Etsy Sale, Update and Giveaway

Happy Labor Day!  I thought since everybody else has a sale to celebrate, I’d join in too.  Personally, I’ll take shopping online during the big sales over fighting the crowds any day!

I’ve decided to discontinue the coffee cup sleeves in my Etsy store.  I love making them, but my focus has really turned toward photography accessories.  Get it…focus?  I know.  Sorry ‘bout that one.


I’ve created a new Sale section.  There are a few Christmas coffee cup sleeves, like this Santa’s Belt version and some everyday cozies. 


There are also a small handful of 67mm lens cap pockets that have been floating around for a while. 


Each item is only $5 with super-cheap $1 shipping in the United States and $3 everywhere else.   There’s also one Passport Wallet, which is $10 with $1 shipping.


Any of these would make great stocking stuffers.  I know it feels early to be thinking about that, but it’s coming!

I also added 60 new fabrics to the choices available for custom items, bringing my total to 165.  I’ve been busy – my shop now has Lens Cap Pockets, Business Card Pockets, Camera Straps and Memory Card Wallets.  I’ll happily make any of them from the fabrics of your choice.

Now, about that giveaway.  Just leave a comment here, telling me which items you like in my sale section.  At 8 am Pacific on Friday morning, September 9, 2011, I’ll randomly draw one entry and send that person the item they’ve mentioned.  The only catch is, you might want to list a couple of items in case your first choice happens to sell before Friday.

Enjoy your holiday and check out my sale!

Pencil and Paper Drink Sleeve and Mat

Please keep in mind this tutorial is for personal use only.  Thank you!


Do you give your kids’ teachers a “Welcome to the new school year” gift?  I wasn’t consistent about it, but there were a few years where I felt like getting on the teacher’s good side was in the best interest of my very loud daughter.  Besides that, I firmly believe teachers aren’t paid what they’re worth and a show of appreciation never hurts.

I’ve covered a couple of versions of the coffee cup sleeve here and here, but this one got into my head and wouldn’t leave.  Now, I’m glad it wouldn’t…I love how this turned out!

pencil 1

To make the Pencil Coffee Cup Sleeve, you’ll need this pattern.  There is a very good reason why all the writing is backwards on the second page.  It’s because I forgot that the back needed to be cut the opposite direction as the front.  Use it as shown and ignore the writing.  It happens.

Cut each piece as shown from cotton fabric.  I’m using InsulBrite for this project, because it only requires one product for the inside lining instead of two like my previous drink sleeves.   Make sure you let the recipient know that, due to the metal in InsulBrite, this should NOT be put in a microwave.

You’ll also need a pink button (5/8 – 3/4”) and half of a black hair band.  Make sure the ends are tied together with some thread.

pencil 2

Sew each of the pieces of the pencil to each other with a 1/4” seam.  Press seams toward the eraser end.

pencil 3

Layer the pieces with the pencil right side up first.  Lay the hair band with the loop facing in, centered on the tip of the pencil.

pencil 4

Next, carefully lay the back piece on top, right side down.

pencil 5

Lay the InsulBrite on top of that and pin everything in place.

pencil 6

Stitch around with a 1/4” seam, leaving a 2” opening at the bottom for turning.

pencil 7

Clip corners and turn right side out.  Press, turning in opening.

pencil 8

Top stitch all the way around near the edge with white thread, stitching across just below graphite tip.  Top stitch the tip in black.

pencil 9

Touch the tip of the pencil to the end of the eraser.  Stick a pencil in the loop, pulling it firming but not stretching the elastic and make a dot to mark for the button.

pencil 10

There’s only one button because I didn’t make this one reversible.  Stitch the button in place, sliding a toothpick underneath.  Wrap the thread around under the button before knotting.

pencil 11

To make the mug mat, I printed a piece of fabric to look like notebook paper.  Simply iron an 8 1/2 by 11” piece of white cotton fabric to the shiny side of a piece of freezer paper cut to the same size.  You can, carefully, feed this through your printer.  My disclaimer here is that it has always worked for me, but you are taking your chances with your printer.  You can find the notebook paper printable I made here.

pencil 12

Peel the fabric off the paper.  There are lots of ways to set the ink into the fabric, making it less likely to fade, including salt, vinegar and some products you can buy.  I pressed mine with a very hot steam iron.

pencil 13

Cut out around the black line.  Use this piece as a pattern to cut out the backing and InsulBrite.  You could use regular fleece or batting inside, because the insulating properties of InsulBrite aren’t needed here, but since you’re already using it for the drink sleeve, it’s just convenient.

Ordinarily, a mug mat would have some kind of pretty binding around the edge.  Today it doesn’t.  I could say I liked the look of the paper better that way, but honestly I’m just not good at it and didn’t want to torture myself today.

