Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DIY Teapot Trivet and Coasters Tutorial

This project was inspired by a tutorial shared on Etsy way back in November of '08, by Kristen Couse aka cakehouse.  I designed the teapot and teacup coasters for a Craftster swap.  Unfortunately, I didn't write down any measurements, or even keep my pattern (*palmtoforehead*) so I've tried my best to recreate this tutorial from memory and a couple of lousy photos.

This is a fairly flexible project.  To keep things really simple (and quick!) you can use a single piece of fabric for the trivet and coaster tops.  For a little more of a challenge, you can make a patchwork design, like I did.  Let me state right here that I am NO quilter, of any kind, so please forgive my unmatched and imperfect seams.  If you're a quilter, I can only imagine the gorgeous pieced or quilted designs for the teapot and coasters you can come up with for this project!  There are also many options for the padding and bottom fabrics from which to choose, so I'll mention those in the tutorial. . . . but for now. . .

Let's get started!

Gather your supplies.

You will need:
  • free pattern (OR HERE if you have trouble downloading from the first link)
  • 30 4" squares of fabric for the tops, or one fat quarter
  • padding:  heavy craft felt (what I used,) fleece, quilt batting, felted wool sweater, Insul-Bright
  • for the bottom:  fat quarter of flannel (what I used,) fabric, felt, upholstery sample, etc.,
  • for the coaster "handles":  fabric (4 strips, cut 5" x 2") or 5/8" ribbon (4 pieces, 5" long)
  • pen, pencil, or marker (I use a water-soluble marker like this one.)
  • rotary cutter and mat, and/or scissors
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • iron
  • stick for turning
Get the pattern.

You can print the pattern from HERE, free, from google docs.  EDITED TO ADD:  Some people have had issues downloading from that link, so you can access the pattern (still free) from HERE.  The pattern is three pages long.  Make sure to print at exact size.  Don't allow any cropping, centering, or resizing.  You may also get a "warning" that the image will print outside the printer margins --- pfft.  No biggie.  It should still print out just fine.  Cut out the pattern pieces, and assemble the main teapot as directed on the pattern.  Set aside for now.

Patchwork first.

*  For the trivet, arrange your fabric squares in two rows of 5, and a row of 4 at the bottom.  This arrangement will allow for the curve of the teapot, and a space for the handle, too.

* Sew the squares in the first row to each other, right sides together, using a 1/2" seam, to make a strip of patchwork.

1/2" seam

right sides together

* Press open seams.

* Repeat with the remaining two rows of squares, making two more strips.  Press open seams.

three strips

strips now pressed, and bottom row is "right justified" (which will
make more sense in a moment....)

* Sew the top two strips together, matching seam "intersections," right sides together, using 1/2" seam.

* Press open seams.

* Sew the last strip to the other two strips, again matching seams, right sides together, but making sure to "right justify" the bottom strip.

* Press open all seams.

* Repeat this process for all four coasters, using 4 squares each, and sewing with a 1/2" seam.

* Press open seams.

Now, to cut.

VERY SUPER-IMPORTANT NOTE:  There are NO SEAM ALLOWANCES built into the pattern.  When you cut out your fabric, please be sure to cut a seam allowance into your pieces!!!  I cut a ~1/4" seam allowance in mine.  You can use whichever width you are comfortable with.  Just be sure to cut one!

* Place your teapot and handle pattern pieces on top of the patchwork fabric, mindful of fabric print placement, and making sure to allow extra room for the seam allowance.

 make sure you leave room for a seam allowance!!

* Mark your cutting line on the fabric for both the teapot piece and the handle piece, making sure to include your seam allowance.

* Carefully cut out the teapot and the handle.  Set paper pattern pieces aside.

* Now, using your just-cut fabric patchwork teapot as your pattern, trace and cut a teapot piece from both the padding and the bottom fabric.  (You're using the fabric teapot as your pattern now, not the paper one, because you added the seam allowance... and now your seam allowances will be exact for the other pieces!  Wow, I'm getting too wordy here.  I hope that made sense....)
***NOTE:  If your bottom fabric has a right side and a wrong side, make sure when you cut this piece that the patchwork teapot piece is right side up, and the bottom fabric is right side down / wrong side up.***

 use the fabric piece as your guide for cutting the padding and bottom fabric

* Repeat the same process for the handle, using the fabric handle as your pattern, and cutting one handle from just the bottom fabric.  (No padding is needed.)

* Repeat this process for all 4 coasters. 
TIP:  Fold the paper coaster pattern in half, and then half again.  Snip a tiny bit off of the folded corner (center) and then unfold.  Now you have a guide (a tiny window) to help you to perfectly center the pattern on your coaster patchwork, if that's what you'd like.

* Cut 4 patchwork coaster pieces, and (using patchwork piece as pattern) cut 4 padding and 4 bottom fabric pieces.

