How to Make a Paper Mache Tea Cup

By Daisy Cuinn
Put old newspaper to use by crafting with papier mache.

When a teacup isn't meant for tea — perhaps it's meant as a prop in a stage production of "Alice in Wonderland" or simply as a whimsical sculpture — there's no need to craft it out of ceramic or china. Papier-mache (alternatively, paper mache), one of the most inexpensive, easy-to-work-with and versatile crafting techniques, can be used to create teacups in virtually any size, shape and color. Start with a basic oversized teacup, then you can move on to more elaborate styles.

Measure 5 inches from the top of an empty plastic 2-liter bottle, and mark with a permanent marker. Make a horizontal cut at the mark with a craft knife, then cut around the bottle using a pair of scissors.

Mix one part white glue and one part water in a bowl until they're well-combined.

Tear a sheet of newspaper into small pieces, about 2 inches long. Dip the pieces of newspaper into the glue mixture one at a time and press them, overlapping on the inside of the dome-shaped bottle top. Allow the papier-mache to dry over night.

Apply a second layer of papier-mache. Allow it to dry overnight.

Hold the dry papier mache dome with one hand and gently twist the plastic bottle top with the other. When the papier mache pulls away from the plastic, remove the paper dome and set the bottle top aside.

Cut a 1-inch-by-5-inch strip of cardboard out of an empty cereal box. Shape it into a ring and glue it to the bottom of the papier mache dome. Cut a second 1 1/2-inch-by-6-inch piece of cardboard. Bend one-half inch of the each end of the strip upward; glue the bent tabs to the side of the dome in a teacup handle shape.

Apply another layer of papier mache on the teacup, covering the base and handle. Allow the teacup to dry overnight.

Paint the teacup as desired with acrylic paints.

Tip

To make a papier-mache saucer, cut a circle out of corrugated cardboard and cover it with at least two layers of papier-mache. For smaller teacups, you can use a yogurt cup as as a base.

About the Author

Delaware-based Daisy Cuinn has been writing professionally since 1997, when she became the features editor for her local biweekly music newspaper. She has been a staff writer and contributor to online and offline magazines, including "What It Is!," Celebrations.com and Slashfood. Cuinn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University.