15 September, 2011

How To - Reusable Coffee Cup Sleeve

A quick how to to make a reusable sleeve for take away coffee cups. 

I have made a number of these in different mediums before, I knit them and sow them but I know that these skills are not available to all so here is a more accessible version of the reusable sleeve. It's is made from foam rubber sheets - which are easy to work with and come in a variety of colours.

This is a simple pattern which uses a tab to keep it together and so can come apart to store it in its flat form in a bag or folder. 

For this project I used a pre existing sleeve as a template and added a tab and slot to secure the ends together. 


1) Open out the existing sleeve to get a pattern:

2) Work out the best placement on the foam sheet to ensure the minimum wastage:

3) Draw around the sleeve in a Biro or other thin pen:

4) Trace the outline in a thicker marker, adding a tab to one end and a cutout to the other. You need to make sure that the width of the cut out is the same size as the connection for the tab:

5) Cut out the design. The foam sheet is easy to cut with a standard pair of kitchen scissors. It is better to leave the tab too large to start with rather than cut it too close and find that the sleeve wont stay together: 

6) Connect up the two ends. Recutting the tab smaller if necessary till you get a good fit:

7) Place holder around your hot beverage. Or pre used cup which is being used as a template, as the case is here:

8) The foam rubber will take decoration of many types. Here I have drawn a simple design on in permanent marker. Finally a use for my sisters stash of sharpies! :p 

9) The beauty of the flexibility of the foam rubber and this closure method is that you can create a reversible sleeve. Decorate one side in a funky manner and have the other side plain or with your company name/logo on it so that the sleeve will serve for both social coffees and those with important business meetings: 

And voilĂ  one simple way to ensure that you don't burn your fingers on a hot coffee and you make a small little difference in the number of coffee sleeves which make it to a landfill, and reduce the number of trees needing to be cut down. 
If you are not so bothered by the environmental impact of the take away coffee it is still a nice way to personalise the coffee on the go experience. :D