Because it's nothing but hardened clay, ceramic breaks easily, even if it doesn't appear that way sometimes. Setting your coffee mug down too hard on the table or knocking it with a utensil can be enough to damage it. If you have a mug that's developing cracks or has lost a large chunk from the rim, or even the entire handle, you can repair it with an epoxy designed for ceramics.

Repairing Cracks

Step 1

Inspect the crack. A crack that cannot be budged or separated by your fingers is one that likely does not go all the way through the ceramic and does not need to be repaired. If you find that the crack is loose and that the edges can be pulled apart even slightly, a repair is necessary.

Step 2

Mix a small amount (dime-size or less) of epoxy with the same amount of hardener. Epoxy is commonly sold with hardener, and many types include a dual-syringe applicator that distributes equal amounts of both materials. Dispense the epoxy and hardener onto a paper plate or piece of cardboard, then mix thoroughly as directed, using a Popsicle stick.

Step 3

Push the sharp edge of a razor blade into the crack to open it a little wider. Rock the blade back and forth gently rather than pressing it straight down. You are trying to get an opening for the adhesive to enter.

Step 4

Use a toothpick to apply epoxy into the crack. Work quickly, because you have between three and four minutes before the epoxy starts to cure. Be neat as well, because epoxy can dribble out of the crack and harden into place.

Step 5

Wrap a rubber band around the body of your cup to hold the edges of the crack together tightly. Clean up excess epoxy from the repair area as directed by the manufacturer. Some products call for wiping with a dry cloth; others may require acetone.

Step 6

Allow the coffee mug to sit until the epoxy cures completely, following the manufacturer's directions, then remove the rubber band.

Repairing a Large Chip or a Broken Handle

Step 1

Assemble all the pieces of the broken coffee mug.

Step 2

Set the main body of the ceramic mug into the bucket of sand with the part that needs to be repaired pointed up. This helps secure the mug, allowing you to work with both hands.

Step 3

Brush any debris or dust out of the broken edges with a paintbrush.

Step 4

Mix a small amount (dime-size or less) of epoxy with the same amount of hardener. Epoxy is commonly sold with hardener, and many types include a dual-syringe applicator that distributes equal amounts of both materials. Dispense the epoxy and hardener onto a paper plate or piece of cardboard, then mix thoroughly as directed, using a Popsicle stick.

Step 5

Use a toothpick to apply the epoxy mixture to the edges of the break on the main body of the mug.

Step 6

Set the broken piece into the main body of the mug and hold it in place for at least a minute. If possible, you can use a piece of masking tape to hold the pieces together while the epoxy cures. Otherwise, simply hold the loose piece with your hand until the epoxy sets up. Clean up excess epoxy from the repair area as directed by the manufacturer. Some products call for wiping with a dry cloth; others may require acetone.

Step 7

Allow the epoxy to cure completely, following the manufacturer's directions. Remove the tape, as applicable.