The Great DIY Teacup Kitchen Shelf Redo Project Thing

April 11, 2012·
my family at MY auntie's tea!

You guys. I am SO happy to have this project completed!

Ever since our wedding, I have been searching and searching and searching and testing and finagling different things to find a solution to my conundrum / problem / desire / whathaveyou: I needed a sweet display and/or shelf for my teacups in our kitchen.

You’re probably thinking, “WHAT? Teacups? You’re not British. Or old.”

You’re correct!

(You’re gonna need to scroll down to see the project and the transformation… you know, if you wanna skip my rambling).

However, here’s the dealio. In my family, the Buckley aunts always throw the bride-to-be a tea party – the “Auntie’s Tea”, if you will, before the wedding. Each aunt, cousin (female), and sister come to this special event for the bride-to-be and we have tea and delicious scones and desserts and giggles and everyone gives the bride-to-be a teacup (and saucer… duh). No two teacups are the same – they are each unique – as unique as the bride and the person from whom it was gifted.

My tea was SO perfect. My AMAZING cousins and aunts threw it for me at the CAROLINA INN. What?! Crazy! That place is wicked nice. They clearly worked SO hard and it was beautiful and I felt so blessed!

The tea is a tradition that’s been in my family as long as I can remember and I love it. It’s such a special, unique, fun time to celebrate with the Buckley gals before a Buckley gal is no longer a Buckley gal. Well, she’ll always be a Buckley gal… but you know what I mean. Before she gets a new name.


I’ve been wanting a cool way to display them because I love them all so much and they mean so much to me. The teacups… not my cousins or aunts.

I tried shelves from Target, Home Goods, Wal-mart… you name it. I searched. No shelves were deep enough for the saucers.

Then I turned to CRAIGSLIST. And with enough will power and enough know-how, I found a BOOKSHELF that was perfect. WOOP!

SO, I present to you… the Great DIY Teacup Kitchen Shelf Redo Project Thing!

(My apologies, in advance, for the less than stellar quality of the photos… my good camera broke so I’m working with my point + shoot and my cell phone… it’s cool. You get the gist).

Check her out… $20 on Craigslist. WHATWHAT! Now, she needed some fixing up. So I spent $20 on the shelf and then $6 on a can of Rustoleum White Satin Spraypaint. I had the sandpaper already laying around our house.

‘Nutha angle. She’s a beaut. I wish that blue matched ANYTHING in our house cause I actually liked it. But oh well.

Hubs helped me sand while I photographed. I did sand some, but I needed to take a picture and he didn’t want to waste time dilly-dallying.

All sanded!

Madam shelf is ready for her closeup:

Now, I, of course, started painting and didn’t get a picture of the painting process. WOOPS. My bad. I was in the painting zone. But it wasn’t difficult. HOWEVER, I did run out of spray paint. UGH. I knew I should have gotten two cans. Now, luckily, I had some extra white paint on hand… it was just in a can and not as easy to spray on. So the last little bit of the painting process was a major frustration for me. Oh well. It got done.

Voila! She’s painted. Now, this is technically a floor bookshelf. So in order to mount it on the wall – we needed to brace it. Again, because we’re a handy household, we happened to have two extra white braces laying around that worked perfectly to mount the shelf.

I traced the holes on the wall with pencil for ONE side to get an idea of where it would fit.

We had to measure the distance equally on each side (5.5″ to be exact) of where the braces were to go. We lightly screwed them into the 2nd shelf BEFORE mounting it to the wall. That way we had some give once we were ready to put it on the wall.

Another brace, yo.

We held up the shelf to get it level and traced the holes of the braces. (I know you don’t see the braces here but we switched things up and this is what I have a picture of… you get the point...:))

Hubs was excited to do this part. Once we got the holes where the anchors were traced, it was time for DRILL BABY, DRILL. I have already messed up too many holes in the walls of our home… so I have banned myself from using the drill… for now. Besides, this is his favorite part.

Then we put the anchors in.

(I love how our wall looks like some alien!)

Obviously it was tough for us to drill, tighten the screws, and take photos at the same time – all while holding up the shelf – so I don’t have pics of that part… but TA-DA! There she is. In her boring plain self (I also know she looks crooked – she’s not.. I promise..) … but wait…

TA-DA! TA-DA! YAY! Look at it! Decorated! Teacups, knick-knacks, books, and all! I LOVE it. It’s fun, quirky, and SO sentimental. I love that it’s not PERFECT. I love that it looks old. I love that it’s different. Every single thing on that shelf has a big meaning to us (and to me, for sure) that it’s the perfect thing to see every day in our kitchen. AND makes a great conversation piece.

Another view.

Some of the teacups on the bottom shelf. (I also put a sticker on the bottom of each cup indicating who in my family it’s from). 🙂

AHHHHHH A PHI MU TEACUP! I literally squealed when I opened this one. AND it was from my sister! SO perfect!

I put old cookbooks on one side of the shelf and some of my Audrey Hepburn books on the other – because Audrey Hepburn books certainly belong on a teacup shelf. I mean, I’m just saying.

And… you guys… this is like a quarter of the Audrey books I have. It’s bad. The obsession is bad. Anywho.

And on the top shelf is the 150+ year old Bible that my cousin Grey carried in our wedding as our ring bearer. That Bible means so much to us and I love having it displayed prominently in our house!

Anyway! That’s it! That’s the Great DIY Teacup Kitchen Shelf Redo Project Thing. All in all, the project cost me $26 and some sweat. No too shabby. 🙂

What do you think? Love it? Hate it? Anything you would have done differently? What projects are you working on?

Be nice now. 🙂


xoxo, All for now.