How To: Make A Coffee Cozy

Maybe you love the paper sleeves you get on your cup of joe (or cocoa or chai or whatever your beverage of choice is), but maybe you’re looking for a bit of pizzazz to throw on that boring ol’ cup. Something with some personality.

I’ve made up some little kits to make your own, including fabric, batting, elastic band and covered button. But if you wanna just make one for yourself, here’s how I do it…

Drink a hot beverage bought at your favorite shop (think local) and keep the paper sleeve. There are a variety of them, but it really doesn’t matter what kind of paper they use, just take it off and tear or cut down one side so you can lay it out flat.


Lay it out on your favorite pattern-making supply. I like to use Swedish tracing paper (you can find it at your LQS or online) because of its durability and flexibility. You can also use newsprint or a piece of plain paper. It’s up to you.

Trace around the sleeve, then use a ruler and add a seam allowance. I do a quarter-inch, but am not super picky about it. If the end result is slightly larger or smaller than the paper sleeve, it doesn’t really matter.


Now, lay it on top of two coordinating fabrics and a layer of batting, then cut it all out at once.

I realize I forgot to show you the next step, so I may have to another picture later. OOPS!

Find the middle on one of the short edges and mark it with a pin. Now take a hair elastic, cut in two. You’ll want one part, fold it in half and line up the cut edges of the elastic on either side of your pin. I like to do this on the back/lining piece so that the bump from the elastic doesn’t show through as well from the front, but either side is fine. Again, your choice! Stitch it down a few times, then on to the next step.

Layer your back piece and front piece, right sides together, then batting. Pin at the corners, if you want. I know a lot of people don’t like pins, but I do. I actually pin it at the corners and once along the top seam. It just keeps it lined up better and I’m pretty quick about removing pins so I don’t have to stop sewing to do it.

Stitch all the way around, leaving a gap in the bottom edge. Make it about 3-inches long so you don’t have to argue with it to get the thing turned inside out.


Trim off the batting just before the seam line. This is really the key to making it lie flat, imho. Then trim off your corners at a more-than-45 degree angle. I also add a few notches into the top edge and clips into the bottom edge.


Flip that baby inside out and use your preferred tool to push the corners out. I use a Japanese chopstick, but there are lots of tools available just for this.


Now you’re gonna have to break out the iron. First press your top and bottom seams open. Then press them flat. This will keep it from doing that little humpty thing. You know what I’m talking about, right?


Fold in a quarter-inch along the open area where you turned it. Pin it (or don’t) and topstitch to perfection.


Sew on your special button,fabric covered or not. And BAM!–there you have a cozy to be proud of!

If you’re too lazy don’t want to make your own, I’m happy to sew one up for you. Just shoot me an email (teresa at or convo me on Etsy.

(Yes, it’s the same picture. What of it?!)


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