June 21, 2011

CRASH MY STASH: Reusable Coffee Sleeve!

Posted by Ethne~

I’m sure you’ve used them: the cardboard sleeves (cup-holders) to slide on your hot Lite Vanilla Latte from Caribou Coffee?  I know I use them every time – this gal doesn’t like her fingers roasted.  You’ve probably seen the re-usable slide-on sleeves while you’re waiting in line for your coffee at Caribou and the like, too, right?

Lori's and my last quickie get-together - at Caribou!!

Well, Lori and I like to be good to the environment – reusing a sleeve rather than using and disposing of a cardboard one is something we can do.  Baby steps are better than none, Friends.  The reusable sleeves at Caribou cost about $5.99 and come in lots of cute designs.

Fancy Schmancy

$5.99 isn’t too bad, but can Lori and I make them for FREE?  You know it.  We’re all about helping out the environment one cup-sleeve at a time, especially if it’s FREE.  Bing Bang Boom.

Though they can be made probably out of anything you’d want (a little padding is nice), Lori said felted wool would be just the ticket – remember when I used felted wool to make these pillow pals for the girls?  Well, I just pulled out my stash again.  She’s right, felted wool is brilliant.

Remember the steps to felt wool: wash any old 100% wool sweater in the hottest-hot water in your washer.  For the rinse cycle, do the coldest-cold your machine can do.  The shock of the hot-then-cold water shrinks the wool fibers to a dense fabric.  The felted wool won’t even fray when you cut it!  Allow the damp felted wool to air dry.

Making a pattern for this was pretty slick – I took a cardboard cup-holder from Caribou last time I was there and pulled it open at its glue seam.  I cut my wool into that shape.  It’s basically a slightly arched rectangle.

Sleeve, meet Sleeve!

You’ll notice I used the same purple and red-specked wool that I used as the face for KD’s hippo pillow pal – an old Abercrombie & Fitch sweater of Whit’s from college.  I used the cuff of the sleeve which was perfect, and traced my cardboard pattern.

Fray? No way!

The edges really won’t fray, but for good measure I sewed all three sides of unfinished edging (the cuff didn’t need it) with my machine – about an 1/8” seam.  Then I put the ends together (they could go inside or outside and sewed it shut.  Perfection! 

Pin to the right size
Sewing my seam

How easy is that?  It took me all of a couple minutes to do.  Think of all the gifts you’d have if you made these in assembly line fashion!  Or if you need a gift last minute, it’d take no time at all to make one before you run out the door.

You can see the stitching at the bottom
Check out my cheetah nails!!
The picture is a little washed out
but you can see the sleeve on a cup here

I stitched an ‘E’ onto my cup-holder (after I took the pics), just so no one confuses it with someone else’s felted-wool-Abercrombie & Fitch sweater-handmade-reusable sleeve. J  I think ahead like that.

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