Christmas can be an expensive time of year but I don't think you need to spend a lot of money to give thoughtful or quality gifts. In conjunction with Alison's Pantry I came up with a really (and I mean REALLY!) easy sewing project to transform an ordinary household item from a very practical gift in to something special.
Everyone is so busy now days that coffree and tea on the go seems to be the norm so a travel cup is a really practical gift that can be used again and again throughout the coming year. With a couple of little tweaks I turned a plain travel cup in to something special by adding an easy to sew travel cup sleeve and filling the cup to the brim with Christmas treats from Alison's Pantry.
I found the fabulous Maxwell & Willaims Travel Cups in a half price sale at Briscoes. The craft supplies were all sourced from Spotlight. You don't need a lot of fabric at all for this project. I found the fat quarters in the quilting section perfect. I used two different fabrics on each travel cup sleeve - normal/unthemed print fabric on one side and festive print fabric on the other so that the sleeve could be reversible and used all year round. I used thick white felt in between the two layers of fabric to reduce heat transfer to help make the travel cups cooler to hold.
Here are some easy (and I really do mean EASY!) step-by-step instructions if you'd like to make a travel cup sleeve too:
One A4 sheet of felt
Small length of elastic
Make a template by wrapping a piece of paper around your travel cup and cutting it to fit the shape of your cup.
Use this template to cut out two pieces of fabric and one piece of felt.
Layer the materials together - felt first and then the two fabrics with the printed sides facing together.
Take your length of elastic and knot it at one end. This will be the loop to go over the button to secure the sleeve around the travel cup.
Place the elastic loop between the two pieces of fabric, leaving the knot outside the fabric.
Pin all three pieces of fabric and felt together.
Straight stitch the whole way around the travel cup sleeve leaving a 4cm opening at the short end that doesn't have the elastic. I back stitched over the elastic to make sure it was tightly sewn in. (Sorry about the different fabrics in this pic - I forgot to take a photo of this step).
Turn the travel cup sleeve out the right way. Push the corners out with something long and blunt. I used a pair of closed scissors. Then iron flat.
Finally, pin the fabric of the open shot end together and top stitch closed.
Stitch the buttons in place and secure the sleeve around your travel cup. This photo shows the reverse fabrics I used to once the festive season is over the sleeve can be turned over and continue being used. I love the apple fabric for a Christmas teacher appreciation gift!
To finish the gifts off I got some tall, thin, clear cellophane bags and filled them with delicious goodies from Alison's Pantry "Decadent Gifting" range including nougat (the raspberry one is sensational!), chai chocolate almonds, heart smart, French vanilla almonds and cinnamon cashews. It all looks and smells to christmasy!
They look fabulous popping out of the top of the travel mugs.
So there you have it - an easy way to turn an ordinary travel cup in to a special personalised gift and all for less than $10!