How to buy 50 teacups on the cheap?
First time poster here, got a problem. I'd like to buy 50 teacups (with matching saucers) for a bridal shower but I'm finding things can get pretty expensive. The teacups don't even have to match, but I'd like them to look good and not be cheap-looking (not plastic). I attached an image--something in this vein would be exactly what I'm looking for, but for the sake of cost I'm willing to consider other styles. (When filled with tea, the liquid is shaped like a heart!)
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Thank you so much for all of your responses! We listed and ranked each approach, started with a thrift store, keeping our expectations low just in case. Lo and behold, we found 3 different sets of the sorts of teacups we were looking for! We have 20 at the moment. So just about halfway there, perhaps a couple more visits and we'll be set! So excited. Thanks again everyone.
I love the idea(s) below to shop thrift stores, especially if you a) have more time than cash and b) like an "eclectic" look.
Bonus: if you do not plan to send these home with your guests as "party favors", do you really want (and have storage space for) 50 cups and saucers? After the party, you could pack them up and donate them right back to the thrift store. Get a receipt and your donation could even be tax write-off.
Whats your budget? I like Jacq suggestions of thrift shops/salvation army. Hitting a bunch could put together a nice eclectic mix.
Ikea sell these for $5 bucks each.
and these pretty glass ones for $3
If you don't mind a bit of hunting, thrift stores can be a great place to find mismatching teacups and saucers. You should go on the days when it's 50% off housewares to get more bang for your buck.
If your bridal shower is in the summer or during a warmer month, you could DIY a tea "cup" out of mason jars, which are in abundance at thrift stores. Simply drill a hole in the top of the lid, attach a washer from the hardware store, stick a straw in, and serve cold tea with ice cubes. It's a bit more rustic, but you could DIY the mason jar up with a pretty ribbon.
If that's not an option, you can definitely rent things
Here's an eBay link for heart-shaped plates, bowls, etc.
Perhaps you can rent plain cups/saucers but purchase some heart-shaped pieces to complete the table. http://www.ebay.com/sch/Dinnerware-Serving-Dishes-/36027/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=heart-shaped
Also, heart-shaped sugar "cubes" : http://gourmetsugarco.com/
This would be a lot of work, but I always see a lot of tea cups and saucers at thrift stores. Never 50 in one place, but I could probably go to about 5 of them in my general area of the city and pick up 50 of them. If you're in a fairly large city that might be an option.
Otherwise, definitely look into renting them unless you were wanting to use them as a favor and send them home with people.