Uses for Antique China

Antique china from broken sets, yard sales, and thrift stores can be repurposed in many fun and functional ways. Whether you use it in craft projects or under your potted plants, antique china is a lovely decorative item. This is a guide about uses for antique china.

May 2, 2006 Flag
Christine Weber5 found this helpful

This simple project is a wonderful way to use the china teacups gathering dust on your shelves. Filled with soil and ivy they make dainty and long-lived planters.

Materials and Equipment:


  1. Clean and dry the teacup before starting. Clear the table and cover it with newspaper or a large garbage bag to avoid getting soil on the table.

  2. Fill the bottom third of the teacup with potting soil.

  3. Take the ivy out of its container and remove any pot-bound roots. Place the plant in the teacup.

  4. Fill the rest of the teacup with soil, covering the roots of the ivy. Press the soil down with your spoon or hand.

  5. Water lightly and place in indirect light. Fertilize every few weeks.

  6. Remember that there are no drainage holes in the teacup, so water sparingly. If you over water, just tip the cup to drain the excess water out. My teacup planters have lived happily for several years following this advice!

May 3, 20060 found this helpful

What an absolutely cute idea, Thank you for sharing it with us.

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May 4, 20060 found this helpful

I love this idea! I have a few old cups that I don't display any longer but this would be a perfect way to use them. The idea about hot gluing them made me think of using museum putty to hold the cup to the saucer if you wanted them to stay put but removable if you ever wanted them separated again. I have found lots of uses for museum putty or gel. Thanks for this idea!

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May 4, 20060 found this helpful

this is the perfect size for hospital trays. Someone gave my grandmother one and it went with her to the nursing home.

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July 5, 20060 found this helpful

I agree with luv2craft, my Mom doesn't care for real plants. I'll make one for myself and they woulld be great Christmas gifts for my 3 Sister in Laws. They love Houseplante. Do you know of any other plants I could use also, maybe a small blooming cactus that will not stickyou? I was thinking of putting small pebbles on top. So many ideas. I'm in high gear on this craft. Thanks for the info.

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January 21, 20120 found this helpful

I agree with you, those teacups which are shoved to the back of the cabinets make such cute planters. I prefer though, to drill drainage holes in them as it is easier for the water to drain than pour from the cup. It just takes some patience and time especially if they're made of bone china. I put a masking tape on the part to be drilled and use the smallest tile/glass drill bit to make a indentation; then carefully drill away. I rest in between drilling time till the correct size drainage hole is achieved. Each project is a challenge but when I finish one, my happiness and satisfaction is unmatched by anything else.

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Anonymous Flag
September 19, 20120 found this helpful

April 24, 2009 Flag

Put this tray on your vanity or dresser to hold your jewelry or use it on your buffet to serve desserts or treats. It would also make a nice gift.

Tiered serrving tray.

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July 21, 2009 Flag
7 found this helpful

I have an annoying habit of picking up orphaned sugar bowls, creamers, and little teapots that have no lids, as well as old planters too small for plants and vintage fabric scraps too small for anything, in hopes of finding creative uses for them.

sugar bowl pin cushion

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May 23, 2013 Flag

I found some really pretty glass plates at a resale shop that I just had to have. A number of my houseplants were in need of saucers. I find the plastic ones or even the clay ones to be kind of ugly. The plates I bought make perfect saucers and they aren't porous so I don't have to worry about them sitting on my wooden bookcases. :)

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September 24, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

I used lots of old china and tea pots etc. Last year several of my tea pots and cups broke even though they were in a storage bin outside. I live in Michigan. Anyone else have this happen? How do I know what can stay out over the winter? I hate to make and sell stuff if it's gonna fall apart.

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September 24, 20150 found this helpful

There could be many reasons for your broken china and cold temperatures may be one reason. As you state you use old china pieces that usually do not come with their original safety and handling requirements, you probably do not know what kind of care each piece may require.

There are no quality guarantees you can assume in purchasing, collecting, etc., of old china so, accordingly, you are not able to provide a guarantee of no defects, etc., if you sell old china.

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January 24, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

I had two china dinnerware plates stored in my cabinet; I wanted to display them or use them. I made matching cake platters. I used an inexpensive stemware piece, coarse sandpaper, quickset epoxy glue.

Sanding the bottom of the stemware piece and the bottom of the dinnerware plate, I dusted the pieces free of dust and debris; I mixed the epoxy glue and applied it to the bottom of the stemware piece and the center of the dinner plate. Attachment of the stemware piece onto the plate had to be centered. The piece was set aside for 24 hours to insure stability of the piece. The cake platter cannot be placed in the dishwasher; it must be hand-washed.

The china dinnerware plates were bought by my husband when he was in college in the early 1970s when grocery stores offered china patterns on a weekly basis. I had stored these two plates and now they are a "vintage" piece of dinnerware for me. I can proudly serve my family, friends and guests on my pretty cake platter or use at a tea party.

The bottom of the stemware is clear so at time of using this piece for entertaining, I will place a flower or another type of ornamental piece in it for decorative purposes.

By JOSE from Collierville, TN

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January 30, 20120 found this helpful

This is such a clever idea. It inspired me to do some of the same. What a cute way to keep one of your loved ones "oldies" in the family & keep it useful.

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May 13, 2012 Flag

During the holidays and other special occasions when I use my china, it has pieces that were for rather old fashioned formal services. So I use my formal pieces for other creative dishes.

Table set for a holiday meal.

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