Creativity used for good, paper cups, and make your own!

steps 7 and 8 to make a paper cup


Do you like coffee? Do you buy a cup out someplace and put one of those plastic lids on it in order to take it to go? I saw an interesting (and scary) fact: in NYC, a city of over 8 million people, there are an estimated 4 million plastic coffee lids put into use each day, which adds up to about 1.5 billion lids a year – and that’s just one city! What about the rest of the United States? In response to this, a guy named Tom Chan created the “Unocup,” which is a paper cup with a folding lid – kind of like a Chinese food take-out container – check out their site here. I’m not sure how well the company is doing now, as far as how many stores and restaurants use their cups, but it’s creative thinking like this that can make changes that we need in the world.

The whole idea of a folded paper cup triggered a memory of something I learned as a kid – that one can create your own single-use cup using a single sheet of paper. I decided to make one today and show you the steps in case you ever want to make one yourself. One lesson I learned today, however, is the current-day printer paper (at least the kind I have) is pretty thin and doesn’t hold the water very long. But this origami-like folding trick certainly works, so you just might want to use some thicker paper. At any rate, here’s the steps:

steps 1 and 2 to make a paper cup

Take a square sheet of paper, and fold it once to make a triangular shape.

steps 3 and 4 to make a paper cup

Take one side and fold it over, so that the top edge is parallel to the bottom edge. Repeat this with the other side, so that the 2nd fold overlaps the first one.

steps 5 and 6 to make a paper cup

There are two “flaps” at the top; pull one down and fold it down; turn the paper cup over and fold down the other side, so that each flap rests on the two different sides.

steps 7 and 8 to make a paper cup

Stick your finger into the top between the folds and prop open your new paper cup – and then fill with water and take a drink!

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