I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty addicted to Starbucks! Or actually, just to chai lattes…I’m willing to get them pretty much anywhere, though the ones from Starbucks are my fave!
But I’m also kind of a wimp about hot drinks and refuse to drink anything hotter than “mildly lukewarm”. Every time I get a latte I put one of those little java jackets on it and carry it around for about fifteen minutes until it’s cooled down enough for me to drink it. I figured, if I’m going to put one of these stupid things on my cup every single day, I might as well make it fun, so I made a few of my own!
(By the way, these coffee cozies were so popular they were featured on Stylelist Home as the Craft Of The Day! Woo!)
Goodbye boring brown cardboard, and hello fun colors, felt, elastic, and BUTTONS!!! Plus, they’re even more eco-friendly than the recycled ones the coffee shops have because you’ll reuse them again and again!
I made five and gave the rest away, and one of my friends had a brilliant idea. She used hers for ice cream! If it can protect your hands from the hot, it can protect them from the cold too!
These were super fun to design, and very easy to make. Each one took me about fifteen minutes to make (well, after I finished the first one…that one took about half an hour cuz I was still figuring it out, but after that it’s super fast!) You need:
- elastic (an old hair tie will do just fine)
- color-coordinating thread
- fusible interfacing (optional)
- a sewing machine
- a coffee cup to use as a model
I used felt for these because it’s fun, soft, and thick, so this tutorial and the template provided based on using felt. Because felt is so thick, I sized the template so that the ends of the cozy just barely touch, but don’t overlap like most cozies (too thick in my opinion). If you want to use a different fabric that’s totally fine! Just remember that the template is sized so that the ends just meet…no overlapping, so you may want to make a few size adjustments.
So, the first thing you need is a template. You can grab a java jacket from Starbucks, take it apart, and trace it if you want. Or, I made a free printable that you can download below. The benefit of my printable is that it’s got the seam allowances already figured out for you! Click the picture or the link to download.
Print out your template on plain paper and cut the shape out along the solid edges (you’ll use the dotted line edges later). Lay the paper template over your felt and cut out two copies. (Sorry for the image quality guys! I actually made these a few months ago before I had my nice camera and before I really knew what I was doing when I took pictures)
I don’t know if felt has a right side and a wrong side, but I felt like there was a difference between the sides of my felt. So for this part I took a piece of felt, folded it in half (“nicer” sides in), and then cut out the shape. That way the two pieces were already front-to-back properly and I didn’t have to worry about the “right” side or the “wrong” side. For the rest of the tutorial I’ll just assume that you’re as crazy as me and can tell the difference between the “nice” side and the back side. If you can’t, then it doesn’t matter which way you sew the thing together anyway cuz both sides look the same!
Once you have your pieces cut out take your elastic and one piece of felt. Put the felt nice side up and pin the elastic down near the edge so that most of the elastic is on top of your felt, not hanging over the edge. You want about an inch to an inch and a half of elastic on top of your felt. Don’t worry about being precise here; when we position the button later we will measure from your elastic so that it’s a snug fit on your cup. I used some elastic cording in fun colors that matched the thread and buttons, but any elastic will do here as long as it isn’t so thick that it won’t fit closed around your button. If you have some old hair ties those would work perfectly!
Sew the elastic onto the felt with less than a quarter inch of seam allowance. This part is important; you are just tacking down the elastic so it stays attached later, but you are going to have 1/4″ seams so these stitches need to be made inside of 1/4″ otherwise you’ll be able to see them in your finished coffee cozy.
Optional interfacing step:
Using interfacing for this project is completely optional. The felt is thick enough that it works just fine as a heat barrier all by itself. But the interfacing makes it a bit stiffer and a bit more heat resistant, which some people might like. I made five of these guys; two with interfacing and three without. The one I kept for myself doesn’t have interfacing and it works just fine, but is definitely floppier than the two with interfacing.
If you’re going to use interfacing, take the paper template that you previously cut out on the solid line, and now cut it out again, but this time on the dotted line. This is going to be your template for the interfacing. Do the same thing you did with the felt and lay the paper template on top of the interfacing (lay the interfacing fusible side down so that it irons on to the other piece of felt properly), and cut out one piece. Iron the interfacing onto the bad side of the other piece of felt (the one without the elastic) according to your interfacing’s instructions.
Now you should have two pieces: one with elastic and one with interfacing.
Lay your pieces out exactly like this (or, if you didn’t use interfacing just make sure the piece on the bottom has the nice side facing down) and then pick up the bottom piece and stack it on top of the piece with the elastic. Pin together and then sew with 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 1-2″ gap on the short side without the elastic. Make sure to reinforce the stitches on either side of the gap because you’ll be turning the whole thing inside out from here. You can leave the gap on the longer pieces if you want, but I tried this on one of the cozies and didn’t like the finished look as much; it wasn’t as “clean”.
Trim your excess thread tails and clip your corners at 45 degrees so they don’t bunch up once turned inside out.
Now turn your cozy right side out through the gap you left in the seam. This part isn’t tricky, but it’s difficult to do because the felt is so thick, and the interfacing doesn’t help any! Just be patient and go slowly so you don’t rip the gap open. Once you have the bulk of it right side out you can use the eraser end of a pencil to poke out the corners and seams a bit.
Once your cozy is right side out, grab a needle and thread and stitch the gap closed. Then press the entire thing with an iron so that all the seams lay flat.
The only piece left to do is the button, and this part is pretty easy! Wrap the cozy around your empty coffee cup and adjust it however you’d like. Then take a pencil, stick it through the elastic, pull the cozy closed around the cup, and mark the felt wherever the pencil tip hits the other end. This will be where you sew on your button! Make sure not to stretch the elastic too much when marking for the button; the elastic and button are just there to hold the cozy closed, they don’t need to make it into a corset!
Sew on your button and you’re finished!
I had so much fun making the first one that I made four more! The coolest thing about this project is that you can make these in any color combinations you want by using different felt, buttons, elastic, and thread. I made mine two toned, but you could get pretty creative here! The most “crazy” I got was I used two buttons on the grey and green cozy instead of just one. Watch out, mad woman here! :-p
What’s your favorite coffee beverage? I actually don’t like coffee, so I always get a chai latte or a caramel apple spice if it’s fall.
Do you have a reusable java jacket? It’s the weirdest thing…I always take one of those little green sticks that you put in the lid of your cup to “plug” the opening so it doesn’t spill when you walk. And for some reason about three years ago I decided it would be a step towards “doing my part” (to save the earth, I guess?) if i re-used those little plastic sticks instead of getting a new one each time. So I kept a few in my purse and just always re-used the same ones (after rinsing them off, of course!) But it didn’t ever occur to me to re-use the java jackets! Duh! Anyway, now I have a reusable coffee cozy and I’m still re-using those little green sticks, so yay for that. Saving the earth, one little green plastic stick at a time!!!
These little guys are now available for purchase in the Practically Functional shop!