Making Miniature Mugs out of Straws


Hi!! If you’re wondering if I’m dying again like last year, no I’m not. lol I’m doing okay now that I’m getting over that cold I had. Thanks a lot for your kind comments though! I did get lots of rest last week. 🙂

Okay, so this is the tutorial I was going to release last Tuesday…”Making mugs out of straws!”

I have done miniature mugs before with clay, but I think this is a easier one to try for people who aren’t always miniature crafting.   I have done a tutorial of this straw mug more than 2 years ago when I first started blogging in Japanese, but I still think this is a pretty cool method, so I hope you’ll read on! 😉

First, cut a straw about 1 centimeter long.  I recommend using wider straws, the kinds often used for smoothies etc. when doing this craft.  They’re just the right size for SF/CC! I got mine at IKEA. This piece will become the body of your mug.

Cut off about 2 mm off the remaining straw.  This ring is what becomes the handle of your mug.

Cut a bit of the ring off, maybe about 5~6 mm long.

Fold the both ends of the remaining ring like the photo below.

Superglue the folded ends onto the body piece.  Because plastic is pretty slippery, the handle will still come off very easily at this point even after the superglue is dry.  So be careful not to touch or hold the handle!

Fill a little bit of air dry clay at the bottom of the mug.  Use a stick and press the clay down against the crafting surface to make the bottom of the mug smooth and flat.

Coat the straw mug with white nail polish.  It can be a different color if you prefer.  This helps the handle of the mug to stay on, and it also adds a bit of thickness to the mug for more realism.

It’s easier to paint inside the mug first, then paint outside.  It’s best to work on a non-stick surface like silicone for this part.  I usually use the back of a silicone mold for crafting or cooking.

Once the base coat of nail polish is dry, do another coat with colors of your choice.  If you put an extra, thicker amount of nail polish around the ends of the handle, it really makes it look like a real mug.

For small pictures on the mug, I like using fingernail stickers from the store.  Just don’t forget to do a top coat once you’re all done decorating your mug! (Nail stickers are so useful for miniature crafting! If you see a cute design, grab it for future usage!)

Halloween mugs! 🙂

Other ideas for mug decorations:

  • Wrapping the straw with washi (masking) tape with cute designs, then coating it with clear nail polish.
  • Designing your own on a computer, print it out on a piece of paper, wrap it around the straw. (Wrap the straw with double sided tape first.)  For this, to avoid color bleeding, I recommend wrapping a clear tape over the printed design before you coat the mug with clear nail polish.
  • Origami and other printed paper to wrap around the mug.  Same as printed paper, I would use double sided tape and clear tape on this one.
  • Painting over the base coat with some acrylic paint, then coating it with clear nail polish.


I poured in some hot chocolate in my mugs. (Well, it’s resin with acrylic paint, really…lol)

Ah, it’s becoming a nice season for hot drinks!

Oh, by the way, my friend Soramama sent me another package the other day, and it included 2nd edition of capsule toy collection for the village cake shop. (That’s what you see in the photo above.)  Thank you, Soramama!!



25 Replies to “Making Miniature Mugs out of Straws”

  1. I just love these ! so cute and easy to do -I made card stock ones just like these but hadn’t thought of the straws ! wonderful work !!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I have tried using just card stocks before, but if you use the straw as the inner base for it, it should hold the shape better. Straws and toothpicks are very very useful!

  2. These look adorable and relatively easy. Aaah, but there’s that torture of the materials coming from Ikea again (we don’t have one in SC!), lol.

    My ridiculously expensive Ikea Fejka plant arrived from eBay today so I have had fun pulling it apart, studying your tutorial for the Durable Tree and poking holes with corn holders, hehe. Comments are closed there but may I ask here what gauge wire that thicker silvery wire is? I have to order online from Michaels and they have a dizzying array of choices. Also could you recommend a Martha Stewart paint color for the trunks? I haven’t tried that brand but I see that’s what you used. The brand I use doesn’t seem to adhere to plastic plants well but it looks like the MS does?

