Anyone for tea?

8 Apr

IMG_1970When I had my big ‘minimalist’ clear out there wasn’t much that got spared.  Even my yarn and fabric stashes got dented considerably (not that I’m struggling to find stuff to make, I promise).

But a few indulgences remained, among them a set of six Royal Vale tea cups, saucers and cake plates, which I’d picked up in my favourite charity shop about five years ago.

Yet, as much as I like to think I’m the kind of person who serves tea and cake on elegant bone china on a Sunday afternoon, the sad fact is, I’m not. And five years later, my beautiful white and cherry colour polka dots with gold rims were still languishing in a  cupboard completely unused.

For a while I thought I’d sell the set on ebay for a small profit, but never got round to doing it. I was just struggling to part with them really.

The Makery came to my rescue in the end. On a visit to their Emporium in Bath I spotted some lovely teacup pincushions on a shelf. A quick email chat  later and I had been tasked with turning my lovely tea cups and saucers into pincushions for the shop.

They really are a very simple make:

(1) Cut out a circle of fabric about 2in bigger all around than the saucer

(2) Sew a running stitch around the edge of the fabric and gather loosely by pulling the thread

(3) Stuff firmly with polyester stuffing or some spare wadding

(4) Pull the gathering thread tight and fasten off

(5) Glue the mini cushion into the bottom of the cup neatly – I used a glue gun

(6) Glue the saucer to the base of the cup – I used araldite – and leave to dry overnight. (And, I know the second one back on the right isn’t in the centre of the saucer! Happily, this pic is pre-araldite stage…)


I did waver a little when I delivered the finished goods a few days later, lingering in the shop much longer than necessary.

It is all win-win really though. I got to try out a new craft idea, I supported a business I like and, most importantly, my lovely but completely unused cups were no longer unseen and  taking up shelf space but were instead destined to go to people who actually would use them.

I still have the cake plates though…


4 Responses to “Anyone for tea?”

  1. Kyoko April 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    Hi Rosee,
    You are multi-talented. You can knit & sew 😀 They are so cute! I never thought of stuffing a tea cup to make pin cushions 😀 Such a great idea!
    I had my favourite charity shop but it closed because their lease had ran out! Couldn’t believe it…. There isn’t a nice charity shop near by anymore but I am planning to visit Southwark antique market in the near future to find some good stuff.
    Thank you for sharing your lovely tutorial 😀

    • Rosee Woodland April 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

      Thanks Kyoko – they were fun to make and didn’t take very long either, unlike some of my knitting projects!
      Sorry to hear about your charity shop closing down 😦 Mine was under threat a while ago as the site owner wanted to demolish the rank of shops, but ironically it’s been saved by the recession as he couldn’t afford to redevelop the land…


  1. Tutorial: how to make tea cup pin cushions - April 8, 2011

    […] She got the idea for tea cup pin cushions after a trip to local craft emporium The Makery and she’s put up a step-by-step guide to how to make your on her blog. […]

  2. Teapot plant pots « Nana taught me how - June 19, 2011

    […] you’ve got spare tea cups you love, you could use them too. Or make some tea cup pincushions, of […]

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