DIYdiy projects

diy project: kate’s teacup candles

by Grace Bonney

crafter and all around awesome-girl kate pruitt will be joining d*s this month to share some fun, material-themed diy projects. she’ll be focusing on one material for the month and using it in a variety of different diy projects. for this month kate has chosen a material both she and i share an obsession with: ceramics! if you’re like us you probably have a surplus of cute cups and bowls sitting around the house, and maybe would like to refresh them. these teacup candles are super easy to make and would be nice little handmade gifts for the upcoming holidays…if you can bear to part with your treasures! click here for the full post and instructions or just click “read more” below happy crafting!

Kate’s Teacup Candles:

What You’ll Need

1. teacup (saucer optional) – i found most of these at a thrift store
2. wax (i used microwaveable soy wax from a craft store, but they sell all kinds)
3. candle wicks (at least 1″ taller than your cup)
4. candle scent or dye (optional)
5. microwaveable container
6. hot glue gun
7. thermometer


1. Clean your cup and saucer thoroughly and dry completely
2. Place your wick in the center of your cup and glue the base down with a dab of hot glue. You can also purchase sticky wax for this step, but glue works fine.
3. Heat wax and add in dye or scent according to package directions. Pour into container. You can gently adjust the wick to make sure it is straight after you poor the wax in.

4. Let sit until the wax is cool and solid
5. Trim wick down to 1/4″.


Suggested For You


  • I’ve done this project before and it is really gratifying to “rescue” old tea cups that have been resigned to a life in the cupboard.

  • WOW! i love this idea and will be incorporating it using what i find around nigeria. definitely looks like loads of fun…

  • I have collected vintage pottery for years (McCoy, Royal Copley, Roseville, etc) and this is a great way to take it from decorative to functional. Good idea for gifts too…give a candle and a piece of the past. Thanks for sharing!

  • I saw these on Martha Stewart a while ago and made some teacup candles for my friends for Christmas! Picked up some cute teacups at Goodwill and have been a fabulous addition to all of my friends’ vanity chests.

  • I am a big fan of this project! I’ve completed many teacup candles this year, and never seem to get tired of the project. Each cup has it’s only little story and is a great way to recycle old treasures (I also sometimes reuse old candles that won’t burn down any longer).
    I have a post this month about a few of my favorite teacup candles on my blog. Check it out if you get a minute! :)

  • How adorable! I would never have thought of this, but it would be so cute to do this for cups and mugs that you want to display, or for one-offs that you don’t use because you have a set.

  • Great idea! I actually have some teacups that I’m not too fond of (I got them at a gift exchange). I was actually thinking about painting them – any ideas on how?

  • Absolutely brilliant!! Can you use home fragrance oils (like the ones from the Body Shop) to make them scented?

  • I love this idea! I’ve been wracking my brain for Christmas gift ideas for a few friends and this is just what I was looking for!

  • Holy Christmas Presents, Batman!!! I’m doing handmade presents this year, and am stoked to add candles to the list. With a little thrift store ingenuity, the possibilities are endless!

  • SUCH a great project – really gives you something to look for while thrifting. We make these in a variety of fun bright colors and sell them on our etsy site. Come take a look!

  • Such a neat project!! I have some friends that love candles and I think I’ll make this for them for Christmas.

  • Thanks for sharing. I have always wanted to do this exact project, and had been put off by my formerly messy attempts. This looks manageable + easy.

  • Wow, that diy project sounds too good to be true. Are there any scents that can be used from typical household items? Will cinnamon or vanilla work?

  • Love the bunny picture in the background too! Love the teacups.. Off to the Op Shop to find me some teacups!

  • adorable! and what a pretty christmas gift this would make. hopefully this weekend while out junking i find some precious tea cups to rescue :)

  • I did something like this when I was in 5th grade- in 1975. I don’t think Martha or this site own this idea.

  • I seem to remember that the last time I tried making candles at home, I ended up with a lot of equipment covered in a thin layer of candle wax at the end. As nice as this idea sounds, the clean-up aspect needs to be thought of too. Sorry to be such a downer, but it’s no fun to ruin your favorite kitchen tool, so make sure you buy something dedicated for this purpose (unless someone has suggestions for easy and thorough cleanup).

