Crafts With Solo Plastic Cups

    by Bryan Cohen

    About the Author

    Bryan Cohen has been a writer since 2001 and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double degree in English and dramatic art. His writing has appeared on various online publications including his personal website Build Creative Writing Ideas.



    If you are a teacher who happens to do craft projects, you know that the name of the game is supplies. Saving up yogurt cups, tin foil and paper towel rolls are second nature to the craft teacher. If you find yourself with an abundance of Solo plastic cups, you can create several different craft projects. Whether it's for a holiday or simply for fun, these Solo projects will tide you over until you find a new item in abundance.

    Light Ball

    This project is often put together for the winter holidays, but it can be done at any time of the year. Using 50 nine-ounce Solo clear plastic cups, 2 sets of 50 mini-lights, a drill, a ribbon and a stapler, you can create a ball of light to hang outside of your home. Create a circle of 12 cups side by side by laying them down horizontally on a table (the openings of each cup should face outward); staple them together near the lip of the cups. Then create a row of 9 cups using the same method of laying them horizontally and stapling them together. Attach the row of 9 cups to the row of 12 by laying it on top of the row of 12 and stapling the cups together. On top of the row of 9, create and attach a row of 4 cups. You have made half of the light ball. Repeat these steps to make the other half of the light ball. Insert 2 mini-lights into each cup by unraveling your lights into a long strand, cutting a small hole in the bottom of each cup and sticking 2 lights into the bottom of each cup. With 2 strings of 50 lights each, this will work perfectly with your 50 cups. Staple the two halves together. Attach the ribbon to the ball, plug in the lights, and you have a Solo cup light ball.


    Younger students who are just learning how to weave can use Solo cups to help them create a nice even form. The project requires yarn and two 16-oz. plastic Solo cups per student. One of the cups will act as the stakes (spokes) of the weaving, and the other will be a frame to help mold the basket. To weave, thread the yarn over and then under the plastic stakes. Use whatever colors of yarn you see fit and let the children use beads or any other embellishments they desire. This will lead to a beautifully woven basket in the shape of a Solo cup.

    Valentine Treat Cup

    Using a bit of paper and your design skills, you can turn a simple Solo cup into a professional-looking Valentine's Day gift. Print out on card stock a design with various hearts and shapes. Cut out the shape in the card stock that will allow people to see the treats that are inside. Wrap and tape the card stock around the cup and fill the cup with crepe paper. You can then fill the cup with whatever treats you wish and wrap them up with a gold ribbon.

    Asian Dragon Puppet

    Using a Solo cup and a few easy-to-procure craft items, you can create a dragon puppet for the Asian New Year. You need three 1-inch pom-poms, two 1/4-inch plastic jiggly eyes, yellow and red felt, 2 silver disk sequins, a pipe cleaner, 2 small gold bells, colorful wrapping paper and tacky glue. The pom-poms are the sockets to hold the eyes and nose on top of the Solo cup, the bells and pipe cleaner act as antennae, and the wrapping paper acts as the tail and teeth. The felt is cut into the ears and the tongue, the jiggly eyes are the eyes, the sequins are the nostrils, and the glue holds it all together.