Transforming the Tea Party: DIY Vanity Set

You can do more with china than let it collect dust in a cabinet in between annual Christmas dinners. Even better, you can rescue china that has seen better days by transforming it into something entirely new—how about a vanity set for your dressing table or bathroom counter? A mirror, jewelry dish, and tray can be fashioned out of vintage china, glue and a little love.  

To craft this set, you’ll need 1 dinner plate with a decorative edge (transferware is perfect), 1 teacup with saucer, 1 platter with a decorative edge, Alene’s Glass & Bead glue (or other similar glass/china glue), 1 small round mirror (probably about 6 inches, but this will depend on the size of your plate. Various sizes can be had at craft stores.), 1 medium round or oval mirror (probably about 10-12 inches, but again the size and shape will depend on the size of the platter.), 1 table-top plate stand (wood or decorative metal are prettiest, but the utilitarian plastic or wire ones will do.). 

The first thing you want to do is wash all of the dishes in hot, soapy water, and let them air dry. We’ll assemble the tray first. Place beads of glue around the perimeter of the back side of the larger mirror, and fill in the center with glue dots also. Centering the mirror on the platter, press it down firmly and set aside for several hours to dry. Repeat this process with the smaller mirror and plate.  

To create the jewelry dish, turn the tea cup upside down on the table. Put beads of glue around the bottom of the cup. Affix the saucer, right side up, to the bottom of the teacup (so bottom sides are touching). Set it aside for the glue to dry.  

As an optional way to further customize your set, you can either etch the mirrors with glass etching cream, paint words or sayings onto the plates with china paint, affix a charm or monogram to the teacup handle, or swap out the mirror on the tray for clear glass under which you could put photos or a collage.  

Once the glue is dry, use window cleaner or a little vinegar to wipe the smudges and fingerprints off of the mirrors. Place the small mirrored plate in the plate rack, and arrange the set in your chosen location. It’s as easy as that—now you have a stylish place to show off your rings and perfume bottles! (Oh, one other thing—while the glue bond is permanent, you’ll want to hand-wash your set when it needs a cleaning, and avoid the dishwasher. Just too harsh for our nice things!).  

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2 thoughts on “Transforming the Tea Party: DIY Vanity Set

  1. This is a great project. I like to salvage things and make items. This just reminds me of my hunts and projects. Your other projects are great too! You have a fun site with great ideas! Denise

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