Children’s Book Character K-Cups

Last fall, I saw a lot of cute children’s book character pumpkin projects surface all over social media!  While the pumpkin characters are/were super cute, I feel like the project limited itself to only the fall season.  With that being said, I wanted to come up with a similar project, but one that could be done ANY time of the year and with minimal cost as empty K-Cups are used as the base of the character!  AKA~ Children’s Book Character K-Ups!  How’s that for sustainability and upcycling!

Background Info

  • In the state of PA, we have a standard in child development that reads like this:  Identify practices that develop the child’s imagination, creativity and reading and writing skills through literature.  What better way to do this than to combine children’s storybooks and art allowing kids and/or teens to showcase their love for books and characters in a unique and creative way.
  • Since this project includes the use of empty k-cups, you will need to plan this project for a time that you have enough saved.  If you, your school or your friends and family use them, simply have them save their used ones.  You will need to take time to clean them out prior to using them.
  • You will need a variety of children’s books to work with for this assignment.  These can be from your own personal collection or you can ask your students to bring in books from their own collection.
  • This can be an individual class assignment where each student selects a book and then creates a K-Cup character.  Students can then practice reading this book aloud to children with this “Literacy & Reading to Children Lessons“. Or, this could be a collaborative project between a high school student and a preschool age or kindergarten age child. Older and younger students work together to choose a book and create a K-Cup character. Older students can still practice reading it aloud to children with the same above mentioned lesson.


  • Children’s Book
  • Empty K-Cups
  • Art Embellishments (see list below)
  • Glue
  • Large Index Cards


  • Choose from a variety of children’s books available.  This can be from the teachers collection or from the students collection.
  • Once the book is selected, have the student read through it and pick their favorite character from the book. If doing this collaboratively with a young child, this would be done together.
  • Give each student an empty k-cup and decorations to choose from which may include: paint, glue, sequins, glitter, googly eyes, yarn, ribbon, pom-poms, fabric, markers, construction paper, etc.  Be creative!  NOTE:  If you are painting the k-cups, you will need to give them several coats in order to cover the plastic or you can mix the paint with glue for a better stick.
  • As a follow-up, students will complete the following information about their character and book on a large index card.
    • Title and author of the book
    • The name of the character selected and created
    • A couple of sentences that describe the character
    • A brief explanation of why you like and selected this character
    • Name on the back of the index card
  • Note:  If you don’t have regular index cards, you can print off the index card template below.


Other Children’s Books Resources

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