More Homespun Holiday: Cozy Cocoa Kit Inspiration

Good morning, everyone! Today is the big day and I still have so much to share with you! Why don't we just jump right in today with the Retro Rainbow Color Story?

First off, let's take a closer look at the cute polka dotted mug! I began by die cutting the mug. Now this is a very important note: When you are die cutting something that is not symmetrical and there is a pattern involved, your front and back have to mirror each other.

To do this, die cut the front as you normally would and then flip your felt over and cut through the "back" side. It's a really simple step, but it will save you from wasting felt. You must trust me. Learn from my experience.

I also cut the band and holly leaves (all part of the kit). I cut two of each holly leaf because I knew I wanted them to hang over the edge of the whipped cream. I sewed each pair of leaves about half way down and then stitched the rest of the way through the whipped cream to secure them in place. You could do this same thing with one layer of felt, but I like the sturdiness of two layers.

This dotted band mug comes next. All of the dies used on this mug are from the kit. I wanted to show that you can use this color palette for other seasons, so I was going for an autumnal look with this mug. The dotted band functions much the same way the detail dies in the Keepsake Ornaments kit do in that the layer piece (in this case, a circle) can be stitched on top of the opening or behind for a variety of looks. I wanted to add a little more interest, so I added long, strait stitches across the body of the mug above and below the circle detail. A simple addition, but I really like it!

This next mug incorporates the Inline and Monogram Alphabet Dies on the front and the Cocoa Messages die on the back.

I used the stitched wreath from the kit to highlight the monogram on this mug. This time, though, I used just three strands of embroidery floss for the lazy daisy stitches. The result is a bit slimmer and less fluffy than the six strands, but it's no less lovely.

On the back, I used the "Be Merry" greeting from the Cocoa Messages Die. Another important note: Just like when die cutting patterned felt, if you're adding wording onto the back of your project it must also be mirrored. This means you're going to need to flip your die cut to the "wrong" side to add your message (ie: if your handle is on the left for your front, you need it to be on the right when you die cut your message on the back). Otherwise, your message will read backward. Ask me how I know. Learn from my experience. Please.

This last mug is a 3D version. I used the Inline and Monogram Alphabet Dies as well as the Keepsake Dates (2021-2025) Die along with the Cozy Cocoa kit. I just love those little marshmallows. I don't know what it is about them, but they make me smile.

I wanted to make a couple's ornament, so I cut and stitched the tree design from the Cozy Cocoa kit in the center of the mug and added initials to either side of it. I also used seed beads to add ornaments to the tree.

On the bottom of the mug, I incorporated the year. The years might get a wee bit tight after 2021 since the numerals are a bit wider, but I have an alternative placement to share that I really like. 

Next, let's take a closer look at the Candy Cane Color Story!

I mentioned that alternative date placement, so let's get to the 3D mug first so I can share that with you.

In addition to the kit, I used the Keepsake Ornaments Extras Die, the Inline and Monogram Alphabet Dies, and the Keepsake Dates (2021-2025) Die on this ornament. I used the oval window from the Keepsake Ornaments Extras die to highlight the monogram on this mug.

The holly leaves are fully stitched to the mug, so I went with single layers on all of them. There are short "holes only" lines in the kit that make placing the holly leaves easy so you don't have to guess where your stitches should go. I also went with a contrasting rim and blanket stitch to make that a bit more of a feature.

I found that the vertical space along the handle of the mug is a wonderful place for the date. It's just the right size and it's fairly out of the way, so it's not taking attention away from the focal point.

This flat peppermint band mug is next. All of the design elements on the front of this mug are in the kit. The peppermint is one of my favorite little designs in the die for this kit. It's so simple, but it adds such whimsy. I used a bead to anchor the center, so the peppermint is sort of attached like a giant sequin.

On the back, I used the "Ho Ho Ho" design from the Cocoa Messages Die. It's a little hard to tell here, but each section of the sentiment is stitched in a different color of thread (it's white, then pink, then red).

