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How to make a felt tea cosy

Ros Badger / 23 December 2014 ( 02 April 2020 )

Wool is a great insulator, so it’s perfect for a tea cosy; whether knitted or stitched as here, it will keep your favourite tea hot.

Ros Badger's felt tea cosy
Ros Badger's felt tea cosy

What you need

  • Paper, pencil, scissors and ruler
  • 2 x 25cm lengths of wool felt, one in the main colour (I used grey) and one in a contrast lining (I used red)
  • Small pieces of felt in a variety of colours
  • Wadding or pieces cut from an old woollen blanket
  • Sharp embroidery scissors
  • Embroidery silks and needle
  • Wool or tapestry thread and a sharp, large-eyed tapestry needle, to assemble

How to make

Step 1

Make a paper pattern in the shape of the tea cosy. Draw a 32cm base line, then draw 2 x 12cm perpendicular lines, one at either end. Mark the centre point of the base line, then draw a third perpendicular line of 25cm from this point. Drawing freehand, join the 12cm lines to the 25cm line to make the curved tea-cosy shape.  

Step 2

Put the pattern on the felt and cut out two pieces in each colour.

Step 3

Use the same paper pattern to cut out two pieces of wadding.

Step 4

To make the flowers, cut out a selection of felt circles in different colours and sizes, between 3cm and 7cm in diameter. Cut out some small circles to form the flower centres. Look carefully at the photograph to see how the two styles of flower are made up.

Step 5

For flower style 1, choose three different sized and coloured felt discs. Use sharp embroidery scissors to make a series of cuts, about 0.5cm apart, all around each circle, stopping about 0.5cm from the centre. Either leave the petal edges as they are or shape the top of each by carefully rounding them off. Place the three circles on top of each other and add a small centre circle.  

Step 6

For flower style 2, choose two or three different sized and coloured felt discs. Use embroidery scissors to cut the discs into five lobe-shaped petals. Place the discs on top of each other and add a small centre circle.

Step 7

Before stitching them in place, arrange all the flowers on the front of the tea cosy to ensure you have enough and that the colours work well together.

Step 8

To attach both styles of flower to the cosy, thread an embroidery needle with a contrasting coloured thread, tying the end with a knot. Push the needle through from the back of the cosy, and stitch through the centre of each flower (passing through all layers of the flower), making a cross stitch or three diagonal stitches. This holds the flower in place before you sew the petals. Decide how you want to secure the petals – whether you want to stitch round each one or simply attach it at the top. I used an overstitch and different colour thread.

Step 9

When all the flowers are attached to the front of the cosy, either repeat the process for the back or simply add a single flower in the centre, towards the top or bottom edge.

Step 10

To assemble the tea cosy, thread a tapestry needle with wool. Place the wadding between the front of the tea cosy and the front lining, and stitch along the bottom, in blanket stitch, to join all three layers together. Repeat for the back of the cosy.

Step 11

If you want to make a hanging loop, as I have done, cut two lengths of felt, 4cm x 12cm. Place them together and fold in half. Then place the front and back of the cosy together and stitch all around the curved edge (through six layers) with blanket stitch, taking in the hanging loop at the top of the cosy.

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