is so expensive here I’ve been scouring thrift stores for old sheets, pillow cases, table cloths, even clothing that could work as quilting fabric. I had a great find today and bought tons of new things for only €4! There’s a little thrift store nearby my house that I discovered while aimlessly wondering around on one of my first days in Berlin. It’s run by a friendly couple, and is my favorite kind of thrift store, where there are boxes and piles of stuff to dig through, and everything is unmarked but always cheap. I took my bundle of sheets and pillow cases up to the counter and the guy shrugged and said “Vier fur alles?” I happily came home with this nice stack of new things to play with.



I think this orange pillowcase is so sweet, I don’t know what I’ll use it for yet because it’s pretty small but I just love the fabric.


Here are some other finds from last week. These both came from Humana, a chain of thrift stores which are usually clean and well organized but overpriced in my opinion. I just couldn’t resist these two tablecloths because they’re both so cheerful and bright!


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Playing catch up

It’s been a little while since I wrote a post but I’ve been busy with a few trips, a new job, and some new quilting projects.

I spent two weeks in Provence with my mom and a few of her friends. We took a weeklong painting workshop in a beautiful old chateaux with lovely people and unbelievable food. I’m not a serious painter and I haven’t painted much since college, but it was really fun to play with color. I painted a bunch of odd abstract paintings while everyone else made beautiful plein air landscapes. After the workshop we spent some time exploring other little cities around Avignon.

Then I spent a few weeks being totally creatively stuck. I tried and tried to make some patterns, but in the end I put my sketchbook down and started to make a quilt. I used this pattern from Michael Ann Made. I changed mine a little, and lined up the fabric to make more of a chevron than a herringbone.
I love the way the top turned out, and now I’m just waiting to find to find the perfect fabric for the back. Fabric is really expensive in Berlin (about 12€ per meter… yeah) but you can find good deals at markets or of course at thrift stores. After reading Jeni Baker’s blog, In Color Order, I was reminded that I used to buy tons of old sheets at thrift stores for sewing. I have a nice but small collection of prints and a few solid colors, but now that I’m addicted to quilting I want MORE! so I’ve started thrift hunting again. I’ve found a couple good ones, but I have to say I’m really missing my old thrifting haunts in Davis and Sacramento.

We had some friends stay with us a few weeks ago, which was lovely. I like having people come visit us because, a. it gets me to clean the house and make it look really nice and b. I do things with them that I wouldn’t normally do, like go to museums and restaurants I’ve always meant to try. The day after they left we flew to Mallorca to see our friends who used to live in Berlin. It was a great weekend, with lots of swimming in the ocean, eating (tapas! and homemade paella!!), fishing, and getting to spend time with these two lovely people.




After visiting them I can completely understand why they wanted to move back home after spending a year in Berlin. It’s such a beautiful island with it’s own unique culture and language.