Melted Plastic Cup Ornaments

We melted plastic cups and made them into ornaments – an unusual idea with pleasing results.

Melted Plastic Cup Ornaments

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One of the first posts that I saved on Pinterest were these Kadinsky Circle Plastic Cup Mobiles from Arts for Life. They look great but what Annie doesn’t mention is which type of plastic the cup should be made from. After a failed experiment I found Artchoo’s Chihuly-Inspired Cups, where Jeanette suggests using Solo Cups, which are plastic #6. The original cups I used were pretty good quality, but #1 plastic . I bought some cheap plastic cups that were made from #6, and tried an experiment.

Using permanent markers I drew bands of colour around a cup, to emulate the Kadinsky circles from the original idea. Then I drew scribbles on another cup to emulate a toddler’s version.

Melted Plastic Cup Ornaments

I cut the edge off the rim of the cups and placed them on a silicone baking mat. Then I put them into a 350F oven. Almost in the first few seconds they collapsed a little.

Melted Plastic Cup Ornaments

Then it took a few minutes for them to melt completely flat.  I took them out of the oven and used a non-stick flat spatula to ensure that they didn’t curl up.

Melted Plastic Cup Ornaments
Melted Plastic Cup Ornaments

I got two cups ready for F with the markers, but he immediately wanted four cups! He scribbled over the cups, outside at first, then a little bit inside.

Melted Plastic Cup Ornaments
Melted Plastic Cup Ornaments

Note: He did have some scribbles on his skin from the permanent markers, but they came off in the bath. 

I cut the rim from two of the cups, and left two on. Then baked them as before.

Melted Plastic Cup Ornaments
Melted Plastic Cup Ornaments

One curled over and couldn’t be saved, but they were quite fun!  They are quite pleasing to handle when cool.

Melted Plastic Cup Ornaments

I used a hot glue gun to attach some ribbon loops to the best ones.

Melted Plastic Cup Ornaments

Results do rather depend on the ability of the child with this craft! But it is fun to try and watch them melt in the oven!

Melted Plastic Cup Ornaments

8 Responses

  1. Katrina says:

    Ours didn’t quite turn out as well but but the kids love them anyway, lol!

  2. craftulate says:

    Sorry to hear that Katrina, how did yours look?

  3. Katrina says:

    I think the cups we used were too thick. So they didn’t melt down flat. I love the way the color becomes more vibrant though!

  4. craftulate says:

    Any idea what #plastic the cups were?

  5. Katrina says:

    No, lol! They were the only plastic cups we had. I found them in the back of the cupboard. The were the last three punch cups from our wedding 10 years ago! They were a pretty solid plastic cup. So I’m fairly certain that was the problem. :)

  6. Kelly says:

    Is it safe? Aren’t harmful chemicals emitted when burning plastic? I’d love to do this but am worried about the safety and wondered if you knew…

    • craftulate says:

      We didn’t have any issues with it but maybe it depends on the kind of cups you use? If you’re worried then probably best not to try making them – it would take all the enjoyment out of it! But it’s a good point, I’m going to look into it more now as see if I can find out anything.

  1. February 7, 2014

    […] Craftulate has a unique idea to create ornaments with plastic cups. […]

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