When we discovered a box of tea set remnants on the side of the road earlier this summer, my first thought was what could we make with them. There was an assortment of tea cups – both big and small – saucers, a milk jug and other discarded beauties.
After cleaning the pieces up, their small size fit my little’s dolls perfectly. They surely needed a better tea set and would enjoy sipping out of the smaller cups.
But the more I looked at the bigger cup, my imagination returned to the fairies that we had met on the Maine coast two summers before.
Wouldn’t this pretty little porcelain cup be a wonderful home for some fairies?
One of the garden features that I loved during our travels around Portland, Maine was incorporating found objects in whimsical ways throughout the garden. A ladder propped next to a tree. Saucers used as bird feeders. And vintage bottles turned into flowers.
So, making a teacup fairy garden incorporated mixing this idea of old and new. And we certainly had the teacups.
Then, we decided to host a fairy tea party for my little’s next birthday. It would be a beautiful garden party celebration filled with friends, woodland fun and fairies. The craft could be making teacup fairy gardens to stick with the theme.
When creating your own teacup fairy garden, the first thing you need are teacups. Vintage, used, discarded teacups.
The good news is that there are lots of different teacups in the world. The bad news is that they are all different, so choosing just the right one can be kind of tricky. There are short ones, fat ones, thick ones and those that are unusually tiny.
After experimenting with lots of different teacups, the best teacup to use for a teacup fairy garden is made of traditional porcelain (avoid the really thick ceramic as much as possible). They also have wider openings. Although this isn’t a requirement, the width of the top of the teacup is important because it gives more space for the kids to decorate their fairy gardens. You can use the cups with slimmer openings, but there was less space for the fairy accessories that just had to be added.
It’s also important that the teacups have saucers. These saucers do not have to be an exact match. I found a few plain saucers at the thrift shop and combined them with some of the teacups. The saucers catch any water drips when you water the fairy garden.
Although we started with the collection of teacups that we found on the side of the road, we needed five teacups to make the craft at the tea party. Out of the original set, there was one teacup that worked well.
So, I headed to our local thrift shops. It turns out that they are full of cast away teacups and saucers. There was quite a selection for $1 or $2 each. You can also rummage through your own teacup collection. You might have a chipped one or some that you don’t use any more.
To prepare your teacups to be made into a teacup fairy garden, you need to drill a hole in the bottom of them. This process does take some time, so be sure to plan ahead.
You will need a driving bit designed for porcelain. It’s called a glass and tile bit and can be found at your local hardware store. This special drill bit attaches to a regular drill and allows you to drill through porcelain without cracking it. Pretty neat.
When drilling the hole, be persistent. It helps to keep the porcelain surface wet with a little water too to prevent any cracking. Drilling one hole in the thinner tea cup took about 20 to 30 minutes.
This is why I don’t recommend using the thicker ceramic teacups. When we tried drilling holes in those, they took much longer than the thinner ones. We weren’t even able to complete one in time since our drill’s battery kept running out of charge.
After the holes are drilled in your teacups, you are ready to make your teacup fairy gardens.
How to Make a Teacup Fairy Garden
You Will Need:
Porcelain Teacups with holes drilled in the center (preferably collected at thrift stores, yard sales or even along the side of the road)
Fairy Garden Accessories (affiliate) This accessory set had enough fairy fun for five teacup gardens. If you have more children at your party, you might need additional sets or find a bigger version.
1. Fill the bottom of the teacup with small rocks. Then, add garden soil.
2. Once filled, plant a succulent in the teacup. Since we were doing this craft with a group of kids, I purchased one larger succulent plant that had multiple succulents in it. When crafting, I divided the plant up letting the kids choose which succulent they wanted to use for their fairy garden.
3. Next, decorate the teacup fairy garden. The kids added toadstools, little animals and flowers. There were bridges, benches and lamp posts. They even customized miniature signs with permanent markers. It was fun watching their imaginations grow when thinking about what the fairies would enjoy when visiting their gardens.
The kids also hot glued accessories on the teacup handle and saucer. These were fun spaces to get even more creative.
4. Once the teacup fairy garden is decorated, add a sprinkle of glitter to be sure the fairies stop by. Then, spritz with water to keep it moist. Display on a desk, night table or by a window.
One of the fun things that we did at the fairy tea party was go on a fairy scavenger hunt. The kids had to find an assortment of nature and magical items that they could use in their teacup fairy garden. It was fun to discover little butterflies, wooden spools and toadstools to add. The kids really enjoyed searching for their craft supplies and it was an easy party activity to organize.
These teacup fairy gardens are the perfect activity for a fairy party, tea party or whimsical play date. The kids really enjoyed making them and they were the perfect favor to take home to enjoy.