Discover the Versatility of Vintage Tea Cups—They’re Not Just for Tea! - The Brooklyn Teacup

Discover the Versatility of Vintage Tea Cups—They’re Not Just for Tea!

Posted by Ariel Davis on

Drinking tea is a daily ritual for many millions of people around the world. If you’re like many Americans – as personified by the beloved character Ted Lasso you may not appreciate this acquired taste:

But teacups, our favorite vintage vessels, can be enjoyed and used even if you're not a fan of tea. These elegant pieces can be put to many creative and unexpected uses, such as serving non-tea beverages or appearing as decorative accents around your home. Whether you collect fine china or simply appreciate teacups' aesthetic appeal, there are many ways to utilize them. Here are some of our favorite ideas to inspire you to think outside the tea party.

Planters & Decorative Displays for Floral Arrangements:

Teacups being used as planters or decorative displays for small floral arrangements

Teacups make unique and charming planters for small plants and flowers. Simply fill the cup with soil, add small plants like succulents or flowers, and you’re pretty much ready to go. If you intend to grow the plant in your tea cup for an extended period, you’ll want to have a teacup planter with drainage so the excess water can flow through and escape.

Jewelry Holders:

Teacups and saucers being used to store beautiful pieces of jewelry, as a jewelry dish or a teacup stand

Tea cups are the perfect size to hold small pieces of jewelry, such as rings, earrings, and necklaces. They can be used to store jewelry on your dresser or on display in a showcase. We’re partial to elevated teacup stands that separate the teacup from the saucer and provide extra surface area for storing and showcasing your accessories. These make for lovely wedding details of the bands and engagement ring and any meaningful accessories you want to highlight in your wedding photos.

Serving Snacks & Sweets:

Dainty teacups filled with ice cream, sweets and desserts

Serving snacks or candies in a teacup and saucer or teacup snack stand is an equally charming idea that gives an extra oomph to any spread.  When it comes to hosting, we love putting out teacup stands for bar snacks, like almonds and pretzels; cocktail garnishes, like lime wedges and olives; and other nibbles. And who could resist a scoop of ice cream or yogurt parfait served in a dainty, personal teacup and saucer?

Whiskey in a Tea Cup (Champagne and mixed drinks too!):

Teacups being used in an outdoor party and a pre-wedding event for Champagne and other mixed drinks

We’re not the only ones who like to sip and savor beverages other than tea in our teacups. In Reese Witherspoon’s memoir "Whiskey in a Teacup," she explores what it means to be a "whiskey in a teacup" woman, a phrase her grandmother used to describe a woman who is refined on the outside but retains a bold and fiery spirit. We’ll toast to that, with champagne in our teacups!

We could go on and on about the different things we love using our teacups for, but just a few more favorites that make us feel extra cozy include hot chocolate, cider, cocktails, affogato, and soup!

Place Setting Décor & Napkin Art:

Using beautiful teacups for Napkin Art and Place Setting Decor

Enhance individual place settings at your next event with a beautiful and personal touch—try folding your napkin into a rose shape and using a teacup to hold its form. Another charming idea is to use a thin cloth or paper napkin to create an adorable, cottage-core inspired bow using the teacup handle. We learned about this darling detail from a viral TikTok video. 

Soap Dishes & Petite Catchalls:

Creative use of teacups and saucers as soap dishes and as catchalls for storing dainty rings or small trinkets on the nightstand

Tea cups and teacup saucers make lovely trinket trays and soap dishes. Perfect for decorative soaps in the guest bathroom or to give as gifts, they’re also ideal for storing rings next to the kitchen sink or keeping the jewelry and accessories you remove before bed in one place on a nightstand.

Tea Cup Candles:

Beautiful floral teacups used as vessels for candles to give that intimate and vintage ambiance

Tea cups are our favorite candle vessels for adding a cozy and intimate ambience to any space. Teacup candles can also be scented, which adds another layer of sensory delight. We love how burning our scented teacup candles reminds us of quiet moments sipping something soothing—or “spilling the tea” with friends and loved ones. Whether used for decoration, ambience, or as a thoughtful gift, tea cup candles are a delightful way to brighten up any space.


Teacups are both beautiful and practical items that can be used in many creative ways beyond just drinking tea. With a little imagination, you can turn your teacups into charming planters, jewelry holders, soap dishes and more. So the next time you’re looking for a little bowl or mug to serve or display something in, consider taking out one of your vintage tea cups and trying these creative alternatives first.

Whether you’re looking to repurpose your teacups, or simply want to try something new, these ideas are a great starting point. So go ahead and let your creativity run-neth over! We'd love to hear how you use your teacups. Leave a comment below to let us know.

If you’re looking to add to your teacup collection, check out our lovely assortment of luxury vintage tea cup and saucer sets. Already have teacups? Book a consultation to upcycle them into any of the unique pieces you see here.

teacups vintage china

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