  • I love this take on the candle idea! Thanks for sharing it.

    I hope you don’t mind but I wrote about it on my blog and linked back here.

    Have a great day!

  • My 4-year-old son & I just made one for his Nana out of her mum’s teacup. It looks great.

    I used that same soy wax and a pyrex measuring cup to melt it in. The thin film of wax was easily removed from the pyrex by running hot water in it and then wiping it out.

    And one $8 package made exactly three teacups. FYI

  • after seeing this idea last week, i went on my hunt for the perfect victorian teacups at the brooklyn flea! i got so lucky. found an amazing vendor who gave me deal! can’t wait to make these for hanukkah/xmas gifts for family!

    thanks for the amazing idea!

  • Debra,

    I’m so glad to hear that you didn’t have any clean-up problems! It could very well be that I’m remembering it wrong, or just that the soy wax is easier to remove. I’m very happy, as I’d like to do this project too!

  • i have not been able to stop thinking about these candles since i saw them here last week!!! must attempt this weekend!!!

  • I went out and bought me some wax! I was wondering (because I’m lazy) could I just put the wax in the cup and melt it in the microwave? Humph.

  • Can this get tagged as a DIY project? It would make it easier to find when searching on the d*s website. Thanks! :)

    (PS- I just made these and they’re sooo cute!)

  • thanks for the tutorial! ive been meaning to make these forever, but i didnt realize that the microwaveable soy wax was so readily available. i just made some and i’m in love. i tried adding lavender essential oil to my wax, so i cant wait til they are completely done so i can test it out.

    note about getting the wax out of your containers: place the container in the freezer until the wax freezes. it should be hard and pull away from the glass, making it easier to remove. this should also work for your teacups- once you’ve finished burning them, you can remove the old wax and refill them!

  • Thank you SO MUCH for posting these easy directions! I was wanting to make some this year and now I can. You’re my daily spotlight today.

  • i just bought tea cups on ebay!! now in the process of finding soy wax candle kits in melbourne.

    how much wax flakes would be required for 3 ?

    btw, such a brilliant idea!! thank you

  • Great DIY. I make and sell teacup candles, and I’m always telling people how easy it is. But you’ve proven it. And, YES, soy wax is water soluable so you can clean out the teacup with a hot, soapy sponge!

  • Wow! This is such a great project, I love it! I’m going to give it a go. No doubt there will be burning of fingers with wax :-)

  • My very talented sister has been making these as gifts for years. I think her original inspiration came from the project in Martha Stewart Living, but she’s been picking up great tea cups and saucers at yard sales, tag sales, and flea markets.

  • This is so great… I have a bunch of teacups that I love but I didn’t really know what to do with (besides drink tea out of them). I will definitely have to try this. Thanks!

  • the surface of mine totally came out bumpy and not smooth like yours – any reason why or know how to fix it? great idea, i made a bunch!

  • I found some really great teacups, and am going to make them next. Check out my articles tab to see pictures of the finished teacups if you like. The Salvation Army was a good place to look for teacups and saucers to use for gifts.

  • The perfect christmas gift! I’ve built up a collection of pretty teacups from local charity shops…ebay is too expensive especially with shipping costs. Also the Bon Maman jam jars make great candle containers :-)

  • Love this idea! I’m a major candle lover! I cannot wait to try this! Thanks so much!



  • I love this! I was trying to think of fun party favors for a tea party I am having in a few weeks….. this is perfect! :) Thanks

  • I am going to start making these for my tablescapes for my victorian wedding !! So nice !!!!!

  • I’m also making these as the favors for my wedding! It complements the centerpieces of candelabras and teapots with flowers on silver trays!

  • How many teacups can you make from 1 pound of the soy wax you are using?

  • Going to start this project today! I have many hand-me-down teacups of a bygone era that have been in storage for years. Time to make them useful and give as gifts or sell!

  • Love this idea! Will be a great Mother’s Day gift; she loves candles!
    Also, one of your teacups in the last post, I have the EXACT same one! :)

  • … is it possible to find ” scents” that are tea flavors ? Such as Earl Grey ? Where may I find them, please …. thank you, you made this project ,so approachable.