How to Decorate Plastic Cups

    by Jo Burns

    About the Author

    Jo Burns has been a freelance writer since 1980. She specializes in articles relating to home and garden, alternative health care, travel, writing and crafting. In 2007, Burns received an M.F.A. in creative writing.


    A decorated plastic cup is the big warm hug of party decor. Decorate plastic cups to reflect a specific party theme or season, or just to add a bit of whimsy to your gathering. You might even use them as party favors for guests to take home or as a project for the craft table at children's parties. The supplies are inexpensive, allowing kids to experiment with creative techniques without adults worrying about waste or breakage.

    Things You'll Need

    • Soda can
    • White craft glue
    • Embellishments
    • Tissue paper
    • Paint brush

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    Place a plastic cup upside-down over a soda can to secure it while you work.

    Glue pom poms, beads, googly eyes, buttons, bits of ribbon, small pre-made bows or other light-weight decorative items onto the plastic cup using white craft glue. Apply a small amount of glue to the item and press it onto the cup. Hold the item in place until the glue becomes tacky enough to grip the decoration securely.

    Create a decoupage look by tearing tissue paper into small, randomly shaped pieces. Dip a paint brush into white craft glue and use it to paint a small area of the cup. Apply bits of tissue paper to the painted area and brush over them gently with more glue. Repeat the process, overlapping pieces of tissue, until the cup is completely decorated.

    Apply stickers or adhesive-backed foam letters to the plastic cup. Remove the sticker or foam decoration from its sheet and press the sticky side onto the cup. Spell out names of party guests or sentiments such as "Happy Birthday."

    • Embellish your plastic cup in such a way that it is not impossible to hold. Remember that small hands must be able the grip the cup.

    Photo Credits

    • stack of plastic cups image by Warren Millar from