Handwarmer mugs are an excellent gift for all your loved ones and near ones as they symbolize warmth and comfort. If you make them yourself to give it that personal touch, those warm fuzzy feelings increase tenfold. So, the question is, do you know how to make a hand warmer mug?
If you don’t, no worries at all! We are here to tell you how you can make a hand warmer mug in just a few easy steps. These steps can help you make the perfect handwarmer mug without any difficulties if you are already into pottery.
So, let’s take a look at what handwarmer mugs are and how to make them at home with a few simple pottery ingredients.
What Is a Hand Warmer Mug?
A hand warmer mug is like any other ordinary mug made of clay. There’s not much difference ingredient-wise, and you don’t have to use any special soil mixture to prepare this mug. The only difference is that hand warmer mugs have a gaping hole at the side of the mug instead of a separate handle.
Normal mugs usually have a handle at the side to help people pick them up. But in this case, a side of the mug is double-layered, and you can actually put your hand inside to hold the mug up. In that way, you can keep your hands warm while having hot tea on a cold winter night. That’s why it’s known as the hand-warming mug.
A Step by Step Guide on How to Make a Hand Warmer Mug
Now that you know what a hand-warming mug is, it’s time to find out how to make one! If you already have a pottery station set up in your home, this should be an easy enough guide for you to follow. However, hand-warming mugs are pretty sophisticated and require a delicate touch.
So, if your first few attempts don’t go as planned, don’t get disheartened! It might feel a little complicated at first, but keep at it and follow the steps properly to get a better result. That being said, here are the required steps on how to make a hand warmer mug:
Step 1: Prepare Your Clay!
The first and foremost thing to do while making a hand warmer mug – is to prepare the clay mixture. This mixture or mold is going to be the very basis of all the following steps, so take your time and do this correctly.
Use a fresh mixture and incorporate enough water to make it soft and moldable. But not too much water as excess moisture will cause your mold to get wobbly later on.
A great trick to understanding whether you added too much water is to check your hands while kneading the clay. If the clay continues to stick to your hand even after kneading, it has excess moisture. In that case, add some dry clay to stabilize the mixture.
Make sure to sift the dry clay beforehand so that no impurities like straws, hays, etc., find their way into the prepared clay.
If so, they will cause a lot of trouble while shaping the mold, and we definitely don’t want that in a handwarmer mug. Once you have prepared the clay mold properly, it should stay soft, structurally firm, and super smooth.
Step 2: Start Shaping the Mold on the Wheel
Take the prepared clay and place it on the wheel. Roll it around a few times to center it. Centering the kneaded clay is imperative as it will determine the overall diameter and shape of your mug.
Oh, one other thing about the kneaded clay. Please take a little extra clay for the mold, as handwarmer mugs are a little thicker and denser to give it that cozy vibe. So, if you usually take 0.7-0.8 kg clay for normal mugs, take about 1.3-1.5 kg for handwarmer mugs.
After you centered the mold correctly, slowly shape it up in the form of a mug to the level you want it to be. Remember to keep the sides a lot thicker than usual since that’s the trademark of a handwarmer mug. Also, make sure that the sides are completely even and smooth all around.
Step 3: Make a Slit on One Side
Now it’s time for the fun part. Choose a side and make a reverse C-shaped slit down the middle. Do not let the slit get to any of the upper or bottom edges, resulting in the side collapsing.
It should just be enough for your hand to slide in and out smoothly. Keep this in mind while you are shaping the mug on the wheel as well.
You can make the slit about half an hour after taking it off the wheel. It’s easier to make the slit while the clay is still soft, so it’s better to do it quite instantly. If you store it away for over 24 hours, the clay will harden over time, and it might break when you try to slit the side.
Fun fact – you can make hand-warming mugs for both right-handed and left-handed people! Just like you were making a reverse-C-shaped slit for right-handed mugs, do the opposite and make a C-shaped slit instead. That’s all it takes to change the configuration up so that left-handed people can enjoy these mugs just as easily.
Step 4: Make a Separate Slab of Clay
It’s time to cover up the inner walls of the mug next. For that, take some freshly kneaded clay and make a rectangular-shaped slab by slapping it over the surface. The thickness of the slab should be similar to that of the sides of the mugs so that it fits properly.
According to the shape of your mug and the slit, cut a smaller rectangular-shaped slab from the bigger one. If it feels a little extra thick, knead it on your palm to make it thinner.
Step 5: Place the Slab on the Inner Walls
Finally, this is the trickiest step. Carefully take your mug while it’s still soft and place the small slab from before on the inner side of the slit. The slab should connect one side of the slit to the inner walls of the opposite side.
As a result, it will create a perfect pocket-shaped hole on one side of the mug where your hands will go in later. Remember to place the slab properly so that all sides are completely sealed. Use some wet clay if needed to seal off the edges properly.
Step 6: Dry the Mug!
Once you are sure that it’s sealed and there are no holes on the bottom or sides except the slit, it’s time to dry the mug. It can take up to 24 hours or even days, depending on how and where you keep it.
Patience is key here. Treat the mug gently and let it dry over its due period. Do not try to heat or warm it up to dry it quickly, as that can cause the mug to crack from within.
Step 7: Give the Mug a Pretty Makeover
This is the most enjoyable part. Once the mug has completely dried up, varnish the edges and polish it properly to give it that extra shine. Please take off the excess dust, and now it’s time for the colorful glazing.
You can glaze it however you like. There are no limitations except your imagination. Make a colorful drippy glaze to make the prettiest hand-warming mug of all time. As long as you are happy with it, nothing else matters.
That’s about it for today! If you were wondering how to make a hand warmer mug, hopefully, this guide was of great help to you. So, have fun making your own handwarmer mug, and thanks for reading till the end!