Southern Mom Loves: Set up a Morning Tray for Your Guest Room {+ Personalized Mugs DIY}

Set up a Morning Tray for Your Guest Room {+ Personalized Mugs DIY}

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

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When I have overnight guests during the holidays, I love to prepare by making sure that they'll not only be comfortable but also feel welcome. If you've ever been an overnight guest, you might appreciate this Morning Tray! It's got snacks, water, and everything you need to make the perfect cup of coffee anytime you'd like. On top of that, I made some cute personalized mugs just for my guests and I'll show you how below!

I love having family and friends stay during the holidays. It's my favorite time of year! Having more time with my favorite people is the best, but staying overnight in someone else's home can be a little awkward. You may hear "seriously, make yourself at home" but can you bring yourself to raid the fridge at midnight?

I want them to be perfectly comfortable, so I've come up with this tray that can be made up and taken into the guest bedroom before they arrive. It has water, snacks, and a little coffee maker, perfect for two. Even if they can't bring themselves to raid the fridge, they can certainly raid this tray!

Instead of just leaving two mugs for my guests, I wanted to leave a sweet gift that they could take home with them. These mugs are easy to make and you might even have the supplies right now. :)

I'm one that needs coffee before anything, even before getting dressed. It's the first thing I reach for when I wake up, and I like to have a cup here and there throughout the day, so I wanted to make sure my guests could have theirs whenever they liked. 

Just any coffee won't do, so I left them the just-released Starbucks® Holiday Blend. It comes in in ground coffee or K-Cups® and I look forward to it every year. There is also a Peppermint Mocha Flavored Coffee and both are delish! You can find them all in Walmart stores, just look for this endcap:

If you are a member of Starbucks® Rewards (free drinks, anyone?), there is an awesome promotion right now: Purchase three (3) qualifying Starbucks® packaged coffee (10-20oz.), Starbucks® K-Cup® packs (9-32ct.), VIA® Instant (5-8ct.), Starbucks® Syrups (12.17oz.), or Starbucks® Cookie Straw packs (9.17oz.) products in a single transaction at Walmart stores from 11/1/17 through 12/26/17 and receive 75 bonus stars when you upload your receipt at

Making a Morning Tray is easy and I grabbed everything I needed at Walmart while I was stocking up on my Starbucks®. You'll want to grab a small coffeemaker if you don't have one already and you can get them for less than $10! You should also grab coffee filters, water bottles, and a little something from the bakery.

A few other things to add to your tray are sugar/creamer, spoons/stir sticks, and napkins. You also want to make sure that there is a wastebasket in the room.

Put it all together and you have a fabulous welcome tray for your holiday guests! The last touch is the personalized mugs. Let's do it!

Personalized Mugs DIY

A note about the project: I have just a few tips before we start. First, get the cheap mugs. A better, thicker glaze is not a good thing when it comes to decorating them. You can find plain, white mugs at Walmart for $ .88 each and they're perfect for this project. Secondly, regular Sharpies will work with the higher temperature and steps in this tutorial. No need to hunt down oil-based markers.


  • white ceramic mugs
  • rubbing alcohol
  • cotton balls/swabs
  • Sharpie permanent markers
  • a pencil
  • (optional) masking tape


1. Start by cleaning your mugs with the alcohol. Oils on the mugs can keep your designs from sticking, so make sure not to touch the outside with your fingertips while you're doing them.

2. You can use a pencil to rough-sketch in any writing or design placement. You can also use masking tape in your design if you want super-straight lines.

3. Start writing and drawing! Don't worry if you make a mistake, you can wipe it all off with rubbing alcohol, let it dry, and try again. If you have the perfect line with just one wonky bit, you can use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, then blotted to wipe off just a bit before you try again.

4. I wanted to make my mugs symmetrical with a design that met in the middle when they're put together, so I decided on snowflakes. I found the center and marked it, then made sure that whatever lines I made on one cup were also made on the other.

5. Once your designs are finished, let them dry for 24 hours.

6. Once completely set, put them in a cold oven and turn it on to 425° F letting them slowly heat up while the oven preheats. Once preheated, set a timer for 30 minutes.

7. Once it's finished, turn the oven off and let the mug sit undisturbed until completely cooled. You can do this after dinner and let them sit overnight so you don't tie up your oven making them.

I hope you have a fabulous time setting up this morning tray and making these cute personalized mugs. Happy Holidays!


Are you having guests this holiday season? Will you be a guest? What do you think of this tray? Let me know in the comments below!

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