Sunflower Tin & Mugs

By  Shirley Price Bell 

sizes: tin, 8"x4"; mugs, 4-6" tall


  • Recycled fruitcake or cookie tin, 8”x4”
  • White ceramic mugs, 4-6” tall


  • Paintbrushes: liner #1; round #2, 4; pouncer or foam brush, 3/4”
  • Multi-surface matte or satin acrylic paints: primary blue, primary yellow, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber, blue/violet or lavender
  • White matte spray paint
  • Black acrylic fine paint marker

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, pencil, ruler, eraser, tape, cotton balls, palette, disposable gloves, rubbing alcohol, sandpaper, dust mask, transfer paper, wooden scrap, rug gripper scrap, contact paper, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Pattern - Sunflower Tin & Mugs

  • Note
  • 1. Use brush with appropriate size for area painting unless otherwise noted.
  • Tin
  • 1. Wearing dust mask and gloves, remove paint on recycled tin using sandpaper. Wipe dust using damp cloth. In well-ventilated area, spray paint tin and lid white. Let dry. Apply two coats as needed for opaque coverage.
  • 2. Print out full-size patterns. Resize sunflower pattern as needed to fit lid. Transfer center circle onto lid using transfer paper and pencil. Clean up any stray lines or smudges using eraser.
  • 3. Squeeze burnt sienna and burnt umber on palette; dot center seed pod in spiral pattern, alternating colors, creating three-dimensional look. Use small amounts; do not add water. Rinse brush in water; use paper towel or cloth to squeeze out water before dipping paintbrush in paint. Dot seed tips, working from outer edge inward, in burnt sienna/burnt umber mixture to add texture. Add random primary yellow dots to highlight center seed pad. Let dry.
  • 4. Transfer petals and large outer circle onto lid. Use primary yellow mixed with small amount of burnt sienna to paint back layer of petals. Use bright primary yellow to paint top layer of petals. Apply paint lengthwise on petals leaving brushstrokes to add natural texture to petal. Let dry. Erase any visible graphite lines before beginning second layer of paint.
  • 5. Mix small amounts of burnt sienna/burnt umber with primary yellow; shade darker petal areas using lightly-loaded liner. Let dry.
  • 6. Paint background area blue/violet or lavender. Clean up edges of petals if needed. Let dry.
  • 7. Mix small amount of yellow ochre with lavender to create muted lavender. Stipple background circle muted lavender to hide brush marks between each petal. Let dry. Apply second coat if needed.
  • 8. Outline muted lavender circle using black paint marker. Let dry.
  • Mugs
  • 1. Wash and dry mugs. Wipe surface area on mugs with rubbing alcohol.
  • 2. Fold scrap of rug gripper for pad for back side of mug. Position small piece of wood under handle to hold mug steady.
  • 3. Print out full-size patterns. Resize single sunflower patterns to fit surface area on mugs. For sunflower with lavender circle, draw 4"-diameter circle on contact paper. Adjust size as needed for taller mug, creating oval shape. Cut out inside of drawn circle, creating stencil. Remove stencil from backing and press on side of mug. Make sure edges are fully adhered so paint doesn't seep through.
  • 4. Mix small amount yellow ochre with lavender to create muted lavender. Stipple circle muted lavender using foam brush or pouncer. Remove contact paper carefully. Let dry overnight. Use razorblade or craft knife to clean up edges on circle if needed.
  • 5. Transfer sunflower pattern onto circle. Follow Steps 3-5 under tin instructions to paint sunflower on circle.
  • 6. For taller mug, transfer basic outline of sunflower, buds, and leaves with stem on mug. Mix different amounts of primary blue with bright yellow, primary blue with yellow and burnt sienna to create range of cool and warm greens for leaves; paint leaves. Mix primary blue with dull yellow and small amount of burnt umber; shade leaves. Paint stem using range of greens. Let dry.
  • 7. Paint sunflower and buds following painting instructions in Steps 3-5 under tin instructions. Let dry.
  • 8. Follow manufacturer's instructions on paint to cure paint on ceramic mugs.