Norse Runes Eco-Friendly Coffee Cup

I confess: I am a coffee addict. An enthusiastic one! Five months working as a barista will do that to you. Sometimes just living in the world will do that to you. For people with depression, it’s a mixed blessing: a little caffeine cuts through the darkness, but too much ups your anxiety. So finding a delicate balance — and being able to afford it — is important. I, for one, cannot always afford it (especially living in a city like Chicago). So I went shopping for a new travel mug and found this gorgeous beauty.

–Photo courtesy of

It’s called the Eco Coffee-Cup. It’s a double-walled ceramic travel mug with a silicon lid, very similar to Think Geek’s I Am Not a Paper Cup. I got it for $4.99 at the drug store where it was a few dollars cheaper than the plastic and metal travel mugs. It holds 12 oz. of coffee, is both dishwasher and microwave safe (with ceramic mugs, check for the hole at the bottom of the cup — it lets out heat so the mug doesn’t crack) and came with a brown silicon sleeve similar to the cardboard zarfs that come with the paper cups at Starbucks and Caribou Coffee.

I was using this mug for about a week when I got the idea to paint some designs on it. I toyed with a few ideas before settling on the idea of Norse runes. There are many reasons: I’ve always found the Norse pantheon interesting (particuarly Baldur and Loki), my first tattoo was a Norse rune and I knew the design would be simple to do once I settled on an which ones I wanted. After visiting the Nordic Store, I decided to go with three bindrunes, specifically, the ones for ‘Energy,’ ‘Grace’ and ‘Strength.’

–Photos courtesy of

Aleene’s acrylic spray sealer matte finish
Americana Gloss Enamels black paint
Sharpie pen
Exacto knife
Packaging Tape
Graphite pencil

First thing’s first, I sketched all three runes on a piece of paper, going over each shape with my Sharpie Pen until all three were approximately the same size. Placing the paper over a piece of cardboard, I used the x-acto knife to cut out the shapes of the runes and the scissors to cut the sheet of paper down to a strip small enough to rest easily in the dip for the sleeve.

Using the paper stencil, I traced each of the runes on the surface of the mug with a graphite pencil and then painted over each of the sketches with the black enamels paint. The paint is designed to adhere to ceramics, but is easily rubbed off if you make a mistake.

To preserve the design, I covered both sides of the stencil with packaging tape and traced out the shapes of the runes using the exacto knife. Fitting the stencil over each shape one at a time, I held the can about 12 inches away from the cup before spraying the sealer over each shape. Any excess sealer outside of the runes — when I acted quickly — wiped away easily with a damp paper towel.

I say this often but the coffee addict in me is pleased with how this turned out. I almost can’t wait to use it when I go into work on Monday. Almost!


~ by blackmoodcraft on April 1, 2011.

One Response to “Norse Runes Eco-Friendly Coffee Cup”

  1. […] my eco-friendly Norse buddy, it’s double-walled ceramic, dishwasher and microwave safe with a silicon lid and sleeve […]

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