DIYdiy projects

diy project: sarah’s china teaware lamp

by Kate Pruitt

I’ve seen a few lamps of this kind available in stores lately, but they are all a bit pricey; it’s clearly a great design that is begging for a DIY version. So I’m thrilled to see someone tackle this very feat and with such great results! Sarah Goodwin, designer and founder of the creative firm Daisies & Pearls, created this custom design for a local bakeshop — perhaps the most perfect spot for a porcelain teaware lamp.

The hardest part is sourcing such lovely porcelain pieces, but once you’ve found them, the steps are remarkably easy. I love the mixture of solid white and patterned pieces, and I’m tempted to challenge myself with a floor lamp version! Thanks for sharing, Sarah! — Kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • lamp kit (available at most hardware stores)
  • strong ceramic adhesive
  • teaware (cups, saucers, teapots, etc.)
  • plate with fluted edges for the base
  • drill press or corded/battery-operated drill*
  • tile/glass drill bit*

* You can check out our first DIY 101 to learn more about drills and the different kinds of bits!


1. Submerge each piece of teaware in a tub of cool water prior to drilling to prevent the tile/glass drill bit from overheating during the drilling process. Carefully drill a hole in the center of each piece.

Editor’s note: When drilling all the way through a material, it helps to place the item on top of a piece of scrap wood to protect the surface beneath and to provide support for the material.

2. Now that the hard part is over, the design process can begin. Decide how the teaware should be stacked, taking in to consideration the lamp-kit wiring instructions. Begin gluing the pieces together. I found that working in sections is best. As the lamp is stacked, pull the wire through each section.

3. Once the adhesive is dry, finish the wiring and assembly per the lamp kit’s instructions.


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  • Wow, Drilling through the china was not remotely easy, We went through two drill bits and broke like 5 things and only have 4 things drilled. Not nearly as easy as I was lead to believe

  • Sweet…I think a white lampshade better…you have a wonderful imagination..so whimsical and lovely. I’m going to shop for some lower priced thrift finds for mine.

  • adorable but I would find it so hard to hurt such pretty teacups! although this way they’re not in some cabinet, they’re displayed and well lit all the time!

  • I thought the same thing as someone above, incredibly whimsical and Alice-in-Wonderland. I actually really like it! I don’t have any tea cups or pots, but it’d be worth it to attempt this unique lamp! <3

  • The key to this project is to get the right drill bit. Get the one that is cylindrical with the rough tip as opposed to the one with a spade shaped tip. I made two with ten pieces each and didn’t break a single piece.

  • Awesome! My grandma is an antique dealer. Going over to her house this weekend to see if there’s anything I can have. I really want to make this for a friend. It looks awesome!

  • I Love Love Love this! Reference the drilling, it might be better to get a few extra pieces to try out. And the floor lamp, maybe you could start with different sizes of books, turned all different ways. Then about half way up start the china & or silver. In my mind it looks so neat.

  • Forgot to add to above: Use an old encyclopedia or any large book for the base of floor lamp. So the base is strong and wide to balance the lamp so it doesn’t topple over.

  • This lamp is at a tea shop by my house in Maine! How fun to see this page posted to pinterest and know the exact lamp and location of this place! Sweet Love is memorable from the tea cup lamp to the delicious lemon bars!

  • .Adorable! You are so creative and I love the linen shade!! All one color would take away from its whimsyness, which I’m sure was the look and feel you were going for.

  • Just as a thought… but I think it would be super cute to use a top hat like the mad hater hat as a shade! Just google over sized top hats! I am definalty going to tray this! You can go with all different kind of themes with this idea!

  • I LOVE THIS TUTORIAL!!!!I just wish people would take the instructions at face value and stop picking things apart ie: don’t like the shade, or there is too much pattern!, If you can’t say something nice KEEP your opinions to yourself! It is a wonderful lamp and it looks wonderful with the shade. Look at the room it’s in! Its PERFECT! The colors are great and the shade looks terriffic! You did a GREAT job and when other people decide to make this lamp, they can change whatever they want! Its beautiful Kate.. and thank you for the tutorial and I am definitely going to make this.

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