Thursday, December 29, 2011

Funny Restaurant Names (Part 3)

Q: How do you make a Thai restaurant stand out?

A: Name it after a famous ship that sank.

Like this one.

Location: Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Funny Restaurant Names (Part 2)

Here's a coffee brand you'd love to have printed on a custom cup or on a custom beverage napkin.

Location: Lowell, MA

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Funny Restaurant Names (Part 1)

This wind down, Holiday week, let's look at some of these clever restaurant names.

Location: New York, New York

Friday, December 16, 2011

Restaurant Files: Branding Through Design (Part 2)

Last week, we talked about tips to brand your food business through design. This week, we are back with more ideas on how to establish or reinforce branding through design. Remember what we said about color? Choose wisely because colors can affect your diners’ moods. So you’ve got your design and color coordinated custom beverage napkins and your other custom restaurant supplies. Great. Don’t forget to incorporate your logo and your design scheme to your exteriors. For example, walls with wood molding and painted in dark, rich colors (maroon or dark brown) can help you create a relaxed and intimate ambiance. Meanwhile, bright colors will help you capture that fun and festive vibe. Your tabletops, your lighting fixtures, your outdoor sign and even your wall hangings should all reflect what your food business is all about. But all these are just the tip of the iceberg. What about your slogan and your front liners?

Let’s start with slogans. You definitely don’t want something that’s too “sell out.” A bad slogan may seem funny and may even help people remember you but it won’t make them diners. And it can hurt your reputation in the long run, which then defeats the purpose of branding your food business. Your slogan should say something about your USP, or your unique selling point. Take the case of Burger King. Their slogan, “Have it your way”, does not talk about how great their burgers are. It tells customers that at Burger King, unlike in any other fast food chains, you can have your burger the way you really want it. It’s also reflective of the kind of customer service you can expect from them.

Now on to your front liners. Odd as it may seem, the “face” of your business is part of your over-all design. It does not have to be a real person like a celebrity. It can be a mascot or a fictional character that personifies your restaurant’s image. If you do decide on having a “face” for your business, make sure that it is also incorporated in your custom beverage napkins, outdoor signs, as well as in all of your supplies and decors.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Restaurant Files: Branding Through Design

One of the most enduring ways to reinforce branding is to use visuals. Branding through design, however, is not just about aesthetic value; it is about subtle impact as well. Take the case of choosing a color scheme. Choosing a color scheme for your restaurant is not about picking your personal favorites. It’s about colors that can positively affect the mood and appetite of your diners. Avoid blue, purple and black as these are deemed unappetizing hues, unless it is a necessary aspect of your over-all design. In which case, use it in moderation. On the contrary, red, green, orange and brown are known to stimulate the appetite so you may want to incorporate these colors into your design aesthetic. When designing your restaurant materials including your custom beverage napkins, your custom cups and your customized utensils, choose a color scheme and keep it unified.

Another branding essential is your logo. A logo should be something your customers can easily associate your name to. An effective logo should be enough to create brand awareness. Again, a logo is not just about artistic value. First and foremost, it should be unique. It should not share any similarities with other businesses (especially food businesses) because it will confuse your customers. A logo should also match the over-all concept of your food establishment. The branding message should be consistent. For example, if your restaurant is more upscale, your logo should be more simple and elegant. If your business is more informal and playful, your logo should reflect that too, with more graphics and more vibrant colors. Make sure that your logo is also visible in your supplies, not just in your restaurant’s exterior. It should be on your custom beverage napkins as well as on your plates, cups and utensils. The more they see it, the more lasting your branding message will be.

Come back next week for the second part of this article.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Restaurant Files: Reassessing Your Branding And Marketing Strategies

Last week, we asked you a question. Are you marketing or are you branding your food establishment?

Today, we are giving you some helpful questions to ponder upon so you can reassess your marketing and branding strategies. If you have been in the restaurant business for quite some time now, you might think it unnecessary to reassess your branding strategies. Sure, you’ve got your custom cups, customized beverage napkins and other customized restaurant supplies. But what are you doing to make more lasting impact?