Make the handles.

***If you are using ribbon for the coaster handles, just skip this step, and jump down to the teapot handle step.***

* The coaster handles are super easy. . . . do this, then set them aside for now.

* Now, the teapot handle step. . .  Sew the patchwork piece to the bottom piece, right sides together, on your chosen seam allowance.

* Clip curves, and grade seam layers to reduce bulk.

* Using your turning stick, gently turn right-side out, and press.

Assemble the teapot trivet

* Referring to the paper pattern, and placing it on the patchwork teapot piece, mark the placement of the handle.

* Pin the handle in place on the teapot, right sides together, matching the raw edge of the handle with the raw edge of the teapot.

It looks odd pinned like this, but you can fold it back like this to check and see how it will lay once it is sewn and turned:

* Baste the handle to the teapot, very close to the edge.

* Double-check that the handle will lay flat once turned, and if you're happy with it, continue to the next step.  If not, rip it out and try it again.  ;)

* Pin the handle down, out of the way.

* Layer the teapot pieces together, in this order: 
bottom piece, right side up
patchwork piece, right side down
padding piece on top of all

*  Pin in place, and make sure to leave an opening at the bottom of the teapot for turning!

* Sew the layers together, following along the edge of the fabric, at your chosen seam allowance, making a few back-and-forth / reinforcing stitches at the beginning and end of the seam.

* Trim the padding layer very close to the stitching, without cutting through the stitches, to reduce bulk.

* Clip curves and corners, notch the deep indentations, and grade the seams.

* Turn, gently pushing out the edge seams with the stick, and press.

* At the opening, tuck in the fabric layers, and press in place.

* Topstitch around the edge of the teapot, following around the outer edge of the handle, and over the opening, neatly sewing it closed.

* Now topstitch around the inner handle circle.

* Press. . . and you're finished with the teapot trivet!

Assemble the teacup coasters. . .

. . . in pretty much the same way you assembled the trivet.

* place the handles...

* layer, leaving a space open at the bottom for turning...

* stitch, reinforcing the handles...

* turn, press.
* Topstitch, and then stitch again 1/4" away from the edge, creating a double seam.

* Press again. 

* Repeat these steps for the remaining 3 coasters. 

* Aaaand DONE!

If you have any questions or comments about the tutorial, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!  :)

And one more thing...
you can WIN this very set!

**** This giveaway is now over. ****

I'm giving away this teapot, trivet and coaster set for the famous Sew, Mama, Sew!'s Giveaway Day!  You can enter to win until 5 pm PST on Friday, December 7th.  For all the details, and how to enter, GO HERE.  To see aaalll the other giveaways going on right now, visit the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog!


  1. Awesome!!! This looks great and very innovative.

    Kids Games

  2. Love the idea - but the pattern is telling me I don't have permission to access it.

  3. Hello,

    These are so cute. I have been denied access to the pattern. Could you please email the document if possible.

    Happy days.

  4. I would like to make these coasters, but access to the pattern was denied. I asked permission, so now I'm waiting...

  5. These are so clever and look terrific! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Ditto on access denied for the pattern. Can't wait to make a set. What a great Hostess gift idea.

  7. I can't access the pattern either :(

    I would love to try this adorable set and it would be my first introduction to quilting.

  8. These are absolutely beautiful!! I so want to make these as christmas gifts. I also got the access denied for the pattern. If you decide to email the pattern would youu mind emailing it to me if you get the chance. simplycrafting(at)hotmail(dot)com

    Thank you for sharing. These are so stinkin' cute!!!

  9. I too would LOVE to have a go at this project - it's really inspirational, but like the other's I'm getting the access denied thing.


  10. Hi, guys! I apologize for the access denied thing... I forgot to make the pattern public! Please try it again -- it should be working now. I appreciate you letting me know about the pattern, and please let me know if you have any further issues with it. :)

  11. Cathy camikula@bell.netDecember 11, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    This is so cute and would look great in my kitchen!
    Buuuuut, I've just tried to download the pattern and have access denied.
    Could you please email this to me at camikula {at} bell {dot} net.
    Many thanks and merry Christmas,

  12. Thanks, was able to download the pattern tonight.

    Happy days.

  13. Sorry about the continuing issues with the pattern download! :(
    Please try downloading from this link:
    (I've also added this link to the tutorial above.) Please let me know if you have any issues with this link, or with the tutorial or pattern. Thanks! (and good luck!)

  14. Thanks so much for fixing the link! It works perfectly now!

  15. Those are awesome! My mom would totally love this. I will let her see this. Thanks for sharing.-

  16. Una idea preciosa!!
    Muchas gracias por el tutorial

  17. What a terrific design, with brilliant illustrative pictures and instructions!

  18. Thank you for all of your kind comments.... and you're very welcome! :)

  19. I have just finished making these for a friend and they look great, thanks for the tutorial and pattern


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