Step-by-Step Guide: Create a Coffee Cup Sleeve out of Glue
So you’ve mastered the basics of gluing and you want to take your glue gun skills to the next level? Read on for our easy guide to creating a reusable coffee cup sleeve out of glue. From drawing the design, to using your Dremel glue gun, and those essential finishing touches, we’ll take you through each step so you’ll acquire the skills to create something truly unique.
Step 1: Cut a piece of baking paper for your reusable coffee cup
Gather the following: a reusable coffee cup, a pair of scissors, baking paper, clear tape and a marker. Now, cut out a piece of baking paper that can fit all the way around the cup. Once this is cut, wrap the paper around the cup and fix it with clear tape (masking tape won’t stick to the baking paper.)
Step 2: Draw the outline of the sleeve on the paper
Here’s the part where you decide on the shape and size of your sleeve. With the paper around the cup, draw out the outer lines of the sleeve. To help guide the marker, put a finger on the side of the cup. This way, you will keep the cup stable and create a nice straight line for the glue.
Step 3: Roughly cut the sleeve shape
Remove the paper from the coffee cup and place it on a clean, flat surface. Now take the scissors and roughly cut out the sleeve, making sure to leave a one centimetre gap around the drawing. You’ll need this later for the gluing stage! Now grab your ruler for the next step, which is all about the design. We’ve created a super easy but impressive design for you to copy…
Step 4: Create your design
In this example, we’ve chosen a graphic design with symmetrical lines, but you can choose whichever design you like! To create this style, measure the drawing and vertically divide the sleeve into four parts. Then, horizontally divide the sleeve into three parts. You can now draw diagonal lines in between the sections. Each section has three diagonal lines. Happy with your design? On to the next step!
Step 5: Wrap the design onto the coffee cup
To avoid the ink on the baking paper sticking to the glue (which you will apply in the next step), turn the paper around and place it on the cup so the drawing is facing the surface. You will still be able to see the marker lines through the paper. Now secure one end with clear tape and wrap the rest of the design around the cup, finally securing the other end with tape.
Step 6: Prepare your hot melt glue gun
Let the gluing begin! Firstly, you’ll need a glue gun with a dual temperature option – such as the Dremel Glue Gun 930 [LINK] - as coloured glue needs a low temperature setting. You’ll be alternating between white (multi-purpose) glue and coloured glue. We’ve chosen blue but you can go with any colour! Insert a white glue stick into the glue gun. Before you start gluing, make sure your glue is fully warmed up by testing if it’s liquid on a piece of scrap material. Learn more on how to use a glue gun in our beginner’s guide
Step 7: Glue the design onto the paper
You want to aim for the reusable coffee cup sleeve to be flexible but firm, so make sure you apply quite a thick layer of glue. Begin to fill in the upper triangles with glue. Next, fill in the middle line. Now it’s time to switch to the coloured glue to fill in the remaining sections. After this is done, you can let the glue cool down and set. This takes around 20 minutes. To prevent the glue from dripping while it cools, keep turning the cup in a slightly slanted angle during the first few minutes.
Step 8: Take off the paper with the sleeve
Once the glue has fully dried and cooled, take the paper with the glued sleeve off the cup. First, carefully peel off the tape and then slide off the paper with the sleeve still on it. Now, from the inside out, peel the baking paper off the sleeve. Take your time and you’ll be fine. Almost there!
Step 9: Cut off excess glue
Doesn’t it look great? It really is amazing what you can do with a glue gun. Add the finishing touches and smarten any edges by trimming off excess glue that might have built up. You can do this with a pair of scissors. To make the sleeve uniform, try trimming all of the edges so they are neat and smooth to the touch.
Step 10: Enjoy! Have a cup of coffee
Congratulations! You’ve made your very own reusable coffee cup sleeve. So, put the sleeve on your mug, admire your work and have a cup of coffee. Quick tip: don’t forget to switch off your glue gun and clean the nozzle before it cools. That way you can clean any excess glue before it sets and blocks the nozzle, and you’re ready for your next gluing project!