Here are 10 questions that should be on your restaurant branding and marketing checklist.

1. Who are your customers?
2. What are the things that they value?
3. Are they aware of your existence?
4. What is your unique selling point? What makes your brand compelling?
5. Are you visible? Are you located somewhere convenient for your target market?
6. Are your business hours convenient for your customers?
7. Do you have a concept?
8. Are you exceeding customer expectations?
9. Are you creating sensory experiences?
10. Are you focusing on your front liners?

After you have reflected upon these questions, you also have to look at the minor details your restaurant, all of which come together to create that unique identity for your business. If your restaurant is doing well right now (profitably speaking), then good for you. Don’t sit on your laurels and never, for one second, entertain the idea that your success is permanent. Even a great concept or good food can lose its novelty. Always reassess your restaurant’s attributes. Hold on to your key concept but don’t be afraid to introduce subtle changes or additions. Adapting to change is a key factor to branding success. Here are some attributes which you should always keep in check.

1. Menu
2. Food quantity and presentation (this includes flavors, textures and ingredients)
3. Ambience
4. Fixtures (“little things” like customized beverage napkins, customized plates, customized cups and other branded supplies help customers make that familiar association with your establishment)
5. Price
6. Customer service

Marketing and branding, in a way, are never-ending processes. No matter how successful you have become, you have to constantly reinforce the positive attributes that made you successful and adapt to the changing needs and wants of your diners.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Difference Between Branding And Marketing

Are you branding or marketing?

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Restaurant Files: Branding And Marketing

Are you branding your food business? Or are you marketing it?

Some business owners think that restaurant branding and restaurant marketing are practically the same. While it is true that they have their similarities, the truth is, branding your food business and marketing it are two entirely different aspects of managing your business.

Marketing is when you identify your target markets, enforce campaigns to attract new customers and repeat business and sustain momentum with promos and new items on the menu. What about branding? Branding is a longer-term effort to create a niche in the industry. It is a long and subtle process achieved through many ways, one of which is marketing. Remember, not all names or companies become brands. A brand is one that “transcends generations.”

How do you create or identify a brand?

1. Awareness. It’s that sense of familiarity. It does not have to be a cult following that could eventually wane. People see a logo printed on customized beverage napkins or a color or hear a mention of your specialty and they remember your brand. That’s awareness. How does a restaurant achieve this? Presentation. Your food may not be new or innovative but if you present it in a manner that is easy to remember and easy to connect with, it will stick around in people’s memories for a long time.

2. Loyalty. Customer service programs that make people feel like they are part of a family or a community develops loyalty. A brand should be looked on as something that makes people feel comfortable.

3. Perceived quality. Of course, if you want your food business to stick around, you have to have food that’s worth coming back to again and again.

4. Strong and positive associations. When your brand is seen or mentioned, people should have fond memories related to it. It should be a memory that is unique to the kind of food that you offer.

5. Patents and trademarks. Over time, especially when your business is growing, you will find a need to protect your public identity through patents and trademarks. Before you come to this point, you can fortify your brand’s image through novel and simple forms of marketing such as customized beverage napkins, custom cups and custom food containers, among others.

Longevity in the business is not achieved overnight. You can be a hit today but without foresight through branding, your success is likely to be short lived.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

New And Easy Paper Napkin Folding Techniques

If you have used up all the paper napkin folding techniques we’ve shared with you, worry not. We’re back with more!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we’ve got the perfect techniques to add a little art to your dinner table. If you cannot afford to have customized beverage napkins printed out, these simple techniques are the perfect alternative.

1. The Ruffle Fold. Don’t be limited to white napkins (although white is easiest to find and pair with) in your choice of dinner or beverage napkins. Place the napkin in a diamond shape. Make sure that the open corner paints are facing up. Fold the first layer of the top point down so that it meets at the bottom point. Now, take the same top layers and pleat it four times. Pick up the second layer of the top point and do the same. Pleat it four times. For the final step, rotate the napkin in a 90 degrees angle. Fold the bottom half back and away from you.

