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Coffee Cup Packaging

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I have been reading a lot lately about efforts to reduce the number of paper cups the coffee industry uses. I tote around my plastic refillable mug, and get 10 cents off (Dutch people like to be cheap) so I hadn’t thought about it much.  Until… I got yet another box in the mail.  I hate getting all those new boxes in the mail, I wish they would re-use other boxes (I like the stuff inside, don’t get me wrong)!  So I figured I’d mash up 2 problems… and maybe get a solution…. Coffee Cup packaging is born (This could change the world you know!! )

 
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Step 1: Materials

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Ok… so first step, I needed a coffee cup; headed down to the local coffee shop, to see if I could snag a few.   Had a grown-up hot chocolate..aka “Mocha”, (in my plastic cup) and went dumpster diving.

 

Yes, I’m admitting it… sorry guys, I am using other people’s trash in this project. I figure with the plastic things on top it’s not like their mouth gets to the cup anyways.  Lucky for you, if that seems squeamish, you can always just enjoy a coffee yourself, and use that :-)

 

Mind you acquiring a paper cup was harder than it first seemed.. apparently this paper trash doesn’t seem to get left in the shop, but follows all these coffee drinking souls to work. Dope!  So I waited.

 

Paper cups acquired… I also needed:
The cup sleeve

A knife, or other sharp object.

Scissors

Something to poke holes (my Swiss army knife served well)

Scrap cardboard

A piece of ribbon (not pictured)

A bit of String

Glue

Tape

Painting supplies

ilpug2 years ago
MUSt.... DO....
ourika3 years ago
Someone already suggested the plastic coffee cups which is what I was going to suggest. In fact, I'm shocked that I hadn't thought of this earlier since I'm in the process of sending fun mail out to folks when possible. I feel like a dolt for not having thought of it!

I've sent things out very easily with dumpster diving for old soda bottles (just cut up the side and tape it back on... I use clear tape so that everyone can see the pretty yarn items inside the package). Maybe if you came across a coffee can you could use the same thing. When I worked in an office, my co-worker used to fly through those things with the amount of coffee she drank!
You could try using some kind of varnish or stiffening agent to reinforce the cup. Not only would it hopefully keep the cup from smooshing but it would be more sanitary that just using someone else cup (great for the squeemish!)
Fantastic Idea! I love it!
tictaclad4 years ago
i used paracord for the pully tingy and paracord without the little strings inside for lid secureer thingy...im going to give grad presents like this :-)
AlpineButterfly (author)  tictaclad4 years ago
Totally cool!! Like the paracord idea. I hope they like it, I know I totally would!
Kiteman4 years ago
Have you tried these through the actual mail yet?


AlpineButterfly (author)  Kiteman4 years ago
I just attempted mailing #2.  Made the top out of 2 layers of cardboard,  Added a round cardboard to the bottom, added sleeve, STUFFED it full (for a little more rigidity), and crossed the strings more. (and then kissed it for extra good luck). I will post results. 
Good luck!
AlpineButterfly (author)  Kiteman4 years ago
Yup, unfortunately I did :-)   I mailed the green mermaid one (the picture in the last step) .. as a test, she came back to me, but smooshed, and taped up by the post office.  I guess mail is pretty heavy, so the letters that ended up on top squashed her flat, and the lid rotated out.  They were supper kind and put all the bits back in (even the bottle caps I had used to fill that one).  I still think it could work.. maybe with a couple of layers of cardboard circles, or really stuffing it full?  I don't know.  I'll do another run & see at some point.
localtalent4 years ago
 The painted tops totally make it.  I bet if you used a few layers of the cardboard insulating sleeves you could add a little rigidity to the cup and it wouldn't get destroyed so badly in the mail.  Well done!
AlpineButterfly (author)  localtalent4 years ago
I just attempted mailing #2.  Made the top out of 2 layers of cardboard,  Added a round cardboard to the bottom, added sleeve, STUFFED it full (for a little more rigidity), and crossed the strings more. (and then kissed it for extra good luck). I will post results.  
CoffeeWoman4 years ago
Hmmm... I know this negates the whole "recycling paper cups" idea, but you might be able to modify it for old reusable plastic or metal cups - you can still attach a sleeve with the address and so on and it would be sturdier.  Probably not as adorable, though...  Thanks for the idea, though - i'm thinking of using the little sample cups to make small presents to hang on a holiday tree... hmmmmmmm....
AlpineButterfly (author)  CoffeeWoman4 years ago
I really like that thought... 'cause I have a couple of broken reusable cups, that don't hold water so to speak... but they might do awesome holding mail!  And making a sleeve shouldn't be to hard. I also have a couple... where you can change the inside (I love them for putting art in) they would be great for putting addresses on.  Wow CoffeeWoman brilliant!
 if anything its a fun way to pack some form of gift. fun, cute and eco friendly. 
sophmae4 years ago
Cool idea for all those coffee cups my fiance accumulates. I thought about using this for guest favors at our wedding until my soon to be aunt (a chocolate shop owner) offered to make mini wedding cakes made of chocolate. My question is for step 2, photo 2 - is that a toilet brush?!? I laughed for like 5 minutes over it. I mean, whatever, it's not like you were DRINKING out of it! But I still think it's FUNNY!
AlpineButterfly (author)  sophmae4 years ago
LOL!!   

no, not a toilet brush...  (ok still laughing!)  a round dish washing brush, handy for cups, and glasses :-)   I don't think I'll be able to look at it the same again though!
SiderAnne4 years ago
This sounds like a great way to wrap Christmas gifts this year! Especially for all of the coffee addicts in my family.
Slip a coffeehouse gift card into the cup. Fill in with chocolate covered coffee beans, coffee flavored Nips candies, or peppermints. Slip the "lid" in place.
I could even use the sleeve as a gift tag!
AlpineButterfly (author)  SiderAnne4 years ago
mmmm chocolate.  :-) 
mikeasaurus4 years ago
what a neat packaging idea, the painted tops are perfect!
AlpineButterfly (author)  mikeasaurus4 years ago
Thank you :-)
sammyBoy4 years ago
Love it, great idea and a lovely instructable.

How about a spoon handle in place of the ribbon?

Plastic spoon, wooden stirring stick...
AlpineButterfly (author)  sammyBoy4 years ago
I love that idea!!
kcls4 years ago
Nice job! I like the tops, how they are painted to look like coffee.
ronnybonny4 years ago
good idea -=) 
roadieflip4 years ago
That is a fantastic idea. I'm surprised the coffee manufacturers aren't doing this already instead of using glass jars.

Great job. A simple idea like this should come above all the more technical hacks.
 Damn, that's cool.  I'm already thinking of small things to mail.
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