Introduction: Upgraded Leather Coffee Cup Sleeve, With No Special Tools

About: I like making things myself and learn new stuff.

I have a leather coffee sleeve that I made using as a template the cardboard one that they give you when you by their coffee. One small problem! The size of the sleeve is kind of small. So, I decided to make a longer one and create an Instructable of how to do it with out any special leather tool. As a bonus I will show how to easily create a pattern for the sleeve (really useful for.those popular insulated stainless steel cups)

Big disclaimer: the stitching will not be the traditional leather stitching "saddle stitching" this one will be made using only one needle. But it will look great ;-)


  • Scrap of leather
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • String
  • Box cutter
  • Cardboard
  • Nail (I really try to find a nail and could not, ANY sharp pointy thing will do)
  • Pencil ( ANY fine marker or pen will work too)
  • Tape
  • Fork

Step 1: Sleeve Pattern

For this step first you need to first make a rough sleeve and then refine it.

1) Wrap the cardboard around the cup and using the pencil trace a line around the cup the closest you can to the top and bottom.

2) Cut the cardboard following the lines.

3) Using Tape, place the cardboard around the cup.

4) To define the top line, put the cup upside down on a flat surface and place the pencil over a steady object at your desired height. Press the point of the pencil to the cardboard and rotate the cup until the line meets.

5) To define the bottom line Repeat step 4 but with the cup upright.

6) With the scissors cut a straight line from top to bottom of the template.

7) Admire you pattern ;-)

Step 2: Using the Template

Place you template over the leather piece. Using the nail or any pointy thing (in this example a fork) trace the pattern over the leather. Now with caution to not cut yourself or the table your working on ;-) cut the leather using the box cutter.

Step 3: To Additional Uses for a Fork

Look closer the pictures before doing this step.

First use:

Using the border around the leather as a guide, place one point of the fork over the leather and the next point against the border. Slide the fork around the edge of the leather creating a line design.

Second use:

Following one of the straight line (the short side of the cut piece) Put one point against the border of the leather and the other 3 over the line. Press the fork to mark the leather. I does not have to be deep just visible. Now put one of the points of the fork over the last marked point align the rest with the line and mark again.

You have to repeat this step until the end of that line. Then do the same on the other short side of the leather.

At last using the pointy object and a piece of wood, make a hole on each of the marks made with the fork. You need to have the same numbers of holes on each of the short sides of the leather.


Step 4:

Look REALLY closer the pictures before doing this step!

(TOP of the CUP)


\ 4L . | . 4R /

\ 3L . | . 3R /

\ 2L . | . 2R /

\ 1L . | . 1R /


(Bottom of the cup)

L = left hole

R = right hole

Starting from the bottom,

Use the needle to pass the string from the inside out of 1L and into 1R and out fo 1L again. Be sure to leave at least 2 inches of thread under 1L.

Now until you get to the top repeat this step.

put the needle into 2R from the top and out from 2L repeat now but with row 3 in from R out of L.

When you get to the top (in this example row 4) when you take the needle out of 4L go again into 4R and out 4L.

From there (4L) go into 3R and out of 3L. At this point you should be starting to see the "X" patern on the outside of the sleeve and "---"lines on the inside of the sleeve.

Repeat until you reach the bottom and tie the string on the inside of the cup.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Creation.

Always there are lessons to be learned. In this case the stitches pulled the leather so the sleeve does not goes to the top of the cup. That's not a problem for me, but I you mind that just create your template closer to the top of the cup.

This is a great gift for that coffee or tea lover that you are thinking ;-)


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