Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Teacups in the garden, #DIY

Teacup in the garden. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
 I think I'll take my tea in the garden.

Isn't this teacup adorable? It's a thrift store find, a Noritake bone china teacup and saucer, glued to a plant stake, now floating above the lantana in my garden. It could be a bird bath, a bird feeder, a whimsical piece of garden art, or a tealight holder.

And, it was super-easy and inexpensive to put together. Let's follow along, shall we?

First, find some darling little teacups and saucers, or clever bowls. Do not pay retail. These teacups were a thrift store find, and because I bought them on half-price Monday, I paid less than $8 for four cups and saucers. I also found cute chartreuse Sur La Table bowls. While the teacups were in perfect condition, then green bowls had a few chips. I also paid less than a dollar for each, so no sweat. The point is, cheap and chipped are the way to go.

Bowls and teacups. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Second, go to your neighborhood hardware store and pick up some plant stakes. They come in a variety of sizes, just make sure the circumference of the wire loop will fit the base of the teacups and saucers. I paid 98 cents for each plant stake at Home Depot. And while I was there, I picked up some epoxy. This is Loctite brand, $3.97 at HD. The tube was enough for four cups and saucers, the two green bowls, and two repair jobs on chipped bowls at home.

Now, let's get to crafting. Choose a well-ventilated area and protect your workspace. Epoxy stinks to high heaven, so I chose the front porch table for this project. Follow the directions on the epoxy packaging, and work quickly. That stuff is super sticky! Holding plant stakes on to china is tedious, so I taped the glued stake to the saucer. Let the items set for at least 5 minutes. I let them cure overnight, just to be sure they would hold.

Teacups. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

And then you have the crazy fun of find clever places for your new garden art. I like a grouping of the cups, like so:

Teacups and bowls. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
The stakes make them easy to move around in the garden ~ from the flower bed to the containers on the porch. If you get tired of dumping rain water out the cups (and goodness knows, that's a daily reality in this damp summer), use them in a covered area like a porch. They can also be special occasion garden art, like good china brought out for special occasions. I think a row of bone china teacups with tealights makes a charming footpath through the night garden.

Give this project a try and let me know what you think.

Teacup with tea lights. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books