    1. LOL! I’m sure you can find straws for smoothies much easier than those potted plants anywhere, but next time you need to buy those plants, ask me first…I can grab some for you and only send you the leaves so you don’t have to worry about the heavy weight on the bottom…

      Yeah, funny I noticed that the comments started to close after 20 days or so of the post. I can fix it but it’s kind of nice because it gets rid of spammers a lot. lol
      I was using 24 gauge green wire that I usually use for flower stems. It shouldn’t really matter what color or gauge it is though…as long as it’s not super thick that it’s hard for you to use.

      I use multiple brands with acrylic paints, but I love Martha Stewart brand, because the colors are balanced very delicately compared to other brands. Also the paint pigments are much thicker than others in my opinion. The only complaint I have with this brand is the slightly glossier finish even with “satin” label. Just be sure to always use “multi surface” type of acrylic paint. The color I use for these trees is “Vanilla Bean” (32069).

      As a side note, I have another brand that I really like for acrylic paint…it’s Americana’s multi-surface satin series. I don’t see them everywhere but they seem to perform better than other brands as well, and not glossy! 🙂

      1. Oh, you are so awesome and kind to generously offer to get some for me next time you are cruising around IKEA. I spent some time on the phone with them yesterday trying to respectfully convince them to post me some, so you have saved me from further creative efforts to get my hands on them, lol. I have written down your gmail address from your response to another poster in another thread so will get in touch as soon as I’ve figured out how many.

        Thanks for the info on the paints, I will definitely give those brands a try. Some of my paint (Craftsmart, the large bottles and I mixed up a custom color) scraped off when I strung them but that’s fine as they get touched up anyway when the hot glue gets painted.

        Sorry I wasn’t clear about it but it was actually the trunk wire I was asking about. A friend is stopping at Michael’s today and is going to get me the 3yd roll of 12 gauge aluminum jewelry wire and the slightly thinner 50 ft roll of 18 gauge aluminum craft wire so hopefully one of those will be right. I can’t wait! The 3 and a 1/2 trees (out of 14 IKEA bunches) already look so pretty and they don’t even have trunks yet!

        1. Hahaha, that’s so funny that you actually tried talking to IKEA! Yeah, just e-mail me at and we can talk more about it. I’m only 30 min drive away from IKEA, which is like nothing to me (I LOVE DRIVING), so yeah!! 😀

          Ahaha, craftsmart brand is the thinnest brand you can get on the shelf. I use them for layering colors on pavement, because I need that thinness. But other than that, I try to avoid it. You’ll really see the difference in quality.

          Ah, sorry it’s probably me waking up at 4am and trying to write people back half asleep! LOL I can’t remember the gauge of my wire for the trunk….oops! It really shouldn’t matter too much though! Hope whatever you got worked out for you!

    2. I found my smoothie straws at Barh, Bed and Beyond. They cost just $2.75. Planning to start my mugs by next week. Thanks for the tip about the stickers!

  3. I love the mugs! Great idea Mimi. Where did you buy the nail stickers? Today I checked craft stores, supermarket and beauty shop and I was not able to find them.

    1. Thanks! I actually had the hardest time finding the stickers myself! Hahaha! You can find normal cute ones at grocery stores or pretty much anywhere that sells nail polish. But I only saw Halloween ones at HobbyLobby and World Market. I saw bunch online like Amazon though, so that might be your best bet.

    2. I have found them at the Dollar Store sometimes, but it’s more hit and miss. Still, no harm checking next time you’re in there.
      Hope you find some.

    1. Hi there, carol! Thanks for liking my blog! It’s always a joy for me to have a new SF friend visit my site. 🙂

  4. These are so cute and awesome, and seem doable even for a newbie like me! Thank you Mimi! As always, I am in awe and remain your huge fan, dying for autograph 🙂 You are AMAZING!

    1. Great! That’s what I want to hear! 🙂 I hope you give it a try some time!
      Thanks for being such a sweet sweet supporter!

  5. Such a clever idea. I would have never guessed those mugs were made from a straw. Love the Halloween ones too. Thanks for sharing!
    Those gashapon capsules are too much fun to open. When I got the set, I opened one a day. They are a very nice set. Love the brick oven bakery capsules too.

    1. Glad it was a hit! It was my personal hit. lol
      Don’t you wish we had these capsules here too? But then I don’t know how we can pay for it….tokens?? Hmmm
      Oh yeah, Soramama just told me that there is another cake shop set coming out soon in Japan…I guess it’s lavender color dishes with chocolate sweets.

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