How To: Decorate Your Own Tea Set

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Title: Decorated Tea Set
Name: Aya Rosen
Time: 2 1/2 Hours
Cost: about $12

Wow, what great small project that allows you to be totally creative on a very functional household item. Easier than we thought, check out Aya's great instructions below...

teacups.jpg
BEFORE

TOOLS:

A tea set - I found mine at a local vintage store, it was 1.99 for the saucers and 2.99 for the cups. Pebeo Porcelaine 150 in Turquoise Pebeo Porcelaine 150 pen in black A paintbrush Tissue paper A jar for water

STEPS:

The coolest thing about painting porcelain or china dishes is that it's basically like drawing or painting on paper, you can do whatever you want, and limited only by your imagination and creativity. This can be used on any type of china, though I found that brighter lighter colors, and whites of course, works the best.

First of all you need to prepare a dish for painting. So wash it well, if there are price stickers on them, make sure all the glue is removed (I use GooGone, but turpentine does the job as well) then dry the dishes. The paint I use, Pebeo Porcelain, comes either in small plastic jars with a thick consistency, sort of like yogurt, or in a pen that has either regular or fine tip. I used the fine.

I draw the design straight on the cup, using a photo book for reference. If you are hesitant about drawing straight on the cup, you can sketch it first with a grease pencil or a watercolor based marker. The paint dry to touch very fast, so if you make mistakes, right away, before it dry, use a dump tissue paper to remove the error.

Once the pattern is done, I painted the background in the turquoise paint. Again, it dry to touch very quick, the paint can be diluted with water to create a lighter and more transparent effect. Try not to paint too thick, or the paint will last a shorter amount of time.

Once your are done, leave to dry for 24 hours then bake in a regular oven at 300F (150C). The paint is non toxic and claimed to be dishwasher safe (though I don't own a dishwasher so I haven't tested it myself). My designs are really elaborate, cause that's what i like to make, however, this method is so simple you can just get a few jars of paint and let your kids make your new designer tea set.

If you can't draw to save your life and don't have kids, try writing a poem or a favorite quote for a cool inspiring dish.

RESOURCES:

One of the most fun part of this project is the hunt for cool and inexpensive china, try the Salvation army store or flee market. Sometimes even a plain boring Ikea mug can be made into a special object if you put a cool design on it.

Originally published on 2009-02-10 as part of February Jumpstart - CB.

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.