If you love tea, or just love tea cups, making your own tea cup can be a fun project, and a complete set is a great gift for weddings, birthdays or pretty much any time. Additionally, it is a fairly simple process, and these cups can be easily personalized. The most important thing to remember, though, is that you must use real clay (not polymer), and you must choose a food-safe glaze. If you are in doubt, check with the manufacturer before using it.
Things You'll Need
Bowl of warm water
Pottery tools (optional)
Find a flat, smooth, cleanable work surface. Place your tools and water within easy reach.
Knead a small handful of clay for a few minutes, until it is soft and pliable.
With the rolling pin, roll out the clay until it is 1/8-inch thick or less.
Cut out a small 8-by-3 inch rectangle. Form this rectangle into a cylinder, pinching and smoothing the edges together.
There are two ways to form the base. If you want a more tapered tea cup shape, cut a 2-inch circle from the leftover clay, and gather the bottom edge of the cylinder to a slightly smaller circle, pinching it to the 2-inch circle, and smoothing the clay as you go along. Alternately, you can cut a 3-inch circle, and attach the bottom edge of the cylinder to this circle by pinching and smoothing the clay in the same manner, but without gathering and tapering the bottom edge.
Using your hands or pottery tools, shape the cylinder of your tea cup however you like.
Roll a small amount of leftover clay into a thin round string. Flatten, if desired. Cut to an appropriate length. This will form the handle of your cup.
Dab a small amount of water onto the two spots where you will attach the handle to your cup. Gently press the handle into these spots, keeping one hand within the cup to avoid losing its shape. Smooth the clay together as much as possible.
Glaze your tea cup, following the manufacturer's instructions for mixing and using the glaze.
Place your tea cup into the kiln, and bake at the appropriate temperature until hardened.
If you do not have a pottery kiln, check with your local rec center or community college. Chances are they will let you use theirs for a small fee, or maybe even for free.