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Published: Sunday, March 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Give lovely old china new life

With a drill and an idea, plates can become trays, jewelry and more

  • Tiered stands are among the creations Marceli Botticelli makes from old china and sells in her shop on Etsy.

    Marceli Botticelli, Tea Time Creations

    Tiered stands are among the creations Marceli Botticelli makes from old china and sells in her shop on Etsy.

  • Marceli Botticelli sells do-it-yourself kits for repurposing old china. The kits include fittings, drill bits and instructions, and some include teacu...

    Marceli Botticelli, Tea Time Creations

    Marceli Botticelli sells do-it-yourself kits for repurposing old china. The kits include fittings, drill bits and instructions, and some include teacups that are filled with soy candle wax and saucers.

If you have beautiful old pieces of china that you rarely use, why not turn them into something else?
Marceli Botticelli of Franklin, Mass., runs an Etsy store called "Tea Times Creations" (www.etsy.com/shop/TeaTimesCreations).
It offers tiered stands, made out of old china, that can be used as serving platters or "tidbit" trays for anything from jewelry to loose change or keys.
She also sells jewelry and nightlights made of repurposed table settings and teacups.
For the DIYer, Botticelli sells kits that come with drill bits, fittings and instructions. And if you're too sheepish to drill your own holes into your precious antique plates, she offers to do it for you.
One of the biggest challenges in repurposing old china for any project, she says, is finding the right piece.
"I am inspired by many different things," she said. "It can be the color, the pattern, a theme."
One client brought her a plate with an extremely rare pattern; the client had been collecting china since she was 8, and had never found another plate like this one.
"I said a prayer, took a deep breath and I drilled into the plate," Botticelli said.
"Now it has a new lease on life and is not stacked with other plates in a closet anymore. It is a beautiful piece that can be enjoyed for many years to come."
Story tags » Crafting

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