How to Make a Foil Cup Mosaic

Three Methods:Planning Your ProjectCreating the MosaicCompleting the Project

Whether you're decorating for an “under the sea” themed party or you're creating a colorful backdrop for a bulletin board, cupcake foil cups can make an interesting mosaic. It's fairly easy to make, albeit a bit fiddly, and the final product is exciting to look at and touch.

Method 1
Planning Your Project

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    Decide what you'll use for the mosaic backdrop. The backdrop will determine how many foil cups you'll need and the manner in which you'll arrange them.
    • Are you covering an entire bulletin board or just a piece of paper to slide in behind the fish tank? This will help determine the size and type of backdrop, as well as the foil cup amount.
    • Match the foil paper colors to the room or party decoration. Be inspired by the room decoration the party color theme.
    • Determine if you plan to create more than one mosaic. Foil cups can be used to create paper sea shells or designs so plan how exactly they will be used. Since foil cups come in a large and small sizes, decide if you want to use varying sizes or all the one size.

Method 2
Creating the Mosaic

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    Fold the foil cups in half. Pinch down along the bottom of the cup and slide your finger along the crease.
    • Fold as many foil cups ahead of time as possible; this will let you assemble the mosaic quickly without having to stop and fold more.
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    Glue the first row of foil cups in place, working from the top of the mosaic design, downward. The first row is critical to building the rest of the backdrop, so make sure it lines up with the creased portion along the top of the backdrop you're using.
    • Select several (possibly different colored) foil cups and place along the top row. Slightly overlap the ends to create a wave effect.
    • Add a drop or two of glue to the backs of the cups once you're satisfied with the placement. Check each cup has dried in the right place before moving on, as the cups may slide a bit if left unchecked.
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    Add the second row of cups. Stagger the creased backs along the first row. Hide the creased tops of the second row into the first row so that it has the appearance of scales or fish sides.
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    Continue adding more rows. Work your way down to the bottom of your mosaic project.

Method 3
Completing the Project

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    Add glitter or other effects once the glue has dried. Finish your mosaic completely before adding any other visuals or elements to your project.
    • Things that might help to brighten the project include: gold shell or mermaid charms, paper mermaids, ribbon bows, buttons, lace, etc.
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    Finished. Place the mosaic where you intend for it to have the best effect.
    • The mosaic can be placed behind a fish tank as a backdrop for fish to swim against.
    • The mosaic can be used a picture in its own right, such as in a child's bedroom.


  • Use a foil cup backdrop to decorate household items such as lamps or vases.
  • Cardboard fish shapes make great backdrops for a sea party theme. These can be strung across a room; if so, be sure to mosaic both sides of the fish for best effect.
  • Use metallic colors to punctuate the “under the sea” theme.

Things You'll Need

  • Enough foil cups to complete the project, in size(s) of choice, plus extras just in case
  • Hot glue gun; staple gun if the work has to sit outside in the elements
  • Scissors for cutting cups
  • Hanger for the backdrop if needed
  • Marker and paper for planning any particular designs
  • Other decorations, such as decoupage images of mermaids, charms or fishing net, etc.

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