Dollhouse Miniature Teacups Made From Polymer Clay

  • 01 of 08

    Make Dollhouse Miniature Teacups and Saucers from Polymer Clay

    Dollhouse miniature teaset made from polymer clay
    Miniature Polymer Clay Teacups, Teapot and Dessert Plates. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    While you can make miniature teacups and saucers freehand in polymer clay, it is easier to make matching sets using simple press molds. I used two part silicon mold putty to make a simple press mold for the dollhouse teacups and saucers shown in these instructions. The saucers are made the same way as the Miniature Polymer Clay Dessert Plates and are designed to match the opening dollhouse teapot.

    If you don't want to use silicone mold putty, you may be able to shape your teacups using the...MORE inside of a glue bottle cap, or half beads, pressing the clay to the shape using the same technique used with the mold in these instructions.

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  • 02 of 08

    List of Materials Used to Make Dollhouse Miniature Teacups

    Paper punches, ball point pen tip and other items used to make the shape of tiny teacups for a mold
    Materials Used to Make Molds for Miniature Polymer Clay Teacups. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    To make the miniature teacups and saucers shown in these instructions I used the following materials:

    • Polymer Clay - Use a fairly strong and elastic clay so you can roll it thin enough for realistic teacups. Adding transparent clay to colors will usualy make it stronger. If you are new to using polymer clay, read Using Polymer Clay for Miniatures before beginning this project.
    • Two Part Silicone Mold Putty
    • Release Agent - for your particular clay brand, usually talcum powder or corn starch.
    • Basic...MORE Shape - I used the end of a pen for a modern teacup, you can also use the top half of a round bead or another shape which is the correct size for your particular miniature scale. Teacups are usually two to four inches tall, so choose an appropriate sized bead for your particular scale.
    • Tile or Foil Pan - to bake the clay
    • Plastic Circle Template - I used this to set an even top edge for my cup mold.
    • Paper punches - I used a 1/2 inch and a 1/4 inch circular punch to make a template for my teacup saucer.
    • Acrylic Glaze - you can use a clear acrylic floor polish instead.
    • Fine Sandpaper - wet dry sandpaper above a 200 grit works well to polish the edges of your teacups and saucer.
    • Embossing Tool or toothpick - to apply the handle to the teacup.
    • Fine Wet / Dry Sandpaper - 200 grit or finer.
    • Clay roller - to roll out thin sections of clay for the saucers.
    • Clay blade - to cut the clay sections.
    • Circular Cutter - This is sized to fit the outside edge of your saucer. I used a thin tube from craft knife blades, you can make a custom cutter the same way you make miniature cookie cutters if you can't find a suitable thin walled tube or plastic straw.
    • Thin card - to make the master shape for the saucer rim.
    • Paper Glue

    Make the Mold or Template for the Miniature Saucers

    I used the circular paper cutters to make a small ring from two layers of card (see photo) which was the correct size for a rimmed saucer for my teacup. You can either roll polymer clay into a thin layer and press it over this basic template, cutting it with a circular cutter (a large drinking straw or a small plastic tube work well) or you can make a two part silicone mold the same way I did for the miniature dessert plates. For further instructions on making saucers, see the miniature dessert plates, but make the saucers smaller (my saucers are size to fit inside the rim of the dessert plates).

    Continue to 3 of 8 below.
  • 03 of 08

    Make the Basic Teacup Mold

    A pen end inserted through a hole in a circle template makes a master shape for a miniature teacup
    The end of a ball point pen is removed from the pen and set through a plastic hole template so the pen end sticks through at an even amount to form the correct depth for a miniature teacup. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    To make the basic press mold for my teacup I chose the end of a ball point pen as my shape and filled in the narrow opening with modelling clay. I set the pen tip, wide end down, on a table, and fitted a circular template over it, using the circle that rested on the pen tip at the point where I wanted the top of my teacup. The mold will be formed upside down over the pen tip as shown above. To make sure the circular template remained flat and didn't tilt, I held it level with modelling clay...MORE placed under it beside the pen tip. (see photo).

    To make the mold, I mixed my two part silicon mold putty into a small ball and carefully placed it over the narrow end of the pen tip, pressing it down onto the flat surface of the circle template. I made sure I left enough putty to give good coverage of the narrow end of the pen tip, then flattened the putty above that narrow end with a ruler. The mold is being made upside down, so the putty I flattened will become a flat base for my mold. (see photo next page). I left the putty to harden up before I removed it from the pen tip.

