I love tea. It's an integral part of my day, and I take my teacup collection very, very seriously. But, let's face it; even if you're meticulously careful, you're going to end up chipping cups, finding loners with no matches, or cracking some of your faves. Those teacups don't have to get dumped in the recycling, though: they can be used in all kinds of fun ways, as some of the folks at Hometalk illustrate.
You might get so inspired that you'll want to hit the thrift store to pick up a few teacups in need of a new home just to try your hand at some of these projects.
Barbara Bamber in Canada turned chipped teacups into votives, a really great project that allows old teacups to get a practical new lease on life. Keeping the saucer prevents wax drips and ensures that the bottom of the votive doesn't get too hot and burn the surface beneath. If you happen to have a very thin porcelain teacup, you'll also get the cool glowing factor of the light through the ceramic as the votive burns down.
Teacups also make fantastic tiny planters, and there are a couple of neat ways you can use them:
For one thing, they're perfect for succulents, as Daune in Greeville illustrates here. Here you can see that she used a cup and a creamer; you could get a teapot involved too.
You can also use them as miniplanters inside a larger planter. B.J. B in Lexington, Michigan used a teacup really artfully in this rustic garden planter, which features a riot of color and some artfully-placed upcycled dishware. (You can even find a cool use for an old tea kettle too, if you're enterprising.) One advantage to using a teacup in a planter like this is that it's easy to swap out the planted contents of the teacup without disturbing the rest of the planter.
How about a jewelry organizing tray, as crafted here by BrightNest in Denver? A totally great way to add a vintage touch to your bedroom or dressing room, and keep your baubles under control.
Want another take on teacups for jewelery organizing? Eclectically Vintage in New York wanted to get her jewelry organized, but avoid ugly plastic trays and dividers, because like any crafty New York cleaner and organizer, she knew that good looks can make the day that much more cheerful. She compiled an assortment of cute vintage items, including tea cups, to keep things accessible and still beautiful. Those polka dots are to die for, don't you think?
How about a DIY birdfeeder with a twist? BrightNest is back with this great feeder so you can enjoy tea in the morning with your feathered friends.
You can also turn a teacup into a display item for the home. Sharlotte S in Houston used a teacup to make a decorative tassel that will certainly stand out in her home; her Houston-area plumber will certainly be surprised to see a teacup on the wall!
So which of these projects are you eager to try your hand at? Have any cool teacup reuse stories of your own to pass on? And have you checked out our uses for tea?
Katie Marks writes for Networx.com.