Recycle a Plastic Cup To Make a Fairy Bridge
In partnership with NutriStart
We are big into upcycling things to create something new so when NutriStart challenged us to come up with a #cupcycle project, we were all for it. This local company makes yummilicious breakfast cereal that’s wheat free and doesn’t contain any refined sugars. The perfect meal on the go. Especially for someone like my daughter who has to be at the pool really early in the morning. Like sparrow fart early 😉 The breakfast cereal comes in a convenient plastic cup with a re-sealable lid. So all you have to do is add milk or hot water and you’re ready to go. For our upcycle challenge, we decided to use one of the cups to make this little fairy bridge.
Isn’t it just adorable? You would never say that the bridge started out looking like this 😀
And it’s one of those really easy projects that take less than an hour to make.
Plus it’s such a fun project to do with the kids and they can learn all about building bridges too. The little ones can help with painting the bridge while older kids will love coming up with creative ideas to make the deck and the handrails.
Okay, before we get to the tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
How to Turn a Plastic Cup into a Fairy Bridge
For the fairy bridge, you only need the sides of the plastic cup. Use a pair of scissors to cut down either side of the cup and remove the bottom. Don’t throw them away, they can be turned into oversized emoticon badges. Just add a safety pin on the back and mod podge an emoticon onto the front 😉 Or wrap it in silken rags and use it to make the cutest boho storage.
The curved cup half looks like an arch, and it’s really strong, which is the perfect starting point for the deck of the fairy bridge. To cover the deck, we used a few ice cream sticks. Those innocuous sticks of wood are perfect for making all kinds of miniatures, from porch swings to treasure chests and stained glass fairy doors.
Cut the ice cream sticks, so they’re a little wider than the piece of plastic. The easiest way to do it is to simply use a pair of scissors or a sharp knife to score a long the sticks and break them off. Don’t worry if they’re not the same size; it adds to the look. Before gluing the sticks to the bridge, use 100 grit sandpaper to roughen the plastic up a little, so the glue has something to grip onto.
The plastic bits are really “bouncy,” which makes it so much easier when you’re gluing the sticks on. Press it down firmly to create a flat piece, and then add the sticks. That way, they won’t slide off the curved surface while the glue dries. We used quick setting glue, so it only takes a few seconds.
As soon as the glue dries and you stop pressing down, it will pop right back up again 😀
Before adding the handrails, you can paint the deck or leave Au Naturale if you prefer 😉
Adding the Handrails to the Fairy Bridge
There are quite a few ways to add handrails to the bridge. We don’t want our fairies falling off 😀 You can glue twigs to the sides of the bridge, or you can take it up a notch and use beads instead. To form a stable base for a bead handrail, I first glued on equally spaced flat-bottomed abalone nuggets. While the glue is still wet, insert a piece of wire. You’ll have to bend the wire a little, so the actual handrail stands up straight.
Thread a few small beads onto the wire support beams and tie them together with a bit of twine. To ensure the beads don’t fall off, add a little bit of glue to that last bead at the top before threading the beads onto the piece of wire.
Snip off any excess pieces of wire, and the bridge is ready for your fairy garden. Fill a container with potting soil and add your favorite plants and flowers.
Our little fairy bridge spans a small ceramic bowl that’s been filled with silver pebbles and water.
We placed the fairy bridge and the bowl inside a wooden crate and added Peace in the Home (Soleirolia soleirolii) and thyme.
Fairies love thyme. It’s one of the plants they like to dance around!
Most herbs work well in fairy gardens since they have tiny delicate leaves and flowers that attract butterflies. And if there are butterflies, you’re sure to find a fairy too 😉
Don’t forget to add a few fairy mushrooms under the thyme for a pop of color.
And hang a fairy wind chime or lantern-shaped bead on one of the handrails to guide the way.
The possibilities are endless. Just let your imagination run wild.
