Say cheers with a fall beverage cozy

Posted Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Fall beverage cozies Makes 4 Materials: • 4 low-boy, double old-fashioned, cocktail or rocks beverage glasses • Ruler or measuring tape • Pencil or marker • 4-6 sheets of tan felt squares • Scissors • 3/16- or 1/8-inch hole punch for paper and felt crafts (the smaller the punch the better) • Coordinating color of yarn • Large needle with large eye or an embroidery needle (or a larger, child-safe craft needle, if children are working on these) • 4-6 sheets of felt squares in fall colors • Low-heat glue gun and glue sticks • Fall berry sprays that you can cut from, or simple wood beads (optional) 1. Measure your glass from top to bottom, or use a marker or pencil to lightly mark the height of the glass onto a tan piece of felt. Leave room for sipping at the top — about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the rim. Roll the glass slowly over the felt sheet to measure for width and mark it (these marks will end up on the inside of the beverage cozy). 2. Cut out this band of felt where your hand will hold the glass — we’ll call it the “hand band” — and set aside. 3. Set the glass upright on another sheet of tan felt. Outline around the base of the glass, keeping the circle about 1/8 inch outside of the base diameter. The extra room will allow hole-punching space, and the hole punches will allow you to lace the cozy together, like shoelaces. Cut out the base, then set aside. 4. If you need a visual for the punch patterns, download a PDF pattern sheet from Star-Telegram.com/living. Depending on the size of your glass, you can decide how many holes to punch — just be sure to punch the same number on either side of the band where you will join it. Shape the hand band into a round cylinder as though your glass is sitting inside. Punch holes on the two short ends of the band about 1/8 to 1/2 inch apart. The lacing will come up the back of the cozy, so punch the holes to match the placement on both short ends so that when you lace the cozy up, the yarn will meet perfectly. The holes should go vertically down the back of the hand band. Make about 8-12 hole punches at the hand band’s bottom edge (the longer edge), spaced about 1/8 inch apart. These holes will connect the hand band to the round base. Make the same 8-12 punches around the edge of the round base, spaced the same distance apart as on the bottom of the hand band. 5. Cut a piece of yarn to about 1 or 2 feet (you can trim it down, but start with a large piece so you have plenty to work with), and thread it through the large needle. To lace up the back of your hand band piece, thread the yarn through the bottom two holes on the shorter ends. Hold the felt shaped in a round way, as if a glass is sitting in it. Pull the yarn through the lower two holes equally, like you are starting your shoelaces. Thread the yarn in a criss-cross pattern, working to the top of the hand band. Set the glass you measured inside the hand band and loosen or tighten the yarn until you have the right fit. Then, tie a bow at the top and trim the excess yarn. You can tie a simple knot in the ends of the yarn to keep them from unraveling. Or double-knot your bow, or add small wooden or fall-colored beads before knotting the yarn ends. 6. Attach the round base to the bottom edge of the hand band: Start with a stitch from inside the round base, through the felt, to lock the yarn into the round base. Then, thread the yarn through the small punched holes, alternating between the base and the long side of the hand band. Work around until the base and band are one. If you have a little puckering, it’s OK because it’s a handmade project and you want it to look that way. You can loosen the yarn to add slack, or pull it to make it taut. When the base is attached to the bottom of the hand band, put one more stitch into the felt and tie a knot in the yarn to secure it. 7. Trace or freehand fall leaves, acorns and anything you like onto the colorful felt. Then, cut out the drawings and glue them to the cozy. The felt accents alone look great, but if you want to add more decoration, add tiny orange and brown berries or wooden beads from fall sprays using a small amount of hot glue. Be sparing with the glue so it doesn’t make a mess of your project. Keep the extra details to a minimum, though, because hands will be toting the drinks around and you don’t want berries coming off. Simple decor will wear longer. You can also sew on the felt accents. More options: Cut out letters of the first names of your guests to monogram each beverage cozy. Or use simple cookie cutters to create templates for small felt shapes for other holiday-themed beverage cozies. Tips: You can skip the homemade accents and buy felted fall leaves that can be glued right to the cozy. These work nicely and speed up the project if you are making many beverage cozies for a large event. Michaels sells “Give Thanks” party coasters that are shaped like small leaves. You can do the same designs for the December holidays by changing colors and symbols. Get creative and think about all of the events you could make these for: birthdays, wedding showers or to add a little extra team spirit at post-game gatherings.

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As temps drop, you’ll want to enjoy fall beverages on the rocks without your hands developing frostbite.

Some fall-themed, homemade felt beverage cozies can be comfy to the touch and quite festive as you mosey around the dinner party scene. They are also memorable favors that party planners of all ages can help make for guests to remember the fall gathering.

Made with simple, inexpensive craft felt and yarn, these beverage cozies can feature all of the hallmarks of fall: acorns, autumn leaves and colorful vines.

The hand-warming glass grips are easy to make and adapt to your own serving glasses. If you don’t want to freehand designs, download a special PDF file from Star-Telegram.com/living along with tips and easy-to-trace patterns for felt acorns and fall leaves to adorn each beverage cozy.

We’re going to use average-size rocks, cocktail or double old-fashioned size glasses for this project, but you can use any kind. The measurements will differ, but you can easily adapt these to fit your glassware.

It’s best to use glasses in simple shapes. You might want to avoid a beer mug with a handle that could complicate the design. Keep it simple so you can make a full set of cozies and still have time for other decorations — and maybe time to mix up a festive recipe for the punch bowl.

This project uses felt squares. They run about 30 cents a sheet at hobby and craft stores, and you can buy them individually rather than being stuck with what you might get in a set pack. Pick lots of pretty autumnal colors, and get at least 4-6 sheets of tan for the main part of the cozies, to make them uniform.

The colored pieces will be for adornments like leaves, acorns and other symbols of the season. Look for dark brown, light brown, dark red, sage green, dark orange and cream tones.

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