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How To Make Decoupage Paper Mache Teacups

I made these decoupage paper mache teacups, because I love the look of vintage teacups.

I’m always on the lookout for them in charity and junk stores. But I rarely find ones with an exact design I really like. That’s when I thought I’d make my teacups own out of paper mache. I could then decorate them how I like.

I know there is one flaw with these paper mache teacups, they are not designed for drinking tea. However, I only buy vintage teacups for decoration mainly, I rarely drink out of them.

Fancy teacups may look lovely, but they aren’t big enough for me. I like to drink my coffee and tea out of a big mug, and you only get a couple of sips out of a typical vintage dainty teacup.

So these paper teacups may not be practical in terms of drinking tea, but they do make a cute decoration. The cups can also be used as useful trinket dishes to store litter bits and pieces. They also look really good next to the giant paper Mache bowl I made for my table.

I have one on my bedside table, for hair ties and a couple on my desk for paperclips and loose coins.

(There is a printable how-to card for this craft at the end of the post.)

coke bottle and newspaper

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What You Need

This is a very affordable and easy craft as the paper mache cups are made from mainly repurposed materials.

  • 1.25 or 1.5-liter coke bottle. You want the bottle to be the traditional Coca-Cola bottle shape as this gives the paper mache cups their shape.
  • Old newspaper – I find that newspapers are the best kind of paper to use for paper mache.
  • Vaseline – Just a very small amount.
  • Mod Podge – for both the paper mache and decoupage.
  • White acrylic paint – I just used bits of white paint leftover from other projects.
  • Floral paper napkins – Paper napkins with small flowers on white background work best.
floral paper napkins

How To Make The Paper Mache Cups

1 First, using scissors cut the top off the coke bottle. Cut the top so that it will be slightly higher than the rim of your paper mache teacup, about 9-10 cm from the neck of the bottle.

Top Tip: It is better to have the bottle top slightly too long then too short, as you can cut the paper mache to size afterward.

cut top of coke bottle for mould

2. To stop the newspaper from sticking permanently to the inside of the bottle top, rub the inside with a layer of Vaseline.

rubbing the mould with Vaseline

3. Next, cut the newspaper into small strips about 1cm by 4cm in size. Dilute the Mod Podge with water by 50/50 and use this for the paper mache.

For the first layer of paper Mache, don’t use the glue mixture. But wet the newspaper strips one by one and line the inside of the coke bottle top with them. For the following layers brush each newspaper strip with the glue mixture.


4. Next, carry on adding layers of newspaper and glue inside the bottle. I add two layers of paper at a time. Then I left it to dry overnight before adding another 2 layers. As I wanted these paper mache teacups to be thin like fine china, I only used four layers of newspaper.


5. After the final layer of the newspaper has been added, leave the paper Mache to dry thoroughly. Once dried, carefully remove the paper from the coke bottle mold. You may have to gently coax the paper Mache cup out with a flat knife.

Removing paper mache tea cup out of the bottle top

6. Next, using some scissors trim the paper mache so that it more resembles as tea cup.

Triming the paper mache teacups

7. Next, to create a smooth rim on the paper mache teacups, glue some newspaper strips over the top edge.

paper maching the rim.

Adding The Teacup Handle etc.

7. To fill the hole in the base of the paper mache teacups cut out a round of paper about 4cm in diameter. Then, draw an inner circle on this paper about 2cm in diameter. Using scissors cut slits in the circle from the outer edge to the inner circle about 5mm apart.

Then apply glue to the paper circle and stick it the inside of the paper mache tea cup.

hole filler

8. Next, to make a handle for the paper mache cups, first cut a piece of news paper about 9cm by 4cm. Cover this in a layer of the glue mixture and then fold it into 5mm wide strip.

Fold strip of paper

9. Then, while this strip of paper is still wet with glue, shape it into an S-shaped teacup handle and stick it to the paper mache cup.

You may need a clip or pin to hold it in place as the glue dries. At the same time, make another stip of rolled use paper and glue it to the base of the teacup.

Adding the paper handle

Decoupaging the Paper Mache Cups

10. The outside of the paper mache teacups may feel a little greasy from the Vaseline. And Vaseline can make the cups difficult to paint.

