Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Drip-Free Drink - Fountain Drink Sleeve Tutorial

I'll admit it - I drink more pop than I should. A lot more. I love a nice cold fountain drink. What I HATE is sweaty, scuffed up (from multiple washes and refills), puddle-making, coaster-sticking, slippery fountain cups. I lost a beautiful ceramic coaster when it stuck to the bottom of my cup, and travelled with me, unnoticed, to the kitchen, where it promptly let go and kissed the floor. I have spilled drinks that slipped from my hand due to the condensation. And I have experienced the horror of a mouthful of rootbeer (my aversion to it is a long story....) when I could not correctly identify which drink was mine. If you have experienced similar minor misfortunes (or simply love both your furniture and fountain pop), read on....

Here is the solution: A Super Big Gulp Cozy!

You will need:
-Two small pieces of fabric (I used old sheets - a pillowcase would give you plenty) For the sake of clarity, I used a different fabric for lining.
-A small piece of thin batting or felt
-The cup of choice
-Markers in two different colours and a pencil
-Thread to match
-Needle and pins
-Craft paper (or is is kraft?)
-Seam allowance guide (I used a quilter's curve)

And your sewing machine.


Mark a line on your cup so you can tell where you started. Carry in over the bottom a bit. You should be able to see it through the inside of the cup.

Place your cup on the paper and using a pencil, mark the starting point and trace along the cup as you roll. Stop when you reach your mark again.

Do the same thing following the top of the cup - make sure to keep the cup from shifting off your bottom roll line when tracing the top!

Using your ruler, draw a straight line from the top to bottom on each side between your starting and ending marks.

Trace your outline in your first marker colour (blue).

Using your guide and your pencil, add a seam allowance the bottom and side of the cup outline on the OUTside. To get your top seam allowance, place your guide on the INside of the outline.


Because you don't want the cozy/sleeve to reach all the way to the top - it would interfere with the lid.

Trace the bottom of the cup and add your seam allowance to the outside of it as well.

Trace the seam allowances in a different marker colour (red).

Your finished pattern will look like this:

Cut out your pattern on the red line.

2) CUT YOUR FABRIC AND BATTING: ( You may want to pre-wash your fabrics so that it doesn't shrink if you throw it in the laundry to get rid of sticky soda or slushie drips.)

Cut one of each pattern piece for lining fabric, one each for outer fabric and one each of batting.

Stack your lining fabric on top of your batting, right side up. Fold side edge to side edge, with right sides together and pin.


Sew the side seam, backstitching at both ends. Repeat process with outer fabric (without batting, of course). Press (or just pin if you're lazy) the seam allowance to one side - pick the opposite side for the outer.

This is a really good time to check against your cup for fit!!

Layer bottom lining on top of bottom batting. Pin in place in bottom of lining 'tube' and sew around, backstitching at the ends.

Yep, this is the fiddly bit.

Don't worry too much about making it fancy. It's not like you're going to bust out the "good" cup covers for company, now are you?

Trim away excess batting on both sides of the bottom seam.

Flip lining so that the right side of lining is on the outside.

Slide outer fabric over top of lining so that right sides of both outer and lining are together.

Pin in place and sew around top.

Trimming batting around top isn't necessary but do what makes you happy. Lining seam and outer seam should be facing in opposite directions.

Pull lining away from outer - the whole thing will now look inside-out. Pin bottom outer in place and sew 2/3 to 3/4 of the way around, backstitching at both ends.

Using the 1/4 to 1/3 you left unsewn at bottom as a turn space, turn the outer right-side out and smooth down over lining.

Straighten top along seam. Pin and edge stitch around top of sleeve.


Pull sleeve over your cup and set cup upside down on your work surface. Using the turn space for access, tuck the seam allowances down the sides of cup and away from the bottom.

Finish the seam by hand using a hidden stitch. (Some call it a ladder stitch. I call it a hidden stitch. Uh huh.)Slingblade, anyone? No?


Go get your refill and enjoy your logo-free, slightly insulated, drip-free drink.

If you're wondering if that is Optimus Prime on the straw, I can assure you that it is....

Yes, I'm a dork. But I don't need a coaster. :-)


  1. I just found this, not sure how, but my inner dork applauds you. Optimus Prime was my first little girl crush.

    Am going to have to make some of these. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  2. What a delightful tutorial. I haven't seen a Big Gulp cup for a long time. It made me smile. I peeked around your weblog and I love it! Welcome to the world of weblogs;) I do like that word better than blog too. Maybe I should add it to my vocabulary.

    Anjeanette of the R&W girls

  3. Wow. Brilliant. I can't wait to make one! I've been looking for something like this for a while now. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. This is a great idea! If you use the plastic disposable cups and are not sure if the size will be exactly the same each time (different brands), you could alter the cozy to velcro up the side and make it somewhat adjustable.

  5. From one Big Gulp buddy to another, you're crazy, C., but you're awesome crazy. lol

  6. Is the white floral sheet from the 1970's? I think I recognize that pretty pattern.

  7. Great idea! I too have had the same problems with my soda adiction!! LOVE your sense of humor...bust out the good cup covers for company. LOVE IT! OH, and I believe I too had those pink and blue floral sheets as a child! LOL Keep spreading the good ideas!

  8. I am going to make these for my mom and aunt. They are true Southern Ladies and don't like dripping cups. They get Starbucks Frappachinnos every week.

  9. I had that white floral sheet set as a little girl in the 70's as well!

  10. Love this! First thing I looked at when I signed up.

  11. Love this! First thing I looked at when I signed up.