Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Felt Project: End of the Year Teacher Gifts, Coffee Cozy!

At the end of every school year, I wonder what to do for end of the year teacher gifts.  (this also could be great Christmas or teacher appreciation gifts).  I am sharing my idea with you today:  Coffee Cozy!  Yes!  I am making Coffee Cozies (handmade).  I will be getting empty Starbucks cups to put the Coffee Cozies on and also slipping a Starbucks gift card inside the cup with some little candies.  Perfect and simple!  The felt Coffee Cozies just makes the gift that much more personalized for the teachers.

The Coffee Cozy die is from Papertrey ink from their stitching dies section.  I also use the accessories to the Coffee Cozy details dies with this project.  
All felt from this project is from Benziedesigns.  I like that they sell their felt in collections, it makes it very easy to pair up pretty colors together. 
I had to show you the tag of the coffee cozy!  To me this is one of those extra details that really WOW when you gift it!  This die is included in the Coffee Cozy Details dies.

Let me walk you through the steps to make this simple but WOW project:
The Coffee Cozy Die comes with three dies.  The first two cut the "wrap" of the coffee cozy.  One is smaller than the other.  Now if you want to make a coffee cozy for a reusable cup and it's a little wider, you can die cut two of the bigger "wraps".  For this project I am using empty Starbucks cups so I am using one big and one little wrap. I run those through my Vagabond.  

Next I add the details to the front of the wrap.  I chose a star.  This step is using the holes only die as part of the set.  I am only cutting the holes into the front of the wrap to add the star detail on top of it.  This makes sewing the details into the felt very easy because it is just like lacing matching holes to holes and then you stitch!  

I also cut out the felt star and the matching tag for the wrap.  I like to use different colors for both but you can use whatever you like. 

Here are the dies, each heart, star and tree detail comes with the holes only die.  And then you have the matching tag dies.  They cut out all three together.  I guess you could snip them apart but that would make a very small die and easily lost die so I keep them together.  Extra die cuts are kept, to be added to other projects!  I store all my dies in my die totes from Stamp N Storage and use their wonderful magnet cards.  You can find my die storage HERE

These dies are so well thought out, the little tags already have the stitching holes on them.  

The final die cutting step is to add the stitching holes to the wrap.  This is where the third die of the set comes in.  It is easy as well, you just need to take your time to line it up properly.  I showed some pictures here so you can see how it is supposed to be lined up.   Each wrap needs holes on both sides, so 4 runs through the die cutting machine. (now you can see why I use a Vagabond for felt projects!)

The felt is butted up to the line on the bar....the holes are underneath the felt.  For this cut, I found it easiest to turn the die to cut UP into the felt so I can make sure to line this up properly.  ( I normally cut down into the felt but for this one, you can't line it up properly in the down position).

Now you can see that the holes are cut and all dies pieces are cut out.  The next step I do is one that takes just a minute but keeps the stitching neater.  I use my Tim Holtz tool to push the felt plugs out of all the holes.  Not all of them will "fall" out on their own, so this helps them to come out.  I find this step keeps the stitching neater, those plugs go everywhere!!!  

With all the holes cleaned up, don't fret if one or two plugs hang around, you can easily roll them out of the way when you are stitching, but it helps when most of them are out.  Now I pick the stitching thread I am going to use.  Most any type of 6 strand floss will work.  For cross stitching, I only use DMC or speciality floss but for these projects any cotton 6 strand floss works.  I love the variegated floss to use on projects like this.  It makes the stitching really look neat.  I'll link some of my favorites below.  I take the 6 strands and separate it into 3 strands for this project.  Sometimes I use all 6 strands to sew, but most of the time, I use 3 strands. 
This is the fun part, picking what strand of floss you want to use.  Do  you want your stitching to stand out? Use a contrasting color.   Blend in? Match your felt to the floss color.  Be unique? Use a Variegated floss color.

This is the one I chose for this coffee cup cozy. 

Then you start stitching.  I add the front detail first.  Starting on one point (leave a tail) and start BETWEEN the two pieces of felt, meaning your tail, should come out from between the two pieces (not in the front or back of the project) then start stitching around the shape, this is a running stitch.  UP and DOWN out of each hole.  It will leave a space between the stitch will reverse to fill in when you get to the end. 

When you get to the end (or back to your starting point) reverse, and fill in the spaces in between using the up and down method.  You can leave the detail with just the dotted sewn outline and it looks great too.  Either way, you will end with both threads BETWEEN the felt pieces, both front and back will look the same...then knot the two pieces together with a double knot.  And snip the ends.  The knot is hidden between your project making for a finished professional look.  Easy to impress!!!  ;)  

Now the next step is to stitch the two wraps together.  Using the same running stitch as we did with the star detail, hiding your knot between the felt layers.  

This is a step I forgot to picture but you wan to add your little tag in.  I find it easier to stitch it on during the first stitching of the two wraps.  But you simple slip the tag in between the two pieces of felt and stitch as normal, lining up the holes with the holes in the wrap.  

Here are some more cozies I made.  These are fun and quick to do. I got really creative with colors.  You can even do the wraps in two different colors which is fun too!  

Thanks for stopping by!

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