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.)
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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.
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.
2. To stop the newspaper from sticking permanently to the inside of the bottle top, rub the inside with a layer of 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.
6. Next, using some scissors trim the paper mache so that it more resembles as tea cup.
7. Next, to create a smooth rim on the paper mache teacups, glue some newspaper strips over the top edge.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Paper mache watercolor heart decoration
- Easter egg decoration
- Fun Anthropologie style rabbit head
- Giant Paper Mache Cactus
- Marimekko Plastic Bottle Planters
- Plastic coke bottle - Must be traditional Coca-Cola shaped bottle.
- Mod Podge
- Floral paper napkins
- Glue brush
- First, using scissors cut the top 9cm off a coke bottle.
- Using your fingers rub vaseline on the inside of the cut plastic bottle top.
- Cut the newspaper into strips 1cm by 4cm and dilute the glue with water 50/50.
- 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.
- Once the paper and glue have dried remove them from the bottle.
- Trim the paper mache cup to size.
- Make a small paper round to cover the hole on the inside of the paper mache bottle.
- 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.
- Cover the cup in another layer of the glue mixture to form a key for the paint.
- Once the key has dried paint the paper mache teacup white.
- 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.
- Finally, finish off by adding a final coat of Mod Podge glue to act as a protective varnish.
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You’ll find more wonderful paper crafts on allfreepapercrafts.com