2. The Shell Fold. We start again with a diamond shape, this time with the open corners facing down. Beginning at the bottom, pick up the first layer of the dinner or beverage napkin and bring it up to meet the top point. Now, bring the second layer of the bottom to about one and a half inch from the top point. Repeat the procedure with the remaining layers. Make sure that they are equally spaced. Flip the napkin over. The point should be facing down. For the final step, fold the top right and left corners down so that they meet in the middle.

Have any paper napkin folding techniques of your own? Share it with us!

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Witty Napkin Messages

Customized beverage napkins are great table accessories for weddings. It's fun, it's affordable and it's cute!

Not sure what to put on your napkins? Here's an idea, courtesy of Every Last Detail.

Via Style Unveiled

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

100 Reasons To Shop At CupDepot

Visit for more information.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More Paper Napkin Folding Techniques

Last week we shared with you ideas on folding paper napkins for a wedding reception. Today, we’re adding a couple more neat tricks you can do to make that plain, old paper napkin extra special. You can also use used customized beverage napkins so learning these techniques is a good way to reuse items headed for the trash.

1. The Simple Pleated Fold. This technique is as simple as its name. First, pick out two paper napkins in coordinating or contrasting colors. The choice depends on the look you want. Uniform colors look more refined while contrasting colors give off a more playful vibe. Unfold both napkins completely and place one on top of the other so that all sides are evenly lined up albeit one is very slightly higher than the other. Now starting at one end, fold the napkins together an inch at a time, in the same way you would fold a fan. Make sure to crease each fold as you go. Fold it in half to create a fan shape. Secure the base with a ribbon or raffia or just go right ahead and pop it in a glass or place it on top of a plate.

2. The Classic Tuxedo Fold. For this technique, you need a white paper napkin and another one in a different color to achieve that tuxedo look. Layer three unfolded napkins atop one another. The top and bottom layer should be the same color while the middle layer should be different. Lightly crease the folds and turn the napkins to a 45-degree angle to make it look like a diamond. Fold the napkins down a layer at a time. The first one should be folded to the center and the fold should be reduced an inch each to show off the different layers of color. Once you have at least three layers of different colors, flip the napkin stack back to the rectangular position and then fold it into thirds lengthwise. When you put it in the plate, make sure the alternating stripes of color are seen.

Got any techniques of your own? Share it with us!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Folding A Paper Napkin For A Wedding Reception

Using paper napkins for your wedding may seem like an odd idea but with creativity, it is actually a cost efficient alternative to linen napkins. In this article, we'll teach you how to make creative paper napkin folds which you can set on a plate, inside a glass or in a traditional napkin ring.

First, make sure to find paper napkins that are the same size and finish as a cloth napkin. Once you have those, you're ready to bring out the artist in you. Let's start with the goblet fan.

1. Open the napkin fully and set it face down on the table. Fold it in half with the open end facing you. Crease the center of the napkin by folding it into quarters. Now, open the quarter fold.

2. Make evenly sized accordion pleats from left to right. Make sure that the crease in the center folds into an accordion fold so that it will evenly sized.

3. Hold the napkin vertically and fold it up an inch from the base. Set the folded part in a goblet or glass. Spread out the accordion pleats to form a fan.

Now, here are the instructions for a diamond fold.

1. Do the same first step we did for the goblet fan.

2. Pull up the topmost layer of the napkin diagonally and fold it outwards into half, towards the left side. Do the same with the other layers of the napkin to create a uniform, layered effect.

3. Now, hold both ends of the napkin with your hands and create a two-inch fold on both ends. Place the folds under the diagonal folds so that it will look like a paper diamond. Press it firmly in place to flatten it and set it on an empty plate.

Another cost efficient option for your wedding reception table is to use customized beverage napkins. Instead of folding napkins, what you need to do is to create a personalized design and find a reliable supplier online. Regardless of which option you choose, using paper napkins for your wedding reception is a great idea to save money on your most special day.

