Ever feel bad about throwing away plastic cups? And during the summer, with all the birthdays, pool parties, BBQ and picnics-- well, that's a whole lot of cups! Since most events that we are attending this summer are pot-luck, I volunteer to bring the cups. That way, I can buy the right ones (wink!) and use them for this awesome project!
Which ones are the right ones? Well, type 6 recycling plastic is the same as shrinky dinks! So I bought a rainbow of cups in the transparent colors (about 25 per pack). After a couple of events, and with a bag and sign for recycling the cups, I had enough to make this sun catcher!
First, start with clean cups. The kind I had were octagonal but had a circular base. I punctured the base with pointed scissors and then cut around the circle to take the base of the cup off.
At the top of the cup, I used a hole punch to put two holes directly across from each other. These will allow you to string them together later. I used jelly roll pans and an oven at 120 degrees celsius (250 degrees farenheit.) I lined my pans with parchment paper and placed the cups TOP SIDE DOWN with the hole from cutting off the base pointing up. You don't have to space them out much-- they don't really spread as they melt. If your oven is already hot, it only takes about 2 minutes or so for the cups to melt. If they aren't completely flat, just use a spatula right after you take them out to flatten them. I have granite counter tops, so I just scooped them off the cookie sheet and let them cool on the counter. They are still a little flimsy right out of the oven, so I wouldn't use a cookie rack to cool them.
Once cooled (which only takes a second), I used gold yarn to string them up with an outer circular layer and an inner one. For the top of the chandelier, I used a clock box from Ikea, spray painted yellow.
Since it was octagonal, I decided that it would be easiest to have 8 strings of discs for the outer ring and 8 (staggered in between the original 8) for the inner ring. . The outer ring has 5 discs (one of each color) and the inner ring has 7 discs, so that they would hang down a little more.
I used a different order for colors for the inner ring so that the colors would mix between the two layers.
So- all total you will need 8x5=40 cups for the outer layer and 8x7=56 for the inner layer, or total 96 cups.
It's not evenly distributed between the 5 colors, so decide on your color scheme first to see which colors you'll need I left one end of the string of discs a little longer (tied the other end to the last disc) and then used a needle to thread it through the painted box. I tied adjoining strings together using a square knot, just to keep them from slipping out. Well go back and hot glue everything in place once everything is attached to the box.
Since clock boxes have a central circle, I used an extra plastic ring with yarn tied to it (and hot-glued into place on the box) to hang the whole contraption by stringing it up through that hole.
Then, hang by a window and enjoy!