I’ve been messing around with paper. I’m not sure exactly why I decided to make paper tea cups, but inspiration hit over the holidays and I couldn’t find one online. Hence the gauntlet was thrown down! I had to make one. It took me a lot longer than I anticipated. But I’m ecstatic with the results! This is by far and away my favourite template/ tutorial so far. AND I’ve got another version of it almost ready to upload next week.
These would be perfect as use for cupcakes, biscuits, little presents, used as gift boxes or just as gorgeous packaging. Paint them, embroider them, bedazzle them… The options are endless! I created a lid template so it becomes a very usable gift box but I had a lightening bolt moment last night and I’m now sure I’ve worked out how to make a lid that sits inside the cup so that the pretty outer lines of the tea cup aren’t ruined. I’ll include it with the other version of the tea cup that I’ll upload next week.
To create this project you’ll need an A4 piece of card at least 160gsm in weight (that’s what I used). I used my Graphtec plotter cutter to create this project, but you could with a little time, use an x-acto knife to cut it out. I used a very strong and quick drying gel adhesive (think superglue strong) that allowed me to put it together quickly and accurately. But it is also very unforgiving and I did stick my fingers to the first cup a couple of times! If you’re a little concerned you could easily use small pieces of double sided tape or another preferred adhesive.
The handle, by far the most fussy part, is created by using the three pieces above.
Fold along the score lines on the long strip.
Fold along the score lines on each of the handle sides.
Then glue the tabs on one side of the handle strip to the inside of a handle side, bending the strip so that it aligns with the outer edge of the handle side. Don’t panic about a little bit of glue being seen on the inside at this point, you won’t be able to see it on the finished product.
To glue the other side on, fold the tabs on the unglued side of the middle strip so that they’re at 90 degrees and apply adhesive to the outside. Align the other handle side with the tabs, you may need to use a small pencil or skewer to get inside the handle and align the tabs up neatly.
To complete your handle just make sure that the tabs on each of the handle sides are folded in. It’s these tabs that you glue to the cup bowl.
Put aside the handle and take the two large circular windmill pieces. Fold along the score lines and overlay the two pieces as shown. I’ve marked a small circle at the centre of each of the pieces to help align them if you need. Don’t glue the pieces together in the centre! If it’s slightly off your whole teacup will be a bit twisted. If you’re worried, temporarily place a pin through the centre circles and use them to align the pieces.
Glue the first centre tab on the side of each windmill arm to its adjacent windmill arm (as shown above). Make sure that the edge of each arm is aligned with the score line on its sister piece. Doing the centre pieces first makes sure that your tea cup bowl doesn’t twist.
At this point you continue to glue the arms together up to the top edge of the teacup bowl.
This is the view of the bottom of your tea cup bowl when it’s complete.
Don’t panic if your tops don’t align perfectly. Just trim them off neatly with scissors when you’re finished.
To put the tea cup base together, take the two small windmill pieces and put them together in exactly the same manner as the tea cup bowl.
The final step requires glueing the tea cup base to the tea cup bowl, aligning with the centre circles to do so accurately. And then glueing the handle to your tea cup in your preferred location. The base of the tea cup handle doesn’t glue on in it’s entirety as I was unable to replicate the angle perfectly and each cup can be slightly different. I could have rectified it but I really like how it sits out a little and so looks more like a ‘real’ cup.
And here’s the final product! What do you think?
I lined the cups with small paper doilies and made some cute gluten-free shortbread tea bags to put in them. The recipe can be found here.
For the lid, cut out the two pieces and after folding along the score line, glue the tabs on the long strip to the inside of the lid top, aligning with the outside of the circle. It’s really quite quick and easy.
Update: I’ve created a much prettier lid for this cup template. You can find it here.
Update #2: Well over 40,000 people have downloaded this template in the past 4 years! But recently, it appears a handful are having issues with downloading it.
To download the templates, you need to click on the ‘Download’ text below. This will download a .ZIP file containing the PDF files you require. You need to ‘unzip’ this file- this is usually done automatically on your computer by double clicking on it.
The PDF files the .ZIP contains are locked, and need to be opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader (free download here). If you try to open the file with other software it will often show up as locked, or will show all the layers overlapping.
I hope you have fun putting it together. I’ve loved receiving all your photos, emails, and messages showing me your gorgeous creations!