I truly believe that coffee is a staple in my relationship with my best friend. We met in college and got through the day with the help of a steaming cup of Starbucks from The Front Room. We made special “coffee dates” where it was just the two of us, having therapy sessions over steaming mugs.

As the years went on, we would get up early to meet at our favorite coffee shop before 8:00 a.m. classes. We looked forward to our Styrofoam cups of Highlander Grog from Whit’s in Athens, OH.

When we eventually became roommates, we started sharing a coffee maker. I now feel that sharing a coffee maker with another person is as good as calling them family. You have to compromise on the strength and blend of the roast, not to mention clean the system regularly.

 My best friend recently moved to Africa, where she is working as a dorm assistant at a school. When I heard the news that she would be gone for a whole year, one of my first thoughts was “Who am I going to go get coffee with now?”

In order to bridge that gap that the Atlantic Ocean put between us, I found the perfect going away present. I gave her a mug with Ohio and my mug has Africa. Here is how you decorate your own long distance BFF coffee mugs: 

 You will need

  • A Mug
  • Sharpies
  • An Oven
  • Paper, Pen, Scissors (If Making a Template)

Wash your mug well and let it dry completely. I found that it was easiest (unless you are an artist) to make a paper template of the state and/or country. For us, I used Ohio and Africa. It’s actually really hard to draw Africa, if you’ve never tried.

Now that you have you template, hold or tape it to the mug. Trace with a Sharpie Permanent Marker. You can then put the dash marks on the mug, connecting the two places like you see in the photo.

If you want, you can write a short message on the back of the mug, or just inside the lip. I chose to write “Miss” and “You.” I took a red Sharpie Permanent Marker and drew hearts on our places. I put the heart on my best friend’s mug just over Athens, OH and my mug got a heart on where she is living in Africa.

Now, just put the mugs on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. This is going to seal the marker so it will withstand washing. Just don’t stick them in the dishwasher.

My BFF loved the gift and it now has a place of honor in her post-grad, Africa apartment. I see my cup everyday and when I drink from it, I remember all the cups of coffee, all the treks for Highlander Grog, and all the laughs we shared over our mugs.