Scrappy Herbal Tea Coaster Tutorial

Scrappy Herbal Tea Coaster Tutorial

handmade coaster and mug with herbal tea

I’m a sucker for a good herbal tea. There’s a place in downtown Salt Lake City, Grand America, that has an afternoon tea service and it’s sooo super fancy! All the yummy sweets and little sandwiches are to die for! I’ve only been once, but I fell in love with the herbal teas they serve and set out to find them! They’re from Steven Smith Teamaker and the flavors Meadow, Big Hibiscus, and Red Nectar are to die for!

I decided to make a functional gift bag/coaster that’s juuuuust the right size for a bag of Smith tea. It’s generously sized (5" square) so you can fit a bag of sugar, too. There’s a scrappy and non-scrappy version that’s just right for a little gift giving and using your fabric stash. All fabrics used are from Art Gallery Fabrics Mix the Volume collection. Aren't they so pretty?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • (1) 5 ½" x 10 ½" rectangle for outside of coaster (for scrappy version you’ll need enough scraps to make a rectangle of this size).
  • (1) 5 ½" x 10 ½" rectangle for inside of coaster.
  • (1) 1" x 14" rectangle for tie.
  • Rotary cutter and mat.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Ironing board and iron. 
three pieces of fabric
  1. If you’re making a scrappy coaster, sew enough scraps right sides together to trim to a 5 ½" x 10 ½" rectangle. Press these seams open.
    Fabric and iron
  2. Make the tie. Take the rectangle for the tie to the ironing board, fold the short edge in about ¼" on each edge and press.
    fabric folded over
  3. Fold in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.
    fabric folded in half
  4. Open the rectangle and fold the outside edges to the crease in the middle and press, keeping the center crease intact.
    fabric folded in quarters
  5. Fold the center crease again as you did on step 2 to reinforce the crease and press. There should be no raw edges showing.
    fabric tie sewn by machinefabric tie sewn by machine
  6. Take the tie to your sewing machine and topstitch on all open edges, close to the edge. Set aside.
  7. Make the coaster. First, if you’re making the scrappy option, sew your desired pieces into rows, right sides together, then trim to a 5 ½" x 10 ½" rectangle.
    fabric ties pinned to fabric rectangle
  8. Take the tie and cut it in half. Pin a tie to the middle of the 5 ½" edges of either rectangle on the right side, matching raw edges.
    sewing ties on to fabric rectangle
  9. Sew in place along the edge with a scant ¼" seam allowance.
    two fabric rectangles with ties sewn
  10. Place the other rectangle on top of the rectangle with the sewn ties, right sides together.
    sewing two rectangles right sides together
  11. Sew a ¼" seam around the edges, leaving about a 1 ½" inch opening on a long edge. Make sure that the loose ends of your ties don’t get caught up in the stitches.
    clipping corners of fabric
  12. Clip the corners a bit to reduce bulk, so when you turn the coaster out, it will create crisp corners.
    turning sewn fabric outside in
  13. Turn the coaster right side out and press using a pin (if desired) to make sure the seam doesn’t get bunched inside the layers of fabric.
    pressed fabric with ties
  14. Press the opening you used to turn the coaster so it will blend with the rest of the edge.
topstitching fabric
  1. Topstitch the short edges with the ties.
  2. Fold the coaster in half so the ties meet at the top and the edges and corners meet. Press.
  3. Pin the edges together, especially in the spot that’s open where you turned the coaster.
    sewing coaster with pocket together
  4. Topstitch the sides and bottom of the coaster, leaving the side with the ties open. Finished size should be around 5" square.
  5. Tada! You’re done! Put your tea bag inside, tie the ties in a bow and take it with you, or gift to a lucky friend.
    sewn coaster with herbal tea bag inside

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