For ages, I've been pondering those disposable mug holders you get when you buy a cup of coffee, feeling bad about the waste. When Annabel was younger and we traveled a lot, I'd take them off the cups from our early-morning flights and turn them into superhero-style bracelets we could easily decorate with washable markers on the airplane. My favorite things to craft combine two methods, in this case hand printing and sewing. If you'd rather embroider the mug holder, there are many possibilities. Patchwork would be fun, too!
For this project you will need:
2 fabric scraps, washed and ironed
Fabric paint in grass green. I mixed a bit of yellow into the green I had.
Sharp X-Acto knife
Self-healing cutting mat
Small foam paintbrush
4" of thin elastic or a hair elastic
Thermal lining. I use Insul-bright; you can also use fusible fleece.
This downloable pdf
Step 1: Print the template on a piece of 8 1/2 x 11" freezer paper, making sure to leave the shiny side blank. Print a second template on a piece of plain paper.
Step 2: Take the template on the plain paper and cut it out along the dotted line. Set aside. With the X-Acto knife, cut the grass design out of the freezer paper. I cut further down than the solid line so that the green section would go into the seam.
Step 3: Place the freezer paper (shiny side down) on a plain piece of fabric, in this case linen. Press to adhere.
Step 4: Using the foam brush, paint the grass design onto the fabric. You will want to put the fabric on a piece of plastic (I used a plastic bag) because the paint will likely bleed through. Allow to dry thoroughly. Remove freezer paper. Note: Check manufacturer's instructions; some recommend ironing the dried paint to set before washing.
Step 5: With the paper template, cut out the two pieces of fabric, making sure to flip the template before you cut the second piece.
Step 6: Trim the paper template along the solid line. Trace the pattern onto the thermal lining. Cut the thermal lining slightly smaller than the pattern (this will ensure that it will fit inside the fabric without bunching.
Step 7: Place and pin the thermal lining on top of the wrong side of the backing fabric. I basted it to keep it in place, leaving the knots outside the fabric so I could pull it out later. If you have fusible fleece, basting is not necessary.
Step 8: Remove the pins and leave the basting. Right sides facing, pin the two fabric pieces together. The thermal lining will be on the bottom of the three layers. Turn the pile so the thermal lining is face up. Stitch around the thermal lining so that you sew the two fabric pieces together without catching the lining. Be sure to sew around only three sides; leave the end with the curve unsewn.
Step 9: Carefully turn the piece right side out. The basted lining will be a bit awkward, but if you go slowly it'll be fine! Press flat. (Note: In this photo, I left the opening on the straight side. If I were to make another one, I'd leave the curved side open as directed in step 8.)
Step 10: Fold the elastic in half and tie string around it so that you create a loop. Insert the loop into the open end of the holder. Pin into place.
Step 11: Topstitch around the edge, making sure to start and stop with a few backstitches on the elastic. Sew slowly as you're sewing through three layers.
Step 12: Sew the button roughly 1 1/2" in from the edge. You might want to try it out on a coffee cup to be certain you're getting the placement you want. Don't make it overly tight but the elastic should fit comfortably around the button to hold it firmly on without tugging too much.
I know it's fall, and I chose a green grass pattern for this project, but I'm hoping a bit of green will be cheery through winter!
Enjoy switching from iced coffee to hot!