Layer the pieces, starting with the InsulBrite.

pencil 14

Lay the front, right side up, on top.

pencil 15

Finally, lay the back over that, right side down.

pencil 16

Stitch around with a 1/4” seam, leaving 2” open at the bottom for turning.  Clip the corners.

pencil 17

Turn right side out and press, turning in the opening.

pencil 18

Top stitch around, close to the edge.

pencil #

Now you’ve got a cute set to bribe the teacher with so little Suzy doesn’t have to spend every recess writing “I will not talk in class” on the board.  That probably won’t work, but her teacher will know how much you appreciate her patience.

pencil 19

My daughter is still loud, but she’s old enough to manage it these days, so I’m listing this set in my Etsy shop.  You can find it here…just in case you run out of crafting time before school starts.


Please play fair. Tutorials here are for personal use only. Thanks!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.

New November 2013!

Visit Finding Pins and Needles on Etsy for a personalized embroidery pattern to add to your Pencil Coffee Cup Sleeve!  Your kids’ teachers will love it!



Don’t want to make it yourself?  Visit my Etsy shop to order one custom embroidered by me with the teacher’s name!

2014-08-13 006

My New Desk Set

As part of my office beautification project that started last week with my husband’s new coaster, I finally made myself a Mug Mat.  I’ve made lots of these at this point, but didn’t own one.  I was still using a sad little woven coaster my daughter made a LONG time ago.  Even she was ready to see it go.

I think we all spend at least a little time at the computer these days, but writing a blog, running an online shop and learning how to better edit my photos puts me in front of it probably more than average.  Therefore, the need for some pretty accessories was great.

Because my kids are a black belt and a nearly-black belt, I have a stack of karate-themed fabric in my sewing room.  I also have lots of law enforcement themed yardage, thanks to my husband and now my kids’ developing interest in following in his footsteps.  I rarely find any that reflects my own interests, so when I spotted some red, black and white sewing-themed fabric, I bought some just on principle.  Turned out, it made a perfect Mug Mat.

desk set 1

Of course, I felt I needed a matching Coffee Cup Sleeve, in spite of the fact that I almost always drink my coffee from a Fiesta mug that it won’t even fit around.  I might have to throw it in my purse for my frequent occasional Starbucks visits.

desk set 2

After I got the first side of these cut out, I grabbed one of the fabrics I had already used to cut out the backs.  Luckily, before I put scissors to fabric, I had an epiphany.  The backs could be completely different…these are for me, I can do whatever I want!

desk set 3

I’ve been looking for an excuse to put red and turquoise together and I’m afraid I like this side better than the sewing prints.  That’s ok – my attention span is short.  The other side will be my favorite next week.


Because of the size of the strips I used to make these, I was able to cut two coffee cup sleeves from each combination.  If you’d like one of your own, they can be found in my Etsy shop.  Unlike mine, the two sides coordinate with each other!

Quick and Easy Fabric Coasters

If you’re still looking for something to make this close to Father’s Day, you’re going to need a simple, easy to make project or superhero-level sewing skills.  Personally, I had to go simple.

Coaster 1

My morning usually starts on the computer.  On the days my husband is home he often sits in the other chair, either working on the laptop or chatting with me.  There is ALWAYS coffee involved.  The caffeine addiction is something we share.  We had a couple of coasters the kids made with those weaving looms and stretchy bands years ago.  I think I could almost see through one of them.  I decided we needed something new and the kids backed me up.

To make one of these coasters, you need two squares of fabric, each 5” by 5” and a matching piece of cotton batting.  If you happen to have some InsulBrite left over from making coffee cup sleeves, that will work too.

Coaster 2

Lay one piece of fabric right side up, the other face down on top of it and the batting on top of that.  Stitch around the outer edge, leaving 1 1/2” open for turning.  Clip the corners.

Coaster 3

Turn right side out, pushing out the corners, and press.  Turn the opening to the inside while pressing.  Top stitch all the way around, close to the edge.

Coaster 4

If you have kids you’re teaching to use the sewing machine, this one is even easy enough for them.  Add a Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve and Dad’s got a new desk set!

Coaster 5

First Anniversary Winners–What Did They Get?

Last post about my blogiversary.  Promise.  I just wanted to show you what I made for the two charming ladies whose names were drawn.  (Linda, if you haven’t received yours yet, and don’t want to see it, stop reading!)

Sue said she liked the Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeves and had found herself drawn to pinks and browns lately, so I made her this:


The other side of the sleeve is striped, like the mat.  I couldn’t just make her a little sleeve, so the mat was a bonus.  Sue already received this in the mail and seems quite happy with it.  Which makes me happy too.

Linda promised to keep her Forever Fabric Flowers dusted and even suggested she might get them to grow.  Here’s how they came out:


The day I finished this, it was sort of snowing at my house, but more just dark and gloomy.  It was hard to part with these, but Linda was so sweet I couldn’t help it.

