a quick cup of tea


Today I present to you — a teacup book­mark, with a hang­ing tea tag! :D Pos­si­bly a father’s day gift for a tea-drink­ing, book-lov­ing dad?

Or for any­one who enjoys a good cup of tea. And a good book. At the same time.

So! Instead of favourite things Fri­day this week I’m going to share how I made this teacup book­mark, because one can only do so much in a week, and I’ve had this idea in my head for a while now. It was some­thing that Mike has seen some­where and told me about it, and I was inspired by the Vic­to­ri­an Tea we had at the Toll­house.

It may look like there are lots of steps, but it’s actu­al­ly a pret­ty quick project. It prob­a­bly took me under an hour to make all three, and that’s with my pic­ture-tak­ing.

So! It’s time to get out the glue and scis­sors!

… and a bunch of oth­er stuff… here are all the mate­ri­als and tools I used.

  • Used gift bags (one could use oth­er kinds of paper as well, but I thought gift bags would be a good idea because it’s coat­ed, so it’s slight­ly heav­ier and more durable than, say, con­struc­tion paper, and they have nice pat­terns. And because I save them when peo­ple give me gifts and I have tons on hand)
  • Cot­ton thread (I used cro­chet thread because that’s what I have, but thin yarn or kitchen twine should work too).
  • A glue stick
  • A mark­er (or pen)
  • Scis­sors
  • A thick tapes­try needle
  • A util­i­ty knife
  • White glue
  • A ruler (if you want to be pre­cise)
  • A cut­ting mat (or some­thing to cut on, like old mag­a­zi­nes)
  • Teacup tem­plates

I made up this project part­ly to learn how to use Illus­tra­tor, par­tic­u­lar­ly draw­ing sim­ple shapes and curves. So I made this set of tem­plates with dif­fer­ent teacups and a tea mug. Just click on either the image or the link above it and it will bring up a PDF file. Print it at 100% and you’ll get the same size teacups as the ones I made (each is 3 inch­es wide).

First, I cut out a tem­plate. It might be eas­ier to cut out the part inside the teacup ear with a util­i­ty knife. (Or teacup han­dle? It’s “cup ear” in Chi­ne­se and I’ve always called it that…)

Next, I traced the tem­plate on a part of the bag with the pat­tern that I liked. (I used a Sharpie for this so it’s eas­ier to pho­tograph, but one could use a pen or a pen­cil)

Then I removed the side of the bag where it’s fold­ed, so it would be eas­ier to cut out the teacup.

Then I cut along the top edge of the teacup, and the gen­er­al area around the teacup through BOTH lay­ers of the bag.

So now we have two pieces, with a straight edge at the top.

I then cut a piece of cot­ton thread, about 5 inch­es in length.

I tied a knot close to one end of the thread. Then I placed a drop of white glue on the back of the piece that doesn’t have the teacup trac­ing on it, about 3/4 inch from the top edge. I then put the end of the thread into the drop of glue, with the knot just below the glue, like so…

Then I cut out a scrap piece of paper (from the cut-off of the tem­plate) about 1/2 inch tall and 1 inch wide. I glued this piece of paper on top of the thread and glue dot, with the knot stick­ing out, like so…

The thread is now locked in and won’t get pulled out eas­i­ly.

I then slather a gen­er­ous amount of glue from a glue stick onto the back of the piece with the teacup trac­ing on it (not white glue, or the paper will buck­le), and then pressed it onto the piece with the string, lin­ing up the top straight edges of the two pieces (it’s OK if the oth­er edges don’t line up, as long as the top edges are lined up).

Wait a moment or two for the glue to dry com­plete­ly, then cut out the teacup shape. Again, it’s prob­a­bly eas­ier to use the util­i­ty knife to cut out the inside part of the mug ear (aka mug han­dle).

Ta-da! We’re almost done!

Now for the tea tag. One could do lots with it, like write a mes­sage (like hap­py father’s day?), make a mono­gram (cut out a let­ter from the mag­a­zine?), or just leave it blank. But here’s what I made…

I sal­vaged the fold­ed side of the bag that I removed ear­lier, and cut out a 1“x2” rec­tan­gle, then fold­ed it in half, with the white side fac­ing out.

