Warm up with a hot beverage without burning yourself with an easy DIY coffee cozy can be made from a mismatched sock in around 5 minutes! You can also make cup cozies from polar fleece scraps or other knit items.
By now you should know that I love to repurpose and “upcycle” things. You may have also noticed that I love herbal teas and infusions. I have even shown you how you can make infusions from plants that you find in your own garden!
What I don’t love, though, is burning my hands on my hot cup of tea.
Make a Cup Cozy from a Sock!
Good thing for me that making a cup cozy is so simple and fun to do. You can even take advantage of a pretty, mismatched sock that you would otherwise no longer be able to use. If you don’t have a mismatched sock you like, you can buy inexpensive pairs of socks on sale or at a dollar store, giving you the ability to quickly make two inexpensive tea cozies, one for you and one for a friend.
Making a “no-sew” coffee sleeve
If you don’t want to do any sewing, it’s still possible to make your own cozy or sleeve. It’s as easy as cutting the toe off of your sock and slipping it over your cup. I like having a double layer of fabric to keep my hands protected and help keep my tea warm. So, to give it that double layer, and hide the “heel” of the sock, you should slip the sock over your cup with the right side facing inwards (the wrong side facing out). You then peel back the upper part of the sock, bringing it down over the other layer until completely covering it. By doing that, the right side of the fabric should now be exposed.
Making a more “finished” coffee cozy
I’m a bit of a perfectionist, though. Although you have a smoother layer on top, the “bumpy” heel still makes the fabric stick out a little at that point. While it’s not super noticable, I prefer to spend a couple of minutes to make a more finished looking cup cozy.
1. Cut my sock in half, removing the “bumpy” heel part of the sock. At this point, you’ll also want to cut off the toe of the sock. (See the black sock below.)
2. I leave the upper hem of the sock intact and sew the two cut parts of the sock together with right sides facing each other. To accomplish that, you have to take one of the pieces and flip it inside-out over the other. Line up the two cut sides and sew along that line. I used a serger (overlock sewing machine) to help finish it easily and neatly.
3. Once you sew around the top, you can flip the right sides out again. You now have a finished cup cozy with the seam hidden inside.
It is also much smoother when slipped over your cup.
The other cut edge, where you cut the toe off, stays unfinished. I haven’t had a problem with it unraveling on any of my cozies, but you can finish off the edge if you are worried about it. That edge remains underneath the other layer so it isn’t seen anyway.
Using other materials to make a DIY coffee cozy
I love using polar fleece scraps and old blankets for making all sorts of projects. It’s an easy fabric to work with because it doesn’t unravel and the edges look nice even when you don’t finish them off. Polar fleece also works pretty well in a project like this one because it has some stretch to it which allows it to conform to the shape of your cup.
In the case of polar fleece, though, it’s best to cut the sleeve in the relative shape of the cup you’re going to be using your cozy on because, while it does conform to the shape of the cup, it doesn’t do it as well as a sock does.
I like to measure the glass with a strip of paper the width of the cozy I want to make, and then use that strip as the pattern for the cozy.
I cut the polar fleece exactly to the length of the circumference of the cup. I don’t add any extra fabric for the seam because I want the cozy to have to stretch somewhat when slipped onto the cup so that it stays in place better. All you have to do to finish the coffee cozy is to sew the raw edges together with the right side of the fabric facing inwards.
Again, though, you want to note that I’m using a serger machine to make very small seams and that gives a nice finished edge. If you are using a different type of sewing machine, and will be making a wide seam, you want to take that into consideration. (You can always later make it smaller, but it’s much harder to make it bigger!)
After sewing up the edge, the bottom can be squared up and cut off. Because the polar fleece doesn’t unravel, there is no need to hem the bottom. (The top hem that you see in my photo was already on my fabric, so I decided to keep it there and use it.)
Once you flip it right side out, you can slip it over your glass and you’re ready to go!
Other Fabric ideas…
You can repurpose other things into cup cozies.
I made one using a sweater sleeve and another using an old knit hat, but when working with knit products, you have to be careful along the cut lines. I had to finish off the cut edges so that the cozy wouldn’t unravel. While upcycling old knits can work, how well depends on the thickness of the yarn and the size of the knit.
What will you use?
For me, the easiest and best looking option is still a sock, but I do like to recycle and use whatever I can.
I’d love to see what you make! (Feel free to send pics of your finished projects to Tracy@thethingswellmake.com )