Do you know any paper napkin folding techniques? Share it with us!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to Print Your Own Custom Beverage Napkins

Custom beverage napkins are often used for corporate events or big occasions to signify the importance of the event. However, custom beverage napkins can also be used as gifts for people special to us. Anything we put effort in is always treasured, so maybe it’s time to show appreciation by giving custom beverage napkins as gifts. Here’s how you can print one yourself:
  1. Start by deciding on the logo for your custom beverage napkin. Design the image you want to appear on the napkin or hire a graphic designer to do it for you.     Focus on the details, especially on the color and size of the design.
  2. Once you have the logo you want printed on the napkin, find a firm that can create a stamp of the design for you. You can either email them the design or send it through snail mail. Prices normally start at $8.99.
  3. To save money on creating custom beverage napkins, shop online for wholesale prices. Sometimes, grocery stores don’t provide plain beverage napkins so it’s best to find a specialized dealer of custom napkins. You can also check out physical stores of shops that sell party supplies. They will most likely be the ones who offer custom napkins that are in the color of your choice.
  4. Once you have the custom stamp, purchase a color ink to use on the napkin. You can also purchase colored inks from stores that sell school supplies.
  5. When all your supplies are complete (custom beverage napkins, custom stamp, and ink pad), place the stamp on the ink pad, then press it gently on the napkin for at least 10 seconds. After removing it, dry the napkin in front of an electric fan or in the shade.

Custom beverage napkins are easy to do and they really won’t take too much of your time. With the right napkin supplier, you can easily save on supplies and other expenses.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Project Paper Hot Cup: Cup Anemometer

Learning can come from even the simplest activities like playing, especially if a capable adult supervises it. In this issue of Project Paper Hot Cup, we are going to help you transform your children’s play time into a creative science experiment by teaching you how to make an anemometer from using recycled paper hot cups.

First things first. What is an anemometer? An anemometer is an instrument used to measure wind speed. It is one of many tools used by scientists to predict weather patterns. Of course, professional caliber anemometers are more complex but a cup anemometer is a great learning tool for budding scientists.

For this paper hot cup project, you will need five small used and cleaned up hot cups, a hole puncher, scissors, a marker, a sharpened pencil, two non-bending drinking straws, push pins, and a stapler.

1. Line up the hot cups on a flat surface. Punch a hole, about half an inch from the top, on the side of each of the four cups. On the fifth cup, punch four holes, about a quarter inch from the top, equally spaced around the rim of the cup.

2. To make the paper cups lighter, trim the lipped rim off the first four cups. Mark the bottom of one of the four cups with an X.

3. Push the sharpened pencil (pointed end first) through the center of the bottom of the fifth cup. Make sure that the eraser is inside the cup and the sharpened point is extended underneath.

4. Feed the straws through the four holes at the top of the fifth cup, making sure that they cross in the center. Push the pushpin through the intersection of the straws. Now, slide the pencil up inside the paper cup until the eraser is touching the point of the pushpin. Secure the straws to the pencil by pushing the pin into the eraser.

5. Slide the remaining cups on the ends of the straws. Fold the end of the straw and staple it opposite to the side with the hole. To check your work, make sure that the cups are on their sides and the open ends should all be pointing in the same direction.
6. Finally, take the finished anemometer outside and watch it spin. Count the number of spins by keeping track of the marked cup (the one with the X on the bottom).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Project Paper Cup: Fourth of July Patriotic Punch Game

Happy Fourth of July! The day may be over but the spirit of independence is very much still in the air. Moms and dads, here is a fun way to instill patriotism in your young ones—turn it into a game! For this issue of Project Paper Cup, we are going to teach you how to make and play the Fourth of July Patriotic Punch Game. As always, we are going to use recycled hot cups so you can also teach your kids about the value of being environment-friendly and resourceful.

For this project, prepare about 20 used and cleaned up hot cups, a foam board, colored paper in red, white and blue (you can use colored tissue paper), glue sticks, glue gun, a pair of scissors and of course, prizes!

