Tea cups are surprisingly versatile objects that can be used as a base for many different kids craft projects. Craft stores now sell a wide range of ceramic paints and glues which make it easy to decorate a plain cup, although cups with glued decor are better used as ornaments than drinking vessels to prevent water damage when washing.
Provide children with plain, unglazed tea cups, and encourage them to decorate. Tape stencils (which can be bought, or made at home by cutting out shapes from paper with craft scissors) onto the side of the cup, and paint through those to help them make clearer outlines. Bake finished cup in oven according to paint manufacturers' instruction to seal, or take to a professional potters who can give a more durable glaze.
Découpage, in which paper cut-outs are pasted onto a solid surface to create a painted effect, is a simple craft technique to decorate tea cups. Help kids cut out their favourite cartoon characters, or pop idols from magazines. Paint a layer of craft glue over the cup's exterior. Dampen the cut-outs with a little water and stick to cup, smoothing in place with a soft kids' paint brush. When dry, seal with another coat of clear glue.
Create jewelled cups worthy of a fairy tale prince or princess. Paint the entire surface of the cup inside and out with nontoxic gold craft paint. When dry, glue on patterns of sequins and sparkly or pearl-effect beads.Glue on a few glass pebbles (available from craft stores and home decor suppliers) as giant "jewels." If the kids are also decorating saucers, paint gold, too, and glue a circle of glass pebbles round the rim.
Tea Cup Candles
Tea cups make perfect candle holders.Wax crystals, can be poured direct into the cup, without children having to take part in potentially dangerous wax melting. Use craft paints to decorate the cup's exterior. Pour a layer of coloured wax crystals into the base of the cup and place a wick on top (the wick must not be in direct contact with the ceramic base). Hold the wick in place and pour wax crystals round it till the cup is full. Trim wick. It is now ready to light.
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