Salvaging Starbucks for the Holidays

Turn your empty Starbucks cups into holiday ornaments full of cheer.

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  1. Cups, Lids and Sleeve Holders


    The great thing about this project is that the materials you need can be found in abundance. If you're not a coffee drinker, someone you know is. So gather what you can and consider getting the kids involved as well. It will help them realize that some things destined for the trash can be given a new life and purpose.  


  2. The Starbucks Decorated Tree


    I'm sure you can find other ways to turn your Starbucks trash into something useful. Actually, maybe Starbucks could think of something to encourage imaginative reuse–perhaps a contest next holiday season to choose the best kid-decorated sip lid. Some decoration might even be added to the tops, encouraging people to look at the waste products in a whole new light.  To read, "A Starbucks Christmas Carol," click here.


  3. Paints, Glue and Twine


    The supplies that you need are pretty basic–and cheap. Depending on how creative you want to get, you will need craft paints, paint brushes, decoupage paste, glue sticks, scissors (straight-edge or X-Acto knife), as well as twine or ribbon for hanging. To embellish further, you can also consider fabric trims, like rickrack and bindings, and/or buttons.


  4. Decorating with Paint


    Perhaps the easiest way to transform your treasure trove of Starbucks trash is by painting festive designs on the plastic sip lids. Even if you don't have artistic ability–or a steady hand–you can create amazing designs. Unless you're Martha Stewart, there's no need to strive for perfection. Have fun and, if your kids are involved, encourage artistic self-expression. 


  5. Design Options Aplenty


    There are numerous ways to dress up the sip lids with paint and fabric trims. Here are a few decorated mostly with paint, except for the Starbucks logo glued to the example in the foreground and the rickrack-embellished detail in the version top-right. Thread twine or ribbon through the sipping cutout, then hang the lid ornament on your tree.


  6. Coffee Cup Blossoms


    If you are ready for a craftier challenge, consider transforming a tall Starbucks cup into a button-studded blossom ornament. Don't let the three-dimensional design fool you, these are quite easy to make. For some how-to advice, advance to the next slide. 


  7. Making a Cup Blossom


    To make this ornament, cut about 1-1/2" off the top of a "tall" cup. Then, using a pair of scissors, cut along the vertical seam of the cup. Follow this procedure around the circumference to create strips measuring about 1/2" wide. When finished, bend every other strip outwards. Snip off un-bent strips at the cup base. 


  8. Completing the Blossom Ornament


    Gather the ends of the strips that remain and join them with a thumb tack or brad nail. Once secured, press the strips down into the base of the cup. Consider topping the tack or brad with a glued-on button, or apply a Starbucks logo cut-out to the inside bottom of the cup.


  9. Mini Shopping Bags


    If you mastered the cup blossom technique, these mini carrier bags will be a cinch. Make them by cutting the thermal cup sleeve in two, eliminating the Starbucks logo section, then by using the existing crease to serve as the two anchor corners.


  10. Cardboard Silhouettes


    For these ornaments, all you need to do is cut out the festive designs out of Starbucks holiday cups and decoupage them onto cardboard squares, rectangles or ovals with two coats of glue. Consider painting an outline or adding rickrack or fabric trim for decorative interest.


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