I’m gonna tell you right now, you can’t throw a rock and not hit a tutorial for a coffee cup sleeve out there on the web. Reversible, not reversible, buttons, Velcro, skinny, wide, you name it. For that matter, you can probably work a pattern out yourself. However, just in case your rock lands here, I’m going to share my version with you. I’ve made a few of these for Christmas and birthday gifts. You can see the one I made for my grandma here. I also have a few in my Etsy store right now. I made a holiday version for myself, but I realized in the middle of Starbucks last week it’s not Christmas anymore. One more decoration to store for next year.
I was trying to decide which fabrics to use for a new one and my wandering eyes landed on my seasonal fabric stack. I must have one for every holiday now! Yeah, we’ll see about that, but I’m all over Valentine’s Day. And if you’re looking for a gift, nothing says “I Love You” like keeping their coffee warm. Well, it would at my house.
Coffee cup sleeves are a great project for a new sewist, but if you'd rather buy the sleeve already sewn up you can click the button below to find them in my shop:
And if you'd like to sew it but not spend the time gathering the supplies, I have kits for them here:
To make one, you’ll need this coffee cup sleeve pattern . As when printing any pattern, make sure it doesn't scale down to print. The pattern should measure 10 3/4" straight across the top (corner to corner, not on the curve) and 9 1/8" across the bottom (again, corner to corner). It's just barely under 3" wide. I use "borderless printing" in my print options to make sure the pattern prints full size.
Cut one from cotton batting, two from ironing board cover fabric and two from cotton fabric. Make sure you flip the pattern piece over to cut the second pieces, so they’re opposite the first. Another lesson I learned the hard way. You’ll also need a coordinating elastic hair band or elastic cord and two 5/8” or 3/4” buttons. I prefer buttons with two holes because they’re easier to stitch on.
I happen to have scraps of batting and ironing board fabric*, but if you don’t and will be buying the supplies, another product you can use is InsulBright. It’s insulated batting, usually used for things like potholders. If you use it, replace the cotton batting throughout the instructions with a piece cut from Insul Bright and leave out the ironing board fabric.
*after making hundreds of these, I now use InsulBright and add one layer of fusible interfacing to the back of one piece of fabric
You’ll only need half of the hair tie, so zigzag stitch through the center, about 3/8” long, then clip through the center.
Layer the pieces: first, a piece of ironing board fabric, face down.
Next, cotton fabric, face up.
Place the hair band in the middle of the straight end, with the ends even with the edge of the fabric.
Next, the other piece of cotton fabric, face down.
Second piece of ironing board fabric, face up.
Last, the batting.
Pin in place. Stitch around the edge with a 1/4” seam, leaving about 2” open on the bottom edge for turning. Backstitch over the elastic when you reach that point. Clip the curves and corners.
Turn and press, turning in the opening. Stitch all the way around, close to the edge.
Lay flat. Fold both sides in so edges meet. Stick a pencil through the elastic and mark the farthest point it will reach without stretching.
Stitch a button on each side over the mark, sliding a toothpick under each button.
After stitching, remove the toothpicks. Wrap the thread around under each button a few times before knotting the thread under one of the buttons.
The hardest parts? Remembering to ask for your drink without a cardboard sleeve and remembering to remove it before you throw away your cup.
Check out my Coffee Sleeve Patterns page for lots of other designs and shapes you can make!
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