More Fairy Garden Plastic Cup Recycling Ideas
BTW, if you have a whole bunch of plastic cups, here are a few more ideas to recycle them for your fairy garden:
- Make a wishing well by simply gluing twigs or small stones around the outside of the cup and adding wire or longer twigs to form the arch of the well, and you’re good to go.
- Turn the plastic cup upside down, add a little roof similar to the one we made for our fairy toadstool and paint on some windows and doors to make an adorable fairy hut. Just remember to lightly sand the cups before painting, so it doesn’t peel off.
- Paint the inside of the plastic container grey, fill it with resin and add small fish beads for a quick and easy fairy pond.
- Or you can use those plastic cups and/or the lid to make a really cool fort for a fairy playground.
I hope this project inspired you to reduce, reuse and recycle those plastic cups or containers. It’s a great way to teach our kids to take something that would normally get thrown away and find a fun way to reuse it and protect the planet. Small efforts can make a huge difference!
Join the #cupcycle revolution and save the planet one plastic cup at a time
And if you’re looking for a few more fairy crafts to make, you’ll find a whole bunch on our blog, including:
- A fairy world in a book nook;
- Working grandfather clock;
- Tiny fairy beach in a cloche;
- Fairy throne in an altered bottle;
- Adorable fairy playground in a chair planter;
- Fairy door with a stained glass window;
- Kokedama fairy village;
- A pixie den in a lantern;
- Potting bench and the smallest planters ever;
We’ve also included affiliate links below, so you don’t have to worry about finding some of the stuff we used to make the fairy bridge. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below means we may receive a very small commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more unique DIY and fairy craft ideas for you 😉
And as always, wishing you a beautiful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.
76 thoughts on “Recycle a Plastic Cup To Make a Fairy Bridge”
This is so cute! I did nothing with my fairy stuff here in Maine, USA, this year. The ticks were so back that you picked them up between the car and the house–20′. Never mind the outdoor clothesline! And the days are already getting shorter–and darker. The older I get, the more I dislike the inconveniences of winter! BUT, it gives me more crafting time! Maybe I’ll be ready for next spring!!!
I’m not a fan of Winter at all. The long nights and cold make me want to cuddle up in a ball with our fur babies and sleep through the whole thing. And everything always looks so blegh in Winter too. Give me Spring or Summer anytime, although I’m not sure if I’d want to fight off ticks all the time. I read somewhere that 2021 was a bad tick year. Apparently, the shorter Winter and wet conditions played a big role. If you have space, maybe you can move your fairy things inside?
I love this! I am raising my four-year-old grandson. I had girls so I’ve been learning along the way how to do fun things with boys. We have been making “Gnome Homes” instead of fairy houses. He will love this “Gnome Bridge”! Thank you for sharing your talent. I’m going to join your newsletters. Thank you again ❤️ have a beautiful day ☺️ be well
Awwww, Rita, you don’t know how happy your comment makes me. After a looooong day at work and coming home and reading what you said, all the stress just flies out the window. Thank you ❤ and yes, boys are special. I’m lucky to have both a son and a daughter (no grandbabies yet) and they taught me so many things. Boys explore and go on adventures with dangerous creatures so I do hope your grandson enjoys making a gnome bridge with you and that there are no dinosaurs waiting to tear everything apart on the other side 😀
bridge is so cute, also like that you recycled the cup. I`m making houses for my garden from cardboard containers and twigs. Love anything Fairy
That sounds so lovely. I can just picture all those fairies collecting twigs and planning their little homes
I am new to the fairy garden scene and am.loving it. I love your work. I did a bridge and used hot glue. But have found with the rain it isn’t holding. What glue is the best to withstand rain and hot weather? I’m frustrated lol
Hello Tracey, glue guns are great inventions for gluing something quickly but most of the glue sticks you get in craft shops don’t have enough “adhesive” power”. The best glue for outdoor use is E6000, Loctite, or Weldbond. They’re all water-resistant and stick almost anything to anything. E6000 and Weldbond do take a little longer to dry though and I know I struggled for a while to find E6000 here in South Africa. Not sure where you’re based, but I’m hoping you can find it easier. It’s also really important to sand the plastic a little first to roughen it up and give the glue something to grip onto.
