A Succulent in a Tea Cup!

A Succulent in a Tea Cup!

Tea Cup Succulent Planter

Well, it’s that time a year again - birds are chirping, trees are budding, and I’m guessing you’re beginning to think of what kind of plants to plant in your planters this season.

Now if you’re anything like me and kill everything green in sight yet love pretty greenery, I may just have the idea for you. And to take it one step further, I even have a plant you cannot kill (well you can but I promise it will be hard) in a container that is one of a kind! Oh yeah, I’m going to show you a planter all your friends will be jealous of and guess what, you’re going to make it on your own!


Isn’t it darling?!

This up-cycled little tea cup holds my favourite plant, called a succulent. These water storage cactuses are thick and fleshy, usually to retain water in lacking climates or soil conditions. In layman terms, the plant stores water meaning you can skip everyday waterings. BONUS!

Now when I mentioned “one of a kind” I bet you didn’t imagine this! I’m going to walk you though how to transfer your favourite word onto your tea cup. This text can be anything you want. If it’s for a friend or you’re giving it as a hostess gift, try thinking of a word that represents that person. For this lesson I’m going to use the text Be Awesome.

Alright, let’s get cracking. To start, you’re going to have to pick up a few things. Here is your shopping list:



  • 1. Vintage Tea Cup- $2-$5
    You can find these teacups at any Salvation Army, Thrift Store, ect. Look for a matching cup and saucer to get a finished look. However, if you are set on a specific cup and can’t find a matching saucer, don’t worry, it’s not mandatory. My only strong suggestion is to find a cup that allows space for your text with a clear space where your words can fit without overlapping an image or pattern.
vintage tea cup
  • 2. Marabu Porcelain Paint - $25/case for 6 colours. This case will last you hundreds of tea cups. If you plan to only do this one and only project then try looking for single jars.marabou paint
  • 3. Graphite paper - $8/pack These packs contain enough graphite paper to do many projects. You will use the graphite to transfer your text to your cup. When you trace over your word it will leave a dark, clean line that won't smudge. I love graphite paper because you can use it on woods, paper, porcelain, etc and it can be reused several times. With no wax or grease, it is easily painted over and does not bleed through.

graphite paper

4. Painter’s Tape - $3-$4 Green Painter’s Tape to hold graphite paper to cup.


painters tape
  • 5. Pencil - Rummage through that junk drawer. I know you have one.

  • 6. Words - FREE Print off your text using any printer. Try to keep your text large enough to be able to comfortably use your paint brush and see what your doing, and small enough that it’s not going to overpower the cup. One inch high is a good place to start.

  • 7. Fine paint brush - $1-$2Look for a very fine tip brush, natural is best. You can find these paint brushes at any Michael’s or Dollar Store.
fine paint brush
  • 8. Soil- $5-$8 per bag. A small bag of cactus soil is sufficient. Your local green house or any big box store will have soil.
cactus soil
  • 9. Succulent- $3-$10 per succulent. There are many different kinds of succulents so your best bet is to hit up your local greeor Home Depot and ask an expert to point out the succulent section. My favourite succulents are hens and chicks, and aloe vera. Below are a few images to help your search.
  • 10. Decorative Sand- $1-$3 per bag.This is for the final touch! Pick your favourite colour or one that accents your tea cup. These little bags can be found at any dollar store.
decorative sand

    Now that you have everything on your list, let’s start putting it all together.

    Simple Instructions:

    Take your text and line it up to your tea cup. Figure out where it fits best without running into images or pattern on the cup. Once you know where you’re placing your words, cut out a piece of graphite paper slightly larger than the text. Place the graphite paper, shiny side on the cup, and tape it in place. Over top of the graphite paper you will then place your word, line it up, and tape it in place.

    Line up tea cup to graphite paper

    Use your pencil to trace the outline of the word.

    trace word

    Remove the word and the graphite paper carefully, without smudging the traced word.

    remove graphite

    Paint will cover the graphite and any left over will rub off.

    Take your paint and paint brush and begin outlining and filling in your text. You may have to put 2-3 coats on depending on the colour used. Let each coat dry around 10-15 minutes. This paint takes 1-2 days to fully cure, so don’t wash the cup or put it in the dishwasher until it’s fully cured.


    fill in font with paint

    fill in font with paint

    Fill the tea cup with cactus soil.

    fill with cactus soil


    Plant your succulent in the middle of the soil.

    place succulent in cup

    Now finish with your colour preference of sand or rocks lightly dusted around your succulent.


    put colourful sand in

    rocks in tea cup

    Voila! You’re done!

    finished cup

    Again, I enjoy succulents ‘cause I can’t kill them but you can choose any small plant you want. Also, don’t be afraid with the wording. Some people get intimidated here but just remember, this is your time to be creative so let loose and just choose something that speaks to you. Maybe it’s a dirty word, maybe it’s insightful or just plain silly. Just let go and enjoy!

    Always Be Creating!!



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