Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Umbrella Collective: Up-Cycling Cups and Saucers

Time is passing too quickly these days. I don't understand how it's Tuesday again, I really don't. 

So before I start on this week's Umbrella Collective post, I just want to say that I don't know how much I'll be posting over the next few days. I definitely WANT to, but I currently don't have a lot of time. What with being out of the house 11 hours a day for work and having to get 7 hours sleep a night (or I'm the worst person to be around), on top of other general actual life things, I really don't have that much spare time at the moment to write here and read other blogs. So please bear with me, fingers crossed things will be back to some sort of normality next week.

ANYWAY. Back to the actual post.



Rhiannon came up with the idea for this Umbrella Collective challenge- she, AmyLaura and I had to UPCYCLE something.

I'm guessing you already know what upcycling is, but if not, it's where you take something you already have and alter it to make something all cool and new. Which is where of course I failed as I went out and bought the bits I needed especially for this post. (Have I ever actually followed the rules for one of these challenges? Here are all the past posts if you want to check)

I'm actually pretty good at throwing away things I don't use- I sort of follow that rule that you should never have anything in your home which isn't either beautiful or useful- so at first, I had no idea what to make. But then I remembered this post on Design Mom and having seen similar things on Pinterest, thought that something along those lines would be good.

Now if you haven't actually clicked on that link (and I wouldn't blame you, I often don't til I've read the whole post...) what I'm referring to is the idea of drawing on a plain mug/ plate/ cup/ bowl etc with a Sharpie (other brands of permanent marker are available) to create a whole new, pretty much unique, item. 

So that's what I did! And if you'd like to do similar, here are some instructions...


To begin, get a plain white plate, mug, bowl, or (in my case, and aptly given the blog title) a cup and saucer. This set was £3 from Tesco but you can blatantly get them cheaper than that as they aren't even Tesco Value. Keep your eyes peeled for bargains!

Then... get creative with your Sharpies!! I think they have to be permanent markers- well, let's face it, we all know that ordinary felt tip pens wouldn't work.

My original plan was to write quotes around them, and I spent ages thinking of lines from poems and books that I liked. I actually wrote "There is no problem so great or so grave that cannot be greatly diminished by a nice cup of tea" on one, then decided against it- and if you do that, warm soapy water will get rid of it at this point.

Eventually, I decided on this design- isn't it cute!? (Even if I do say so myself) And I was pretty proud, because something as simple as this is difficult to mess up, even if you are as artistically challenged as I am.


I originally liked the idea of two different designs, but loved this one so much I stuck with it, but in a different colour, for cup and saucer number two...



Once you are 100% happy with your design, pop your items onto a baking tray in the oven, and bake at 180C for 30 minutes- I brought mine up to temperature with the oven (still only leaving them in there for 30 minutes) because I was afraid of them cracking- but I'm not sure that this is actually a problem. And if you want to make absolutely certain that your design will stick, spray with some sort of sealant. I didn't do this so have no wisdom other than this. Sorry.


Then, when they've been in the oven for 30 minutes, take out carefully (no smashed crockery please) and leave them to cool completely before filling with tea.


And if you want to give someone you love a surprise, pop a little design in the bottom of the cup! I once saw  a mug with "Marry Me" written in the bottom on Pinterest. Future Husband, if you're reading, that's a bloody stellar idea and I probably wouldn't say no. 


So there we have it! My attempt at upcycling- and I think I succeeded, as I made my plain white cups and saucers much prettier than they were before. What do you think though? 

Don't forget to look at RhiannonAmy, AND Laura's posts to see what they made- I'm sure they're far more creative than my attempt!

30 comments:

  1. I WANT TO DO THIS SO BAD AND I DON'T EVEN DRINK OUT OF A TEA CUP! Although, I guess I could do it with a mug, too.

    Rapidly thinking of up and coming birthdays, everyone will be getting these. Sorry, friends!

