Uses of Paper Cups


Paper cup production began in the early 1900s with an emphasis on disease prevention. Since paper cups are disposable, drinking from them prevents germ transfer and promotes health. Aside from their hygienic benefits, paper cups make day-to-day life easier in a number of ways. As of 2009, 220 billion paper cups were used worldwide per year, according to the East Europe Pack website.


  • Fill paper cups half full of sand, then place a tea light candle inside to create decorative outdoor luminaries. Create an inexpensive party hat by painting a paper cup, punching a hole on either side of the rim and securing elastic string. Paper cups make useful tools for art projects, such as painting and egg dying. Keep individual paint colors separated and dispose of paint quickly after a messy art project. Mix colored dye and vinegar in paper cups to dye Easter eggs.

Food and Drink

  • Paper cups are a helpful kitchen aid that have more purposes than holding beverages. Pour fruit-flavored drinks or fruit juice into paper cups, insert wooden sticks and freeze. Easily tear or slide paper cups off of frozen fruit juice to enjoy mini Popsicles. Small children benefit from paper cups during a field trip or during school: Serve individualized finger foods such as trail mix in paper cups. Paper cups make excellent Jell-O shot containers because they are easy to crush and enable quick consumption.


  • Small children can create a toy telephone by punching a tiny hole in the bottom of two paper cups, threading a string through each hole and securing it in a knot. Have two children hold a cup and walk away from each other until the string between them is pulled taut. The children may now hear each other speak by talking into the paper cups and placing them to their ears. In addition, three paper cups become a magic trick when used to hide a small toy or rubber ball. Paper cups also make excellent sand castle molds.


  • Rather than use plastic garden containers to nurture small plants, utilize paper cups. Bury tiny sprouts or seeds in potting soil within a paper cup and place it in your window sill. Paper cups help small plants acclimate to outdoor conditions without exposing their fragile roots to insects. Plants may also be discouraged from spreading undesirably by growing in paper cups. Once plants are mature enough to be planted in the ground, paper cups are easy to remove and dispose of.

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