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  • 04 of 08

    Make a Basic Teacup from a Miniature Press Mold

    Pressing polymer clay into a dollhouse teacup press mold.
    The pen end used to make the original dollhouse teacup mold is used to press a thin layer of polymer clay into the mold to form a hollow teacup shape. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    To make the cups for your miniature teacups, take the same shape you used for the shape of your teacup press mold and coat it with release agent (talcum powder).Press the shape into a small ball of soft conditioned clay in the bottom of your mold. Press the shape gently into the clay, working it into the mold until the sides of your teacup are the correct thickness. Trim the excess clay from the top of your mold. If your mold shape is metal, like my pen end, (or a metal bead) you can bake it in...MORE the mold with your clay and remove it when the clay is cured. If your shape will not withstand heat, remove it from the clay before you place the mold with the pressed clay into the oven to cure.

    I baked my basic cup shapes and saucers before adding handles to the teacups. This allows you to work with thinner clay layers. You may have to test your clay, as some colors will change in the baking process. If this is the case, you may have to bake your cup after you add your handle, otherwise the body of the cup and the handle might be different colors.

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  • 05 of 08

    Finish the Edges of the Miniature Teacup and Saucer

    Dollhouse teacup and saucer ready for the teacup handle to be applied.
    After the first curing (baking) the dollhouse scale teacup and saucer are sanded so the teacup sits level on the saucer and has a smooth rim. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    Before I added the handle to my miniature teacup, I made sure the cup fit the saucer, and I sanded the edges of the saucer, as well as the base and top edge of the teacup. Wet dry sandpaper or dampened micro mesh sanding pads work well to sand away any imperfections on the edges of your teacup or saucer. Dry sandpaper creates dust, and polymer clay dust should not be inhaled.

    To make a flat base on your teacup, rub the bottom of the teacup over the sandpaper in a "figure 8" pattern. Take...MORE care not to tip the cup as you sand the base.

    Check the teacup stands square in the saucer.

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  • 06 of 08

    Add a Handle to Your Dollhouse Miniature Teacup

    Polyclay dollhouse scale teacup with handle attached
    Miniature polymer clay teacup in dollhouse scale, ready for a final sanding and polishing before glazing. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    When your teacup has a finished top edge, you can roll out a thin roll of clay and fit it to the cup as a handle. Fitting the handle to the cup after first baking the cup means you can make thinner miniatures from polymer clay.

    Use an embossing tool or toothpick to blend the end of the raw clay handle into the baked cup section. I generally press the end of the handle against the top side of the cup, then roll the handle down and blend the base of the handle into the side of the cup near the...MORE base.

    When you have the handle fitted and blended into the cup, bake the cup with the handle at the correct temperature for your clay. Leave the cups to cool after baking before handling them as the handles are very tiny.

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  • 07 of 08

    Finish the Miniature Teacup with Acrylic Glaze

    A dollhouse miniature teacup held for application of a smooth glaze coating.
    The dollhouse teacup is held on an embossing tool with tacky wax (museum wax) so it can be given an even coat of acrylic glaze. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    To add a bit more strength to the dollhouse teacups, as well as give them a more realistic glazed finish, I add a topcoat of acrylic gloss finish to the teacups and sauces after they are baked. You can also use a clear acrylic floor finish or a coat of thin nail varnish if you prefer.

    To make the cups easier to glaze, stick them to the top of a brush handle (I used an embossing tool) or a skewer or toothpick using soft museum wax or modelling clay. Holding them on a stem like this keeps the base...MORE free of glaze, while you apply a gloss finish to the inside and outside of your miniature teacup. Coat the saucers the same way and allow the pieces to dry.

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  • 08 of 08

    Finish a Set of Miniature Teacups

    Polymer clay dollhouse teacups and saucers with teapot
    Dollhouse scale teacups and saucers match an opening teapot made from polymer clay. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    If you want to make a teaset from polymer clay, I suggest you make most of the set at the same time so your clay color matches and you work with a similar thickness of clay for the saucers, plates and cups. Make a practise piece of each part of the set before you begin the full set. Roll sufficient clay out on a tile to cut the correct number of dessert plates and saucers from the same rolled out section of clay, or use single playing cards to set the thickness of clay as you roll it so all your...MORE plates and saucers will be an even thickness. Check the test piece handles after they are baked to make sure they can be placed in the hand of a doll if that is your wish. If not, try to roll thinner handles or form them with a larger loop so they will fit the doll's hand.

    Once you have a test sample of all your pieces, make sets of the plates, cups and saucers you will need. If the clay discolors slightly between bakings, you may need to give the parts of the teaset a colored overglaze so the set pieces appear more closely matched. You can easily make a thin colored overglaze by adding a small amount of Jacquard pearl ex pigment to the acrylic glaze coat before you apply it to the teaset pieces. The teapot in the photo above has a colored glaze, while the cups have a plain clear glaze. You can see how the colored glaze will cover slight imperfections or mismatched pieces. Colored nail varnish may create a similar type of glaze, provided you can apply it in a thin enough coat.