Introduction: Recycled Reusable Coffee Cozy
Finalist in the
Betabrand Belt Reuse Challenge
This tutorial will show you how to create a reusable coffee cozy out of old belts using basic tools and skills. With the cold winter weather setting in its the perfect earth friendly stocking stuffer for coffee lovers everywhere.
Step 1: Step #1 Materials
This project requires:
- Old belt (fabric or leather)
- Thread* (heavy duty if using leather)
- Sewing needle
- String (for optional clip loop)
- Black marker
- Disposable coffee cozy (from you favorite coffee shop)
- Thumb tack (Only required if your using a leather belt)
*For the leather belt I recommend a thread rated for either leather or denim, as well as a needle to fit the thicker thread.
If you don't feel like cutting up your favorite belt many can be found through local thrift stores such as, The Salvation Army, MCC or Value Village.
Step 2: Step #2 Measure Twice, Cut Once
To begin cut your disposable coffee cozy along the seam, allowing it to spread flat on your working surface. This will be used as the template for our recycled cozys.
Spread your belt flat on top of the cut cozy. In order to insure the correct fit of your cozy on the coffee cup align the bottom of the cut cozy (see picture) with the bottom edge of your belt.
Mark the shape of your new cozy using the black marker.
Step 3: Step #3 Cut Out Cozy
With your cozy marked from you template it is now time to cut the cozy out. Make sure to use heavy duty scissors when cutting thicker belts and leather. Cut along the lines on both sides, don't worry about any residual black marker as we can hide it as the inside of the cozy.
Step 4: Step #4 Sewing the Cozy: Fabric
IF YOUR BELT IS LEATHER SKIP TO STEP FIVE
This is the step in the tutorial in which I am not so proficient. I used the website "cyberseams" (see link below) and found that it was a good tutorial on the basics of sewing by hand.
Begin your straight stitch by first 'tying off'. Move up the cozy stitching the seam together making sure to keep the belt edged flush and even (I found that a paper clamp was the perfect size to keep the edges in place).
Once you are three quarters of the way up the cozy you can then stitch in your optional clip loop. Take your three inch string (I used nylon cord with the ends melted to prevent fraying) and include it in your stitch in the inside of the cozy.
Once you move the final way up the cozy being sure to stitch your loop in several times you should 'tie off' again to end your stitch. At this point you can cut loose your thread and revel in your accomplishment.
Step 5: Step #5 Sewing the Cozy: Leather
The leather belt is treated slightly differently than the fabric belt. In order to properly stitch together the cozy we must first create holes through the tough leather.
Take your thumb tack and your leather belt cut out in the shape of your template (the same as was seen with the fabric belt). Make sure you place the belt on a sturdy surface keeping in mind that you may poke through with the tack.
Measure out several holes (in my case 7) depending on you belt's thickness. Use your tack to puncture your holes symmetrically on both edges of your belt. I made my holes approximately 0.5 cm apart, but you can make yours closer of farther apart according to your personal preference.
With your holes pre-punctured you can now stitch together your edges in the same way you would tie a shoe. I used your average shoe tying method, but the site shown below shows tutorials on many other designs you may want to try.
Shoe Tying Tutorials
Work your way from top to bottom 'tying' your belt using the needle to pull the thread through your holes (I used one needle which I constantly had to re-thread. If you were to use two needles that would fix this problem).
Once you reach the top of your cozy you must now decide if you want a clip loop or not;either way proceed to tie off your stitch. I used a couple over hand knots to tie off, but you can use any knot you like. I included a website describing some basic knots below.
For someone with no loop cut off your thread because your done and go enjoy a hot drink. If you want the loop, tie another couple overhand knots making a loop to clip into. For some extra style you can add a bead to your loop for that classy look.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Cozy
Thats it, you've turned old belts into reusable cozies for your favorite hot drinks and hopefully kept a couple belts and some paper cozies out of the landfill.
A couple insights:
- Wider belts tend to give you a larger surface to hold onto and keep your hand from heating.
- Fabric cozies are great for your bag or purse as they fold up small and are easy to carry.
- The paper cozy you create your template from will control the size of cup your cozy will fit so choose wisely.
Finally, have fun and enjoy the instant gratification of working with your hands creating earth friendly projects!!
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