Flowers in a tea cup
Updated: Apr 8, 2019
This is a little venture outside my beloved papercraft world. Needless to say, it did cost me a bit of pain and I did end up with a blister on my finger, but I think the final result is definitely worth it!
I love the fact that with just a few inexpensive items, you can create a lovely home decor piece in colour combination that matches your taste and furnishings.
I picked a plain white crockery just to make the flowers stand out more as they are the main hero of this project. I have seen many pinterest posts where people used patterned and decorative crockery. By all mean, use them if that's what you like. You may even have a single surviving duo of tea cup with saucer and don't know what to do with it. In this case, turning it into a decorative item is a great solution.
I got my crockery from the Range for £2 for a set of a tea cup with saucer. You can browse your local charity shops too as they tend to have lot of kitchenware, crockery and utencils. The next thing you will need for this project is a fork. The cheaper the better. Ideally, pick one that bends fairly easily. This is what actually holds the cup suspended over the saucer.
Once you have all the basic supplies, you will need to get some artificial flowers. I got mine from the Range. A small bunch of about 7 roses costs appx. £3 to £4. There is definitely wider choice of flowers compared to Hobbycraft (at least my local one). Amazon or Ebay are also a great source of artificial flowers. Just make sure you read the product description properly before ordering. Sometimes the quality is not as good as shown on the picture so be mindful of this when ordering something from these. I also found lot of nice flowers at Claire's. These are generally in headband section. They are not as cost effective though.
Now the tricky bit! How to make it all stick together... I have seen videos where they recommend Gorilla glue. One lady also used a pack of bread to rest the tea cup on to stop it from collapsing until the glue dried. All I used was a hot glue (hence the blister!) - loads of hot glue to be fair - but it works just as well as Gorilla glue. If you are careful enough not to burn your fingers or furniture, hot glue is a good alternative to Gorilla glue.
Start by wiping the cup and saucer. Then slightly bend the fork so that the end with four separate spikes is sitting flat on the saucer. Add a big dollop of hot glue in the centre of the saucer and immerse the fork into it. Then cover the 'forky' end with more glue and hold it in place until the glue cools down and sets (takes about 5-10 minutes - the glue turns from clear to cloudy white as well). The longer you leave it to set, the better. Some tutorials recommend to bend the upper end of fork as well. You end up with a Z shaped fork in the end. I left mine straight. All it does is changing the angle of the cup. If you prefer more levelled look, bend the end of your fork (appx. about 2 inch). If you are using the Gorilla glue, make sure you cover the fork with some water as the glue needs to get in contact with water to work. In this instance, the glue needs to cure for 1-2 hours and you will need to prop or clamp the joint where glue was applied.
Once the glue has cooled down, it's time to attach the tea cup. Same principle applies. Start by squeezing some glue inside the cup. Ideally, you want the cup's ear to be on the right side, as shown on the picture above. Then place the flat end of your fork over the glue and hold it firmly in place whilst adding more glue on top. Don't worry too much if it looks like a mess. This will all be covered in the end and no one will see it.
Once dry (ideally, let it dry for at least 30 min to 1 h), you can start arranging the flowers. I used hot glue to stick the flowers onto the fork and inside the cup. If you are worried about the fork showing through, get a piece of green ribbon and wrap the fork in it (stick in place with hot glue). I have also seen people using moss to cover the base and the fork before adding the flowers. It really is up to you what kind of look you want. Experiment and explore the possibilities!
List of supplies:
Artificial flowers and greenery (The Range or Hobbycraft have a wide selection of these)
Tea cup and saucer (The Range, Wilko or any charity shop)
Fork (cheap is fine, must be fairly easy to bend)
Moss (optional), green ribbon (optional)
Hot glue gun and refills or Gorilla glue
Scissors and plyers
Skin cooling gel (should you be like me and burn your fingers)
PS. I will eventually add a video to this tutorial. If you have any questions in the meantime, drop me a message.
PS. Apologies for my voice, I had a cold but was determined to get the video done :-)