In my cups…

I’m just finishing my fifth paper mache teacup. They’re lots of work, but I love the quirky handmade results. There’s really no end to what you could do with these! I think I may eventually even try a tea pot!

cups 001

I wanted to start out simply. For these two, I used the pages from an old wine and food dictionary aged with coffee, and torn pieces of vintage blue wrapping paper. I found the little tea cups I used on the bottom inside these cups on the Graphics Fairy. And I printed out some of my favorite sayings that related to tea, peace, etc., aged them with coffee, tore them into strips and decoupaged them into the cups.

cups 002

I wish I could give you a template, but the best I can do is show you what the pieces look like and give you some dimensions to guide your cutting. I was using some heavy white scrap paper of a certain size, so I had to piece things. Not ideal, but it worked OK. You need one long piece with the wedged cut out for the cup (2 5/8″ deep by about 122″ long); one small octagonal piece for the bottom of the cup (cut this out once you have the sides of the cup assembled so it matched perfectly), a large round piece with little slices cut out for the saucer (about 6″ in diameter), and a handle.

cups 001

To construct the cup sides and saucer, just scotch tape the sides of the wedges and slices together securely. For the cup, you’ll also need to tape the ends where they meet to form the circle. Pinch the cardboard with your fingers to bend the paper into more of a circle. Once the cup sides are assembled, tape the little octagonal bottom of the cup into place. I adhere the handles after I’ve paper mached these.

cups 008

Once you’ve got the pieces assembled, use a paper mache glue recipe and tear your paper into little pieces. Dip each piece into the glue and rsquegee excess glue off with your fingers, then apply it to the cardboard base, overlapping edges until the whole thing is covered–inside and out, top and bottom. It will be very pliable when it’s wet. Let it dry a bit so it’s still pliable but sturdy, then place the saucer upside down and put some fairly heavy object on top of it to keep it flatter while it dries completely. If you want a funkier curvier saucer, just let these dry on their own. Try to bend the handles into their final shape before the paper mache is completely dry.

I used tacky glue to add the handles to the cups. Once that was dry I used decoupage finish to paste in the sayings and the little tea cups. I also used decoupage finish for the whole thing–cup and saucer to give it a satin finish and make it more waterproof. Experiment with papers, trims, etc. I like things fairly simple, but I’m sure you could doll these up Marie Antoinette style, too. There are lots of ways you can use these–to hold candies, silk flowers, rings, beads, etc. They’re pretty sturdy. Hope you enjoy making these!

cups 005


One thought on “In my cups…

  1. Pingback: Tinkering | Gustav and Gayle

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