First, glue the bottom of the used paper hot cups to the foam board. Form a 4x5 rectangle. Fill each cup with little trinkets which will serve as the prizes. Next, cut 20 squares from your colored paper. Make sure you have four blue squares, eight red and eight white. The squares should be big enough to cover the top of the cup and each should be labeled with a number from 1 to 20. Now, you can glue the paper squares to the rim of the cups one at a time. Do not just randomly glue on the squares. The idea here is to make an image of the flag. Once you are done, hang it up on a wall and get ready to play.

Now, here are the rules of the game. Have the kids pick a number and instruct them to punch through the paper with the corresponding number so they can get the prize inside the hot cup. You can use improvised darts (be careful!) and have the kids stand a few feet away from the foam board for more fun and excitement.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Project Paper Cup: Paper Hot Cup Maracas

Welcome to another edition Project Paper Cup! In this issue, we are going to focus on kid-friendly art projects using paper hot cups.

Music is a powerful tool that is not just for enjoyment. For children, music can aid learning and help in their mental and emotional development. That is why it is good (and highly recommended!) to expose our young ones to music. Aside from teaching them how to play musical instruments, another great way to do this is by helping them make their own musical instruments! In this issue, we are going to teach you how to make paper hot cup maracas using used (but of course clean) paper hot cups. Not only is this eco-friendly, this project also helps kids learn the value of resourcefulness and improve their creativity.

Aside from recycled paper hot cups (you need at least two), you will also need packing tape, art supplies and something to shake around inside. You can either use pasta or rice or you can also ask your kids to go around the house (as part of the project) and look for knick-knacks that they can put inside. Having several options for the content of your maracas is also a good way for a little scientific experiment. Ask your children to pinpoint the different sounds created by each item and have them come up with different sounds by combining the objects that you have.

Making the actual maracas is simple. Fill one paper hot cup with up to ¾ full of your chosen object and place another one on top. Tape them together and voila! You’ve got yourself instant paper hot cup maracas. Use your art supplies to decorate the exterior of the paper hot cup. You can add glitters, stickers or even draw your kid’s favorite cartoon character. The creative possibilities are endless!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Paper Hot Cups As Marketing Tools

In this day and age, being an entrepreneur means being resourceful when it comes to marketing and advertising your brand. Of course, there still is the traditional marketing media but the cost is high and the competition is stiff. If you are a small to medium entrepreneur with a small to medium marketing budget, here is an idea for you—use paper hot cups as a marketing tool. Paper hot cups are relatively low cost marketing items, especially if you purchase in bulk. The composition of paper cups also makes it ideal for logo printing. Customizing paper cups is already a well-established technology and many paper hot cups manufacturers also offer customizing services. Additionally, paper hot cups are available in a variety of sizes and designs, so you can choose which cup matches your brand or business requirement. Because paper hot cups are used widely and not only in the food services industry, it has great potential for reaching out to a wider market. With a customized paper hot cup, your brand can penetrate all market levels. After all, drinking from a paper hot cup is a universal act which transcends socio-economic ranks. Whether in the office or for home use during parties or picnics, paper hot cups are essential convenience supplies.

Customized paper hot cups may also be used as giveaways. Customers always appreciate freebies but they appreciate it even more when they are given functional freebies. Aside from marketing and advertising, paper hot cups may also be used as tools for promotion. For example, use specially printed paper hot cups as requisite items to claim a special prize or to receive a free item.

If you are concerned about the “eco-friendliness” of using a paper hot cup as a marketing tool, you can also use this as a business opportunity to encourage your customers to recycle. For example, come up with a promotion wherein customers can return your used customized paper hot cups and they will be rewarded accordingly for doing so. Aside from being corporately responsible, you are also building a positive image for your brand.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Project Paper Cup: Pull-Along Dragon

Welcome to another edition of Project Paper Cup! For this article, we are using paper hot cups to come up with another simple and exciting kiddie project.

Today, we are going to teach you how to make a pull-along dragon from used hot cups and basic art supplies. This project is not just a good creative exercise; it is also a good way to teach your young ones about other cultures, particularly Chinese culture. Aside from spending precious bonding time with them, teaching your kids how to make their own toys is also a good way to inculcate the value of saving money, being resourceful and eco-friendly.

