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Our Sleeves

It all started when the local coffee shop kept running out of sleeves for their cups. The wonderful baristas would always offer to ‘double cup’ any hot drink. While a nice gesture, and it certainly saves one from a burnt hand, it’s a waste of a perfectly good cup. So what can we do about that? We can start saving our sleeves!

Then one day I thought, “Why not just make one?” What would it take? It needed to be something that could wrap all around the cup, be small, and easy to carry. The pre-made sleeves are folded flat and glued together. They’re small and convenient. So I started experimenting. By using a technique called a “living hinge”, I knew I could get wood to bend, almost appearing flexible in nature. And thus the sleeves came to be.

Having been playing with a laser cutter for a few months already, I took on the task of designing something that would wrap around a cup, be aesthetically pleasing, and functional. After a few months of testing different options, I had something that worked. I made a few to hand out to friends and we all embarked on the experimentation and testing phase. Every time someone came back with a comment, I tried to make a change that would work.

Today our sleeves are made from Baltic Birch wood, precision cut on a laser cutter and a design engraved on them. Some designs will get painted using a non-toxic acrylic paint. Then a home-made beeswax and olive oil sealant is applied to protect both the wood as well as the paint. This will add a slight sheen to the final product.