The Coffee Frame


Much like crafting, coffee is another passion of mine. The first thing I reach for when I wake up is my precious morning cup. There’s something comforting about holding a hot cup of coffee early in the morning. Because I drink so much coffee, I have an assortment of coffee mugs that I use. I’m quite picky about my specifications for the perfect mug. Must be roomy, but not too big. Handle mustn’t be too small or narrow. When the weather turns crisp and the leaves begin to fall, I have a few harvest and Halloween mugs that I take out of storage to use. As soon as Halloween is over, I take out my collection of holiday mugs to drink from. I have so many that I dedicate an entire cabinet in my kitchen to Christmas mugs!

Meet Betty Duck Duck Goose!
Even the bathroom gets seasonal rubber duckies.

It’s no surprise that I already have a few coffee signs hanging in my kitchen. Walking through home stores, there are endless coffee signs to buy, but I couldn’t find a coffee sign that changed with the holidays. I have always loved décor that changes with the seasons. In my bathroom, I have an assortment of different rubber duckies I’ve collected over the years that I display on a shelf depending on the time of year. By my fireplace, there’s my plastic lawn goose, Betty Duck Duck, and I have a picture frame that I have written about previously that displays the different holiday pin art that I create. But for all the different signs that are sold in stores, I had nothing in my kitchen that changed with the different seasons and holidays. That’s when I came up with the Coffee Frame.

Bought on Etsy
Bought at Walmart

I went on Etsy to find the wooden coffee mugs. There are several shops that sell laser cut wood in just about any shape. I bought six since each coffee mug so that when each side was painted it would be twelve images. For the sign, I wanted something around 8 x 10”. I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for since I wanted something hollow in the back so I could store the extra mugs, but I was able to find an inexpensive frame at Walmart that would work.

Bought at Walmart
Bought at Michael’s Craft Store

For the images, I found a variety of stencils at Michael’s Craft Store and Walmart. But, if you can’t find a stencil that you like, the internet is full of free clip art that can be printed, traced or used for inspiration.

Use tissue paper to transfer a traced clip art image
One side is July
The reverse is August

Before I started, I planned out the colors and stencils I wanted to use to depict each month. I first painted each side of the coffee mugs with the background colors I chose. Since I didn’t want to repeat any color, I thought it out before starting. Then I simply added the stencils or images on top. For some, I decided to add some simple dots or simple design to help finish the look.

To seal the coffee mugs, I sprayed them with shellac. After they dried, I drilled a small hole in the top of each mug for hanging. In hindsight, I wish I had drilled the holes prior to painting, but honestly, my drill broke and I wasn’t able to replace it sooner in the project. The next step was to paint the actual sign.

I wanted to paint the sign a nice coffee brown, and I found the perfect color.  It was even called cafe ole! For the wording, a darker brown vinyl was used.   For the lettering, I had my co-worker help, since I’m still getting the hang of using my Cricut.  If you don’t have a die-cutting machine, you can always use stencils for the wording.  After the vinyl was placed, I sealed the plaque with some more shellac.

Online I found a small “L” hook to hang the mugs. Once I gently nailed the hook into the sign it only took a few twists before the hook easily attached to the sign. The last step was adding a sawtooth hanger to the back.

This project was a lot of fun and the perfect addition to my coffee sign collection. The possibilities are endless. I can’t wait to start switching out the mugs as the months change. You can make a birthday mug, or even print a funny saying on one of the mugs. Just remember: it’s always time for coffee!


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