A soup tureen can be used for so much more than serving soups! Fill a vintage soup tureen with fresh florals to create a unique, organic centerpiece ideal for a rustic early spring tablescape.
You guys know I love to think outside the box and utilize pieces in unexpected ways! It’s fun to get creative, be imaginative, and use something in a way that is unique and slightly unexpected. So, today I want to share with you how to create a centerpiece using a vintage soup tureen.
Soup tureens are one of my favorite things to search for when thrifting. There is something fun & exhilarating when finding a uniquely shaped, elegant, one of a kind soup tureen. It’s like finding a long lost treasure!
Now to be honest, I have never served soup in any of our soup tureens. However, there is something about the history and the idea that someone, somewhere did serve soup in a fancy tureen that I just love.
Thrifting With Gals Blog Hop
I am so excited the ladies of Thrifting With Gals invited me to join them this month for their monthly thrifting blog hop!
The thrifting gals are experts at thrift shopping, so be sure to check out their blog posts linked at the end of this post for thrifting tips, ideas, and more.
If you are coming here from Rachel of The Ponds Farmhouse, welcome. I will certainly be using Rachel’s tips for finding the best thrifted Valentine’s décor as I begin decorating our home for Valentine’s Day.
If this is your first time coming to Eleanor Rose Home, I’m so glad you are here! I love to incorporate vintage pieces into our home’s décor because they add a character & uniqueness that décor sold at box stores cannot. I believe that if you fill a home with things you love, love will fill your home.
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What is a soup tureen?
A tureen is a broad, deep dish that is used for serving foods such as soups or stews, often with a lid to cover and keep the contents warm. It seems that King Louis XIV was responsible for turning the tureen from a communal bowl into a practical covered serving vessel to keep soups & stews warm while on the dining table. Tureens were originally made of pewter or silver but later manufactured using porcelain and earthenware.
What to Look for When Shopping for Vintage Soup Tureens
In full disclosure, I am not an expert in thrifting for antique or vintage pieces! So I can only tell you what I look for when I am on the hunt for vintage soup tureens. They come in all different styles, sizes, shapes, and price points so using these tips should help you decide if a soup tureen is worth purchasing. However most of the time, if I love something I see and it’s within my budget, I buy it!
- Give a good look at the soup tureen from every angle. If it has chips and cracks it may not be worth the purchase.
- Look for marks on the underside of the tureen. Symbols on the underside can help you determine when a piece was made. Hand painted marks on ceramics suggest an 18th-century origin or earlier, while impressed or printed marks indicate a more recent date.
- Shop for tureens that fit your home design style and ones you want to put on display. Don’t purchase something only to have it hidden in a cabinet never to be seen.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the seller or shop owner. If you are unsure of something get the answers first to make an informed decision & purchase.
- Be patient. Sometimes it just takes a while to find the perfect piece. Enjoy the process and don’t get frustrated.
Pro Tip: Buy items that you will actually enjoy having in your home.
Creating a Soup Tureen Centerpiece
Selecting the Tureen
You can use any soup tureen for this centerpiece. It doesn’t matter the shape or size, whatever tureen you love will work.
I decided to use a short, stout ceramic tureen with brown transferware flowers for this centerpiece. I love brown transferware and love finding ways to incorporate it into our home’s décor any season.
Based on the size of your soup tureen, you may need to increase or decrease the amount of flowers needed to fill the tureen.
Selecting the Flowers
Whenever I share floral centerpieces, I am always asked, “How do you know which flowers to select?” The truth is that I am at the mercy of the store. I buy fresh florals from our local Trader Joe’s and the flower selection changes every time I visit the store. So, even though I might have a specific flower in mind, it doesn’t mean it will be available.
What I typically like to do is shop for flowers with a color palette in mind. For this soup tureen centerpiece, I wanted a white & green color palette, so those were the flowers I shopped for.
The flowers in this soup tureen centerpiece included:
- 3 Shamrock Hydrangea stems
- 1 dozen White Roses
- 1 bunch White Godetia
- 1 bunch White Large Mums
Arranging the Flowers
Begin by clearing off a large workspace so that you have room to lay out all of your flowers to build the centerpiece, with a trash receptacle near by.
Fill the soup tureen about a quarter to half way full of fresh water. With clear tape create a grid on the opening of your soup tureen (see photo). This will help you to arrange the flowers and will help keep the flowers in place.
Add the larger flowers to the arrangement first. For instance, I added the hydrangea stems first because they were the largest. I placed those in 3 different areas of the centerpiece so that they were not lumped together.
Once the largest flowers are in the arrangement, begin adding your medium sized flowers. Work around the arrangement filling in holes and spaces with the flowers. Use the smaller flowers (ex. Godetia) to fill in holes between the medium & large sized flowers.
Move the arrangement around so that you are able to see it from all angles to make sure it looks full and symmetrical. Don’t be afraid to remove/add stems and adjust the arrangement as necessary.
flower arranging pro tips
- Use fresh water in a clean vessel.
- Remove most of the leaves from the stem of the flower. Removing the leaves will not only keep your arrangement looking neat and tidy, but it will allow the water to go to the flower and not the leaves. This means the flower will last longer in the centerpiece.
- Make sure there is no foliage in the water.
- Cut the flower stem at a 45 degree angle. The stem will be able to drink more water this way.
- Remove any dead or dying flower buds/leaves to keep the centerpiece fresher longer.
Where to Shop for Vintage Soup Tureens
Small local antique shops, thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales, flea markets, and antique shows are all great places to shop for vintage soup tureens.
Etsy is great online resource when shopping for anything vintage. Shop soup tureens on Etsy here.
More Thrifting Inspiration
I hope this blog post inspired you to be on the lookout for beautiful, unique soup tureens the next time you’re thrifting! Remember to think outside the box and use soup tureens in unexpected ways.
Check out this blog post to see an antique wooden bucket I found, and filled with white and pink spring flowers!
Be sure to check out all the thrifting inspiration by clicking the links below!
Inspiration for a Cozy Home
For more seasonal inspiration, DIY’s, and recipes for a cozy winter at home, click here.
Shop Our Home
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