    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could do it on a mug, or a TEAPOT!! That's my next plan, I think... but yes, they would make the most adorable presents, I'd be thrilled if someone gave me one!! xx

      Delete
  2. Love this. I did this for my mum and sister for Christmas this past year. I found tea pots with cups and saucers and had my boys decorate them.

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh getting kids to do it would be amazing- I am TOTALLY getting my little sister to do this for her mum for Christmas, she'd love it!! xx

      Delete
  3. I find so many amazing ideas on Pinterest! I think I saw the 'Marry Me' cup too! These are adorable, how easily could you make these and sell them on?!
    Business idea a'blooming!

    Jess x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh the marry me cup just melted my heart. If I ever get into a relationship which looks like it's heading for marriage, I'll be sure to drop hints about it!!! They would be amazing to sell on- I'd buy a cup as cute as this!! xx

      Delete
  4. I have to do this!!! They are super cute :) Great post :)

    Rachel @ AMomentInTime.

    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely do, they're so so simple and turn out even better than I expected! xx

      Delete
  5. THESE ARE SO PRETTY ALICE! Sorry for the cap lock but wow! So sweet. I tried this before with sharpies and it didn't stick, maybe I didn't bake them for long enough.

    Em x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww thank you! So far, they seem to be sticking ok, so not sure what I did that you didn't... but chances are they won't last long. We'll say that that's the beauty of them, maybe!? xx

      Delete
  6. I love them! I would so buy them in a shop if I saw them. The little heart at the bottom is just a cute little added extra touch. Amazeballs x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rhiannon!! I love the little heart at the bottom too, it makes me smile! xx

      Delete
  7. Oh man, I really want to do this!!x

    ReplyDelete
  8. i looove the little heart at the bottom of your cup! i love when cafes' have something like that at the bottom of their house porcelain. :) yay for beautifying (upcycling i mean!) your cup!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, it's like my favourite bit too! It's so cute, and so unexpected when you reach the bottom of the cup when you're out somewhere and there's something at the bottom! xx

      Delete
  9. That 'marry me' cup has got to be the sweetest idea ever! I love your designs, i might have to steal them ;)
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it the cutest idea!? Go for it, I'm sure I'm not the first to do this- let me know how you get on! :) xx

      Delete
  10. I made the most awesome Harry Potter mug by doing this (if I do say so myself) but it washed off straight away :( I was absolutely devastated because I'd seen so many on pinterest! Let me know if yours works a little better. I would love to know your secret! I'm a new follower by the way :)

    Sunae xx
    http://little-foal.blogspot.com.au

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no!! So far, it seems to be ok- but then that could just be luck! Thanks lovely, glad to have you on board! :) xx

      Delete
  11. Ah these mugs are so cute! Sucha great idea :) x

    http://Heidi-likes.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Heidi, glad you like them! xx

      Delete
  12. such a great idea for the collective posts! me and my brother used to this kind of thing when we were kids, my granny still has thousands of mugs with our crappy doodles all over them! your drawings are anything but crappy tho (i saw the photos of them before i realised you'd done them and thought they were professional haha!), also, that set for £3 aint bad at all! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh that's so cute! I think we used to do it on paper plates- slightly less hard-wearing haha! Wow, thanks! This is about the limit of my artistic skills though...!! xx

      Delete
  13. Absolutely love this post, such a good idea, i'll definitely be trying this out!

    Sophie x

    www.sophie-acrosstheuniverse.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely should- it's pretty good fun doing them actually, gets the creative juices flowing :) xx

      Delete
  14. Oh I love these!!! Such a fabulous idea, I categorically stealing this for a gift idea, thank you Alice xx

    Kate x

    Just Pirouette and Carry On...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They would make SUCH good gifts- I'm thinking of doing some for a housewarming present for a friend myself! xx

      Delete
  15. Definitely doing this as a gift... :D Love these!!

    I definitely want a pair for myself though.
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't they adorable!? Make some for yourself first "as an experiment", maybe?! Hahaha x

      Delete

I absolutely love comments, and do my very best to reply to them all- if you have a specific question, try tweeting me @cupsaucerblog