Don’t pass up those cheap tea cups you see on your next thrift shopping trip. They’re perfect for starting a kitchen window herb garden!
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A few weeks ago I was invited to join the Upcycled Tea Cups project. I was thrilled, of course, and began churning up ways I could use a few cheap tea cups.
(If we’re being technical, I didn’t exactly upcycle my cups, but repurposed them instead – hopefully, I won’t get kicked out for that. 🙂 ).
I’m so ready to grow a garden again, and by January I’ve usually got some seeds started indoors. This year I’ve got some fantastic kitchen windows (for the first time ever) so I can skip the lights and depend totally on real sunlight, which is wonderful!
My all-time favorite plants to grow are herbs. I’ve started a few new ones this year and they’ll live in the kitchen window until they’re ready to move into the garden full-time.
Now that I’ve got those nice windows to grow in, recycled yogurt cups just won’t do! This year’s new herbs are growing in style in their own custom tea-cup planters.
If there’s a predictability to my projects, it’s paint. This one is no exception, so using “good” teacups was out of the question. I headed to the thrift store instead and found these Royal Majestic cups – which were likely someone’s “good” teacups at one time, but apparently no longer.
First, I gave those cheap teacups a couple of coats of white spray paint as a primer to cover the fruit trim.
Then for the design work I used:
- Cactus acrylic satin by Deco Art Americana
- Woodland Green acrylic satin by Deco Art Americana
- Chalky Finish for glass by Deco Art Americana
- Elegant Script stencil by Deco Art Americana
- jacobean floral stencil by Deco Art Americana
- Chalkboard paper sticker labels by Recollections
- 1/4″ and 3/8″ stencil brushes by Martha Stewart
- sponge brush
You would think painting a few cups would be pretty straight-forward, but it took me a few starts to decide exactly how I wanted them to look.
In the end, I went with the Cactus for the base of the cups, using a sponge brush (which you probably know is my absolute favorite brush to use these days.)
Next, I used the Elegant Script stencils to transfer one letter each onto four of the labels: H, E, R, and B.
The Chalky finish paint was perfect – even if it wasn’t glass I transferred to. 🙂
After popping the labels on each cup, I used Woodland Green to transfer a few random designs from the floral stencil onto the cups.
By the way, these labels are fantastic! They stick well but were also a breeze to reposition – because I have serious challenges with getting things straight.
Let’s just blame it on being left-handed.
Finally, the fun part – putting it all together. I scattered a little gravel in the bottom of each cup for drainage, added some potting mix, then plopped a peat pellet in each cup.
My baby herbs have only been growing for about 4 or 5 weeks, so they still have plenty of room before they’ll need to be transplanted. And in case you wonder, I’m growing thyme, chives, oregano, and basil.
I found the little black tray at a yard sale a couple of years ago and it fit four cups perfectly.
It makes it easy to rotate the entire collection each day to keep the herbs from getting too leggy.
And that’s my cheap tea-cup project! What do you think? Will you make your own kitchen window herb garden?
Don’t forget to visit my pals and see the creative ways they used their cups: