DIY: Knit/Purl Bowls

One of my favorite things about having a studio is the freedom to have things displayed how I want them. I don't have to compromise with Jake - if I want it out there, it gets put out there. As I've been getting my desk set up, I keep thinking about how nice it would be to have some little storage bowls sitting out to hold stitch markers, straight pins - any tiny little things that could be otherwise hard to find.

When I was throwing my friend Chrissy a bridal shower back in March, I came across this sweet DIY monogramed mug on Pinterest and made one for everyone who attended the shower. It was fun, quick, and everyone there loved it. I've since used the porcelain pen that I purchased a few other times to make mugs for multiple wedding gifts. So I figured, why not find some cheap porcelain bowls and decorate them myself? And that's what I did.

And you're so lucky, because I'm going to show you exactly what I did, so that maybe you can do it too (I mean, it doesn't have to be exactly like mine, but you'll get the idea).

First off, you'll need:
*bowls of some sort. I got these little dipping bowls at Target for $1.99 each.
*graphite paper to trace your drawings on (unless you're a bad-ass drawer, then you don't)
*porcelain pens or sharpies (I used both. You'll see.)
*something to trace onto your bowls
*tape and a pen

What I usually do is head over to one of my favorite free font sites (dafont is great, so is 1001freefonts - I'm sure there are a million more, but I particularly like these because they give you a "preview", which really comes in handy. You'll see.). I then pick a font that I like and click on custom preview (on dafont, you have to click on the actual font to get to the custom preview). The custom preview is great because then you don't actually have to download the entire font - unless you plan on using it a lot, then definitely download it. Most of these fonts are free for personal use, and there is a place where you can donate to the author, if you feel so inclined. The font I used is from 1001 free fonts and it's called Appetite. Then you type the word you want (I used knit and purl) into the custom preview box, and up pops the word you want, in the font you chose. Simple! I stuck a sheet of notebook paper onto the computer screen, traced the words, and I was ready to go.

I also googled "yarn ball" and used one of the photos that came up there - not that it would have been hard to draw, really, but I wanted it to look better than what I would have drawn.

Cut out the drawing (or whatever you want on the inside of your bowl), and tape it to the graphite paper. Then trace over the drawing with a pen - make sure you press down fairly hard.

Do the same for the words.

Now here comes the tedious part (and it's really not bad). Tracing the letters and drawing with a porcelain pen. I could have done the whole thing with a Sharpie, since these are probably never going to be washed in the dishwasher, but the porcelain pens I have give the writing a little texture, and I liked that, so I used that to outline the letters, the yarn ball, and the knitting needles.

Next, I used a Sharpie to color in the letters and the drawing.

Simple! Then you bake the bowls at 325 degrees F for 40 minutes (these are the directions the paint pens give). Pull them out, let them cool, wipe them down with a wet paper towel to get all the stray marks off from the graphite paper, and fill with goodies!

Here are the wedding gifts I've made using these same directions

Have fun and be creative!


  1. Gail Dokucu7/7/12, 9:55 AM

    So cute!

  2. I love these! Genius. 

    As a side note, it must be awesome to have a husband-free zone!

  3. Very clever! Thanks for the tutorial. 

  4. I learned something new. I've never heard of graphite paper. Looks like a fine project my husband an I would enjoy.

  5. JenniferSadler7/18/12, 11:35 AM

    so nice! (although he does go in there to do sit ups and push ups - as long as he leaves it non-smelly, I'm good with this.)

  6. JenniferSadler7/18/12, 11:35 AM

    Thanks Gail!

  7. JenniferSadler7/18/12, 11:36 AM

    Thanks Vanessa! No problem, hope you get around to try it sometime - it's really fun!