Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tea Time Treats

As a Mum, I know how busy this time of year can be. When my daughters were still at Primary School, the weeks seemed to fly by and all of a sudden Christmas would be upon us. The children's teachers played such an important roll in their young lives, that I always wanted to show my appreciation for this with a small gift that I had created with the girls at the end of the school term.

These tea cup gift sets were always a big hit and if you are a slightly harassed mother, looking for a little present for your child to offer at Christmas time, then I hope this helps. A quick trip to a charity shop or car boot sale should turn up a pretty vintage cup and saucer, or perhaps you have a set to spare in your kitchen cupboard.

My first suggestion (to make without the children, for obvious safety reasons) would be a Christmas candle. Carefully melt a small church candle in a foil dish over a saucepan of boiling water. Save the wick and place it into the centre of the cup (You can secure it with a dab of PVA glue in the bottom of the cup if you wish.) You will need to support it upright in the middle with a pencil placed across the rim of the cup.
Carefully pour the wax into the cup around the wick and allow to set. You could add aromatherapy oils or lavender flowers too. Keep a little wax back as it may need topping up, as sometimes a well appears around the wick.
A simpler idea to do WITH the children are these bulb planters. Choose a small variety of flowering bulb and plant in a little compost, or buy them ready planted in pots and split them up into the cups. Dress the top with sphagnum or Spanish moss.
If time is short, pick some festive leaves and berries from your garden and create a small posy tied with ribbon and place it in the cup or tied to the handle.
For a retro girl fill a 1950's kitsch rose printed tea cup with yummy chocolate truffles or other festive sweets. (Incidentally, I hang these 'Lindt Lindor' truffles with ribbons from our Christmas tree, as they are so delicious and look like little Xmas baubles.)

For an older teacher perhaps, tie a lavender filled heart made from vintage fabric to the cup handle and fill with pretty hankies or lace.

The cups can be presented inside a large square of cellophane gathered up around it and tied with festive ribbons and trims.
Maybe your china is pretty enough to be received as it is or fill with small gift ideas of your own, such as soaps and bath cubes or speciality tea bags. Pincushions can be another fun alternative too.
In today's very commercial world, I think these little tea cups make a sweet statement that you care enough to make the effort to say 'thank you'. I am sure they would also make a welcome gift to an elderly neighbour, or have a couple to hand for unexpected guests over the festive season.
Have fun!


  1. Anonymous10:43 am

    Well I would be delighted to receive anyone of them.

  2. THANK YOU Niki!!!!! I have lots of teachers to give pressies to this year (one of them is my friend) and I'm always stumped what to give them. I just happen to have an assortment of cups and saucers to use as well. Ta very much

  3. Anonymous1:29 pm

    absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Such precious ideas, Niki! I have oodles of teacups and saucers at home (and I'm forever on the lookout for more). We have quite a few male teachers in town at the elementary school level. My daughter has a "man teacher" this year as all the kids call them! lol What I've done in the past for "man teachers" is a nice mug/coffee beaker with a package of hot chocolate. My sons have ladies for teachers, so I think they'll receive your lovely teacup ideas this year! Thank you! =)

  5. Niki
    It's times like this that I wish I was a teacher if I was on the receiving end of one of these gorgeous gifts.
    Lovely alternative idea to the usual boxes of chocs and much more imaginative and personal. Michelex

  6. Anonymous5:17 pm

    Those are just so beautiful Nikki, what lovely ideas you have. Jackiexx

  7. I'm so happy I found your beautiful blog. Super ideas with the coffee cups... and everything else; each posting takes my breath away!

    May I please add you on my list of favorites?

    kind regards from Finland,

  8. What a nice blog site, saw your comment on Marja's site and though I would take a look. I just adore the bulbs in the cups, and the candles, how clever and pretty.
    Lynn x

  9. Niki,
    Those are adorable. Great ideas.
    Thank you,

  10. Anonymous9:12 pm

    This is such a great idea! Thank you! I especially love the ones with the flower bulbs :-)

  11. Hi Niki

    What lovely ideas! I particularly like the one filled with chocolates - they are one of my favourite types of chocolate!!! (Note I have more than one...)

