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8 Ways to Reuse Takeaway Coffee Cups

I am extremely lucky to have a lovely little cafe in walking distance to my home. My morning routine always involves stopping in there for my large, double shot, soy cappuccino on the way home from dropping Elliott at daycare and heading back home to work.

recycle paper cups
It wasn’t until last Thursday that my cleaner (yes, I succumbed to getting a cleaner so I could get back some of my sanity) and she asked me if I kept my takeaway coffee cups because she had been throwing them away when she cleaned my office. Of course, it was fine for her to throw them away, but it was at that moment I realised how many takeaway coffee cups I’d probably gone through in the past year and that they were just thrown away. I started to feel somewhat guilty. Really, I should be taking a travel mug for my coffee. It also made me look into how to reuse coffee cups and being mindful of the environment (which I clearly haven’t been).

How to reuse paper cups

Paper cup garden

Paper cups are perfect for seedling starters. Even better, make them look all pretty and paint them. A perfect activity for the kids.

paper cup garden
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Make a trophy for Father’s Day

I remember seeing something similar to this on Mister Maker. You get two paper cups, stick the bottom together, paint it and decorate it to make it look like a trophy and present it to Dad as ‘The World’s Best Dad.’

paper cup trophy
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Cupcake holders

You know how you buy those thin cardboard cupcake holders to bake cupcakes in? Well you can do the same with coffee cups. All you have to do is wash the coffee cup out and let it dry and perhaps cut it down a little to the size that you need – cupcake size or muffin size.

cupcake holder
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Paper cup fairy lights

I recently bought Elliott some paper lantern fairy lights for his bedroom as ambient lighting while he sleeps. You could do similar when reusing paper cups. All you’d need to do is wash and dry them, cut them in the middle, paint them or cover them with some lovely fabric, poke a hole in the bottom and stick some LED battery operated lights in them and string them up wherever you like.

paper cup fairy lights garland
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Tissue holder

Forget those little plastic packets of tissues that end up getting all mangy in your handbag, use a coffee cup as a tissue holder on the go (after washing the cup of course).

paper cup tissue holder
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When you compost you usually need a bit of dry matter too, like newspaper. Well why not shred up your old coffee cups and add them instead. Voila!



You can never have enough scoops in the house. A scoop for dog food, a scoop for dirt, a scoop for the sandpit….turn your old cups into scoops, the kids will love it!

Cute (or crazy) animals

There are definitely plenty of creative uses for paper cups; why not turn them into cute little animals like these!

paper cup animals
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Lastly, one of the best ways to reduce the impact of coffee cups (and save you LOTS of money) is to make your coffee at home and take it to work in a travel mug or Keep Cup. Need a decent coffee machine? Check out this helpful guide to buying the best coffee machine.

What do you do with your old paper coffee cups? Any creative ideas?

Why not try and ditch the takeaway cups altogether? Biome Eco Stores have an amazing range of reusable coffee cups here.

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)
Latest posts by Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman) (see all)


  1. July 13, 2015 / 6:31 am

    Who knew you could do so much with your morning cuppa? Some really great ideas here. I’ll drink to that! Have a good week. (p.s. I’m trying to give up coffee but might get back onboard for another week so I can try some of these crafty ideas.)

  2. July 13, 2015 / 6:46 am

    I love those fairylights! I have a takeout ceramic mug with a silicon lid which is my fav mug. I use it daily.

  3. July 13, 2015 / 7:15 am

    Cupcake holders!!!! That’s the best idea ever! How cute! Have a great week Eva xx

  4. July 13, 2015 / 7:29 am

    These are some great ideas Eva, I think we will be giving the fairy lights and cupcake holders a try!

  5. July 13, 2015 / 7:29 am

    The lights are fab! (But I use our coffee machine first thing so rare for me to buy a hot drink 😉

  6. July 13, 2015 / 9:34 am

    Amazing what you can do with something when you put your mind to it. Who would’ve thought. I don’t drink coffee though so no coffee cup crafts for me lol

  7. July 13, 2015 / 10:37 am

    Oh I love the crazy animal idea! Mind you I dont drink takeaway coffee, but Trent sometimes brings his home so I’m sure I could keep them and make cute animals.

  8. July 13, 2015 / 11:59 am

    They’re all such great ideas. But not being a crafty person at all I’d just end up with a collection of take-away coffee cups adding to my clutter and never get around to using them Ahem

  9. I love the trophy idea, I think I am definitely going to get the girls to do that for Father’s Day this year. Now I’ll just have to forget to take my reusable cup to tafe a few times so I can get some cups again. The Uni cafe has reusable ones for $6.95 and then you get refills for $2. So no only do you save on the paper cups and waster, but you also save on the price of a coffee (it’s over 50% cheaper). So many good ideas here, I am definitely going to have to pin!

  10. July 13, 2015 / 2:29 pm

    What fantastic ideas. We don’t buy too many takeaway coffees these days but I will be keeping and reusing my cups from now on.

  11. July 13, 2015 / 5:35 pm

    oh how clever! Like this recycling post. I used to be the ‘keeper’ of all things for re-use (k-2 teacher, now retired and grandma now not minding the kids ) but I have no need any more (sadly)
    Thanks for having me here…I might not be a mummy but I am a grandma blogger!

  12. July 13, 2015 / 11:51 pm

    So many great ideas.. although now I have a caramel macchiato craving!

  13. July 14, 2015 / 8:51 am

    Some very clever ideas here Eva, love the fairy lights, that might be a project for Little Miss and I this weekend 🙂

  14. July 16, 2015 / 6:02 am

    Some great ideas! I like the idea of turning them into a trophy, I think I might do that with Izzy soon!