I always get asked about my daughter’s ‘redneck’ sippy cup when we are at restaurants or in stores so I figured I could share a quick tutorial on how I made it. It’s what you see pictured here.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a preference to drink from a glass over plastic. There’s something about the plastic that kind of smells when you hold it up to take a sip and makes your beverage taste a little like that too. Could be all the chemicals.
So, naturally, when my child started needing to drink something besides boobie milk, I searched and searched for a safe sippy cup and found a very small selection of them, but many of them were still made in China (another thing I try and avoid). We did try the glass bottle with sippy top from Life Factory (made in Italy) but my daughter wasn’t catching on to the fact that she had to tip it back to get water out which meant we were having to hold it for her any time she needed water.
After a couple of trials, this is what I came up with: a Ball-brand mason jar (made in USA) with a Zo-li silicone straw (silicone is BPA and phthalate-free). I love this straw because you have to bite and suck to get water out which made my daughter slow down when drinking and it has a ceramic ‘marble’ on the end so that no matter which way she tipped the jar, the end of the straw was always in the water. Find some here. So I drilled a couple of holes in a canning lid, slipped a straw in and had my own homemade sippy cup.
Then I found out that Ball-brand canning lids and bands are not made in the USA and potentially have BPA. I was informed that the BPA is not released until you are actually canning (high temps from a pressure cooker or boiling pot) but didn’t want to take any chances. The metal lid was also rusting at the point where I cut into it, which can’t be all that good.
So, the next best thing I could conjure up was to use a plastic (BPA and phthalate-free) canning lid from Tattler (made in USA). No rust. No contaminants. No fuss. Nice thing, too, is that Tattler has a ‘sample’ package that contains 2 regular-mouth lids and 2 wide-mouth lids with the rubber rings for only $2.50, free shipping. Buy your own here.
Okay, lengthy explanation aside, here’s what you need to get started:
power drill with drill bits for plastic
tattler canning lid with rubber ring (or a metal one if you’re in a hurry to make this)
metal canning band
This is what my drill bit set said: Split Point Titanium Coated for wood, metal, or plastic. Whatever you have, I would just make sure they are okay to use with plastic.
Place the canning lid and rubber ring on the jar and screw down the metal band. This is just to hold everything in place so you won’t have to ask your husband to help.
I used the largest bit I have to make a hole for the straw (5/16″).
Then I used the smallest bit to make a hole to vent air (1/16″). This is necessary or you won’t be able to suck any water through the straw.
Before you put everything together I would recommend scalding the glass, the canning lid and rubber ring and also cleaning the straw as the directions indicate. Check for any bits of plastic around the holes that might still be hanging on and pull or sand them off. Then you will very carefully pull the straw through the larger hole by rocking it back and forth. Basically, you don’t want to crack the plastic lid and you also don’t want to tear through the silicone in the straw. In the photos, you can see there are two ‘necks’ to the straw and one needs to sit above the lid and the other below.
Fill it with water and test it before you give it to your child. You should experience yummy tasteless water (well, unless your water has a taste).
I was able to make this sippy cup for under $10 ($2.50 for lids/rings and $6.99 for straws with a cleaner). The price of the mason jar was negligible as we have many of these on hand, but you can probably find them really cheap at thrift stores if you don’t want to buy a case of new ones. I have noticed, unfortunately, that they are no longer offering free shipping on the straws so your cup may cost you more than $10 but at least the package comes with 2, just like the canning lids, so you’ll be able to have a back-up on hand.
By the way, there is always another question paired with ‘where did you get that?’ when people see her cup. Everyone wants to know if I’m afraid she’s going to break it. I’ll let you know that she has used the very same jar for about 7 months now and has dropped (er…thrown?) it several times from her high chair to our linoleum floor and it has yet to break.
Also, if you’re looking for an adult version of this sippy, check out Cuppow for a plastic lid that’s also made in the USA and all that other good stuff.
Wait, so why wouldn’t I just use one of those instead of drilling holes in other lids and creating work for myself? The cuppow lid that’s made for a straw has a diamond-shaped opening that I’m not sure will be compatible with the silicone straw. If you try the cuppow with a Zo-li straw, I would love to know.