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.