DIY a Set of Pretty Painted Cereal Bowls


Bowls are one of my favorite objects. I love their shape and utility. The best-looking ones tempt me every time I run errands, so it’s no surprise that when I was thinking of something fun I could do for my family to mark the beginning of the school year, the idea of a fresh set of cereal bowls came to mind. New pencils, new backpacks, and new breakfast bowls, too!


Thanks to the really cool paint products available now, decorating ceramic bowls is a snap. The Porcelaine 150 pens by Pebeo make adding designs to bowls, plates, mugs, or anything ceramic/porcelain easy as pie.


Porcelaine offers little pots of paint as well, which have a much wider range of color options; using them requires a brush and a bit of a painter’s eye. The pens are perfect for anyone to use, even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body. These pens allow for clean lines and clean designs and all you you need to know how to do is doodle with a marker.


The best part about these pens is that once you’re done decorating, you can set the paint so that the designs you’ve added to the bowls are permanent and dishwasher-safe. Let’s get creative!


– Ceramic bowls (Any clean, solid color option will work; inexpensive is fine. You could even find mis-matched bowls in white from Goodwill and tie them together as a set with a similar decorative pattern.)
– Porcelaine 150 pen by Pebeo in the color of your choice (We used navy blue here.)
– Pencil, if needed


We stuck with an easy theme of dots — it’s simple enough that anyone could recreate these designs successfully. Here are a couple of tips for each pattern.


This might be the easiest design because you don’t need to measure out a pattern. Simply start with the heavily dotted portion and work outwards.


Radial Dot Lines:

To achieve this design, it’s easiest to begin at the bottom of the bowl. Start by dividing the bowl into sections. I started by breaking it down into quadrants, then divided each quad in half and then each eighth in half again. After placing the initial dots, continue the dots in a straight line to the top of the bowl.


Note: Pay attention to the line you are working on rather than the lines on either side. As you work towards the top edge of the bowl, the lines will spread out.


Basic Diagonal Design:

A pencil might come in handy for this one. I like to start at the widest part of the bowl to start the patten — in this case, the top of the bowl. In doing that, I have control where and how far apart the dots are set. You can divide the bowl, similar to the way I divided the bowl for the radial lines above. The pencil comes in handy to set the places and then, if you want to change them, the graphite rubs away easily.

Once those initial dots are placed, begin to add the second row by placing a dot halfway between each set of two dots from the first row (the distance between the rows is up to you). With each new row, divide the space between the preceding row’s dots. Also, line up the dots in every other row: 1, 3, 5, etc… should line up, and then 2, 4, 6, etc… should line up.

The spacing will shrink as you work down the bowl but if you continue to split the difference of the preceding row and line up the dots between every other row, the pattern should stay clean.


Dot Stripes:

The number, width, and spacing of the stripes is up to you, but there is a trick to making the lines straight. Instead of trying to make a whole line and continuing it around the bowl, it’s better to make just an outer edge around the bowl. Take, for instance, the first line I did at the top of the bowl. I started with the top edge of the line, trying to keep my dots equal distance from the top edge of the bowl. With that in place, I filled the width of the line in around the bowl. For every subsequent line, I used the space between the preceding line to help me keep things straight.


Cure according to your desires and the manufacturer’s instructions listed on the pen. Air dry for decorative use; oven cure for dishwasher resistance.


Then use and enjoy!


Photos and styling by Amy Christie.

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