DIY: K-Cup Christmas Lights

December 19, 2012

Attention, coffee drinkers! Have you ever wondered what to do with your empty K-cups besides adding them to your recycle bin? Here is a great way to reuse them and get festive at the same time. Instead of throwing them away, you'll want to start collecting them. I have provided step-by-step instructions below to help you get started in making your very own K-cup Christmas lights! 

Tools needed before you begin:

  • Used K-Cups (as many as needed for your light strand)
  • Strand of Christmas lights
  • Sharp knife
  • Scissors
  • Large piece of cardboard
  • Spray paint
  • Decorative elements (optional)

1. Clean out the used K-cups

Once you have enjoyed your cup of coffee or tea, peel the foil cover from the top of the K-cup. You will need to scrape out the paper filter inside with a knife. Do not use a serrated knife as it may puncture the edges of the cup. Once you have removed the filter, there may be a circular, plastic ring at the bottom. Set it aside. Note: Hot chocolate and cappuccino usually will not have a paper filter because the cup contents flow out with the water into your beverage. Wash the empty K-cup with warm, soapy water.

2. Enlarge the puncture hole at the bottom

Since there is already a hole at the bottom of the K-cup, part of the work is done for you. Enlarge the hole by taking scissors and cutting the hole slightly bigger. Don't make the hole too big, or your lights won't stay in. I recommend testing the lights to be sure they fit before moving on. You shouldn't need to add tape, glue or any other adhesive to keep the cups secure.

3. Spray paint the K-cups

Using a large flat piece of cardboard, place your K-cups top down with about 2-3 inches between each cup. Select the paint color of your choice, and evenly spray the cups until they are well covered. I did not add a second coat because the paint I used was for one-coat application. Once they are dry, turn them all over to spray the inside of the cups. Painting both the inside and outside of the K-cups will give you more of a finished look, and it disguises any cups that are a different color.

4. Connect the lights

Once the K-cups are completely dry, I allowed them to dry overnight, then you are ready to connect the lights. Simply push the lights through the holes in the bottom of the cups. Be sure to push the light AND light housing through the hole. I chose to use clear bulbs rather than colored or multi-colored bulbs, but use what you prefer for the look you are trying to achieve.

5. Decorate the K-cups

This is an optional step. If you spray your cups with silver, gold, or glitter, they are fine without decorations. For those who love to scrapbook, you may want to get crafty with your embellishments. I chose to decorate mine with sparkly snowflake stickers before adding pine garland and white shimmery tinsel.

Here's the final look of my K-cup Christmas lights. They are sitting on top of my piano. I used a 20-count clear bulb set and silver spray paint. I may decide to dedicate a whole tree to these next year and call it "Coffee Lovers Paradise". I better start saving K-cups now!


Do you think you will try this project at home? If so, let me know by leaving a comment below this post. If you have questions about any of these steps, please feel free to post a comment below.

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