I then cut out some tea leaves on one half with the util­i­ty knife (free-hand too! I was pret­ty proud of myself).

I then used a tapes­try needle to poke a hole through the mid­dle of the fold.

Then I thread­ed the end of the thread (with the oth­er end already attached to the teacup) through the hole. I then slather a gen­er­ous amount of glue with the glue stick on the half of the paper with the leaf design. I placed the thread end on mid­dle fold of the paper, so it lied along the fold, then I put a drop of white glue on the thread.

Fold the top down and… ta-da! A one-of-a-kind paper-cut tea tag!

And guess what? The book­mark is ready to mark those pages! :D

I also made a pink one, with a flow­er tea tag, for an herbal tea kind of day…


Now I’m going to make myself a nice cup of tea. Thanks for stop­ping by! Have a great week­end!


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44 thoughts on “a quick cup of tea

  1. Won­der­ful and delight­ful project, thank you! Your PDF works per­fect­ly! This will be a nice project for my daugh­ters to com­plete for their teach­ers next week (end of school-year here). We’re near Chicago, Illi­nois, and it is a long hol­i­day week­end for us (Memo­ri­al Day). 

    Thanks again!

  2. Great project, and you should be proud of those free­hand leaves—they real­ly popped out at me when I ini­tial­ly looked at your pho­tos. I won­dered where you got the stamp for them, haha. 

    I print­ed out your tem­plate (and thank you for it, I love the teacup shapes!), hope­ful­ly I’m going to work a felt teacup into a lit­tle mon­ster-plush I’m sewing today. I’ll send a link if it works out! :)

    1. i actu­al­ly have some flo­ral / leaf punch­es made by fiskars, but they went dull after punch­ing 120 wed­ding invi­ta­tions…

      i’m glad you can find oth­er uses for the teacup tem­plates! they were fun to make and I learned a lot from draw­ing them. i’d love to see the mon­ster-plush! hap­py craft­ing!

      1. @ Trish You can revive and sharp­en your punch­es by fold­ing tin foil up just enough so it fits in your punch-then punch the tin foil sev­er­al times until the punch is sharp again. Hope this helps. In real­ly extreme cas­es of dull­ness I also have filed mine sharp just like you would a chain­saw blade or a kitchen knife.

  3. Trish,

    I think your teacup project is an excel­lent idea!!!!!! When I came upon your link I was just search­ing for teacup designs. But as a Pre- School Teacher I feel it’s an won­der­ful small group project for my daughter’s (who is also a teacher) Pre- K Class, espe­cial­ly for Father,s Day! 

    Car­la G.
    Sacra­men­to, Ca.

  4. Hi love­ly designs of tea cups, I am going to scrap book a tea cup design for an invite to a High Tea.
    I am also going to add inside the tea cup a tea bag, that will make an impres­sion.
    Kind regards

  5. Hi Trish. Very cool craft. I plan on mak­ing the tea ones but also try­ing my hand at cof­fee themed ones. May­be hav­ing “cof­fee beans” on the end of the string; just for some vari­ety. Want to make a huge bunch to donate to our local col­lege library. Thanks so much! Greet­ings from B.C. :)

  6. I just made 2 of the­se- one for me and one for my sis­ter. They’re quick cute projects. I love them and will defi­nate­ly be check­ing out more of your DIY projects!

  7. I made one of the­se and I want do oth­er. I also have wrote in my blog how to do it.

    I’m span­ish. So I just “trans­lat­ed” to my lan­guage and I added my expe­ri­ences.
    Hope you don’t mat­ter.

  8. Thank you thank you! What a well mate­ri­al end, sim­ple, sweet, easy, DIY! Thank you for the tem­plate too. We are head­ed to a tea/book lovers house today, for Christ­mas. This will be the PERFECT com­bi­na­tion hand­craft­ed gift! We decid­ed only hand­made gifts and orna­ments to give this year! The house looks like steady assem­bly line with all of them! The kids and I will work on our own ver­sions of this fan­tas­tic idea!

  9. I am going to make mine out of fab­ric instead of paper so they will last longer- also I thought I might lam­i­nate the teacup and tag.

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