Upcycle Vintage Teacups Into Something New

Posted by on Feb 07, 2011

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It’s so easy to load your cart with charmingly mismatched teacups from the thrift store. Do you feel a confession coming on? You should. I currently have 40-plus vintage cups in my home and can’t even remember where they all came from. Uh, oops? To make me feel better and to help you out too, here are 10 adorable ways to make use of the overstock.

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Teacup candle holder
Cute candle 

We’ve all seen it done a million times on the crafty internet, and for a good reason: Using teacups for candleholders never fails to charm. The project takes minutes and makes a great two-in-one gift. 
Find out how to turn a teacup into a candle at InHabitat!
pincushion teacup
Classic pincushion

If you’ve grown tired of the typical tomato, a teacup pincushion is a lovely addition to the sewing table. The handle makes it easy to transport, while the tuft at the top gives you a little more surface area for stowing pins. 
Get the free teacup pincushion tutorial at mmmcrafts!
teacup bangle jewelry
Made-in-China Jewelry

If you’re a jewelry designer with the awesome tools that can cut through, say, a vintage china teacup, then I want to get to know you. Maybe then I could adapt a '60s atomic-patterned teacup into a bangle. But until then, I’ll just have to look at the creations of the uber-talented New Zealand artist Lindsay Pemberton for her Rekindled brand. 
Get your own recycled teacup bangle by designer Lindsay Pemberton at Clever Bastards!
teacup pendant light
Teacup pendant light 

It’s another power-tool-required job, but these teacup pendants are totally worth the effort. Just lop off the bottom and stick in a pendant light. Suspend in your kitchen for a witty spin on task lighting.
teacup party favors
Or Just Give 'Em Away 
Spare teacups seem like thoughtful, carefully-chosen favors. Just tag a teacup with each guest’s name and no one will know that they were garage-sale finds. 
flowers arranged in teacups
Mini Bouquet Holder

A small handful of flowers makes a bigger splash when placed in a teacup. Try it for showers, weddings or even a random Tuesday night. 
Get the shortcut to arranging flowers in teacups at Project Wedding!
cupcake in a cup
Cupcake in a Cup

It never occured to us to bake anything directly into a teacup until this very moment, but now we can safely say that we’re convinced. China teacups are pretty oven-safe, as long as you don’t get carried away and place them near the broiler. Stick to lower-temp recipes, like cupcakes. 
Get the lowdown on baking cupcakes in teacups at Our Everyday Life!
Teacup Dessert Stand
Dessert Stand

The DIY way to make your own teacup dessert stand is to upend the cup, apply a super-strong glue, then top with the saucer to form a little pedestal. Or, you can just order a pre-made, whimsical tiered stand in the pattern of your choice. Your guests will just assume you were the genius behind it. 
Get your own vintage china tiered dessert stand at High Tea for Alice!
hanging teacups on a wall
Easy Art Piece 

If you’ve ever felt that a teacup was almost too cute to actually use, then this idea is for you. Just frame a piece of corkboard (cover it in pretty paper or fabric beforehand), add a hook, and show off your favorite pattern.
teacup wall clock
Teacup Wall Clock

It’s a bit of a statement piece for sure, but a teacup clock would make use of that big empty space over your kitchen or dining room table. A particleboard base makes it light, while super-strong epoxy keeps the cups from falling off. 
Get the tutorial for the DIY teacup clock at Vintage Revivals!

Image credits from top: Dreamstime, InHabitat, MmmCrafts, Lindsay Pemberton, FlamingToes, Delectable, Project Wedding, SweetBlissBakes, High Tea for Alice, Tattooed Martha and Vintage Revivals.

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  • by dianawesome
    User profile

    Looove these. I have a martini glass candle so I think teacup candle is next!

  • by southerndropout
    User profile

    the "easy art piece" cracks me up.

  • by cthornto
    User profile

    Does putting china in the oven really work? Such a cute idea, but I'm frankly a little afraid to try it!