Decorated Fish Tank Drink Cup

I found this fish tank drink cup (at least that is what I thought it looked like) at Walmart for under $3.  Cordelia agreed that is what it looked like so I decided to decorate it that way.

Fish Tank Drink Cup
Fish Tank Drink Cup

I didn’t want the permanent vinyl to be too thick so I cut each piece out of the blue “water” background and carefully layered the whole project.  The thicker the vinyl the easier it will peel later.

What you will need
  • various shades permanent vinyl 
  • something to put it on
  • weeding tools
  • Download File
Sizing Your Vinyl for the Fish Tank Drink Cup

If you want your vinyl to stick even if the drink cup sweats or gets washed, you must use permanent vinyl.  I am still not going to put it in the dishwasher though, but you could.  The vinyl is cut out so that there is only one layer of thickness for everything except the pink fish.

Measure the middle width of the drink cup and that is how wide to make the design.   Mine was 5 inches wide.  If your not sure it is the right size, cut the water layer from cardstock and lay it on the drink cup to size it.  Then you can make any adjustment before cutting the vinyl.  

Cutting Vinyl for the Fish Tank Drink Cup

First cut the blue water and weed it.  Then transfer it to a transfer sheet.  I mainly use clear contact paper for this size project.  After transferring the water, cut the plants.  Use painters tape to take them off the carrier sheet and put them in the right spot on the transfer tape with the water.

Then cut the sand and repeat the process.  The fish needs to be built up from smallest, lightest piece to biggest piece.  Do that on a separate piece of painters tape then transfer the whole fish to the master transfer tape so that the smallest  color piece is on the bottom.  (When inverted and transferred it will be on top.)
Before trying to attach vinyl to the drink cup, clean it with rubbing alcohol and make sure it is dry.  When all the pieces are ready, invert and attach the vinyl to the drink cup.  Use a spatula to smooth the vinyl and then remove the transfer tape.

And your fish tank drink cup is done, unless you want to put a name on it too.  Then just follow the transfer rules above and put a name over the water.  (You could put it on the sand but that would make an extra layer )


General Weeding Tips

Once the pattern is all cut, you will need to weed it.  This pattern is extremely easy to weed but here are some tips for other projects.

I have a Cricut Bright Pad.  They are about $48 at amazon.  You need some type of light source to put under more complex projects.  Before I got the Brightpad, I used a LED lamp , a bowl and a piece of glass.  It wasn’t high tech but it worked.  Any light pad will work.  You can find others on Amazon for under $20

Also you will need a sharp pick.  I have a set from Harbor Freight that cost 2 or 3 dollars.  I have just found a pinpen from that works great.  While you are there look at the weeding ring.  It is great!  I used to stick the weeded vinyl to my hand but my skin had a reaction to the sticky.  The weeding ring solved that. 

Here is another trick that works well.  Rub a very little bit of baby powder on the back of the vinyl. You will be able to see the lines clearly.  If you do this, make sure to wipe the baby powder off with a damp rag before applying the vinyl.

1 thought on “Decorated Fish Tank Drink Cup

  1. This is uch a cute idea! I can see all the Finding Dory fans wanting one. I admire your craftiness and always look forward to the next project. Thank you for sharing.

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