Do you like new things? This is my very first sewing tutorial that I have posted and shared on Mom’s Bistro. As an introduction to my 12 Days of Christmas Series in December, I wanted to share with you my other passion. Food, fighting hunger and saving money on groceries is definitely number one on my list but sewing, crocheting and everything crafty has always been a passion of mine. It reminds me of my childhood, spending countless hours in my Grandma’s craft room making everything under the sun, watching her create everything handmade and like her, I tend to make almost all of my Christmas gifts for family and friends every year.
Making homemade gifts is a great way to save a few bucks, and really impress your family and friends. These DIY Can Koozies (or insulated beverage holders) can be made in about 15-20 minutes, maybe 30 if you’re still learning to sew, and since they are made with really any fabrics that you have laying around, these can be completely customizable.
This tutorial and Can Koozie are a lot different from the other ones you’ll see on Pinterest, as it actually has a bottom, and resembles a can koozie that you’d buy at the store. The tutorials that I have found online always seem to just be like a wrap for your can, sealed with velcro or buttons and just seem very ineffective, and almost useless. This tutorial for this Easy Can Koozie will impress anyone you give it too, and they’ll be wondering where you bought it from!
If you’re still leaning how to sew, there are a ton of great how-to posts, with sewing terms, tricks and tips all over Pinterest. With this tutorial, I am assuming that you know the basics of your machine – and how to use it. Making Homemade Can Koozies is a great stash busting or fat-quarter project too, and if you have kids, you can sew the side seams a little tighter with about 1/2″ seams, and make these same can koozies for your kiddos cups and sippy cups, making them feel like an adult – or at least like everyone else with a Koozie.
When I lived in Florida, it was pretty much a sin if you went somewhere without your can or bottle koozie to keep your beer or soda cold. In the warm, Florida climate, drinks sweat and get warm quickly, making a koozie a necessity. However, the store bought, foam koozies tend to get pretty dirty and nasty, and they aren’t very machine washable, as the screen printing usually comes off. These homemade can koozies can be made in about 30 minutes, can be washed and the personal touches you add by making them yourself make them even more special.
I’m not sure if this is the best way to sew these koozies, or if it’s even the easiest, but I’ve tried different ways on Pinterest, that I’ve seen and this way that I came up with myself after many, many failed koozies has seemed to work, and hold up the best. Give it a try and make a couple practice koozies before you gift. These can koozies are so easy to make, after making two or three you’ll be an expert! So, without further ado, here is the Can Koozie Pattern with Step-by-step directions.
Fabric and Supplies Needed:
Can Koozie Template (or an old can koozie, opened with the seams removed)
(1) 11″ x 6.5″ piece of printed fabric for the outside – this is the fabric that you’ll see
(1) 11″ x 6.5″ piece of coordinating fabric for the lining
(1) 11″ x 6.5″ piece of inslu-brite (an insulated lining found with the batting or here)
heavy-duty sewing needle (I used 100/16)
To start this project, get your sewing machine area ready. For me, this includes a fresh cup of coffee, and setting up the machine with the right color thread, and by winding my bobbin with coordinating thread.
Cut out the Can Koozie Template and set aside.
Next, cut your fabric. I got this great penguin, and snowman fabric from Susie’s Fabrics. It is an Etsy Shop with GREAT deals on fabrics, delivered right to your door in prints that you won’t find at Joann or your local craft store. Susie’s Fabrics are always high-quality, and Susie the owner is a gem who will work with you to find you the perfect fabric for your project!
I like to prepare everything ahead of time, so I can just sit down and sew, instead of working on a little, then coming back and working on more. Line up your fabrics on a cutting mat, and cut all 3 pieces of fabric. If you’re making more than one koozie, cut all of the fabric for all the koozies now.
One of the most important things to remember when making your own koozie is to PIN, PIN, PIN! Pin it like you mean it. I know pins can be a pain in the ass, and I usually don’t pin things, but pinning really does make a difference.
Before you start sewing, and pinning, set up your koozie fabric “sandwich”. Layer fabrics
Pin these layers together, along the edge.
Then, place your old can koozie, or the can koozie template on top of the outside fabric in the middle of your fabric sandwich and pin in place.
This is the hardest part to explain. At your machine, place the fabric sandwich, with the koozie template pinned in place at your machine. Place the foot over the side of the pattern with your needle aligned to the left. Make sure that the needle isn’t touching the old koozie, or the template. This part can be kind of tricky if you’re still learning how to sew, but even if the needle does move or your hands slip and the lines aren’t straight and you end up sewing a little of the coozie or template, don’t worry, because it’ll just pull right off when you’re done.
With a straight stitch, sew along the edges of the coozie template – like you’re tracing it with your machine, lifting the foot and turning at corners. The round part at the bottom can be kind of tricky too, but if you just take your time and GO SLOW, this shouldn’t be a problem. After making two or three of these, you’ll be able to zip through the curves in no time. Be careful not to poke yourself with the pins!
Remove template and pins, and cut excess fabric from around the edges, being sure to leave about 1/8″ – 1/4″ around the seams.
Not it’s time to finish the edges.
To do this, you’ll be sewing the top of your koozie and the bottom and round parts to hold your beer in place. I like to use a zig-zag stitch for this part, and sew around the edges, almost like an embroidery machine or a serger. The zig-zag stitch can be a little tough to get used to at first – again, practice. For each part of your koozie that you’re going to zig-zag stitch, go over the edges TWICE to ensure that none of the fabric frays, and the edges look nicely finished.
Sew the top parts (the straight edges) first. Zig-zag stitch across the top, using the straight seam that you made when “tracing” the koozie with your machine as a guide. Cut excess thread, and zig-zag stitch across a second time. Repeat on the other side.
Next, it’s time to zig-zag stitch the edges of your koozie near the bottom. I like to start on one of the straight edges, zig-zag stitching along the side – to the corner, lifting the foot, zig-zag stitching slowly around the curve, and then finishing on the other straight edge. I do this TWICE, to really reenforce the seams, and then complete the second side.
Once you finish the edges, it’s time to finish-up sewing your Koozie. Fold koozie together, with the outside fabric together, being sure to line up the top edges, and the flat sides at the bottom. Pin, pin, pin along the top and the bottom two seams to really keep the koozie in place.
With a zig-zag stitch, and using the seams you already made as a guide, sew along the sides of your koozie – TWICE to reenforce the seams, and trim excess thread.
Turn koozie inside out, and voila, your koozie is complete!
When you see how easy these Can Koozie’s are to make, you’ll find yourself getting out all of your fabric scraps and making these koozies for everyone! You can customize these can koozies for anyone on your list, and make them for whatever occasion you need! I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial! Stay tuned as throughout the month of December I will be sharing more Easy Christmas Sewing Tutorials along with delicious kid-friendly recipes and Christmas menu plans as part of my 12 Days of Christmas series!
Share your custom koozie’s with us in the comments below! If you’re looking for already made Can Koozies and other homemade gifts, check out my ETSY Shop – Rosie’s At Mom’s Bistro. Use coupon code MomsBistroOnly for FREE shipping on any order from now until November 30, 2015!