Create an adorable coffee cup cozy for yourself or as a personalized gift for someone you love! This tutorial includes directions and patterns to make three Grande (16oz) cup cozies, and tips for making your own custom designs out of wool felt. In a little kitchen experiment that I did with a digital thermometer, the Instructables Robot Cup Cozy kept my cup of hot tea 5% warmer after 20 minutes than the same cup /hot water without a cozy!
Step 1: Materials Needed
Computer with printer/ or photocopy machine.
Colored pencils if desired for coloring in design
Disposable coffee cup
Embroidery needle or sewing needle with eye large enough for embroidery floss
Needle Felting Tool
Needle Felting brush base or suitable alternative
A few Straight pins
1) Wool Felt fabric: (or wool blend), 12" squares of each color, Yellow , ivory, and green, and one tiny swatch of grey/or brown for the tree trunk
2) Embroidery thread in black, red, ivory, and two shades of green
3) 1 small floral button, two grey buttons for wheels, and 3 heart shaped buttons
4) Pale blue, medium blue, and red wool roving fiber for felting (You can also use red felt, or red embroidery floss for the heart if you prefer)
1) Wool Felt fabric: (or wool blend), 12" squares of each color, or a 6" length of each color cut from fabric on the bolt
Grey, Black, Ivory, and background color (green was used)
2) Wool Roving fiber: black, and white (a small handful is more than enough of each color)
3) Embroidery thread in black, and light green
4) 3 small black buttons for eyes and nose, flower buttons for decoration
1) Wool Felt: (or wool blend), 12" squares of each color, or a 6" length for each color cut from fabric on the bolt
Red, Black, Ivory, and background color (green was used)
2) Wool Roving in black to accent the ears
3) Embroidery thread in black, additional colors if you would like to embroider flowers or other details
4) 1 small black button for the nose
Step 2: Making the Background Pattern
Making your Cup Background pattern:
1) Select your paper cup size, cut it down the center, and cut out the circle bottom of the cup.
2) Flatten your cup out on a piece of paper, and trace around it. Add 1/2" to one vertical edge. This will allow for an overlap/ seam allowance when you wrap the background around your cup.
You can download and print the cup pattern here if you like. This pattern is for a 16 oz Grande cup background.
Step 3: Making Your Animal / Robot/ or Custom Pattern
1) Start with a quick sketch, drawn directly over a printout of the cup background. In my case, I wanted the animal tails to wrap completely around the cup and overlap the face, so my sketch extended the face and tail beyond the cup background pattern.
For the Instructables Robot, I scanned in the image from a patch that I have :) , and enlarged the size with my computer to the size I wanted it to be on my cup. This is a great way to copy drawings, photos and other artwork you could use on your cozy (I'm thinking custom people, pets, etc). If you don't have a computer program that can re-size an image, just try enlarging/or reducing your image when you photocopy it.
2) Trace the quick sketch with a felt tip pen onto white paper, color it in with pencils/crayons/markers or scan it into your computer, and color it in. I used Photoshop Elements to color my design.
3) Print and/or cut out your colored design, and check the fit and design by wrapping your design around the cup, to make sure you like how it looks.
4) To make individual pattern pieces, you can either make as many photocopies of your design as you have individual pattern pieces, and cut each pattern piece section out. You can also use Photoshop Elements or your computer design program to trace over each section of your design, then copy, and paste each individual pattern piece.
If you are making the Raccoon, Fox, or Robot cup cozy, you can download and print the patterns here.
Step 4: Cut Out and Assemble Your Pattern Pieces
1. Cut out your pattern pieces, lay them on top of the wool felt fabric, and cut out your design including all pattern pieces in the design. Cut out two pieces of the background fabric, as two layers will be felted and sewn together to give the cup cozy extra stability.
2. Lay out your design on your background, and begin assembling your design.
3. For the Fox and Raccoon:
-Use your needle felt tool to attach the pieces by placing one felt pattern piece on top of the other, on top of the needle felting base (the brush-like thing in the photo) .Make sure the pattern pieces are in the correct position. Move the needle felting tool in short up/down motions to poke through both layers of felt until the layers have combined together and no longer pull apart.
-Felt the head to body, and face details like the fox's cheeks and the raccoon's mask
-Pull white and black wisps of roving and place across the raccoon's tail to make furry stripes, and felt into place.
-Felt the tail to the body
-Felt the white ear accents to face
-Use your embroidery needle and thread to outline the legs and toes, sew on the button eyes and nose, add whiskers, and mouth if desired.
4) For the Robot:
-Felt around the outside edge of the yellow robot pattern piece to "tack" it to your felt background.
-Felt the green grass ground pattern to the ivory background
-Felt the heart shape using your needle felt tool, red roving, and the heart mold. You can also cut a small heart out of red felt and needle felt it in position, or embroider the heart with red embroidery floss instead if you prefer.
-Pull whisps of the light and medium blue roving , and place them on the ivory background. Use your needle felt tool to felt them securely in place so that the roving is incorporated into the ivory felt background in a cloud-like manner.
Step 5: Finishing Details
For the Raccoon and fox:
1. Felt the two layers of green background felt together by using your needle tool to poke repeatedly around the perimeter of the pattern pieces, and then through the center of the background pattern pieces. The edges should be felted well together, but the center can be just loosely "tacked".
2. Use embroidery thread to attach flower buttons, and use straight stitch or chain stitch to embroider the flower stem.
3. Wrap the felted background around your cup, and pin the open edges together. Place the green felt background seam over your needle felting base, and felt the seam together. You can also stitch the edge together with a decorative stitch if you prefer.
4. Place the fox or raccoon around the green felt background while the background is wrapped around the cup, and pin in place.
5. Using coordinating embroidery thread, stitch around the perimeter of the fox /raccoon to attach to the background
6. Add Blanket stitch to the top or bottom edges if desired. The blanket stitch will help to stabilize the felt, and keep it from stretching out over time.
For the Instructables Robot:
1. Outline the yellow robot pattern with black embroidery thread. Add the face and body details, using chain stitch for the fingers, and french knots for the dots along the bottom edge band of the robot's torso.
2. Add red embroidery thread french knots for eyes, and satin stitch to fill in the "ears".
3. Sew button wheels, and 3 heart buttons to the robot, and flower button using embroidery thread.
4. Embroider "I'M HOT 4 U!" in red embroidery floss above the robot's head
5. Blanket stitch the top edge of the grass with light green embroidery thread
6. Wrap the felted cozy around your cup, and pin the edges together. You can either felt the edges together, stitch them together using embroidery thread.
7. Place the green tree top, and the grey felt trunk over the background seam, and felt into place.
8. Blanket stitch the top edge with ivory embroidery floss, and the bottom edge with dark green embroidery floss.
The embroidery stitches used in this instructable are: Chain stitch, straight stitch, satin stitch and french knot. A quick Internet search will show you more detailed diagrams of how to create these stitches if these terms are not familiar to you.
Now go forth and enjoy your cozy cup, which should stay warmer just a little longer for you or someone you love.