For this paper cup project, you will need used paper hot cups and art supplies such as poster paint, printable construction paper, beads, jingle bells (you can get this from a specialty art store), scissors, glue gun, scotch tape, pencil, hole puncher, small coins and crayons.

First, get four used paper hot cups. Make sure to clean it. Trim it to about two inches. Punch two holes on opposing sides on the middle portion of three of the hot cups. Use pencil to punch one hole on the bottom of the fourth cup. Next, paint the paper hot cups with your preferred color of poster paint. (Color tip: Red is culturally significant and symbolic.) Add streaks of silver and gold to each of the cup.

Print out a template of your dragon’s head (you can also draw it yourself) on a piece of construction paper. Make sure it is bigger than the mouth of your paper hot cups. Color the head and design as you please. Cut it out and set aside. Now, cut a piece of string and make a knot on one end. String a jingle bell and two to three piece of large beads through the string. String the three paper cups through the string with a one-inch drinking straw in between the cups. String the fourth cup through the bottom hole and make a knot.

Punch a hole on the top portion of the dragon’s head and using a glue gun, attach your dragon’s head to the mouth of the fourth cup. Next, tape a small coin below each hole on the hot cup attached to the head. This is to provide stability to your dragon when you pull it along. Finally, attach a long piece of string through the hole on your dragon’s head. Once the glue and paint are completely dry, you are ready to take it for a walk!

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Warm and Delightful Drinks You Can Enjoy in a Hot Cup

The weather constantly changes from being cool to extreme cold, from hot to really hot. Hot beverages are the one thing that remains constant throughout the consistent weather fluctuations we are currently experiencing. Hot beverages are drinks that are served in hot cups, normally served heated either through adding heated liquid such as milk or water or direct heat on the beverage itself. Hot cups serve the purpose of being a container for these well-loved and comforting drinks that people enjoy during any weather. Here are some of the most often enjoyed drinks people make in hot cups.

1. Coffee – The most common coffee-based beverages served in a hot cup are cafĂ© au lait, cappuccino, coffee, espresso, latte, and other flavored coffees. Coffee comes from roasted seeds called coffee beans which are mostly cultivated in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Office workers and other employees often find themselves invigorated when drinking coffee first thing in the morning or extremely grumpy if they are without their morning fix. A hot cup of coffee is therefore the best way to start an early day. The recent boom in the coffee industry is primarily because of commercially-available hot cup drinks from Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, and Coffee Bean.

2. Hot Chocolate – Hot cocoa or cocoa is often served in a hot cup to get the most flavor out of it. It is made from shaved chocolate, melted chocolate, heated milk or water, and sugar. It has a sweet taste to it, which kids find perfectly delicious. Additionally, hot cocoa in a hot cup is seen as an alternative for non-coffee drinkers because it provides warmth and comfort minus the caffeine which drinkers sometimes consider unhealthy.

3. Tea – Hot tea is considered the 2nd most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water. Hot tea in a hot cup is enjoyed in most parts of Australia, Europe, and Asia. Tea is the agricultural product of Camellia sinensis, a plant native to China, South, and Southeast Asia but it is now cultivated in other tropical and subtropical regions as well. The term “tea” also refers to hot beverages served in a hot cup infused with leaves, flowers, or herbs that do not come from the Camellia sinensis.

Whether it is coffee, hot chocolate, or tea that you enjoy, remember that hot beverages are best served in hot cups. Choose an eco-friendly hot cup so that you do not harm the environment upon disposing the item.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Project Paper Cup: An Eco-Friendly Easter With Recycled Paper Hot Cups

Moms and dads! Holiday alert! Another kid-friendly holiday is approaching—Easter! For kids, Easter means egg hunts and other festivities. For moms and dads, this also means a perfect opportunity for some easy and eco-friendly art projects. Project Paper Cup presents, Easter-inspired paper cup crafts.