To help with this apply a layer of the glue mixture to the whole cup and let it dry. This will provide a key for the paint to adhere to.

paper mache teacups

11. Next, paint the teacups inside and out with white paint. You may need a couple of coats of paint to ensure that the newspaper print is no longer visible.

White painted teacups

12. Next, separate out the layers of the paper napkin so that you have just the top printed layer. Then, cut out flowers from the design one by one.

By the way, if you are looking for a particular flower to decoupage, and you can’t find the right napkins. You can always print your own.

If you are going down this route, check out these free flower illustrations here.

Separating the napkin layers

13. Next, brush the glue mixture onto the cup where you want the flower to be. Carefully, stick the paper napkin flower onto the cup.

Use a dabbing motion with the brush to add the flower image. Add flowers to both the outside and inside of the paper mache teacups.

Top Tip: The napkin is delicate and can easily tear so a dabbing motion works better then a brushing motion.

adding-mod-podge-layer f

14. Finally, finish off by adding a layer of Mod Podge to the outside of the paper cups, this will act as a sealant and protect them.

Paper mache teacups
Paper mache tea cups
Inside paper mache teacups
paper mache cup
three paper mache cups
paper mache teacups

If you enjoyed these paper mache teacups don’t forget to check out some of my other cool adult crafting ideas and paper mache crafts.

Yield: Paper Mache Teacups

How To Make Paper Mache Teacups

Paper Mache teacups

This is a fun affordable craft for all. Make these gorgeous paper mache tea cups using a coke bottle as a mold. Then decorate them with floral paper napkins to recreate that vintage teacup look.

Prep Time 1 hour
Active Time 2 hours
Additional Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 3 hours
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1


  • Plastic coke bottle -  Must be traditional Coca-Cola shaped bottle.
  • Newspapers
  • Vaseline
  • Mod Podge
  • Floral paper napkins


  • Scissors
  • Glue brush


  1. First, using scissors cut the top 9cm off a coke bottle. scissor-cut-coke-bottle
  2. Using your fingers rub vaseline on the inside of the cut plastic bottle top.
  3. Cut the newspaper into strips 1cm by 4cm and dilute the glue with water 50/50.
  4. For the first layer of paper mache, just wet the newspaper strips and cover the inside of the bottle top. Then add another three layers of paper using the glue mixture.
  5. Once the paper and glue have dried remove them from the bottle.removing-paper-mache-from-mold
  6. Trim the paper mache cup to size.
  7. Make a small paper round to cover the hole on the inside of the paper mache bottle.
  8. Cover a 9cm by 4cm piece of paper in the glue mixture, then roll it up to form a handle. Glue this to the paper cap. Make another strip for the base of the cup. Adding the paper handle
  9. Cover the cup in another layer of the glue mixture to form a key for the paint.
  10. Once the key has dried paint the paper mache teacup white.
  11. Separate the paper napkins into the top printed ply. Cut the fower patterns out of the paper napkin and then decoupage them onto the outside and inside of the paper cups.
  12. Finally, finish off by adding a final coat of Mod Podge glue to act as a protective varnish.

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Donna @ Modern on Monticello

Thursday 8th of July 2021

I don't use tiny teacups either but can appreciate the delicate design of them. This is a great way to create your own look for a fraction of the cost. And less breakage. #HomeMattersParty

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 8th of July 2021

Thank you, tiny tea cups do look pretty but they aren't very practical.


Thursday 1st of July 2021

I love a fun decoupage project and your cups turned out adorable. Thanks for sharing at the FWF link party!

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 1st of July 2021

Thank you so much. They were fun to make and so many design possibilities.


Monday 28th of June 2021

These are lovely, Claire! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm--pinned!

Claire Armstrong

Monday 28th of June 2021

Thank you so much 😊


Sunday 27th of June 2021

I absolutely love this project! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ's - you are being featured on my blog Tuesday evening.

Claire Armstrong

Monday 28th of June 2021

Thank you so much, I look forward to seeing the feature.

Barbara at Mantel and Table

Friday 25th of June 2021

Claire, this is brilliant! What a fantastic gift - for a friend or for myself! I love teacups and these are perfect! Thanks so much for the great tutorial - I can't wait to try some!

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 26th of June 2021

Thank you. There are some lovely paper napkins out there so many more lovely designs to make.

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