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How to create fun paper cups with the kids this school break

It can be difficult to keep the kids entertained over the school break, or worse, all they want to do is sit in front of the TV. Creating fun paper cups is a fantastic activity that the whole family can get involved with, even the most reluctant of teenagers. Here’s a handy guide to creating fun paper cups.

How to draw on paper cups from Chameleon Art Products on Vimeo.


What you’ll need

  • Paper cups
  • Stencil/tracing paper
  • Pens

One of the great things about this activity is there aren’t that many things you need to get started. Obviously you’ll need paper cups and it’s important to choose the right kind.

The bigger the paper cup, the easier it’ll be to add your design to it. Think about how strong the cup is and whether it’ll be able to withstand the drawing without tearing.

White cups are easiest to add designs to, but colored or black cups can lead to exciting creations.

As well as the cups, you’ll need a stencil or tracing paper depending on how confident you are. You can draw your design straight onto the cup but it doesn’t leave much room for error.

Finally, you’ll need pens. We’ll cover which kinds of pens are best for the job a little later on.

 drawing on cups with pen

What to do

There’s nothing to stop you just letting the kids go wild when it comes to coloring on paper cups. Especially the younger ones - they don’t want to practice, they just want to create something amazing.

However, if your kids are a little older and they want to produce something that looks professional, here’s what you need to do. You can watch our video to see these tips in action.

Decide on the image you want to draw by using a normal piece of paper. This gives you the chance to make any changes to the image and see if you like the colors used.

Once you’ve perfected the design, use tracing paper to draw it again so it’s ready for you to use on the cup. If you’d prefer, rather than tracing paper, you can create a stencil to easily replicate the design onto the cup.

It will take a steady hand and patience to make sure the design is perfect. Be aware of wet ink as one smudge can ruin the whole design.

 coloring animals on paper cups

The right pens for the job

With Chameleon Pens, you can achieve seamless blends and gradations, perfect for adding depth and dimension to your design. Our pens are perfect for the job when you're completing the activity together with the kids. If the children are coloring the paper cups by themselves, then we'd recommend using pens that have water-based ink as Chameleon Pens are only suitable for use by adults. 

Our patented Mixing Chamber can be used to infuse the nib and dilute the ink. After just a short amount of time, you can create amazing blends and gradations that enhance your artwork.

One artist used Chameleon Pens to create an amazing Invader Zim design. @javadoodles creates all kinds of amazing artwork on paper coffee cups. Check out some of their other work for ideas and inspiration.

 

Creative paper cup ideas

There are all kinds of creative things you can do with paper cups and Chameleon Pens. Once you’ve created your design, you can use the cups for all kinds of different things. Here are five of our favorites:

Advent calendar

It might be a little early to be thinking about Christmas, snow and advent calendars, but your newly-decorated paper cups can be used as an innovative advent calendar.

Take 24 paper cups, decorate them however you like and give each of them a number. Once the kids have finished coloring, fill them with treats and gifts and cover them over.

Come the first of December, they’ll have a homemade advent calendar and a cup full of gifts for each day.

String lights

Once you’ve colored the cups, turn them upside down and transform them into homemade lights.

Small paper cups can act as covers to the bulbs on string lights. Just poke a hole in the bottom of the cup and you’re good to go.

We’d recommend patterns here on the cups but it’s completely down to personal preference. These are perfect for the kids’ bedroom.

iPhone speakers

You’d rather not shell out on expensive speakers, so why not make your own? All you need are two large paper cups and some duct tape.

WikiHow has a fantastic tutorial to help you, but all you need to do is tape the cups together and leave a slot for your phone.

Color the cups however you like and you have the perfect speaker system for a fraction of the cost or if you leave yours at home.

Party decorations

Speaking of parties, paper cups are fantastic decorations. Whether it’s a children’s birthday or a spooky Halloween party, decorate your cups for easy, creative decorations.

DIY decorations are great conversation pieces and can save you a lot of money on something you might throw away afterward.  

Stationery holder

Use the paper cups to store your stationery and each time you grab a pen or pencil, you’ll be reminded of your own creativity.

Perfect for decluttering a desk, you’ll never misplace your stationery again with a handy paper cup stationery holder.

Improve your coloring techniques

Whatever you plan to do with a paper cup, use Chameleon Pens for a professional-looking design. If you’re new to arts and crafts or you’re looking to develop existing talents, then why not download our free guide. It’s packed with tips, ideas and templates for you to try. It isn’t quite ready yet but be the first to know when it is by signing up to our newsletter.

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