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Alternative Uses For Coffee Cups

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Unless you own a reusable coffee cup or travel mug which you take with you wherever you go, the chances are you’ll end up with more than your fair share of paper cups from mobile coffee franchises, takeaways from coffee shops, and events. It seems such a shame to waste these little devices, and so we’ve been doing some research into how you can extend their lifespan. We’re not talking rinsing out a paper cup and taking it back to the mobile coffee franchise – we were thinking of something a little more creative.

Coffee Cupcakes

Triple Coffee Cupcakes.jpg

There’s too different ways of using your cups to make lovely cupcakes (that we could think of, anyway!). You could literally use the cup for your baking by pouring your mixture into the cup and baking in there (they’re stiffer than muffin cases, so you won’t need to put them in a muffin tin – although it could help with stability). Alternatively you can make the cupcakes (or buy readymade ones, we’re not here to judge who has time to bake), and use the cups to style them into cappuccino cakes. All you need to do is whip up some icing, drop a cake into the cup, ice on top, add a second cupcake and then ice again. Simply add a bit of chocolate powder to make it look just like your favourite coffee drink.


It might be the wrong time of year to be thinking about planting, but that just means more time to build up a cup collection in time for the new year. All you need to do is put a few small holes in the bottom of the cup for drainage. Fill up with soil, and plant either a sprouted seed or a cutting with roots into the cup. Sit it on a plate (or the plastic lid if you’re feeling particularly resourceful) to catch water which drains through the pot. Simply replant outside when your seedlings grow too big for their coffee pot nurseries.


This is an excellent way of giving the humble coffee cup a new lease of life. While the branding is perfect for the mobile coffee franchise, it might not quite suit your needs. Simply use a decoupage method to change the colour scheme and make your cup a whole deal more personalised. All you need is some newspapers or pretty (but thin) paper, a paint brush and some glue. Cover the cup in glue, stick small segments of your chosen paper over, and use the glue to varnish the whole thing. You might need a few layers if you’re using a particularly bright cup.

From more impressive and ambitious projects like this coffee cup sphere lamp to simple ones like using your cup as a pencil or make up brush pot, there are plenty of things you can do with your coffee containers once you’ve finished your drink – so think twice before throwing that thing away! They’re also very useful for hanging onto for little ones to use with paints or for craft projects – if you’ve got children (or nieces, nephews, godchildren), we’d highly recommend keeping all sorts of things which you’d usually have thrown away – it only takes the smallest amount of imagination to make a milk bottle into an elephant or a washing up liquid bottle into a rocket.

At our mobile coffee franchises we’ll probably continue to just serve drinks from our cups, but we’d love to see some of your creations.

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