? Thank you Deborah, it was a fun challenge and the bridge is still going strong
This is just the sweetest bridge I ever did see!! The Fairies must be so chuffed in your garden!!
We love our fairies and I’m convinced that’s why our garden is so lush too ?
How enchanting this is. So adorable!
Thank you very much Maria ?
This is so ADORABLE! You know how much I love your miniatures and this makes me want to pull a “honey I shrunk the kids” and take a walk through your magical fairy garden.
Put those sneakers on my friend, I’m sure I can arrange with one of the fairies to sprinkle some of their magic dust and make us small enough to take a walk through their fairy gardens ?
Wow! That is really clever Michelle. It looks super cute in the fairy garden.
? I’m saving everyone of those plastic cups now. They really come in so handy and not just for fairy gardens ?
Hi ! I guess you cant use a hot glue gun as the plastic would melt? or is that just a stupid question?? thanks
Hey there Linda so happy you popped in for a visit. I’m sure a hot glue gun will work as long as the tips doesn’t touch the plastic and no question is ever stupid
This is really beautiful, I love your fairy projects. Pinning to make with my granddaughters. Thank you or the craft project idea.
You and your grandbabies are going to have so much fun together Leanna. I just love how imaginative the little ones are when it comes to making things for a fairy garden and I bet they come up with some really lovely ideas on how they want to decorate their little bridge.
Love the little fairy bridge. Great way to upcycle a plastic cup. Love the hand rails, and the little lantern is adorable! You have the luckiest little fairy’s!
? I think we’re the lucky ones because they always come to visit ?
It’s super cute!!! I would look amazing on a tiny fish pond and I really love the lantern….
Thanks so much Mel ?
Michelle, I have next to no craft skills, but I’d like to give it a try. Glad I found your blog today and know where to come for inspiration. Thank you for hosting #SweetInspiration.
It’s a pleasure Jean, I so love meeting new friends at the link party and your recipes are so yummilicious and sound easy enough that someone like me, who has very little cooking skills, can make
This has got to be the cutest thing I have ever seen done! My granddaughter is 2 and I can see in the next several years doing a fairy garden for her at my house….oh such fun that will be!! I would never have thought a simple plastic container/cup would be turned into something so adorable. Great job!!
Oh you are going to have so much fun with your granddaughter Sandy. Enjoy every second with her. They grow up way to quickly
You are just so creative, WOW!! This is amazing. What a lovely idea indeed and it look fab.
Thank you so much Elizabeth ?
All the little tiny things always fascinate me!! I don’t know if I would ever have the patience to create them (guess that is why God gave me three rough and tumble boys! 😉 but they always amaze me!!
? Rough and tumble boys are super cool Renee. They have such inquisitive minds, maybe one day they’ll grab your hand and lead you down the garden path to build a fairy garden filled with dinosaurs and those other boy things ?
Wow, very creative! I would have never thought to make a fairy bridge our of recycled cups!
I’m glad you like it Tanya, thank you
Wow, this is really cool idea. I can make this for my little garden now.
Thanks so much Fibi, let me know if you have any questions
I just love this fairy bridge! I love upcycling too and these projects always inspire me! Lovely work…as always!
Upcycling is the best ?
I have begun to plan my first fairy garden. You recycling projects for the fairies are so cute, I can’t resist getting started. With these great ideas, I will be ready as soon as spring comes to get it completed. Thank you.
You’re going to have so much fun building your fairy garden and finding things to recycle in the process
Wow! This is such a beautiful way to recycle a plastic cup. This is a very helpful tip as I’m planning to make a fairy garden. Moreover, it’s so easy to make.
