Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Make a Teacup Ornament

You have probably seen pictures of real china tea cups used as ornaments, or miniature tea cups made of glass specifically to be used as ornaments. These are very heavy and can weigh down the bough or wreath you are using. . The ornaments I have made from egg cartons, below, will be much lighter and last for a few years. If you are not a seasoned egg-carton crafter, you might find the first tea cup ornament to be tedious, but children love this craft and are willing to dig right in and make the tea cups.  All you do is take the egg section and make a saucer from a flat piece of the lid,  and make a handle from the cardboard of the lid.

This is what my finished egg-carton tea cup, light as a feather looks like. It is covered in decoupage glue, which makes it shiny and durable.

The best egg carton to use is the one that is sold with the extra little pedestal that makes it look more like a real fancy teacup. Also, choose a carton with a completely flat lid, with no holes or shapes.

First you need to cut out an egg section and trim it as evenly as you can without making it too small. It is okay to leave part of it a little lower than the rest, because you can glue the top of the handle there.

Then, trace around something small to make the saucer. I found this egg cup a little too small so I would recommend a small candle dish or the bottom of a goblet.

Glue the cup to the saucer with tacky glue. Elmers all-purpose glue will work, but egg carton absorbs moisture quickly, and you will need something really strong to glue it together without making it too wet. Hot glue does not work well with this craft, as the egg carton is too delicate.

Put the finished, painted cup near a heater, or outside in the warm sun so that the paint will dry.

Use two coats of paint, but if you are painting it another color, make the white coat your primer and then add the other color later. The egg carton color tends to alter the color of the paint, so you will need the white base coat.  I used two coats of white for this project.

Cut a longish piece of cardboard from the lid and bend it into an "s" shape for the handle. 

This has one coat of craft paint on it. It does not matter what kind of craft paint you use. Flat or shiny will do. Let the project dry before you add another coat or put the gold edge on the rims. Be sure to turn it upside down and paint the bottom of the saucer.  You can see the shape of the handle here. The egg carton cardboard is easy to bend and manipulate into a fancy handle.Try looking at your own tea cups to get ideas for making the shape of the handle.

Some of the things you will use: Modge Podge decoupage glue (luster or flat), a paint brush, white craft paint, egg carton, and a brown paper bag to put the project on to protect the table. I have a craft table but I still like to use a paper bag for all sticky projects. Notice the top of the egg carton is a flat lid, which is better for making the saucers.

When the teacup is dry you can put a stream of thin gold scribbles metallic or glittered paint on all the edges, including the handle. Put it near a heater or in the sun to dry and it should dry a little faster. You can leave it for quite a while and go do other things (like dishes, laundry) while it dries more slowly. Don't forget to draw a line of glitter paint on the outer edges of the handle.

I put a second line of glitter paint on the outside of the cup, in addition to the top of the rim, so that it could be more visible from the side. You can add swirls and patterns with your glue or tube of paint.

If you have no scribble or polymer or other paint similar to the one I am using, all you have to do is squirt a line of elmers glue around the outer rims and sprinkle your choice of glitter over it.

After the glitter paint is completely dry and hardened, dip some decoupage or white glue on the brush and thoroughly paint it on the inside and outside of the teacup and handle.  You can paint right over the gold edging, because it will dry clear, and the glitter will still be bright. When that later of glue is dry, turn the cup over and paint the other side of the saucer and the inside of the handle.

  You can draw a design on it with those glitter paints, like I did, above. When it is all dry, tie a length of metallic ribbon on the ornament for a hanger. The rim and glittered design are much more thick and prominent than the above photo shows.

I was trying to get my little ornament to look like my favorite tea cup which I take wherever I travel.

This is what it looks like as an ornament.

To make the project simpler, glue the tea cup together with tacky glue and then paint with any kind of craft paint . Then decorate the inside and outside with a rose sticker or some seasonal sticker but do coat it with white glue or decoupage to make it strong. It will go over dried glitter or glitter glue just fine. 

These would be nice for little play-teacups for children.


Anonymous said...

So pretty hanging there among all the other baubles & things! Thanks for the tutorial. :o)


susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

Very pretty and delicate looking!

Anonymous said...

So clever and beautiful,light weight so it won't weigh down the branches.

This one is going in the craft folder for sure.
Thanks for sharing Lydia.

Mrs. J.

Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic craft! I just saw teacup ornaments for the first time last night on Ebay, and they can be expensive. This looks like a fun way to duplicate the ornaments for next to nothing. I am going to make some of these and add them as decorations to packages. Thank you for sharing this!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see something home-made on a tree.

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

That is SOOOOO clever! I LOVE this idea... It's too late for me this year, but I'm thinking I'll be making some of these little cuties next year.

Thanks so much for sharing.


Mama Said No said...

That is absolutely ADORABLE! Once again you have inspired me to try a new craft. Merry Christmas to you, dear lady.

Bible Babe

Lydia said...

It may cheer you to know that I am a southerner living in Oregon, and that history shows Oregon almost became British. It looks like England in some places.

Alex said...

I Love It! So sweet.

Gayle said...

So pretty!Thanks again for another lovely tutorial that I can actually see how it was done.You always have the very best tutorials.Wouldn't it be sweet hanging from a basket handle as well.