What to do with a vintage teacup? (Besides drink from it)

7 Jul

About this time last year, my tea-obsessed aunt sent me a gorgeous vintage tea set in the prettiest iridescent sea foam green. The entire set is so lovely to behold and a pleasure to use. I unfortunately haven’t thrown as many tea parties as I’d like but I do enjoy taking out the set and just turning the pieces over in my hands. So beautiful and delicate.

All this teacup adoration got me thinking though — I see single teacups all the time at the local goodwill, sometimes even with matching saucers. Why not put them to good use?

Last Christmas I decided to do just that by making teacup candles for a few family members. There are a bajillion different ways you can approach this candle-making project, as you can probably imagine, but here’s how I did it: I melted soy wax flakes inside a special reusable wax melting bag that was in turn placed within a heated pot of water. After adding a few drops of rose scented candle oil, I poured the melted wax into a set of four tea ups inside of which I had already placed wicks with anchors. The end result:

This photo doesn't do a great job of showing you what the wax and wick look like inside the tea cup but I like it anyway.

Some people prefer to melt wax using a double boiler method while others prefer to use microwaveable soy wax. And if you don’t feel like buying wax at all, you can always melt down old candles lying around the house or picked up from a thrift store as mentioned in this tutorial. Seriously, the variations are endless. Regardless of the method you choose to use, take a look at this list of general candle-making tips first.

One of the great things about using teacups in craft & decorative projects is the wide variety of styles available out there. With a little bit of patient searching you can find something that’ll fit in with your personal tastes no matter how modern/retro/traditional/flowery/whatever they may be. Here are some of my favorites that show just how disparate the styles can be:

Tea Cup Candle Set from jamcake

Teacup Candle from


Tea Cup Candle from TheCarrotPatch
Tea Bowl by OffCenterClay
Tea Bowl by OffCenterClay
Royal Halsley Tea Cup via Ebay

Yamaka Tea Cup + Snack Plate via Ebay

Okay, okay, enough of the teacup porn! Let’s get back to the projects that’ll actually require you to use these pretty things.

I mentioned this next project a while back in my post on how to incorporate plants into your life if you live in a small, garden-less apartment (like me!): tea cup succulent planters like these from Epheriell Designs:

Epheriell Designs Teacup Succulents

Renee Elliot certainly makes them seem simple to assemble:


  1. Sprinkle a few pebbles along the bottom of the teacup for drainage.
  2. Add a little bit of the soil on top of the pebbles.
  3. Next, place the plant in the tea cup and fill the sides with more soil.
  4. Press the soil down with your fingers.

Totally doable!

Another exciting tea cup-related project I’m interested in trying (once I have a yard, that is) is this bird feeder:

Cap Creations DIY Teacup Bird Feeder

Little Chief Honeybee has an excellent tutorial for making these that you should check out if you’re interested in making one for your yard. The only significant change I’d make is to use some other material instead of copper for the base pipe. Why spend the money on copper when you could use something cheaper and just as attractive?

These are obviously just a tiny fraction of the projects you can undertake with teacups. Lately I’ve been trying really hard to not let myself get stuck too much on using any one thing over and over in my crafting… You should see how over-the-top I went with maps. Ha! But if you’re really dedicated to having tons of teacup-related pretty things in your life you can find a veritable treasure trove of tutorials out there that require teacups. If you’re interested in making any of the items pictured below, click the image for the corresponding tutorial.

TeaCup Wine GLasses

Tea cup wine glasses from ReNest

Teacup Terrarium

Tea cup terrarium by Lori Marie of Pretty Little Things

Martha's teacup jewelry storage

Store your jewelry in a tea cup just like Martha Stewart.

Teacup Lamp

Sarah's teaware lamp via Design*Sponge

Teacup Pincushion

Tea cup pincushion via Beauty is in the Detail

And if you’re interested in finding EVEN MORE tea cup related crafts and tutorials, for the love of god you must check out this through collection of links by luvinthemommyhood.

And with that, I say adieu!


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