For this project, we will be using a particular kind of paper cup—hot cups. Gather as many used hot cups as you can and bring out your art supplies including some scissors, glue, stapler, pink felt paper, white chenille stems, small pom-poms and wiggle eyes (you can get these from the nearby craft store). If you cannot find mini pom-poms, you can cut out thin strips of crepe paper and use this as a substitute for colored pom-poms. You can also use cotton balls to replace white pom-poms.

For this eco-friendly Easter art project, we will be making an Easter bunny. This is an easy project so you can make as many as you can—the more recycled hot cups you can collect, the better!

Start by cutting two ovals from the pink felt paper. This will be the bunny’s ears. Make sure to trim one side of the oval so it will be squared off at the bottom. You also can cut smaller ovals from another felt paper of a different color and then glue these on top of the bigger ones. Attach these to the back rim of the hot cup with a stapler. Next, cut the white chenille stems into two short pieces. These will serve as the whiskers. Glue these to the hot cup as well as the pink pom-pom on top so this will serve as the nose. Finally, glue the white pom-pom to the back of the cup to create a cotton tail. You can now fill it with candy treats for Easter.

Happy Easter!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The 411 on Paper Hot Cups

Have you ever wondered what makes a paper hot cup? What is in a hot cup that isn’t in other types of paper cups?

Paper is an ideal cup insulator because of three of its properties. First, it is able to reduce the passage of air through a cup because of the wood fibers that trap the air. It also conducts less heat and finally, paper blocks the passage of light radiation so it further reduces the passage of heat through the cup.

Regular paper cups can hold warm to fairly hot drinks but when it gets piping hot, you will probably need a cup sleeve or better yet, a hot cup. Hot cups are specifically designed for greater heat retention. Think of it as a cup with double walls or layers in which air is trapped. Therefore, the heat does not transfer to the human hand. Some multi layered paper hot cups have a decorative and corrugated layer which allows for better insulation as well as an opportunity for branding or advertising.

In the beginning, hot cups were made by being glued together. Its waterproof property was then achieved by dropping a small amount of clay in the bottom of the cup. The cup was then spun at a high speed in order for the clay to travel up to the walls of the cup so that it could be water resistant. However, due to this process, the cup’s content reeked and tasted of cardboard. To remedy this, hot cup manufacturers have developed the technique of spraying both the inside and the outside of the cup with wax. Later on though, polyethylene (PE) was invented and it was used to cover the surface of the board. The coating used for cups varies for hot drinks and cold drinks. Some paper cup manufacturers use PLA or polylactic acid or polylactide, which is a renewable resource and a biodegradable bio-plastic coating, to coat paper cups. The use of PLA makes a paper cup more compostable and thus more eco-friendly.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Project Paper Cup: “Froggy” Fun with Yogurt Paper Cups

In the previous editions of Project Paper Cup, we have shared with you different fun and easy ways to create different kinds of paper animals. For this issue, we are going to add another animal to our collection but we are going to do it with a little twist. We are going to do a paper frog, but not just an idle frog. We are going to make a paper frog catching a fly! As usual, we are going to try to be as eco-friendly as we are creative and that is why we are going to use recycled yogurt paper cups for this project.

Aside from used yogurt paper cups, you will also need black construction paper, green construction paper, bond paper, a pair of scissors, tape, glue, a red pipe cleaner or straw and coloring materials.

First, cut horizontal strips from your green construction paper. Wrap them around your yogurt paper cup until it is completely covered. Use tape or glue to secure it. Set aside. This will be your frog’s body. Now, it’s time to work on your frog’s legs, eyes, and mouth. You can also use the remainder of your green construction paper. Make sure to create four legs—two large ones and two small ones. If you are unsure on how to go about it, look at pictures of frogs for reference. When you attach them to the body of your frog, take note to attach the large ones to the sides and the smaller ones towards the front. Get some of your bond paper and black construction paper. Use the former to cut out eyes and part of your frog’s large, triangular mouth. Use the latter to complete the lower half of your frog’s mouth. Use the same set of papers to create the fly that your frog will catch. It can be as simple as a black bug with white wings.

