Starbucks cups get a holiday makeover

Starbucks red holiday cups arrive in stores around the world featuring designs created by customers


Taking a cue from customers who had been using their red holiday cups as a canvas, last December Starbucks invited customers to share their designs on Instagram, receiving more than 1,200 individual submissions from 13 countries around the world.

Ultimately, 13 designs from six countries were chosen to be featured on Starbucks cups for the 2016 holiday season. The artists behind the work hail from all over the world – a college student studying in Germany, a hair stylist near Philadelphia, an aspiring artist in New York. Their inspiration came from nature or seasonal traditions. Some are bold and graphic, while others evoke the feeling of an old-fashioned storybook. Together, the collection expresses the shared spirit of the season.

When Starbucks shared the news with the artists, emotions ranged from incredulity to pure joy. “You just made my life,” said one.

Here are some of the designs from this year’s collection:

Candy Canes – Jennifer: Seattle, United States


When Anz moved from her home in the Philippines to Dubai, she made a hobby of drawing on Starbucks cups, collecting more than 75 cup creations. When her husband brought home a red cup last holiday, she was excited to try her first holiday design, with hanging ornaments and feathers reminiscent of dreamcatchers. “I love the Christmas season so I was really inspired. To me, the color red symbolizes the celebration of love and life,” she said.

Holiday Lights – Maria Lauren: New York City, United States


New York-based aspiring artist, Maria, loves creating bold, graphic patterns. “I was looking around my home for inspiration, and when I looked at my tree I thought about how beautiful the lights were,” she said.

Snowflake Sweater – Alisa: St. Petersburg, Russia


For Alisa, inspiration for her design came while drinking a gingerbread latte. “The holiday mood made me try to draw on the Starbucks cup for the first time.” Her design features snowflakes and reindeer patterned after a cozy sweater.

Poinsettia – Christina: Bakersfield, California, United States


A student of landscape architecture created a design that features the festive poinsettia plant. Christina, who is currently working on a public art installation in Bonn, Germany, said, “Part of the job of a landscape architect is to connect people to the environment by creating a sense of place. I decided to evoke the Christmas spirit by creating a design with a plant that is symbolic of the season.”

Evergreen Forest – Bronwyn: Moscow, Idaho, United States


A December hike along a favorite mountain trail was the inspiration for Bronwyn, a college student from Moscow, Idaho, “Everything was still and snow-covered. The contrast was beautiful – it was almost like a black and white photo all around us. The simplicity from the image transferred easily into a wintery design.”

Sleigh Ride – Eun Joo: Daejeon, South Korea


For her whimsical design, Eun Joo depicted Santa’s sleigh on a starry night. Tiny snowmen adorn a field of overlapping circles. “There are many people – like different patterns of overlapping circles – but everyone can have happy memories with a cup of coffee.”

Celebrate the holidays with Starbucks Christmas favorites! Here are the flavour of the season to relish on.

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