Condo Blues: How to Make a Teapot Cozy

Friday, February 7, 2020

How to Make a Teapot Cozy

Sometimes when I want to drink more than one cup of tea on a leisurely afternoon, I’ll make it in a teapot. Unfortunately, leisurely drinking the tea in my cup usually means the  tea in the pot turns cold by the time I’m ready for a refill.

Which pretty much negates the reason for making a small pot of tea.

The solution is to put an insulated tea pot warmer on my hot little pot to keep the tea inside it nice and warm as I slowly sip the day away...

Oh, who I am I kidding? I’m usually sewing and forget I made the pot of tea that is sitting on a table across from my sewing machine until hours later.

Either way, a tea cozy is a super simple sewing project to make and is a fantastic fabric stash bust project. I added machine embroidery from a file that came with my machine to get a little more practice in on hooping the embroidery fabric – easily the most tedious, difficult to get right, and important step in machine embroidery.

Let’ s make something!

How to Sew a Simple Tea Cozy

how to make a quick and easy teapot cozy
Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

You Will Need:

Exterior fabric - approximately 3 fat quarters depending upon the size of your teapot

Insulated lining fabric – you can buy insulated fabric lining here or do what I did and use a bath towel

Interior lining fabric – I am using flannel to keep the heat in

Measuring tape

Tailor’s pencil

Sewing gage

Sewing and Embroidering machine

Embroidery stabilizer – you can buy a selection of machine embroidery stabilizer here

Machine embroidery thread  - I use this kind. Yes there is a difference between machine embroidery thread and machine sewing thread!

Fabric Scissors

Straight pins

Coordinating sewing thread


Paper scissors



Pattern weights

Iron and ironing board

Step by Step How to Make this Project Tutorial

1. Use the measuring tape to measure the teapot from the front of the spout to the back of the teapot and the height and width of your teapot.

Measuring up!

2. Use the measurements you took in Step 1 to make a paper pattern by drawing an oval shape onto the paper with the pencil and cutting it out with the paper scissors. Make sure you add an extra inch or so for a seam allowance!
Tip: I have a small box beside my printer to save wonky prints, extra paper it spits out, etc. and use that to make paper patterns (sometimes I have to tape the paper together first) – waste not!
 If you want to sew your teapot cozy with a border, use the sewing gage to mark a cutting line 2 inches from the bottom of the teapot cozy.

3. Put the paper pattern on the fabric for the front front of the tea cozy and anchor it with the pattern weights. Trace the pattern with the tailors  pencil. Do NOT cut the fabric if you plan to embroider your tea cozy!
Tip: If you plan to add a border to your tea cozy like I did, draw a cut line across the tea cozy  pattern 2  inches from the bottom edge. These marks will help you position the embroidery hoop in Step 4.

4. Using the pattern outline and bottom border marks on the fabric as a guide, center and hoop the front fabric and stabilizer according to your embroidery machine instructions. Thread the machine with embroidery thread and embroider your design onto the fabric.
Hint: I always machine embroider onto uncut fabric Juuuust in case I don’t perfectly center my fabric in the hoop where I want the design to be. It is much easier to fix that by positioning the pattern and cutting the fabric than the other way around!
5. Use the fabric scissors and pattern weights to cut 2 pattern pieces from the lining and insulating fabrics, 1 full pattern piece from the outside fabric for the back of the tea cozy.

6. Readjust the paper pattern if needed on the embroidered front fabric and cut the front fabric piece.

7. Use the paper scissors to cut along the cut line you marked in Step 2 to make the front border pattern. Use the front border pattern, pattern weights and fabric scissors to cut the top of the tea cozy pieces and border piece from coordinating fabrics.

8.  Pin the bottom border fabric to the bottom front piece of the tea cozy rights sides together (the pretty part) and use the sewing machine to sew it into place with coordinating color thread. Remember to remove the pins as you sew!

