Home Time

Mug – Handle = Vase

Please Note:

  • I failed to take before photos, so you’ll need to imagine those.

  • Yes, this post is the first of my Home Time blog, and I’m aware that this was for my office. That’s okay – this idea works well at home, too.

One day, while rearranging my desk, I realized that the mugs I use for organizing would be more versatile if I cut off their handles. 

I took those mugs home and used my Dremel with a diamond wheel attachment – along with some water to dip the attachment in between cuts – and cut off the handles. If you don’t use the water, then there will be lots of sparks flying everywhere. Ask me how I know.  ::smoke rises from pants::

The mug that inspired this bit of craftiness was a special gift from a friend. It featured her adorable doggo, with whom I’m in love (don’t tell Momo or Mews).

I decided to spray paint the white mug a satin black to match the other planters that I have at work. Because I had decided this was going to be a planter. 

I very carefully taped off the parts of the image that I wanted to show, and then did several coats of paint both inside and out.

Check out the photo below where you can see my overenthusiastic cuts (when I thought that I could sand them out smooth – nope), and the cute snake plant that I planted therein.

If you’re wondering the secret to having planters with plants that live, while not having a hole for water to drain out of, then here’s the secret: lava rocks. Put some of those rocks in the base and they’ll keep things from becoming a soggy/moldy mess.

And here’s where it lives on my desk, and makes me smile at least once-a-day:

Would you look at that happy doggo? How could he not make you smile?! 


Below is a photo of the back/side of the other two desk mugs. The cuts are less drastic, but they definitely needed a glossy white spray paint to make it look less garish.  

With the Dremel diamond wheel, there really wasn’t a way to cleanly cut through the handles – I had to work it around the handles since the screw keeping the wheel on was in the way.

You can see where the Stay Sexy. Don’t Get Murdered. mug belongs in the photo at the top of this post.

The photo below shows the Storytime Underground mug’s home. This mug also makes me smile.

And there you have it! A simple way to get more flexible organizational space at work or home. And yes, you can use these mugs as vases, too – I thought of the title before realizing that I hadn’t used any of my mugs in that way – at least not yet.

I’d love to know if you decide to try my mug (literal) hack. And if you figure out a smoother way to remove the handles, then I’ll totally update this post and give you credit! You can reach out via email, Facebook, or Twitter.

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