Soooo glad you enjoyed it Shaily and have fun making that fairy garden of yours. Careful, they can become addictive ?
This has to be the most creative way I’ve ever seen a plastic cup recycled. In fact when I saw the photo I was wondering where the cup was! You have done it again my friend, created a wonderland for the fairies!
? ? ? You know me and our fairies. I love making things for them so much
What an excellent challenge! This is such a creative idea. I really love the railing & lamppost! Any fairy would love these additions!
Thanks so much Sam ? I just love challenges like these and I’m so proud that a local South African company is championing the cause for recycling.
Wow this is such a cool craft. I think is very important to find ways to up cycle things because we tend to waste way more than we should. So if there’s a way to find a way to repurpose something why not?
You’re so right Nikki, we’ve become so wasteful and creative ways to reuse plastic it will go a long way to saving our beautiful planet.
Love it! We have a fairy and gnome garden that this would be perfect for!!
Cool Amy-Lynn. Let me know how yours turns out
Oh Michelle, this is soooo freaking cute! Looking at your first pictures (yes, you know I look at pics first, then read, lol) I couldn’t tell this was a miniature! I totally thought this was a full size bridge and judging by the title I thought “There is no way she does that beautiful brisge with a plastic cup! But yes, you do indeed!! Are you a fairy for real??
? You’re so sweet Nati, thank you and I’m a picture kinda girl too.
This is a cute and fun project to do with kids. The lantern looks so good with it. At first, I couldn’t believe that the bridge was made from plastic cup but then you explained the process.
Thanks so much Monidipa. Kids love making something for a fairy garden and they never cease to amaze me with their creativity
Whoa! At first I had some doubts about this, but you totally took it to the next level and it all looks so great! That is so neat and crafty of you!
Thanks so much Tiffanie ?
This is so sweet, and a great way to recycle plastic! I love the creativity behind it, and I’m sure the fairies will appreciate it too 🙂
Thank you Lisa, I hope the fairies like it too ?
This is so cute, I bet this would be so much fun to do with your children. It’s so creative and you’d never know that it was just from a plastic cup.
It’s the best project ever to do with the kids, they love getting involved in the planning and making ?
How very charming – the whole set up looks so quaint and like a nook in a garden. I really loved the finishing touches to the whole thing.
Thanks so much Tanvi ?
I love the fact that you recycle to create these cute little items for your garden. They are so darn cute!
Thank you Autumn ?
This is such a cute idea of a project! I can definitely need more decorations in my garden but the ones from the shops are so expensive. I could definitely make a bridge like this myself!
I’m sure you’ll be able to do it Joanna and with all the travelling you’ve been doing I bet you’ll add something special to your little fairy bridge too ?
Great idea! Those fairy terrariums and gardens are all the rage right now, too.
Thanks Jordan. I seems everyone likes to live in a miniature world with the fairies
When I read the title of the post I was hooked 🙂
What an incredible project this is and I applaud you on it – you are a fantastic bridge builder! That adorable lantern is the cherry on the project (cake)!
I love that little lantern too Maya ?
You should rent a space and make a fairy world exhibition. More people should see your wonderful art and they should pay to see it. As for me, I’d pay for a plane ticket to come and cook for you if you let me play with it. Beyond super duper cute, Michelle! <3
Ahhhh my friend, I’ll pay for you to fly out here just to taste all the yumminess you make. But you’ll have to come for at least a month, I want to try every single one of your cheesecakes ?
We always re-cycle almost everything in school and the kindergarten kids really love it as well. They come up with fun ideas. But I will have to show them your adorable fairy bridge from a plastic cup Michelle. This might be our next project! So far, we’ve always only re-used plastic cups for paint, but this is way prettier and more fun!
Oh Katrin, the kids will have so much fun making one of these and I bet they come up with the most incredible ideas to recycle containers. They are always so creative at that age