September 20 will bring the tapping of the first Oktoberfest barrel in Munich along with parades and the beginning of festival celebrations. Though the first day of autumn is technically a few days later in the calendar, Oktoberfest, is a fabulously signifies the fall season!
My first experience with Oktoberfest was actually at Walt Disney’s Epcot theme park where it is celebrated all year long at Biergarten. I was younger and not of drinking age, so the beer was not the attraction (ha ha!) What was mesmerizing to me what the happy nature of the festivity, the colorful representation of costumes, an the amazing selection of food. Since that day, I’ve always wanted to attend the real Oktoberfest (still on my bucket list) and infuse that same level of celebration and merriment into the start of autumn.
This year, I decided to kick things off and get in the mood for Oktoberfest with a little crafting. As an adult, I do like to add a little beer in the mix of food and festivities, so I though having a few decorated mugs would be a fun touch for entertaining.
I gathered a few supplies I already had on hand and then purchased beer mugs from our local Dollar Tree. The tools you will need to create this craft are:
Acrylic Paint Markers
Glass Beer Mugs
The cost of each mug is just a little over $1 when you factor in the paint used, making it an affordable gift for guests to take home, too.
How you decide to design the glass is completely up to you. You can free-hand all your designs or use stencils or patterns. I opted to try a few different techniques to see what I liked the best. As I wanted something very “autumn,” I selected a stencil sheet I had from my scrapbook materials that had fall patterns (pumpkins, corn stalks, leaves, and so on.) You could easily use stencils to create monograms or add words and names to your glasses.
After stenciling on the corn stalk shape, I decided I wanted to have it sitting in a field, so I began to dot in green paint in a random pattern as my “grass,” then added a few brown paint dots to accent (it is fall after all, the grass is wilting!) Then I added a pumpkin stencil companion for my corn stalk.
Once my corn stalk and pumpkin shapes were dry, I added a few improvised brown lines of paint to the corn stalk and yellow lines to the pumpkin (as pictured above) to provide highlights to help give each shape a little more definition and depth.
Lastly, I dotted in a bit more random green dots to fill in the base of the glass and cover areas where the stencils met the “grass.”
Peeking inside the glass, I noticed the colors were adding a really nice character to the inside, too, adding interest to the glass from both inside and out.
This is my finished first attempt at Oktoberfest glass decorating. I liked the singular pattern focus of just having one corn stalk and pumpkin on the glass, but you could easily continue the pattern around the entire glass shape. Or use just pumpkins in a quasi-patterned designed… your imagination is the limit, whatever you think would be fun to have on the glass, give it a whirl!
If you make a mistake, the paint can be wiped off quickly to remove it. Or if it dries, paint remover or scouring are options. Once the paint dries, the glasses are hand-washable and the paint will not come off as long as the glasses are gently washed using non-abrasive wash cloths or sponges.
For my second glass, I wanted to create a more abstract design using some of my favorite fall colors of orange, brown, yellow and gold. Using the tall grass and reeds that grow along our creek bed as inspiration, I simply started making random lines with an upward stroke of the paint pen from the bottom of the glass as illustrated below:
Here and there I criss-crossed the lines, just as you would find in nature. I started with yellow lines as my base, then added brown, then orange and finally gold. You will need to let each paint color dry before adding the next.
Again, the inside of the glass really lit up with in a nice way, too as I added the layers of color:
When I viewed the glass with the light shining through it, I really loved the dramatic effect and how the colors has blended into each other organically:
When I was finished with the glasses, I found that I didn’t like the rough edge at the bottom rim, so I filled it in with a few sweeps of color around the rim as pictured:
These basic techniques can be used on any type of glassware, so they are certainly not limited to creating Oktoberfest glasses. I’m going to work on a few custom wine glass pieces for holiday gifts and already thinking up other fun ways to embellish glassware. At very low price point, this is a craft I can easily continue to have fun with!