Inspiration in coffee cup sleeves

There’s a local coffee house that uses these really cool cork coffee cup sleeves when you get coffee to go. I had never seen these before. Using cork for the sleeves has several advantages:

  • It insulates better than paper.
  • It is both recyclable and biodegradable.
  • It can be harvested without killing the tree.

There’s another reason – they look really cool. I had been admiring the sleeves for a while before I realized what I was attracted to – I wanted to use them as a material in my work. Luckily, I found a steady source for the sleeves. I have a reusable coffee mug, so I can’t just buy coffee in paper cups for the sleeves. I get them from a fellow coffee-drinker, sans mug, so I feel no guilt. They’d just get thrown away, right? I decided to try making some cards.

The first thing I learned is that the cork is thin enough to get an 1/8″ eyelet through it. That’s pretty much the most important thing to me when I’m making cards – will the eyelet get through?

I attached skeleton leaves to the cork using eyelets and I was pretty happy with how it looked. When setting eyelets through cork, be careful when you push the eyelet through the hole – they tear easily.

Thin pieces of cork with skeleton leaves

Next I layered the cork/leaf piece over some wood veneer paper. The same evil paper I talked about in this post. You may not be able to glue it with PVA, but it sure likes Duck roller adhesive. Finally, that paper is good for something!

Lastly, I attached the whole collaged piece to a folded piece of card stock.

Handmade cards by Blue Roof Designs

I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. They’re different from my usual collaged cards, which are much more girly. I like that they look more natural and textural. I definitely plan to use the cork again. I just need to wait for my friend to drink more coffee.

2 Responses to “Inspiration in coffee cup sleeves”

By Jessica - 18 February 2009 Reply

Thanks for mentioning the cork sleeves. My husband helped to invent them. The website address hasn’t changed, but the website has. It might need to be updated on your blog.
Great to see you’re reusing the sleeves!!!
(Which business did your friend get the sleeves from?)

By elissa - 19 February 2009 Reply

Hi Jessica,

That’s so cool that your husband was involved in the development of the sleeves. I believe the coffee joint in question is Espresso Bueno in Barre, VT.

And thanks for the tip on the website – I updated my link.


So what do you think? I'd love to know!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This