Pencil and Paper Drink Sleeve and Mat

Please keep in mind this tutorial is for personal use only.  Thank you!


Do you give your kids’ teachers a “Welcome to the new school year” gift?  I wasn’t consistent about it, but there were a few years where I felt like getting on the teacher’s good side was in the best interest of my very loud daughter.  Besides that, I firmly believe teachers aren’t paid what they’re worth and a show of appreciation never hurts.

I’ve covered a couple of versions of the coffee cup sleeve here and here, but this one got into my head and wouldn’t leave.  Now, I’m glad it wouldn’t…I love how this turned out!

Pencil Coffee Cup Sleeve and Paper Mug Mat on Crafty Staci

To make the Pencil Coffee Cup Sleeve, you’ll need this pattern.  There is a very good reason why all the writing is backwards on the second page.  It’s because I forgot that the back needed to be cut the opposite direction as the front.  Use it as shown and ignore the writing.  It happens.

Cut each piece as shown from cotton fabric.  I’m using InsulBrite for this project, because it only requires one product for the inside lining instead of two like my previous drink sleeves.   Make sure you let the recipient know that, due to the metal in InsulBrite, this should NOT be put in a microwave.

You’ll also need a pink button (5/8 – 3/4”) and half of a black hair band.  Make sure the ends are tied together with some thread.

pencil 2

Sew each of the pieces of the pencil to each other with a 1/4” seam.  Press seams toward the eraser end.

pencil 3

Layer the pieces with the pencil right side up first.  Lay the hair band with the loop facing in, centered on the tip of the pencil.

pencil 4

Next, carefully lay the back piece on top, right side down.

pencil 5

Lay the InsulBrite on top of that and pin everything in place.

pencil 6

Stitch around with a 1/4” seam, leaving a 2” opening at the bottom for turning.

pencil 7

Clip corners and turn right side out.  Press, turning in opening.

pencil 8

Top stitch all the way around near the edge with white thread, stitching across just below graphite tip.  Top stitch the tip in black.

pencil 9

Touch the tip of the pencil to the end of the eraser.  Stick a pencil in the loop, pulling it firming but not stretching the elastic and make a dot to mark for the button.

pencil 10

There’s only one button because I didn’t make this one reversible.  Stitch the button in place, sliding a toothpick underneath.  Wrap the thread around under the button before knotting.

pencil 11

To make the mug mat, I printed a piece of fabric to look like notebook paper.  Simply iron an 8 1/2 by 11” piece of white cotton fabric to the shiny side of a piece of freezer paper cut to the same size.  You can, carefully, feed this through your printer.  My disclaimer here is that it has always worked for me, but you are taking your chances with your printer.  You can find the notebook paper printable I made here.

pencil 12

Peel the fabric off the paper.  There are lots of ways to set the ink into the fabric, making it less likely to fade, including salt, vinegar and some products you can buy.  I pressed mine with a very hot steam iron.

pencil 13

Cut out around the black line.  Use this piece as a pattern to cut out the backing and InsulBrite.  You could use regular fleece or batting inside, because the insulating properties of InsulBrite aren’t needed here, but since you’re already using it for the drink sleeve, it’s just convenient.

Ordinarily, a mug mat would have some kind of pretty binding around the edge.  Today it doesn’t.  I could say I liked the look of the paper better that way, but honestly I’m just not good at it and didn’t want to torture myself today.

Layer the pieces, starting with the InsulBrite.

pencil 14

Lay the front, right side up, on top.

pencil 15

Finally, lay the back over that, right side down.

pencil 16

Stitch around with a 1/4” seam, leaving 2” open at the bottom for turning.  Clip the corners.

pencil 17

Turn right side out and press, turning in the opening.

pencil 18

Top stitch around, close to the edge.

Paper Mug Mat

Now you’ve got a cute set to bribe the teacher with so little Suzy doesn’t have to spend every recess writing “I will not talk in class” on the board.  That probably won’t work, but her teacher will know how much you appreciate her patience.

Pencil Coffee Cup Sleeve and Paper Mug Mat

My daughter is still loud, but she’s old enough to manage it these days, so I’m listing this set in my Etsy shop.  You can find it here…just in case you run out of crafting time before school starts.

Pencil Coffee Cup Sleeve and Notebook Paper Mug Mat


Please play fair. Tutorials here are for personal use only. Thanks!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.

New November 2013!

Visit Finding Pins and Needles on Etsy for a personalized embroidery pattern to add to your Pencil Coffee Cup Sleeve!  Your kids’ teachers will love it!

Pencil Coffee Sleeve Embroidery Pattern from Finding Pins and Needles


Don’t want to make it yourself?  Visit my Etsy shop  or Amazon shop to order these hand embroidered by me with the teacher’s name!

Pencil Coffee Cup Sleeves from CraftyStaci on Etsy



50 thoughts on “Pencil and Paper Drink Sleeve and Mat

  1. I am so in love with these! I wish I drank more coffee, that’s how much I love them. Thanks so much for the step by step and the notebook paper printable. I’m going to do my best to make these… though I doubt I’ll have such perfect fabric selections.


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  4. Love this project! I made one tonight for sister who is a 1st grade teacher. I posted a picture on your facebook page. Thanks again!


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  8. Just a thought for those trying to print the “notebook paper”… I used a sheet of card stock (instead of the freezer paper), cut the material to 8.5″X11” and used clear packing tape to tape the material to the card stock on 3 sides (be sure one of those is a side that will feed into your printer). The pattern give you plenty of room if you have to cut away the tape but I didn’t. this worked way better for me than the freezer paper did.

    Liked by 1 person

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  13. Where did you find the fabric for all of the pieces of the pencils?! Soooo adorable! I want to find similar fabric for the ones I want to try and make!!


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  18. Just a quick question- I just sewed the top of my drink sleeve using a 1/4″ seam allowance and haven’t had a chance to press open the seams yet but it seems super small compared to the backing and InsulBrite that I have already cut out. Am I imaging things or do I need to adjust the seam allowance?


  19. Hmm…I’m not sure why that would have happened. Do you use the 1/4″ mark on your sewing machine? I figured out when I measured mine that if I wanted a true 1/4″ seam I had to stay just inside what I thought was the mark. If it isn’t super tiny, you could cut the batting and backing to fit the front. The elastic closure gives you a little bit of wiggle room.


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