For adults, I prefer to use real glasses at parties. For kids, there's nothing that can beat a good old paper cup. But while I can find every color in the rainbow at my local party store, most of the time, the themes I plan around most definitely are not mass marketed. So if I have the time, I like to customize my own cups.
Like my Lonely Mountain cups from the Hobbit Party.
It doesn't take much to customize paper cups. Just a hot glue gun, some cardstock, a punch, and a couple markers.
The trickiest part is realizing that if you want a punched design to ring the bottom, you have to figure out what kind of arc you need.
You could just eyeball it and get pretty close, but to get the exact arc, wrap the flat piece of paper around the cup, and trace where the bottom of the cup meets the paper. Voila, perfect shape.
I used an edge punch with a forest design to line the base of my cups. And behind them, a super simple rough mountain shape, just cut freehand. I added a little bit of embellishment with a gold marker, but you really wouldn't have to do that to get a great custom effect.
All the paper pieces were glued to the cups using my trusty low-temperature hot glue gun. This would have been an incredibly fast project, had I not decided to duplicate Tolkien's Smaug drawing over the top of each mountain. Even so, it didn't take long. Plus, I'm really good at drawing Tolkien's Smaug now. ;-)
I did an even easier variation on this theme for the Butterfly Birthday Party. Jut a punch some pretty paper, and a bit of glue. And a few rhinestones, in this case.
Really, the possibilities are endless. How about using a monogram embosser and a circle punch to create a great personalized cup for a shower or engagement party? A die cut of the birthday kid's initial? (Oooh, now that's sparking all sorts of fun ideas.) If you don't have a Silhouette or other craft cutter machine, local scrapbook stores often have big, professional ones that you can use very inexpensively, and they have hundreds and hundreds of die cut designs.
I'll bet you could have a lot of fun with stamps, too. Oooh, more ideas to try out!