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I have always been a twist and lick kind of girl when it comes to how I eat an OREO, and I honestly can't say that I'd ever dunked my cookie in milk until Joe introduced me to it. Now, whenever I get the urge to buy a package of OREO Cookies, we spend the next week day enjoying our OREO Cookies with a cold mug of milk while we talk about our day or watch an episode of our current favorite TV show. Every so often, I revert back to my twist and lick habits, especially when Double Stuf OREO Cookies are involved, but milk with cookies has become my new favorite!
When I saw these conveniently packaged OREO Cookies near the checkout lanes at Walmart, I knew they'd make the perfect stocking stuffer, but then I decided to take it a step further and turn them into a more meaningful gift! I wanted to give Joe a gift that would turn something we already enjoy together into more of a tradition. I also wanted my present to be used and remembered forever, which might not happen if I put a box of cookies in his stocking by themselves and called it good. Last Saturday, while Joe was hanging up our Christmas lights, I took a break from doing homework and made these cute mugs that I wish weren't wrapped up right because I want to use them this weekend!
Before diving headfirst into this project, I did a little research to find the best tips and tricks for making the design on my mug look good and last for a long time. I didn't want to have to rewrite my fun quote after every washing. From my research and personal experience, if you want to make your own mug, this is what you need to do!
1. Purchase your supplies. This isn't an expensive project and it doesn't require too many supplies. You'll want: a mug in your preferred size, shape and color, a permanent marker in the color of your choice (oil-based paint ones are the best option, they can be found at a craft store, but any permanent marker will do), rubbing alcohol and cotton balls, an oven, gift wrap, and of course, your OREO Cookies.
2. Clean your mug. I put rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and cleaned the entire outside of the mug. I also learned that you need to let it dry for a few minutes after you clean it, (I waited five or 10 minutes) or else your marker will run and not adhere as well. I learned this the hard way and had to clean my mug all over again to fix my mistake.
3. Create your design. Alright, so here's where you get to decide how perfect you want your mug to look. I chose to freehand mine, mostly because I knew I'd try to get the design too perfect if I did it any other way and this would have turned into an all day project, instead of being quick and easy.
This tutorial has great suggestions for how to transfer a computer generated design, or one you sketched really nicely on paper, onto your mug if you prefer that method. If I messed up anywhere, I just cleaned that section of the mug off and let it sit for a few minutes before trying again.
4. Wait. The tutorials I read suggested waiting anywhere from six hours to 24 hours before putting your mug in the oven. I chose to wait the full 24 hours, just to be safe. The idea is, the longer you wait, the more dry your design will be. Some people said that they didn't wait long enough and a portion of their design flaked off while baking.
5. Eat cookies. I bought extra boxes of OREO cookies because I knew that I wouldn't want to wait until Christmas to enjoy a yummy treat. Notice I got two boxes of each; I'm a Double Stuf OREO Cookie lover and Joe prefers the original OREO Cookies. As I was writing this post, I noticed that the regular ones say "milk's favorite cookie" but Double Stuf OREO Cookies don't. I'm pretty sure Double Stuf OREO Cookies and milk have just as strong of a bond as regular OREO Cookies and milk do. At least in my life they do...
6. Bake your mug. Again, each tutorial I read had a different suggestion for how to do this, but there was one that I thought made a lot of sense.
This tutorial said that for the best results, you should put your mug into the oven BEFORE you heat it up. After your mug (or mugs) are safely inside, preheat the oven to 425° F. Once your oven is preheated, start the timer for 30 minutes. As soon as your timer goes off, turn off the oven, but leave your mug inside until the oven cools down completely. You don't want your mug to crack or explode because of extreme temperature changes. (We put a plate in the microwave once and it exploded into five or six pieces.)
A few people suggested putting a spray sealer over your design after it's been baked and cooled. I didn't, but you can if you want! It was also suggested that you don't put your mugs in the dishwasher, even though the design should last forever if you followed all of the directions I gave you. I have another DIY mug that my friend made, and it goes in the dishwasher every time I use it. So far, I haven't had any problems.
7. Wrap your gift. You can put your mug and the package of OREO Cookies in your husband's stocking, in a box wrapped with festive paper, or fashioned neatly in some cellophane wrapping paper with a bow on top, like I did! Mine can't stay under the tree until Christmas Eve the way I wrapped them because Howie might get really curious and enjoy the OREO Cookies before we can, but that's ok!
Feel free to use the quote that I used! I realized afterward that for it to match the packaging, it probably should have read, "I love you more than milk loves OREO" cookies, but that's ok!
So, when you're finishing up all of your Christmas shopping this weekend (or just starting, like I will be), don't forget to grab some of these perfectly packaged cookies and crackers from the bins near the registers at Walmart. They make the perfect gift for a spouse, parent, child, best friend, grandma.... really anyone! Their price tag is really affordable, so you could incorporate them into every gift on your list.
You can find more creative ideas for stocking stuffers and other Christmas gifts at this link. I'd love to hear how you plan to incorporate these crackers/cookies and their fun packaging into your Christmas gift giving this year!
There may or may not also be a matching mug under the tree for me! I couldn't let him have all the fun now, could I?