If teatime is starting to become a staple of your household, it may be time to take the next step by personalizing your teacups. Kids love to have ownership over activities and to have things that are “their own.” Making teacups or buying special (not necessarily expensive!) teacups for each family member is a fun way to add a personal touch to your teatime. In fact, these teacups may in time become an essential part of your teatime tradition!
Varieties of Teacups
Around the World
China: very small, usually no handles, often decorated with designs.
Russia: served in a glass that is inside of a metal container called a podstakannik.
Germany: Johann Friedrich Bottger invented teacups with handles in 1707.
Turkey: very strong tea prepared using çaydanlık and served in a small semi-transparent glass shaped like a vase.
Japan: no handles and usually plain with limited decorations.
England: Wedgwood fine china and other companies crafted distinct types of teacups with raised designs beginning in the mid-1800s.
India: chai wallah is drunk from clay teacups that are smashed on the ground after drinking.
Libya: served in small glass cups with foam or froth at the top and often includes boiled peanuts.
United States: iced tea is often served in tall glasses with a slice of lemon
Materials: ceramic, porcelain, pottery, glass, silver or copper, jade.
Make a thrift store trip with the whole family and look around for teacups. Thrift stores usually have great selections of interesting cups and mugs--usually for great prices, too!
Look at the dollar store for blank white mugs or cups that you can decorate (see activities below).
- Scout out yard sales for interesting teacups and pottery. Especially as the weather starts getting warmer, be on the lookout for potential yard sales! Also, if your own cupboards are starting to get a little cluttered with mugs or cups, consider selling or donating some of your lesser-used mugs either at a yard sale or to a local thrift store.
Activities with Teacups
- Create Sharpie teacups: This is one of the easiest DIY ways to make your teacups personal. Kids can decorate the cups, as long as they don’t color anywhere inside or around the rim. Then, simply bake the cups in the oven according to the directions. Be sure to wash the outside by hand so that the designs last as long as possible! Supplies: Sharpies (different colors are great!), white ceramic cups or mugs. Inspiration: This post on Icing Designs.
- Decorate glass cups: If you’re up for a more involved project and have some glasses lying around, follow these directions on Brit + Co or this post on marbled cups to personalize your glassware.
- Book a session at a ceramics or pottery studio near you! If you have the time and money, often times, studios will offer set rates for pre-made pottery that you can paint with whatever design you’d like. They then do the messy work of firing and glazing the finished creation. This is a great idea for a birthday or special occasion!
- Print these teacup or kettle templates for a low-budget option and color or design them however you want! Once you’re done, you can cut out the teacup shapes and laminate them using clear tape on both sides to make a permanent decoration for your teatime table.