Thank you Sue and Linda, for entering and being such cheerful and enthusiastic winners and thank you all, one last time, for sharing the last year with me.  Time to move on to new projects!

Staci signature small white background

Oval Mug Mat Winner

I promised a drawing and I have a winner!  I know what you’re going to say, and yes, I know about the website that will randomly generate a number for you, I just didn’t use it.  I went old-school.  I printed all of the entries on paper, folded them up and threw them in an old canning jar.  Then I stuck my hand in and pulled one out.  After a Pooh with his hand in the honey jar moment, I’m happy to announce the winner of the Oval Mug Mat and matching Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve is…


Mug Mat 11

I’ll be sending them off to her and hopefully she’ll enjoy them!  Diane has an adorable website of her own at All In Stitches.  She’s completed and reviewed several sewing patterns from other websites.  It’s always nice to see a real-world view of something before you make it yourself.  Congratulations Diane and thanks for your entry! 

Diane is still eligible to win the First Anniversary Giveaway drawing on Saturday as well.  Are you?  If you haven’t entered, visit the post here and leave a comment.  There are other ways listed there to gain more entries.  Don’t wait, it’s almost time to draw the winners!

Oval Mug Mat

I’ve been collecting one-inch wide stripes of fabric for the past couple of years.  My plan for them is to make a rag rug, but these mug mats have been everywhere lately.  It seemed like a good place to donate some of my stash.

Mug Mat 1

If you haven’t heard, a mug mat is more than a coaster, but less than a placemat.  The theory is, it can hold your cup of tea or coffee with room left for a little pastry or cookie to go with it.  It calls out to the girly-girl in me.  The ones I’ve noticed have been rectangular or square, but I decided to go a little different route and make mine oval.

To make one, you’ll need this pattern and 1” wide strips of cotton fabric, each approximately 20” long.  The number you’ll need depends on whether you’re just making the mat or a matching coffee cup sleeve (you’ll find the instructions for the sleeve here).  I ended up using 26 strips to make both, which yields a sewn piece about 12” by 20”.

You don’t have to use 1” wide strips.  You can use a different size, or even a variety of sizes.  The only thing that matters is the your pattern pieces fit on the piece you wind up making from them.

Sew the strips together side by side with a 1/4” seam.  Press all the seams in one direction.

Mug Mat 2

Cut out the front and back (and sleeve pieces, if you choose), angling the pattern if you’d like the stripes diagonal.  Cut out one piece from cotton batting.

Mug Mat 3

Stitch around the pieces, close to the edge, so the strips don’t come apart.  Layer the pieces with the top piece right-side down, the batting, then the bottom piece right-side up.  Pin all pieces together.

Mug Mat 4

To finish the edge, you’ll need about 30 inches of bias tape.  Unfold one side of the tape.  Line up the edge with the edge of the mat with the other fold up and to the inside.  Fold the starting end to the inside 1/4” and the ending edge to the inside at an angle.

Mug Mat 5

Stitch all the way around the edge in the fold line.  You may need to trim the seam by about 1/8”, due to the bulk from all of the seams, so the bias tape will fold over it properly.

Mug Mat 6

Flip over.  Fold the bias tape over the edge so it just covers the stitching line.  Pin.  A lot.  Stitch around near the edge of the tape.

Mug Mat 7

I am terrible at binding.  But this is the back, so I’m not going to stress over it too much.

Mug Mat 8

I’m really going to have to make one of these for myself.  Not that I don’t love this one…

Mug Mat 9

But I’m not keeping it.  This is for one of you!  Tonight at 5 pm, Pacific time, I’m going to draw one of the names from the entries in my First Anniversary Giveaway and send them this Mug Mat AND a matching Coffee Cup Sleeve.  Sorry, but my kids already ate the cookies.  If you’re reading this before that time, you can still enter.  Just visit the First Anniversary post and follow the directions there.  I’ll announce the winner tomorrow!

Mug Mat 10

Love Note Coffee Cup Sleeves

Did you ever have a project that just seemed doomed from the start?  Did you power through anyway, sure that it would work out in the end?  If you answered yes to either of these questions, you understand my week.  Fortunately, it was worth the struggle.

This is a revisit to a project I showed you last month, Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeves, but a little more advanced version.  One thing I will say right up front, do NOT make this using burlap, like I did, unless you’re up for a challenge.

You’ll need two pieces of cotton fabric (or one cotton and one burlap, if you’re ready for that ride) and a piece of InsulBrite*, cut using this pattern, making sure you flip it over so the two pieces of cotton are opposites.  Don’t use the pattern from the previous sleeve, as this one is a little bigger.  One of the many lessons I learned along the way while making this thing.