While we're on the subject of flat ornaments, let's take a look at the tree ornament in this set (everything on this ornament is included in the kit). I wanted a more subdued style on this ornament, so I used the brown bugle beads to resemble chocolate sprinkles. Flat ornaments are easier to mail, so you could tuck these into holiday cards for your friends far and wide.

The last ornament in this set features the petal medallion design from the Keepsake Ornaments Extras Die along with the small circle elements from the kit. I really love that this design is not seasonally specific, so you could use it any time of year (perhaps for a coffee or tea drinker).

And lastly today, let's take a peek at my Modern Holiday projects!

These are very Christmassy and that's getting me in the mood to start planning for the upcoming holiday season!

Let's kick things off with the striped band mug, shall we? The band features both felt stripes and beaded stripes and I'm over the moon about it! Everything on this mug is included in the kit. The die that cuts the holes on the body of the mug for the band also incorporates these stripes. If you're adding a band, you can choose to use them or just cover them up depending on your preference. The beaded lines are just straight, long stitches with a few bugle beads threaded onto each stitch. Super easy, but really eye catching.

I went ahead and made another gift card pocket ornament, too. You could also use this as a tag on a wrapped gift and that would be beautiful. The tree on the front of this mug is included in the kit. Once again, I used plain mug die cuts on the inside of the pocket to ensure that the gift card would slide in and out smoothly and not get caught on any threads.

The greeting on the back is from the Cocoa Messages Die. I thought I was a little clever putting this on a gift card pocket, to be honest. I mean, who wouldn't be cheered by a gift card?! Right?! Well, anyway...

I really love this 3D mug. I know I say I love a lot of things, but I'm just really enthusiastic! There's a special joy that comes from working on projects made with products you design.

The contrasting rim and bottom on this mug make me smile. The patterned felt is slightly more costly than the solids, so finding ways like this to incorporate smaller amounts while still making an impact is so satisfying.

The snowflake embroidered on the mug is included in the kit. The "Fa La La" greeting on the other side is from the Cocoa Messages Die.

One of the most fun things about the 3D mug is how much space you have to work with when designing. You can go for a centered design or take more of a the-coin-has-two-faces approach and put a little something different on both sides.

How sweet is this Holly Jolly mug?! The peppermint and holly leaves are from the kit while the greeting is from the Cocoa Messages Die. I used the "holes only" lines to secure the holly leaves in place before adding the peppermint. And since the message is on the front of the mug, there's no need to remember to flip the mug over before die cutting the greeting. Again, please learn from my experience.

On the back, I used the Keepsake Dates (2021-2025) Die to add the year. This time I did have to flip it over before die cutting the date.

Well, friends, that's all for me today! I have one last order of business and that's to congratulate our kit winner!!!

Our winner, by random drawing from all of the eligible comments was Julie B (from her comment on Heather’s blog post)! Julie B, please contact Customer Service ( within 30 days to claim your prize!

Thanks to everyone who participated and left encouragement for this year's designers. They all put in so much hard work and letting them know how much you appreciate their creativity and talent is a genuine kindness.

Well, I think I'd better get ready to pack some orders! Have a wonderful weekend and I'll be seeing you soon!


  • Is there any way to buy the cozy cocoa dies used, if anyone isn’t using theirs anymore?

    Jana Brocco
  • Will you ever be making the cocoa line of dies again?
    I would love to order a full kit if you do.

    Jana Brocco
  • Such a delightful post with all your gorgeous projects! You certainly know how to design felt kits.

    Kathy Mc
  • Wow! Everything went so quickly!! I was able to get the new kit but still want other things that are already sold out. Will you have a pre-order on the Ornament kit and possibly the other color stories?

    Ann Ito
  • Will the keepsake ornament extras be available later? I missed out!!! I preordered the cocoa mug set but do not see a place to preorder these.

    Kim Burckhard

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