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DIY Cup Cases for Frosted Christmas Trees

It seems as though everyone has discovered the fun of creating frosted ice cream cone Christmas trees! (The simplicity of the craft with delicious candy treats makes it the perfect classroom party project.) I have received dozens of questions and comments about the plastic cups I use as carrying cases. I’m thrilled to share a tutorial to help you prep for the easiest mess-free way to transport those adorable frosted Christmas trees.

This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which helps to support the blog.

clear plastic cups sitting upside-down on green table cloth with ribbon loop attached to top to carry trees home when they are finished

If you missed the post about the ice cream cone trees we frosted at my class Christmas party, you definitely want to check it out.

frosted christmas trees decorated with assorted candy siting inside clear plastic carrying cup "frosted christmas trees"

First of all… brace yourself. I do not consider myself a handy person. I’m a laptop kind of girl and power tools frighten me. I had to use a drill to prepare the cups and I was a little nervous. The school custodian fixed me up with his drill, bit, and safety glasses. Once I had the proper equipment, I was good-to-go.

teacher wearing clear safety goggles and holding black camera while taking selfie in mirror

Materials Needed

You will need 20 ounce clear plastic cups with lids for this project. Grab them on Amazon!
You’ll also need holiday ribbon, a cordless drill, and 5/16″ drill bit.


After gathering my materials, I was ready to drill!
I drilled 2 holes into the bottom of each cup.
The goal was to place both holes near the center of the cup.

black power drill drilling hole into bottom of clear plastic cup

Before long, I had a collection of drilled cups and bits of plastic debris on the table.

clear plastic cup turned on its side to show bottom of cup with two wholes drilled adjacent to each other

With the holes complete, my next task was to thread ribbon throughout the holes to create a loop.

frosted christmas tree carrying cup flippied upside down with two holes drilled into bottom

This required a very specific and highly-technical tool…
a paperclip.
Ok, maybe it isn’t a very technical tool.
I opened one prong of the paperclip and kept the rest of it coiled so I could easily maintain my grip on the clip while I worked.

First, I used the paperclip to push one end of a 12″ strip of ribbon into the cup. I pushed about 2″ of the strip through the hole.

teaching using unfolded paper clip to push Christmas tree ribbon down into hole in carrying case

The next part was a bit more tricky. I reached into the cup and used the paperclip to thread the same piece of ribbon up through the second hole and back out the bottom of the cup.

teacher using paper clip to push ribbon up through the hole adjacent to the first
teacher using unfolded paperclip to push festive ribbon through the bottom of a clear plastic cup

Once the ribbon was pulled through both holes, I joined the two ends together and tied a simple knot. My collection of cups was ready for the party!

completed frosted Christmas tree carrying cases sit on white table ready for kindergarten classroom party

These cup cases were the perfect way to showcase and display my students’ frosted tree creations!

group of completed trees in their carrying cases sitting on green table cloth ready to go home with kindergarten students

Want to see how I managed this holiday project in my kindergarten classroom during our party? I wrote about it in my Frosted Christmas Party blog post.

the completed kindergarten Christmas craft is a festively decorated tree sitting inside of plastic cup carrying case

Happy Holidays!

More Kindercraze Holiday Ideas

If you are looking for more fun holiday themed ideas, be sure to check out the blog posts below. They are filled with fun ideas and projects that will spread the joy of the holiday season.

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

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19 Responses

    1. They stay on tight all by themselves! Plus, not glueing them allows kids to break into the cups when their parents are ready to let them eat it 🙂

  1. Thanks so much for this– we just did it for our Christmas parties this week! I’d always wondered how to get these decorated sugar cones tree home in one piece. The cups are a perfect fit and look so cute too!

  2. You can heat a screwdrive and poke a 2 holes on the bottom of the cup. If you don’t have a lid cut cut a circle out of a paper plate, add glue around the circle and seal or tape it on. No difference than sealed candy at a store. Great idea. I will try this.

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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)


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