You’ll also need about 14” of bias tape, a small piece of clear vinyl (cut from the pattern), two 5/8” or 3/4” buttons and a small piece of elastic or half of a stretchy hair tie.

*InsultBrite is insulated batting.  It has a shiny silver side and feels crunchy when you squish it.  If you’d rather use the batting/ironing board fabric method I used previously, follow the instructions here.

Love Note CCS 1

Sandwich the upper edge of the vinyl into the fold of the bias tape.

Love Note CCS 2

Stitch close to the edge of the fabric.  Cut the ends off even with the vinyl.

Love Note CCS 3

Press one end of the remaining bias tape under.  Slide the left side of the vinyl into the fold, lining up the pressed end with the top.  Place the vinyl on the sleeve according to the pattern.  This part is tricky because you can’t pin the vinyl, so you have to hold it in place while you stitch around the remaining three sides, near the edge of the bias tape.  Fold the tape around the corners.

Love Note CCS 4

When you reach the end, fold the end under.  I clipped off the corners so they wouldn’t show.  Stitch the remaining tape down so it matches with the top of the tape on the vinyl.

Love Note CCS 5

Stitch around the three sides again, close to the outer edge.  Stitch the corners if necessary.

Love Note CCS 6

Lay the piece with the vinyl on it down, window up.

Love Note CCS 7

Add the piece of elastic on the straighter end, with the loop to the inside.

Love Note CCS 8

Add the other sleeve piece, face down.

Love Note CCS 9

Next add the InsulBrite.  Pin everything in place.

Love Note CCS 10

Stitch around the edges with a 1/4” seam.  Back stitch over the elastic.  Leave an opening at the bottom the size of the vinyl window.

Love Note CCS 11

Carefully turn right side out.  Press, turning in opening.  This is where my burlap got a little ugly.

Love Note CCS 12

Stitch all the way around near the edge.  Ordinarily, that would be enough, but because my burlap went a little crazy, I also did a zigzag stitch over the edge to keep it from unraveling.

Love Note CCS 13

Mark the spot for the button as shown.

Love Note CCS 14

Stitch the buttons on, one on each side, sliding a toothpick under each so there’s room for the elastic to loop around.

Love Note CCS 15

Here’s a page of printable love notes I made that fit inside the window.

Love Note CCS 16

And, of course, it’s still reversible.

Love Note CCS 17

The pocket is also a great way to give a coffee gift card.  Just know that the card is flat and the cup is not.

Love Note CCS 18

Or maybe you just need to identify your cup.  With a unique sleeve like this, though, that doesn’t seem likely.

Love Note CCS 19

Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeves

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.

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 and two 5/8” or  3/4” buttons.  I prefer buttons with two holes because they’re easier to stitch on.

Coffee Cup Sleeve Tutorial from Crafty Staci

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 InsulBrite.  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 InsulBrite and leave out the ironing board fabric.

Coffee Cup Sleeve pattern from Crafty Staci

You’ll only need half of the hair tie, so zigzag stitch through the center, about 3/8” long, then clip through the center.

Elastic for coffee cup sleeve | Crafty Staci

Layer the pieces:  first, a piece of ironing board fabric, face down.

Coffee cup sleeve lining  | Crafty Staci

Next, cotton fabric, face up.

How to make a coffee cozy | Crafty Staci

Place the hair band in the middle of the straight end, with the ends even with the edge of the fabric.

Coffee Cozy from Crafty Staci

Next, the other piece of cotton fabric, face down.

Steps to make a coffee cup sleeve | Crafty Staci

Second piece of ironing board fabric, face up.

Make a coffee cozy | Crafty Staci

Last, the batting.

Reversible coffee cup sleeve tutorial | Crafty Staci

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.

DIY Coffee Cozy - Crafty Staci

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.

DIY Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve | Crafty Staci

Stitch a button on each side over the mark, sliding a toothpick under each button.

Sewing the button on a coffee cup sleeve - Crafty Staci

After stitching, remove the toothpicks.  Wrap the thread around under each button a few times before knotting the thread under one of the buttons.

Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve from Crafty Staci

The hardest parts?  Remembering to ask for your drink without a cardboard sleeve and remembering to remove it before you throw away your cup.

How to make a Coffee Cup Sleeve | Crafty Staci


Check out my Coffee Sleeve Patterns page for lots of other designs and shapes you can make!

My Etsy Store Discount Code

This is my 100th post since I started this blog, which feels like some sort of milestone.  I just want to take a minute to say thank you for reading and for all your comments.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it so far, so I guess you’re stuck with me!

Etsy just started a new Coupon Code feature, and to say thanks to you I decided to use it.  From now through Monday, November 29, 2010, use the code BLACKFRIDAY2010 to receive 15% off anything in my store.

Happy Thanksgiving and happy shopping!