Potato Chip Cats: DIY Teacup Candles (Craft Post!)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

DIY Teacup Candles (Craft Post!)

My family doesn't understand it. My friends definitely wouldn't understand it. My boyfriend thinks it's cute. He humors me by buying tiny tea sets at yard sales.

But bottom line, no matter who gets it, I have a thing for teacups, especially miniature ones. 

The problem? I don't drink tea, and had no idea what to do with all the mismatched cups and saucers I had collected. UNTIL I FOUND THIS: Elevenses Candles.

So I did it. Using cups and saucers from my collection (and Goodwill) and two teapots I found at a tag sale, I created my version (of her version) of Anthropologie's "One Lump or Two Lamp" for dirt cheap, no wiring needed.

Body: Assorted teacups and teapots
Tops: Candles, glass teacups, juice glasses, etc.
Fine to Extra Fine Sandpaper
E6000 (Superglue)
Gloss coating if desired (Mod Podge Sealer)

First, I sanded the teapots to eliminate the previously painted bubble design. I also sanded any surfaces that would be used to bind one piece to another to give the glue more holding power. 

Next, I took stock of my collection and decided how to arrange them. Experiment with a few different styles- you may want shorter or taller towers, more or less bottom heavy- it's completely up to you. I knew I wanted an odd number of candle holders with varying heights if they need to be displayed near each other.

I lucked out and found perfect glass teacups from Goodwill for toppers. You could also use actual tealight holders, juice glasses, anything clear and non-flammable to hold the candles of your choice. My candles were just lying (laying?) around and happened to be a nice navy blue. I didn't use any coasters like the original instructions discuss.

Once you've settled on a design, take a picture for reference if you need to, then take apart and work piece by piece, bottom to top, to glue them together. Wipe away any glue that oozes out. Hint: if it's oozing too much, you're using too much glue. This stuff is pretty powerful, give it some credit and ease off a little. Let the glue dry for 24 hours. 

Then, I used ivory spraypaint/primer so that it would go with the decor I plan to have in my kitchen, and if not, it's an easy color to cover. Allow dry time between each coat (2-3 coats will cover the designs on most teacups). 

Use a clear glossy or pearlized spray to protect your work and add a sheen. Allow that to dry before touching it to avoid fingerprints. This step is really optional if you want a more matte look.

My advice? Don't get impatient! Really allow the superglue to dry at least overnight, 24 hours if you can bare it. I picked up one display from the top plate and it popped right off because I didn't wait long enough. Also, be sure to let the primer/paint dry fully before adding coats of anything else. 

I'm thinking when I do find the right place for these (they are currently on a shelf in my hallway) I might add some details or work in a ribbon somewhere for a splash of accent color. Maybe someday I will use some extra miniature tea sets to create tea light candle holders. Not sure yet, but I'm so happy with these ones in the meantime!


  1. Such a cute and unique idea!! I also collect tea cups...even though I drink tea, I wind up just keeping them in my cupboard for some reason, and have no display cabinet for my "collected" ones. lol. Maybe I should be doing this! ;)

    Now following!! Please feel free to stop by my blog and follow back if you like :)


    1. Following back :) your kids' pictures are absolutely adorable!

  2. I LOVE them! Especially the clear tea cups, they really are the perfect toppers! Thanks for visiting me & linking to my candles!

    -caroline @ c.w.frosting

  3. Those are so cute! My friend uses tea cups to make bird feeders. She attaches sticks to the bottom of a cup and saucer glued together. They are so pretty! Here is the link to her Etsy shop if your interested http://www.etsy.com/listing/54060433/garden-tea-cup-birdfeeder-octagon-saucer

    1. I think I have actually seen her page before! Love that idea :) I have to get back into gardening this spring and that would make a great accent

  4. Hi! I'm a new follower, here from the Hop til you Drop. Come follow me back at http://www.weidknecht.com!

  5. Hey there! Saw you on a blog hop for the weekend and your blog title totally got me, lol. My hubby and I have the brady bunch of cats so I'm total kitty supporter!


  6. What a creative idea. If I do this, I have to look for a safe spot to keep (out of the reach of my kiddos).
    Stopping over from World Bloggers Community.


Thanks for your input!