Porcelain paint is great for taking plain ceramics and transforming them into something more special. Go hunting in charity shops or thrift stores for plain, white ceramic items, they are sure to have them. Or, shops like Ikea often have a budget range of plain ceramics that are crying out to be painted.
White ceramic items
Porcelain paints (you cannot paint surfaces that will be used for food with most porcelain paints - only external surfaces of items)
Paint brushes (suitable for acrylic paint)
Newspaper (to cover your work area)
Oven (to fix the paint)
Lay out your newspaper in your work area, and collect your paint brushes and pain together.
To prepare the ceramics for painting, you'll need to wash them in hot, soapy water. Mine were quite grimy from sitting on the shelf of a shop, but it's not just about removing dirt. You need to wash them in soap to prepare the surface for painting.
Plan out your design. You can use masking tape to block out designs so you can get nice clean Or, alternatively, you can just freehand a design. I've given examples of both. If you're doing freehand, you can use graphite pencil to mark out the design. It will come off easily after you have done the oven step.
Fill in your design with paints. I've chosen a very simple one to illustrate the process, but you could get much more intricate designs.
The porcelain paint I used was washable, if you scrubbed with soap and water before the oven step, so you could wash off and start again if the design didn't work as well as you hoped.