Introduction: Mason Jar Tea Set

About: Made in Canada, I grew up crafting, making, and baking. Out of this love for designing and creating, I pursued a BFA in product design from Parsons School of Design in NYC. Since then I've done work for Martha…

Now that the holiday chaos has passed, and the chilliness of the season continues to keep toes and noses cold, it's time to get crafty AND cozy! This mason jar tea set with felted wool cozies will help keep the winter 'brrrrrr's at bay.

Step 1: What You'll Need to Get Started

1. felted wool fabric (I used an old sweater that I felted. For my felting Instructable, click here.)
2. one piece of 10" x 4" craft sheet cork (3/32" thick)
3. water-based acrylic paints
4. cutting mat / surface
5. 3 sheets of 8 1/2" x 11" printer paper
6. paper scissors
7. fabric scissors
8. 3 sheets of adhesive backed craft foam (3/32" thick), 2 light color, 1 dark color
9. 2x 6oz wide mouth mason jar with lid
10. 1x 20oz wide mouth mason jar with lid
11a. pencil
11b. exacto knife
11c. ruler

Step 2: Making Your Cup Cozy Pattern - Step 1

I'm sure there is a very simple math way to figure out these patterns, but I'm more of a freestyler. So here's my 'no math' method:

Place one of the small 'cup' jars in the middle of a piece of paper, along the top edge (like pictured) so that the top edge of the paper snugs up against the bottom of the glass lip on the back side.

Use your thumbnail (or a fork tine) to create a crease along the glass rim. Fold the other side of the paper over, being sure that the paper is hugging the jar tightly, and crease that side too.

Unwrap the paper from the jar and using your paper scissors, cut along the crease lines you just made.

Re-wrap the paper to make sure that the top edge is lining up with the underside of the glass rim.

Step 3: Making Your Cup Cozy Pattern - Step 2

Now using your pencil, draw a line on your pattern that is perpendicular to the lid. (i.e.: straight up and down), from the glass rim to the bottom of the jar.

Use your fingernail to mark/confirm the bottom of the jar on the pattern.

Un-wrap the paper and lay it flat on your work surface. Using your ruler, add an extra 1/2" to the line you just drew. This extra length helps take into account the fact that when a knit fabric is stretched horizontally, it will shrink vertically - ex: as it is pulled tightly around the jar.

Measure the length of the line (in my case it was 3 5/8") and starting from the top edge of your pattern that you just cut, mark the line length every 1" to 1 1/2" all the way along the length of your pattern.

Using your paper scissors, cut along the line and then follow the dots to finish cutting out your cup pattern.

*Working with knits isn't an exact science, even felted ones. They will all have different amounts of stretch. The cozies will have to be adjusted as you sew them depending on your fabric, but this is the best general shape to start with.

Step 4: Making Your 'Thermos' Pattern

Repeat the previous two steps to make your 'thermos' pattern.

Step 5: Choosing Your Colors/Textures

Each felted sweater will have different textures and maybe even colors to chose from. Play around with your fabric by stretching different areas over your cup/thermos to help you choose which area to cut your pieces from.

Step 6: Cutting Your Cup Cozies

I decided to use the 'cuff' edges because I liked the two different colors and textures. Because the cuffs are more elastic than the rest of the material, I had to stretch and tape down the cuffing in order to cut out my patterns.

Once you have one cup piece cut, fold it in half to make sure that your edges line up. If they don't, use your fabric scissors to trip off any uneven excess.

You can then use the first cup piece to cut your second one without having to stretch and tape down the fabric.

*If you are not using a cuff section of your felted sweater, you will not need to do any stretching and taping. Simply lay the pattern down on the flattened fabric and cut.

Step 7: Cutting Your 'Thermos' Pattern

Repeat the 'stretch and tape' technique for the 'thermos' pattern.

Step 8: Sewing Your Cozies

Fold your three cozy pieces in half with the inside facing out. You do this so that when you turn them right side out the sewn seam will be on the inside and out of sight.

Set your sewing machine to medium stitch and tension settings. Because your fabric is so thick, smaller stitches might cause your thread to break. (As I found out when I tried it...) : )

Do a couple of test seams on a scrap piece of sweater to make sure your settings are correct.

Now go ahead and sew up your cozies, starting with a 1/4" seam allowance. Do an inch of reversing (2 to 3 times each end) to ensure strong edges.

One at a time, turn your cozies right side out and try them on their respective jars.

Do a pinch test (as pictured) and if your fabric has a lot of stretch, you'll find that your cozy isn't tight enough around the jar. Because we're going for a pretty snug fit, you'll have to turn it inside-out again and sew another seam that is 'pinch distance' in from your last. (probably about 1/2") Repeat pinch test / new seam process until you get a good, snug fit on each jar.

While inside-out, trim off the excess edge fabric about 1/8" from your final seam. Do a little angle cut on the ends so that the inside corners aren't visible once they are turned right side out.

If any of your cozies are too long for their jars, adjust the cozy so that the extra material is hanging off the bottom of the jar and use your fabric scissors to cut off the excess, resting the scissors on the glass bottom as a guide.

*Because you did 1" of stitch reversal on both ends of the seam, it should be fine if you needed to cut off one of the ends, but if you'd like to be safe, you can turn the cozy inside out again and go back and forth over that seam end a few times for good measure.

Step 9: Cutting Your Cork Toppers

If you'd like to add the decorative cork toppers, here's the how-to:

Place the cork piece on a cutting mat and lay the three sealing lids out, evenly spaced.

Using a sharp exacto knife to avoid tearing, cut out the three circles - using the lids themselves as stencils.

These decorative cork toppers will get sandwiched in between the sealing lid and the ring.

Step 10: Making the Topper Stamps

Now if you'd like to get REALLY fancy and stamp your cork toppers, here's how I made my custom beauties. (You should also feel free to make your own stamps or use commercial stamps you may already have. There's no rules when it comes to adding fun...)

Using the small cup sealing lid as a stencil, cut out three circles in the lighter color self-adhesive craft foam.
Stick these together to form a nice stiff stamp base.

Now use your darker foam to make the stamp shape. I decided I wanted one striped and one solid circle, so I cut out two 1 1/2" circles (using a compass to draw them out) and a few very thin strips. Assemble as pictured.

Using the same base, put the striped circle on one side and the solid on the other, creating a double sided stamp.

Step 11: Picking Stamp Color(s)

Now it's time to pick your paint color. If you're not sure which direction you'd like to go, cut up a few strips of the foam and use them to paint test patches on a scrap piece of cork. Cut the tests into strips so you can see how each color looks individually with your cozies.

I opted for a light charcoal grey.

Step 12: Stamping Cork Toppers

Carefully stamp your cork toppers.

There is no need to apply a sealing coat, just let the stamped patterns dry and they are good to go!

Step 13: Cozy Times Ahead!

You are now ready to use, or to gift, your new drink set! Given the season, I recommend using it to transport a nice ginger tea or a batch of my spicy hot toddies!

Let me know your thoughts!

Sew Warm Contest

Participated in the
Sew Warm Contest