Transform Your China
What is "upcycling"?
We define "upcycling" as the process of converting, transforming or reinventing an otherwise old or discarded item into something of higher quality or value. Kind of like recycling, but better!
What do you charge to upcycle my china?
- We charge a flat fee of $15 to (delicately, lovingly) drill through each piece of china you supply, whether it's a plate, teacup, saucer, or soup bowl, and $10 per unit of metal hardware. (Taxes and delivery fees not included).
- There is a $150 minimum for all upcycling orders. See pricing for all configurations on the Transform Your China page here.
Can you do anything with odds-and-ends pieces from my china set?
- Yes! We are often able to incorporate your most seldom used vintage pieces into delightful and intriguing tiered stands.When in doubt, send us a picture—We love finding ways to use your cereal bowls, cake plates, creamers and even gravy boats!
- If you'd prefer to donate these pieces instead, we'd be happy to bring it to our friends at Big Reuse, an environmental nonprofit based in Gowanus, Brooklyn that is dedicated to combating climate change.
What if one of my pieces breaks in the drilling process?
- Given the fragile and sometimes temperamental nature of vintage china, pieces will occasionally break during the drilling process. It makes us sad...but these things happen!
- Please do not give us anything you feel is truly irreplaceable for sentimental or monetary reasons.
- To make sure you walk away with a tiered stand in your desired configuration, we strongly recommend that you bring extra china. We recommend at least one extra piece per tier in your order; don't worry, we'll help you make a list of what to prepare during your consultation.
Curbside Upcycling Service
How does it work?
How is it "social-distancing" approved if we're meeting up in person?
You can leave your china in a box on the curb in front of the workshop, and then I will retrieve it a few minutes later (wearing a protective mask, of course). You're welcome to explore the neighborhood while I assemble your stands. I'll text you once they're ready for you to pick them up, which generally takes about 15 minutes per tiered stand.
How to Pack Your China for Mail-In Upcycling
Step 1: Protect it
- Wrap each plate, bowl, cup or saucer individually in bubble wrap, foam (or an eco-friendly alternative like green wrap or corrugated cardboard).
- Start at one corner of your delicate object and wrap diagonally.
- Secure pieces of the same size together in bundles with tape.
- Use extra padding around delicate handles. as these are the first things to break when jostled.
- Alternately, you can go to your local UPS/Fedex/Post Office and ask a shipping expert to pack your pieces for you.
Step 2: Pack it
- Place heavier items in the bottom of the box.
- If deciding whether to get the bigger box versus two smaller ones, remember that the larger the box, the higher the rate of breakage due to shifting or overloading. (You can still ship in larger boxes but you may want to consider double-boxing by placing one box within another and packing it with at least one inches-- of padding on all six exposed sides/edges).
- Before sealing the box, pad the top and sides as full as possible to prevent air pockets or items from touching the sides.
- Do a "test shake": Do the contents of the box move around? They shouldn’t…add more padding!
- Seal the carton with 2" to 3" packing tape.
Step 3: Ship it
- Mark your box(es) with the word "FRAGILE" and label the outside with the total number of boxes in your shipment (i.e., #1 of 3, #2 of 3, etc.).
- Enclose a packing list for each box and take a picture for your records.
What if one of my pieces breaks in the drilling process?Step 1: Protect it
Given the fragile and sometimes temperamental nature of vintage china, pieces will occasionally break during the drilling process. It makes us sad...but these things happen!
Please do not give us anything you feel is truly irreplaceable for sentimental or monetary reasons.
To make sure you walk away with a tiered stand in your desired configuration, we strongly recommend that you bring extra china. We recommend at least one extra piece per tier in your order; don't worry, we'll help you make a list of what to prepare during your consultation.
How long does it take to ship my order?
- Ready-Made pieces typically ship within 3-5 business days.
- Mail-In Upcycle orders typically ship within 5 business days upon receipt of your china.
By default, we use UPS Ground Shipping. Last minute shopper? We've got you. Just select alternate shipping and processing speeds during checkout.
How do I know if my order has shipped?
We will send you an email confirmation with a tracking number just as soon as your package has shipped! Should you have questions before then, just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll reply as soon as possible.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes we do!
Returns & Exchanges
Do you accept Returns/Exchanges?
- No. The Brooklyn Teacup does not accept returns. However, we do offer exchanges if the stand is damaged in transit or isn't as described.
- On the off chance that you are not happy with your piece, please send us pictures of the issue an we'll be happy to help you select a comparable piece. We aim to please and want you to be thrilled with your upcycled purchase!
Assembly & Care
How do I assemble my stand?
It's easy and intuitive to assemble your tiered stand. Your piece will come with its own instruction card based on the type of hardware involved.
How do I clean my stand?
- The easiest way to clean your tiered stand is to wipe it down with a damp cloth. If the tiers require a more thorough cleaning, the stand can be easily disassembled so that each piece can be washed using soap and water.
- Confession: We wash our sturdier individual pieces of fine china in the dishwasher on a light/gentle setting. However, if you want your tiered treasures to remain in tip top shape, we officially advise against this. Proceed with caution.
How do I store my stand?
- When not in use, we recommend disassembling your stand and stacking the plates on top of one another from largest to smallest. Separate each tier with paper, foam/bubble wrap or cardboard to avoid scratching.
- Pro tip: To avoid misplacing your metal and foam washers, load them all on to the screw and tighten the screw on to one of the metal rods.
Can I put my stand in the oven or microwave?
Never put your stand directly in the oven or microwave! The hardware is made of metal. If you are heating up anything to present on your stand, do so separately before “plating” it for presentation.
What are those plastic dots with my package?
Depending on the china pattern, adhesive furniture bumpers or "bumpons," which look like small clear plastic dots, may be included in your order to provide additional stability. Applied to the base tier of your stand, bumpers will ensure that the surface on which the stand is placed will be protected from any damage.
About Our Inventory
Where do you get your china?
We purchase or otherwise acquire our inventory from a variety of sources. In general, we buy from estate sales, flea markets, second hand stores, garage sales and individual sellers all over New York City, state and beyond.
What is the condition of the vintage china you sell?
All of our inventory is in good used condition or better. This means that some plates may show signs of wear, including light surface crazing, scratches and/or fading to the gilding and trim. It's all part of their vintage charm.That being said, your should have no chips or cracks.
What to do with unwanted china?
Where can I donate china that I don't want?
Below are a number of other organizations that welcome fine china donations. Some even offer pick up services that are free of charge.
Contact your local chapter or visit their web pages (below) for more information.
Can I recycle fine china?
The short answer is no.
Unfortunately, ceramic or porcelain items cannot be recycled at most facilities. If your dishes, teacups, or other pieces of china are broken, chipped, cracked or stained, they should be thrown in the garbage. Any any sharp edges should be covered over with paper and placed in a bag before going into your trash bag.