A few weeks ago, my parents took me with them to Dapitan Arcade in Quezon City, where an abundance of Christmas decor and ceramics are to be found. I was game to go because I had really been planning on buying some ceramic mugs to draw on and give away as Christmas gifts. It wasn’t my first time to go there but it had been a while since the last time so it was interesting to see what’s there.
There are many different types of ceramic ware to choose from at Dapitan Arcade. There are plates, bowls, cups, mugs, serving platters, pitchers and cake stands. Most are in plain white but once in a while, you’ll come across pretty pieces in pastel colors. Christmas themed ceramics are also available. They come in various shapes and sizes. It’s best to go around and see all the stalls first before making a purchase, because while many of the same items are sold in different stalls, there are a few that you’ll only see in one or two stalls. There are also items that are not in very good condition so it’s advisable to carefully inspect each of them before purchase.
After looking at everything in the arcade and finding the best deals, I was able to get myself five mugs, a pitcher and two covered bowls, everything only for the price of P350. It was quite a bargain.
When I got home, I started experimenting on ways to decorate my ceramics. I knew it was going to be a little tricky because these have already been glazed. I have yet to learn how to do the entire process of molding, baking and painting and glazing. I found some crafters use permanent markers but they easily come off when washed. They look cute though!
I found some porcelain paint at NBS and the label says it works well with ceramics too. It was only P75 for a set of six colors so I bought it and decided to give it a shot. Following the directions on the label, here is what I did:
1. Clean ceramics carefully and dry thoroughly.
2. Mask the areas you do not want any paint on. On this particular piece, I masked around the rim and the bottom part of the mug.
3. Paint! Decide on a design and use a paintbrush to draw. As I worked on several different designs, I discovered that finer lines work best rather than trying to cover big areas with paint. Porcelain paint, I discovered, has a similar consistency as white glue and it is a little transparent when applied, so strokes will be very visible once dried. If you make a mistake, don’t worry because you can easily wipe it off. Just don’t wait more than ten minutes before correcting.
4. Let paint dry for 24 hours. You will notice that the paint gets nicer and glossier the longer it sits.
5. After 24 hours, put your painted ceramic in the oven and bake for 35 minutes at 150-160°C or 300°F
6. Let it cool and then test it by washing with regular dishwashing soap and water.
My hunch is, if you try your best to scrape the paint out, you will succeed. It will eventually come off. But if you just use and wash it like you normally use any mug or cup, then I think it will last long enough.
Here are the ceramics I bought and painted over the last few weeks. One of the covered bowls I filled with encouragement cards and gave to a dear friend as a birthday gift. The rest I plan to give away to some friends for Christmas. It’s actually really fun to make and you get to have handpainted ceramics that are like no other.
So if you’re planning on giving away handmade presents this year, head over to Dapitan Arcade, get yourselves some blank ceramics and paint on!
For those asking HOW TO GET TO DAPITAN ARCADE, get directions HERE.