Now, get your pipe cleaner. This will serve as your frog’s tongue. On one end, attach your black and white bug. Then glue the other end to your frog’s mouth. Make sure to slightly twist the pipe to give it more dimension. Use your coloring materials to further decorate the frog. Have fun with it! And don’t forget to show your finished product to family and friends.

Like we always say, when it comes to converting used yogurt paper cups into easy-to-do and fun art projects, the only limit is your imagination. The next time you are enjoying a healthy serving of yogurt, don’t forget to save the cup because here in Project Paper Cup, we turn trash into art.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Project Paper Cup: Chinese Paper Lanterns Made from Yogurt Paper Cups

Kung hei fat choi!

Chinese New Year has finally arrived and we hope you all enjoyed celebrating this worldwide festivity whether you partake in celebration or not. The Chinese New Year is officially punctuated by the Lantern Festival, which in some regions and countries is also said to be the Chinese version of Valentine’s Day. For this edition of Project Paper Cup, we shall be making our very own Chinese paper lanterns made from recycled yogurt paper cups. In ancient times, it is said that the paper lanterns were made simple because only the aristocrats could afford to make elaborate lanterns. Today, Chinese paper lanterns are made with many complex designs.

For our yogurt paper cup version, we’ll make it red and glittery. So aside from used and cleaned up yogurt paper cups, you’ll need scissors, two kinds of glue—the regular white glue and gold glitter glue, gold glitter chenille stem, red acrylic paint, and gold felt paper.

First, get your chenille stem and cut it in half. Insert both ends to the bottom of one of the cups. This will serve as your hanger. Reach inside the cup and bend the ends to secure it. Now, get another yogurt paper cup and make sure it is the same size as the one with chenille stem. Glue it together mouth to mouth and set it aside to dry. Once dry, paint it with red acrylic. You may coat it twice for a brighter hue of red. Again, allow it to air dry for a few minutes. While waiting for your yogurt paper cups to dry, get your gold felt paper and cut a piece of about five inches. Fringe it with scissors by cutting thin slits. Go back to your yogurt paper cups and decorate it using your gold glitter glue. Let dry and then attach the fringed felt to the bottom of the cups. Make sure to hang your lantern!

If you have more used yogurt paper cups, you can make more paper lanterns and you can customize each one. You can even give it away as gifts. See you next time for another edition of Project Paper Cup for more simple and eco-friendly ways to reuse your yogurt paper cups.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Project Paper Cup: Valentine’s Day-Inspired Yogurt Paper Cups

January is fast coming to a close and before you know it, it’s going to be the month of love. Valentines season is another well-known gift giving season and people will surely be lining up for flowers, cards, chocolates and other typical Valentines gift items. Now, here’s an idea that will save you dollars and will merit more “aaahhs” from your special someone. How about giving your special someone a special Valentine’s Day cup made from used yogurt paper cups? It’s sweet, it’s thoughtful and best of all, it’s also Eco-friendly. This paper cup project is also ideal for kids who want to give some Valentines love to family and friends.

For this edition of project paper cup, you will need used and cleaned up yogurt paper cups, scissors, colored paper, a popsicle stick, tin foil, glue and your stock of art supplies. You can choose from two versions of this yogurt paper cup project. For the first one, cover your used yogurt paper cup with tin foil. You can also choose to cover it with colored paper. Stuff it with paper inside. Make sure the space inside is tight so it will hold up the popsicle stick. Stick in the popsicle stick. Cut out a heart shaped paper and write your message on it. Glue it on to the top of the stick. Add some glitters for sparkle. You can also put a kiss mark on it. As a final touch, wrap the body of the yogurt paper cup in a nice red ribbon.

The second version is pretty much the same except that you turn the cup upside down. So instead of stuffing paper in the cup, you poke a hole at the bottom of it. Use a barbecue stick instead of a popsicle stick. (Kids, be careful!) You can make more hearts if you want to. And you can cover up the stick by making paper leaves.

Ready to make someone smile this coming Valentines season? We bet you are! Keep reading this blog for more easy and eco-friendly ways to reuse yogurt paper cups and plastic cups. Enjoy!