This morning, for the second time this week, we woke up to a fresh blanket of white snow! Fairly unheard of for Portland, Oregon…but my kids are loving it. My girl is home sick from school today, so I’m sure there will be lots of snuggling, Christmas movie watching and hot drink sipping on my schedule today. Perhaps I’ll sneak in some holiday baking, too!
Speaking of hot drink sipping, this past weekend my parents (aka: Nana & Papa) made the kids’ day when the took them on a special date and home for a sleepover. First they rode the MAX train downtown (a highlight for my train-obsessed son!) to Macy’s to visit Santaland. They wrote letters to Santa, sat on his lap and told him their wishes (I’m sure it was quite a long visit!), and got to pick out a special Christmas ornament. After all that excitement, they headed to Starbucks for a treat and then back to my parents’ house to help them decorate their tree. My kids had been holding in their excitement all morning until Nana and Papa arrived, but then there was no holding back. They were in super-hype mode until 10pm that night! Apparently that’s Papa’s payback for always turning them into maniacs 5 minutes before bedtime when they’re at our house. :)
Knowing that the gang was going to be outside in the 20 degree weather, I decided to pack them a little treat. Insulated paper to-go cups were quickly transformed with wrapping paper, cardstock, washi tape and a felt sticker to create custom wrapped hot cocoa cups with monogram tags. Add a coordinating striped paper straw, fill with your hot drink of choice (ours was candy cane hot cocoa from Trader Joe’s), a snack packaged up in cello bags from the craft store and you’re good to go! I had made the pumpkin apple gingerbread muffins (from bakedbyrachel.com) the day before and my daughter has now eaten almost the entire batch herself! With big chunks of apple and a combo of all my favorite flavors, they were quite the hit.
- t0-go paper coffee cup (these were Chinet brand)
- wrapping paper or scrapbook paper (plaid wrapping paper from Target)
- kraft cardstock
- felt letter stickers (or sticker of choice)
- large flag paper punch by EK Success (optional)
- washi tape
- double sided tape
WRAPPED CUPS // Unroll your wrapping paper. Starting near one edge, lay your cup flat on the paper. Using a pencil, trace the top and bottom starting points of your cup. Holding your cup steady with one hand, place your pencil at the top edge of your cup and trace the arc as you slowly roll your cup across the paper approx. 4-6 inches. Carefully roll your cup back to the starting point and repeat, tracing the arc of the bottom edge as you roll the cup. Repeat this, tracing the top and bottom of the cup, as you roll it across the paper. (It sounds tricky, but you’ll get the hang of it after you try it. Perhaps try it on a scrap piece of paper first.)
Cut out your template, cutting approx. 1/4 inch inside the line on both sides. Wrap around your cup to test the length you’ll need and allow for a 1 inch overlap. Cut off the excess. Using double sided tape, tape the underside of one edge of the wrap to your cup, wrap the remaining paper around the cup and tape the other end in place. Trim the bottom edge, if needed.
MONOGRAM TAGS // Cut a rectangle from kraft cardstock. (Or use a paper punch, if you have one.) Cut a shallow upside down V notch at one end of the tag. Adhere your sticker monogram to the tag. (I included “N” for Nana and “P” for Papa, instead of their “real” names. :)) Tape tag onto wrapped cup with washi tape. (Alternative: punch a small hole at top of tag and use baker’s twine to tie tag around cup, taping on the back side to hold it in place.)
Are you loving this idea as much as I am?! Such an easy DIY project with big impact. Of course, you don’t have to save this idea just for the holidays. You can use any size cup and any pattern of paper to match your decor or party theme. Perfect for birthdays, baby showers or class parties, too. You can also use the cup as gift packaging–fill with treats or a gift card for an easy neighbor or teacher gift.
In case you’re looking for a great online shop for paper straws and baking supplies, Sweets & Treats Boutique is my go-to favorite. (They have no idea who I am, I just love their shop!) They have 100+ styles of paper straws, many styles that I’ve never seen in other shops. I also used their greaseproof cupcake/muffin liners to bake my muffins. (Tip: watch for sales. These striped ones went on clearance last year for 50 cents a set, so I bought every color they make!) Their metallic paper straws are definitely on my stocking stuffer list!
I hope you have a cozy day and find a way to bless those you love with a little special touch to make their day.