Craft ideas

Handicrafts with cups made of plastic & cardboard – 7 great ideas

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Those who like to do handicrafts regularly know that in principle you can use any material and a wide variety of objects to implement interesting projects. And maybe you still have some drinking cups left over from the last garden party and would like to create something interesting out of them. But what can you tinker with with plastic cups? Here, too, the variants are very diverse. If you tinker with cups you can let your imagination run wild again.

Crafts with cups for children

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Projects for and with children as well as more complicated variants for adults are suitable for handicrafts with cardboard and plastic cups. Some ideas are great for children to play with, while others have a decorative or useful purpose. We have put together some interesting ideas and instructions for crafting with cups that you can try right now. Make yourself or others happy!

Crafting with cups – designing animals


To tinker animals with cups you do not need special materials, nor a lot of experience and talent for handicrafts. Get acrylic paints, brushes, googly eyes, and paper for any other parts of your body. Turn a white paper cup upside down. If the animals are designed in this way, they will later stand more safely.

Crafting with empty cups


We would like to show you how to paint a cow. First draw the nose or the mouth roughly in the middle of the mug. It is best to use two shades of pink for this purpose. Before applying the second color, let the first dry well. If you want to paint drinking cups, we recommend that you use cardboard cups for crafting with cups.

Paint paper cups


Next, paint the cow’s spots on with black paint. There are no rules here. You are also welcome to use a brown or gray color or you can design a purple Milka cow. When you are done, let the paint dry well again so as not to smudge it when you touch it again.

Finish cow

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In the meantime, you can tinker with the rest of the body parts. Use colored paper for this. You need ears and eyes, although you can simply use googly eyes for the latter. Glue the ears to the side of the drinking cup. You can choose any animals for this idea of ​​crafting with cups.

Make safari animals

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Aside from an entire farm, you can also make wild animals with cups and create a zoo or safari with your child. Ears and tails can also be easily tinkered with the help of plush wire. The advantage here is that the wire can be shaped and bent as desired.

Transparent cup lamp

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Transparent plastic cups are perfect for such a lamp. It can be used for the ceiling, but also for a side table. The cups are simply stapled together and equipped with a chain of lights. You can find out how exactly you do this lamp tinkering with cups in the following video.

Tinker fairy lights


You can make not only a lamp out of cups, but also a pretty garland with a fairy light. You need paper cups, colored paper from which you cut curved strips, a fairy light, scissors and adhesive tape. Get everything ready and get started on this simple craft project right away.

Decorate the mug


Since the white cups are quite boring for a garland, the first thing to do is to stick the prepared strips on them. This is the first step in tinkering with cups. Of course, you can paint the cups instead or buy colorful cups right away. It’s up to you. The number of cups required depends on the number of lightbulbs in the string of lights.

Add fairy lights 

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Poke holes in the center of the bottom of the cups. This should ideally be in the shape of a cross to hold the lightbulbs well. The advantage of tinkering with cups is that the end product will be very light in weight. Put the lights in the holes and hang the garland anywhere you like.

DIY plant tower 


This impressive tower is made entirely of plastic. Get a plastic bottle and plastic cups. We also recommend using bright colors for crafting with cups. Use scissors or a box knife to cut holes in the bottle so that you can stick the cups. Before filling the cups with soil and plants, add holes. The excess water can then drain into the bottle.

Costume idea


If you have bought a princess costume, but still need the right accessory for your head, you can make one again with cups. The topic of “frozen” is currently very popular. Craft a matching crown using a paper cup and headband.

Cut prongs


Crowns traditionally have spikes and you can add these to the mug without much effort. You can also draw the pattern on the mug beforehand with a pencil to make sure it gets straight. Then cut out those triangles that you no longer need and can throw away.

Decorate the crown

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You can then decorate the finished points as you like. Use pompoms, pearls, homemade stars, hearts or rhinestones and glue them on each point. You can also decorate the rest of the crown as you like. As a theme for the crown, you can come up with what you or your daughter would like.

Crafting with cups – adding the headband


A little above the bottom of the cup, add holes to stick the headband through. Be careful not to accidentally tear the mug. A good alternative for this idea of ​​tinkering with cups is to use a rubber band instead of a headband. However, the headband is a bit more stable.

Make a vase

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If you like to design dry bouquets, we have a great idea for crafting with cups for you to display your works of art. You can decorate an ordinary drinking cup nicely by creating a weave pattern from yarn, wool or another thicker thread. The cup can be made of plastic or cardboard and can be of any size.

Cut into the cup


Our example of tinkering with cups is only a suggestion and can be changed as desired. Cut into the cup as shown. The strips obtained can have different widths. It also makes the pattern look more interesting. You can also choose the colors for the yarn yourself.

Pretty weaver


You are now ready to start weaving. Place the thread behind the first and in front of the next strip. So you keep taking turns. Whenever you choose, you can switch to a different color. That way you will slowly work your way up. You are also welcome to use a larger yoghurt pot for crafting with cups.

Craft and recycle


If you decorate the rooms with these vases, you can also create groups and display several dry bouquets or other things. With a little practice, you can create interesting patterns. We wish you a lot of fun and success with tinkering with cups!