How to Make a Needlepoint Tea Cozy

Written by althea debrule
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How to Make a Needlepoint Tea Cozy
Keep tea warm with a tea cosy. (tea image by blacklight from

The tea cosy provides function and style while keeping tea hot and ready to drink. A hand-stitched needlepoint tea cosy is not difficult to make. It is a fashionable means of ensuring the prolonged warmth of each cup of tea--especially when worked with wool thread and padded and lined to preserve heat.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tissue paper tea cosy template
  • 14-mesh needlepoint canvas for front and back
  • Permanent marking pens
  • Needlepoint design
  • Persian wool needlepoint yarn
  • Masking tape
  • Stretcher bars
  • Brass thumbtacks
  • Size 20 tapestry needle
  • Spray bottle and water
  • Lining fabric
  • Heavy weight cotton batting
  • Sewing machine
  • Hand-sewing needle and thread

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  1. 1

    Make a tissue paper template from an old tea cosy. Cut out and trace the template onto needlepoint canvas with a permanent marking pen. If you would like both sides of the cosy to be worked in needlepoint, trace two shapes. Set aside for use in making the lining.

  2. 2

    Select a needlepoint design that will fit inside the tea cosy template. Bargello or speciality stitches are suitable needlepoint designs for tea cosies because they work up fast and are easy to stitch; however, you can create your own design as well.

  3. 3

    Choose a colourful assortment of Persian wool yarn for motifs and small design elements. Use neutral shades for background and filler areas.

  4. 4

    Bind the canvas with masking tape and attach it to stretcher bars with brass thumbtacks. This will eliminate canvas distortion, especially if you use diagonal stitches.

  5. 5

    Match the centre of the needlepoint design with that of the tea cosy shape. Begin stitching at this point by working the centre motif and moving outward. Repeat for the second tea cosy shape.

  6. 6

    Restretch the completed needlepoint and block it while still on the stretcher bars. Using a spray bottle, lightly mist the canvas with water and let stand until completely dry, which usually takes 24 hours.

  7. 7

    Using the same template as the needlepoint, cut two lining pieces and two pieces of cotton batting.

  8. 8

    Remove the needlepoint from the stretcher bars and trim both pieces to within four canvas threads around the entire shape. With the right sides of the needlepoint pieces together, machine stitch around the top and sides. Leave the bottom open. Do the same for the lining and batting pieces. Trim off a half inch of the bottom edge of the batting.

  9. 9

    Turn the needlepoint right side out, but leave the lining and batting pieces wrong side out. Assemble the finished tea cosy by first placing the batting piece inside, followed by the lining. Turn under the bottom edges of both the lining and needlepoint and machine stitch together close to the edge of the needlepoint. Do not stitch the batting.

  10. 10

    Make a few random stitches by hand directly through the needlepoint, batting and lining side and top seams to hold the assembled tea cosy in place.

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