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Plastic-Cup Telephone
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Credit: Missy Maxwell

Hi everyone! Missy here with another fun craft project for you. During the Summer, I spent a lot of time with my Grandma. A craft she taught me from her own childhood was to make tin-can telephones. I decided to modify this craft with recycled plastic cups. Here’s how to make a plastic cup telephone. 



  • 2 clean recycled plastic cups (I used Starbucks iced coffee cups)
  • 8-10 feet of string
  • Big needle
  • Craft paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Recycled plastic lid (for a palette)


  1. Squeeze some paint onto your palette. Use your paintbrush to paint each of your cups.
  2. Let the paint dry.
  3. Use your needle to poke a hole in the center of the bottom of each cup.
  4. Thread your needle with your string.
  5. Tie a triple-knot in the very end of the string.
  6. Use the needle to take the string into the cup and out the bottom so the knot is inside the cup.
  7. Now use the needle to take the string into the other cup through the top.
  8. Take the needle of the string and tie a triple knot in the other end of the string.
  9. Pull the knots tight to the inside-bottoms of the cups.

Wrap Up

Now grab a friend and go outside to test your plastic-cup telephone! Take turns speaking into the cup and listening with your ear to the cup. Make sure to pull the tension between cups straight and tight. Try whispering. Can you hear your friend when they speak into the cup? Can they hear you? Be creative and have fun!

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