    I'm sure you've given inspiration to mums all over the world with these delightful gift suggestions!

    Clare x

  12. Hi Niki

    More clever ideas from the Stonehouse! You never cease to amaze me! I'm with Clare on the Lindor choccies ... but I think I might have to try the candle idea. What a shame I have no teachers to buy for!

    Sue xx

  13. Nikki, Your ideas with the teacups are inspiring. It will be pincushions forme as well as the candle idea, and the bulb one too.Vintage teacups are more plentiful in the Mother Country but I will keep an eye out. I enjoy your blog. Gives me a taste of England. Lena

  14. Thanks for the fab ideas. No teachers to get pressies for but be good for other little things for people.

  15. Oh Niki!

    I hope you are doing fine! Unfortunately, it's been a while since I last visited your side! I'll try to catch up with your recent posts this coming week-end because everything looks so inspring over here! ;-))

    I wish I would be a teacher and get some of your lovely gifts! What a wonderful idea! The tea cups look absolutely gorgeous! And I very much like the way you displayed them in front of those cushions!

    Enjoy those days before Christmas as much as you can! ;-))

    Best wishes from Germany,

  16. They are beautiful thank you for sharing with us all Niki. I am sure you will get a lot of bloggers having ago.

    What do you do for a single male teacher though:)) I can just see his face when I turn up with my delicate china for him LOL.

    best wishes Ginny

  17. Absolutely Charming!

    Thank you for so many lovely ideas!

  18. Ohhhhh, thank you Niki for the great ideas and how the make them!

  19. Anonymous4:49 pm

    I love tea cups and these little gift ideas are just perfect! Love them all. It would be fun to do displays like that around the house too.

  20. These are wonderful gift ideas and so simple. I would regard these as a precious treasure were I to receive such a teacup. Thank you for the inspiration.

  21. Hi Niki, Thank you so much for your kind comments about my dolls, it is very much appreciated.I often pop over to see how you are getting on, it's a great blog. I enjoyed this post very much and it has given me some ideas for gifts for Poppy's lovely teacher.Best Wishes from Annie x

  22. ooooh how i love the tea cups, they are so very special..
    great ideas on using them...

  23. Great post, so lovely!
    Sandra Evertson

  24. Anonymous4:42 am

    What a fabulous idea. So inventive and pretty. I am always looking for ideas for the children's teachers.


  25. You are a genius Niki!
    Teacher nothing! I'm doing this for me :) Oh that is not nice, is it?

  26. Niki, what fabulous ideas! Wish I'd thought of them back when my daughter was giving presents to her teachers. These are wonderful and who wouldn't be happy to receive them?

  27. What a fabulous idea Niki! and I have so many odd tea cups and saucers! thank you for the inspiration!

  28. Thank you for these wonderful ideas for christmas presents. I will go to a garage sale tomorrow morning and I hope that I can find some lovely vintage cups there.
    Have a nice weekend, Monika

  29. I love your sweet gift ideas Niki! I will have to try that... I never thought to melt the wax and pour it in!

  30. What wonderful ideas! Lord knows I have enough cups!

  31. How generous you are to share all of these ideas.

    I don't know how I could part with them when I got them finished tho.


  32. Anonymous5:22 am

    I really like the bulbs, even for myself to brighten everything up after I pack Christmas away. I found your blog since my blog name is similiar.

  33. Hi Niki, isn't that funny about the Antiques and Tat place, what a small world! I didn't stand much of a chance really, did I - ha ha! It's lovely to find places like that though, not enough of them around here - at least that I have found. I'm sure Cath Kidston knows where they all are!!!
    Have a good week,

  34. Love those tea cups. What great ideas for those lonly ones you find here and there.

  35. Those are some terrific ideas! Thank you very much.

  36. Brilliant idea! xoxo nita

  37. I can't thank you enough for this post... my problems-a-plenty are solved. xxxx

  38. Niki-
    This is one of those posts that just gets my heart aflutter and has me scrambling for a notebook to make a shopping list! I LOVE these ideas for the teacups!
    I have several elderly neighbors that will love one of these treasures.
    Thank you for the thoughtful ideas.
    Merry Christmas!


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx