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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Recycled Single-Serve Coffee Maker Cup Christmas Bell Ornament Tutorial.


I don't know about you, but I love my single-serve coffee maker.  Every morning I make myself a delicious beverage with no fuss and very little muss.  What I don't like about my single-serve coffee maker is the fact that it uses those disposable little plastic cups that the coffee and tea come in.  What an incredible waste!  Luckily we recycle so I usually toss them in recycling bin instead of the trash.

Lately though, I've been saving some of the cups and trying to figure out a fun craft to do with them. I came up with this cute little Christmas ornament, a bell.  I absolutely love it.  It's perfect for an upcycled Christmas tree.


One of the fun things about this holiday craft is that, with just a few adjustments depending on the age, almost anyone can make it.

Younger children can help paint and glue decorations on, while parents can help with the more difficult parts of the assembly. Older children and teens can use their imagination and get really creative with their bells.


Here's my easy-to-follow tutorial to help you make your own special ornament.

Supplies you'll need:
  • Clean and dry single-serve coffee maker cups, with all labels removed
  • Acrylic paints
  • Ribbon
  • Small bells (I used the .375 inch size)
  • Beads, glitter and other decorations
  • Glue, clear drying strong craft glue
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery needle
  • Skewer, or something else, to make the hole with
  • Paint brushes

First you'll need to clean the cups out.  I find it easier to do this when the cup is still a bit warm.  It seems like the glue is a little softer.  Be careful to let them cool down.  They are extremely hot when they first come out of the machine.


You'll need to peel of the top label and then empty out the contents.  Some of the containers have a mesh liner that needs to be removed as well.  Others, like hot chocolate, only need to be rinsed out.

Wash the cups with soap and water and set aside to dry.

Some labels are harder to get off than others.  If there are pieces that won't come off a nail file might help scrape them off.

Once you have the cups you need it's time to get started on your bell.


Using a bamboo skewer, or another tool to that works, poke a hole through the center of the bottom of the cup.  It doesn't have to be large, just enough to get the ribbon through.

Before you start, make sure you are working on a protected surface.  I cover my table with newspaper.  


Paint the cups using acrylic paints.  I tried doing this project with washable paints, but the paint didn't stick to the cups.  You may need 2 coats to completely cover the cups. Also, don't worry about that hole that is made by the coffee maker, the paint covers it up nicely.  In fact, once the ornament is dry, you'll have to re-poke the hole that you made for the ribbon.


If you are using glitter, cover the entire outside surface of the cup with glue and then sprinkle with glitter.  Hint here, the more glue, the better the glitter adheres to the surface.

Set aside to dry, usually overnight.


Cut a long piece, about 12 inches long, of narrow ribbon. Fold it in half, with the two ends meeting. Thread one end of the ribbon through a bell.  Bring the two ends of the ribbon together and, using an embroidery needle, thread the needle with both ends of the ribbon together.


Pass the needle up through the center of the cup through the hole you made earlier.  Pull the ribbon through.  Determine how low you want the bell to hang.  I don't like the bell to show below the edge of the bell so I make a knot about an inch above the bell.  If you like the bell to show that make the knot a little higher up.

If you are going to add beads, don't remove the ribbon from the needle yet.  Pass the needle through the beads and then remove it.  Make a knot to secure the bead(s) to the cup.  Then tie a bow after you've decided how long you want the hanging loop to be.  Trim off any unwanted ribbon.


Now the real fun begins, start decorating.  You can use beads, buttons, fabric or whatever you'd like to decorate your bell. One really cute idea would be a child's fingerprint.

Use craft glue to glue anything on the cup.  Don't use a glue gun, it gets too hot and warps the plastic.

Set ornament aside to dry.


Make a recycled memory this Christmas and hang this lovely ornament on your tree!


If you like recycling old items that you have around the house, you might like these upcycled denim Christmas ornaments. The tutorial can be found HERE.