My Mug Collection

Today I took Matt to his first (and probably last #kanecountyfleamarket ) and found exactly what I was looking for. So happy! McCoy Mugs at Kane County Flea Market

This weekend I took Matt to his first (and probably last) flea market. 30 seconds in the door and he says “My complete nightmare”. All that aside, I happened to find 3 things that I had been wanting. Just the day before I had been hunting for a replacement smiley face mug on ebay. Lo and behold, I walked into a booth and there is a whole collection of them, for only $6 a pop. I’m not kidding when my eyes just about teared up, I couldn’t believe it. What luck! About $20 less than what I’d probably end up spending on one (shipping included) if I had bought one online.

We’ve been drinking a lot of tea lately and that got me wanting to do a post on my favorite mugs. Have you ever seen Flight of the Conchords? If you haven’t then than trust me, watch it, you will love it. There are so many endearing things about Bret and Germaine, but one of the things I love about them is their thrift store style. These penniless musicians are always wearing random shirts and drinking from odd mugs. Watching the show made me realize I never wanted a matching set of mugs. Sidenote: my dad collects diner mugs, ya know the kind with businesses advertisements on them.

So, here it goes, my current favorite mugs.


A vintage McCoy smiley face mug. I actually had a smiley face mug, but I think it was just a teleflora mug (came as a planter). I can’t remember if I got this mug from my grandpa’s place after he passed away, or if I found it thrifting and bought it because it reminded me of him. Anyway, I had this mug and I loved it. My grandpa worked for Calumet City which has a smiley face water tower. Eventually the handle cracked off. That’s probably what happens when mugs are really meant to be used as flower pots and not hold hot fluid. I wanted to replace it and that was when I looked on ebay and found that my teleflora mug was a rip off of the vintage McCoy smiley face mugs. They must have been pretty common because you can always find them for sale, but the shipping is what kept me from ever buying one. It was complete serendipity that I went to the flea market and that there was a booth with a whole collection of mugs.

3.4 mug7 work mug Papa Nicholas

The next mug is one I found thrifting and I just liked the way it looked, plus someone put a bird on it.

Then there is another thrift store mug for the company that I work at, or rather a previous rendition of my current company. I just thought it was hilarious to find a mug for the company I work at so I bought it.

Remember back in the 90s when the internet was all woooooooooooo! Well, as a kid in the 80s I had this book about how to get free stuff and most of the instructions were to write companies and sometimes they’ll send you free samples. I remembered that and thought “wonder if it works the same on the internet” so I did a search for free stuff and somehow how found the coffee company Papa Nicholas. They had a survey and said if I filled it out I’d get a free sample. Little did I know they’d send me a free mug AND a huge bag of coffee grounds! Even after I told them I don’t drink coffee. The 90s were awesome that way.

hotair balloons seagulls general pottery

This is probably my most Flight of the Conchords mug. The hot air balloons are just to remember my trip in a hot air balloon and I got the mug at Salvation Army.

Seagulls and random blue stripey mug are also thrifted. I love the shape and size of the seagulls. The blue one I got just because it reminded me of a handbuilt mug I bought at salvation army, but realized when I got home it somehow didn’t make it into my bags with me. I was so broken hearted I went back for it and it was already gone. oh well.

So, there ya go. My favorite mugs, mostly thrifted, loved a lot, and rarely used for coffee. I have to give props and inspiration for this post to Manda Townsend for her recent mention of a favorite mug she stole back from her parents, and then Carrie Anne at the Little Big Blog for all of her thrifty posts, as well as featuring a mug on Friday that looks very similar to my seagull mug.

If you have some fun mugs and want to do a post, please share!


Hi, I'm Robyn and I was Hatched from a Kinder Surprise Egg. Graphic Designer by day, Maker of things by night. I have worked as a graphic artist professionally since I was 16 years old. Went on to get my Bachelors of Art from NIU. I like to share my Artwork online at and on my own personal website I also have an online shop where you can find more of my "crafty" sorts of things, as well as a random piece of artwork here and there. Oh, and I'm also an occasional contributor to Artomat (

7 thoughts on “My Mug Collection

  1. This makes me want to do a mug post. I have a ridiculous number of them and can’t ever bear to give up any, despite how they are bursting out of my cabinets.

  2. That is funny that the Papanicholas mug is one of your favorites. I had one of those too. No idea what became of it though. I do have Grandpa’s smiley face trophy though that the mayor gave him when he retired from the city. :)

  3. I would love to go to the flea market with you! I’ve never been to that one.

    It’s funny, my husband bought me one of those smiley mugs once with flowers in it. I eventually broke the handle so I could use a replacement, too. For Valentine’s day he gave me a big smiley balloon so I asked him why all the smiley stuff and he said that for some reason he thought smileys were my thing. Haha, so if that can be a thing I suppose it’s mine. ( :

  4. I love your collection! The hot air balloon one is so cheerful! I have a deep love for satisfying mugs that feel good to hold and drink from, and I have a very dear to me collection of them. I might just have to write up a mug post!

  5. Hi, I’ve been looking for a mccoy mug for ages, and the shipping charges are the ones stopping me as well. Do you mind letting me know which store had them?

  6. I am always looking for free stuff, there are so many sites out there for free stuff and freebies. Some are just free some you have to fill out offers. I like filling out offers because the free stuff you get is MUCH higher quality than most freebie sites… Excellent post, I love it!!

Leave a Reply

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