9.  Use the iron and ironing board to press the seam open. .

10. Use the sewing machine to top stitch the border into place for a more professional look. Use the fabric scissors to trim the bottom border fabric to the same size and shape as the rest of the tea cozy front if needed,.

If you want a lightly quilted look, you can pin the insulated fabric layer to the tea cozy and  sew the top stitching through both layers 

11. Optional: Make a loop handle by cutting a rectangle of fabric and using  the iron and ironing board to fold and press 1/4 inch of each side of the fabric inward. Fold the rectangle in half, use the iron to press the fold into place, pin the fold  together, and use the sewing machine to sew it into place.

Hopefully you will center the loop better than I did on the finished cozy.

12. Time to make a fabric sandwich! Since we will be sewing our tea cozy inside out, that’s how we need to lay out and pin the fabric. This way, when the turn the finished tea pot warmer right side out, the pretty fabric will be facing the world, and the lining fabric will be next to the teapot snug as a bug in a tea cozy  rug.

  • Place the back lining fabric  piece of the tea cozy on your work table with the right side of the fabric (the pretty side you want showing when you turn it right side out) facing down on the work surface.

  • Next, put the the interior insulating layer fabric on top of the wrong side (the not pretty part) of the lining fabric that should be facing you.

  • Add the back pattern piece of the tea cozy right side facing toward you.

Now we will do the reverse to layout the front side of the tea cozy.

  • Place the embroidered front piece of the tea cozy with the right side of the fabric facing down on the work surface. The right side of the back and front pieces should be facing each other.

  • Next, put the the interior insulating layer fabric on top of the wrong side (the not pretty part) of the front lining  fabric that should be facing you.

  • Add the back lining pattern piece of the tea cozy right side facing toward you.
I used this project to try a new machine embroidery hooping technique for thick fabrics. That's why you see the stabilizer and stitching on the right side of my front lining layer. 

13. Fold the loop handle fabric in half. Unpin the top of the tea cozy sandwich and pin the loop handle to the top center of the two outside fabric pieces (the layer with the right sides facing each other) and pin the layers into place.

14. Use the sewing machine to sew the layers into place. A walking sewing machine foot (it looks like this) helps loads with thick and multiple layers of fabrics.

15. Hem the bottom edge of the tea cozy buy using the sewing gage to turn 1/4 inch of edges of the  wrong side of the front and lining fabrics in towards themselves, press the fold into place with the iron and ironing board. Pin the folded edges together and use the sewing machine to sew them into place.

16. Turn the tea cozy right side out and give it a quick press with the iron as needed.

17.Pop your tea cozy on your tea pot and drink up!

If you'd rather buy then DIY, check out the following tea pot warmer options - and more! - below!

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Powell River Books said...

I have a felt tea cozy that I just love as a display in my living room. It was made by a First Nations woman and I bought it in Edmonton, Alberta. It is the shape of an Inuit woman in felt and hand embroidered. - Margy

Teresa B said...

This is such a great idea! Now I want to make one too...
Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned.

Loni said...

Such a beautiful tea cozy, I just love your fabric choices and embroidery! I'm pinning this because I've often thought it would be nice to have one to keep the tea warm! Blessings, Loni

Chas' Crazy Creations said...

I need one of these, and this is a great tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing

Southern Sunflowers said...

Great job ~ I can only sew simple things. You're lucky to have a machine to embroider your sewing projects. Pinned. I'm here from your party. :)

Miz Helen said...

What a great Tea Cozy, I will have to use your pattern and make me a new one, my old one is worn in a couple of places. Hope you are having a really good week and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday!
Miz Helen

Handmade in Israel said...

This is lovely! I would smile each time I used it.

Of Goats and Greens said...

Very clever and creative! Thanks for sharing with Fiesta Friday!

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! said...

Hello, this is one of my favorites for Encouraging Hearts and Home, this week! I hope you stop by and say hello, this post has been pinned! Thank you for being a part of Encouraging Hearts and Home, we appreciate all that you share. Have a great week ahead!

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