Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tutorial: Make Christmas Tree Ornaments From Recycled Starbucks Cup!

Well my sister and I started a tradition of making our own Christmas tree ornaments last year by hand painting salvaged wood. The theme last year was icons. This year we decided to change it up a bit so we chose to make a collection of wood ornaments out of recycling Christmas Starbucks cups and applying them to our salvaged wood blocks to create a theme with Reindeer from Santa's sleigh. Here is a tutorial on how we made our ornaments.

Supplies Needed:
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge
  • Sobo glue (optional as you can use Mod Podge as glue and glaze)
  • Paint brushes
  • Starbucks cups - we used our own cups to recycle them after they were used. Just bring them on home instead of throwing them away!
  • File
  • Exacto Knife or box cutter
  • Wood scrap blocks - different sizes and lengths are fun
  • Ribbon
  • embellishments like rhinestones, buttons (optional)

1. First you will need to prepare your Starbucks cup by rinsing/washing it out and drying the inside of the cup if it has been used. Then you want to do the following to the cup:

Unroll top edge of Starbucks cup.

Cut along cup side seam with box cutter or exact o knife.

Cut bottom of cup off with scissors.

2. Second you will need to decide the layout of where you want your designs from the cup to lay on your block of wood and glue the cup onto the wood as follows:

Layout your cup flat and pick what part of the cup you want to use for your picture.

Trim the cup down to a more manageable size but make sure it is still large enough to cover your block of wood.

Apply Sobo glue or Mod Podge to block of wood with a paint brush.

Hold desired part of cup up to the light with printed part facing away from you. this allows you to see the design through the cup from the backside.

Still holding it up to the light, place glued side of block against the back of the cup cutout exactly where you want it

Then gently lay it upside down on the work surface and press it down firmly.

flip it right side up and smooth out the front surface using a small tissue or cloth pressing the whole surface into the glue so there are no bubbles.
Allow this to dry 30 minutes before proceeding.

3. Thirdly you want to trim and finish your block of wood once the glue is dry following the steps below:

Place wood block face down on a cutting board or cutting mat and using an exacto knife or box cutters trim away the excess paper around the edges.

Then use a file at a 45 degree angle to the front of the block and file with downward strokes only. This will nicely bevel your edges and expose a nice white border to your desired picture. It also makes your edges of the picture blend flush with your block of wood giving it a nice finished edge.

I use the exacto knife at a a perpendicular angle just to scrape any glue residue along the edges of the block after the filing.

Mod Podge the front of the wood block over top of the Starbucks cup design as this seals and glazes the design. If you apply multiple layers of Mod Podge it makes it glossier!
Let layers of Mod Podge dry about 15 minutes each.

Then cut ribbons to use for hanging the ornaments. We cut nice angles at each end to make them fun.

Dab a dot of Sobo glue or of Mod Podge on the end of the ribbon .

Press it firmly to the side of the block and hold it in place for a minute or so to let it start to set. then lay it aside to dry for a t least 30 minutes before hanging.

With some blocks we Mod Podged flat backed rhinestones onto the designs to give them a little sparkle and we used a round punch to cut out just some snow flakes off the Starbucks cups to decoupage for the semblance of snow. We also decoupaged letters cut from newspaper to form names of the Reindeer (Vixen, Prancer, Rudolph Etc..).

So be creative and play with recycling items to decorate for your Holidays to come!


Bella Casa said...

I love that, thanks for the tutorial, too! So creative :)


LoopsDesigns - Sarah Dible said...

Thanks Bella Casa!

Anonymous said...

Great recycling!

Sarah said...

it's been a long time since this tutorial was put up, but i had to comment! what a great idea! i work at starbucks and my favorite time of year is when our red cups arrive. thank you for this terrific new way to use the cups i love so much.


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