Decorate a Cereal Bowl for Dad

Father's Day
ToddlersPreschoolers22 Comments

Father’s Day quickly snuck up on me this year. And I’ve had a great idea for the boys to make for Dad this year.

It seems we’ve been breaking our cereal bowls left and right lately.

Plus, my husband hates the dishes we have. So new cereal bowls are in order for him.

And to decorate them ourselves would be all the better, right?

Kids can decorate cereal bowls for Dad!

I found this Pinterest Pin from The Phobia (which was a boughten mug from Etsy) which led me to Young House Love that decorated mugs with Sharpies from, only to read that they’re not food safe.

If you want them food safe, there’s a special marker (affiliate link) for that, Our Humble A{bow}d has a post on those.

As usual, I use what I have on hand. And that’s Sharpie markers.

So I decided to only decorate the outside of the bowls. Although, how cute would it be to write ‘I Love You Dad’ at the bottom of the bowl for him to find when he finishes his cereal every morning?

I also used bowls that I found easily when I was grocery shopping. I found Corelle bowls, that I thought would work great. You’re supposed to use porcelain bowls. Whoops. Not the same. Read on to find out my dilemma. Next time I’ll order porcelain cereal bowls (affiliate link) instead.

(See my EXCITING UPDATE at the end of the post!)

So anyway, here’s what we did. Pretty simple.

I handed the bowls to the boys along with the ‘special’ Sharpie markers.

After a quick goof that George marked up the counter (at my Mom’s!), I put down a layer of newspaper to protect the surface.

(No worries though, Sharpie comes off really easily with fingernail polish remover, just don’t overdo it.)

Decorating and writing on cereal bowls

And they decorated the bowls… I decorated one too. I would have loved to have them try to draw something on them, but they’re just not there yet.

I was hoping Henry would write his name on it.

But it would have been upside down if he had. He did write Dad on one, yay!Sounding it out to figure out the letters along the way.

Sharpie Decorated Cereal Bowl

George didn’t last very long, but he did try coloring some of it.

His is pretty bare when you look at it right side up. He mostly colored the very bottom.

Sharpie Decorated Cereal Bowl

One the fourth bowl, I wrote D-A-D on it big so it could be seen when he’s using it. Then had Henry color in around it.

Once the boys were finished with it, I stuck them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

(I checked the Corelle website to make sure they were oven proof, and they are.)

Sharpie Decorated Cereal Bowls

I took them out and let them cool. Then I did my test. Would it wash off? Unfortunately, yes.

I later put them in the oven again at 350 degrees for another hour. And still, it washes off. Bummer! Seriously. I’m so bummed.

So yes, next time I’ll be buying real porcelain dishes to decorate and get it right. And I suggest you guys do the same if you try it.

Let me know if you have any luck with it too. I’m very curious if I’m just doing something wrong, or if it’s just the material. So, these bowls will be for display I guess… since they can’t be washed.

I was really hoping for a useful gift for Dad this year.

What are your kids getting Dad this year? Last year we made some drums from balloons and tin cans. (Not really useful, but fun and Dad plays the drums!)


The bowls have sat a good day and I just tried to wash them again. This time it did not rub off. It did slightly fade with a LOT of rubbing. So maybe it will be good through some hand washes!

Ready for fun with your kids?

Plan the fun with the free kids activities planner! And receive activities every week!

I'm Ready


  1. Jackie @ Happy Hooligans says

    Oh, I was so bummed to read that they wiped off after the oven trick. But great to know that after sitting, they’ve set a bit. If you can put a clear coat of craft varnish on them, without your ink smearing, they’ll be washable! I use a matte varnish. I’m too lazy to run downstairs right now, so I’ll see if I can find a link to the brand, and I’ll shoot it over to you.

  2. Veronica says

    I wonder where I can find some porcelain ones. I really want to let my kids make some. That’s a really neat project if I can find the right bowls. I remember when I was little and my school class drew pictures on a circle paper that was sent in and made into plates. I wonder if someone still does that?

  3. Sandi says

    May I ask, does it then make the bowls “food safe” once they have sat long enough to cure so it won’t easily come off? I’m assuming no but asking anyway. Also, I’m hoping I’m wrong!

  4. Jeany says

    Veronica they are called Mak-It Plates/Bowls/Trays and they are really awesome. I have many from mommy and me classes over the years. But they usually are only affordable in groups. Which is why this particular project caught my eye. Great idea and worth a few test runs :)

  5. Amie says

    So cute, we did this with our church kids last night!.I cleaned the Dollar Tree out of their white coffee mugs and small plates. They had a blast! The black Sharpie sticks best, not sure why…but since they used color too I spayed them with a quick coat of mod podge while they were still warm out of oven.

  6. Kristin says

    I know this is a really old post, but if it came up on page 1 of Google for me it will for others too, so I’ll share this tip anyway. While researching this project, I read that the marker can be wiped off or smudged if the dish is still warm. The best method is to decorate the dish, place it in the oven, turn on the oven (don’t preheat it! Let the dishes heat up with the oven or they may crack with the sudden temp difference!), and then wait until the oven and dishes are completely cool before removing them. That would probably be why they were fine after a day or two and not right away. :)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *