Introduction: Stanley Cups - Keep Your Tools Safe and Handy, and Save a Skunk!

About: If I'm not part of the solution, then I must be part of the precipitate.

Whenever I set my Stanley knife down on my worktable, I worry that I might forget where it is and wind up finding the blade with my fingers, painfully. But I've solved that problem, using (what else? :) an upscale yogurt carton.

The 6 oz. Yoplait yogurt cups sold in the US have two odd features: they're wider at the bottom than at the top, and there's a flange around the base that raises the floor of the cup about 3/8" above whatever it's sitting on. The wide base makes it surprisingly stable, and the raised floor gives the blade tips a place to lodge without causing or risking harm.

Being wider at the bottom is apparently part of Yoplait's trademark. But this creates a hazard for skunks and other small animals wildlife with small heads and strong yens for yogurt. Some skunks and squirrels have stuck their heads into discarded Yoplait cartons to get at leftover traces of yogurt and not been able to get them back out. This is hilarious to watch, but not so much fun from the skunk/squirrel point of view.

There was a lot of public concern, and Yoplait added the flange to the bottom of the cartons so the critters could grab hold of it and pull themselves out. This and other design changes made for the purpose seem to have helped, but not eliminated, the problem (Snopes discussion: (offsite link)). Whether the problem ever actually is or was as widespread as the public concern is not entirely clear; but still, keeping Yoplait cartons away from skunks is probably a good idea.

Having a safe, convenient place to keep on your workbench to keep your Stanley knife and other tools is a very good idea. Using this "Stanley Cup" will help save the earth by keeping empty yogurt containers out of the landfills and by reducing the use of medical supplies needed to treat a nasty cut; and it will help keep skunks out of trouble.

Step 1: What You Need

6 oz. Yoplait yogurt cup
Stanley knife or other smallish-to-middling-sized hand tool
Skunk is optional. :)

If you want to make a paper or Tyvek cover, you will need:
Paper or Tyvek
Scotch tape
Pencil (optional)
Cover Template from attached file (or willingness to fiddle around with the paper until you get the right shape)

If you want to make a duct tape cover, you will need:
Duct tape
Scissors (optional, but it's much neater with 'em)

Step 2: Your Very Own Stanley Cup

Properly dispose of yogurt cup contents, and wash & dry empty cup.

Set yogurt cup on solid level surface.

Lift tool and place it, pointy end down, in the cup.

Step 3: Optional Covers

If you get tired of having your eye repeatedly caught by Yoplait's eye-catching commercial graphics, you can add a cover. I made mine out of scrap paper, and I also made a couple out of some Tyvek scraps I had lying around.

To make the cover:
  • Print out the template. With luck, it'll come out right to scale on an 8.5 x 11" sheet of paper.
  • Cut it out along the object lines.
  • Add embellishments, decor, artsy bits, pithy workshop advice, and robots as desired.
  • Wrap around Yoplait cup: there should be a 1/4" -1/2" overlap.
  • Neatly tape overlap in place.
  • If your paper's not very thick, the Yoplait graphics may show through. I solve this by using two covers, one on top of the other.

(I'd give metric equivalents, but I don't think this (rather odd) style of cup is distributed outside the US. Canadians may feel free to inform me differently. :)

Step 4: Better Living Through Yogurt

The floor of the cartons will probably get cut up and wear out over time, but that will ease the getaway of any potentially trapped skunks or squirrels. You'll be able to toss the old cartons into the recycling bin in good conscience, and enjoy emptying more cartons of yogurt for your new Stanley Cups. :)

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