How to sew a potholder

How to sew a potholder

Sew a beautiful, homemade gift in no time. Your family and friends will be so impressed, and they will feel special that you took the time to make something just for them. This is an easy craft. It will take approximately 45 minutes to complete one potholder. But if you do each step for all five potholders like an assembly line, you can reduce your time per potholder.

Materials needed (enough for five potholders):

  • 1/2 yard (45″ wide) 100% cotton fabric
  • package of 100% cotton batting
  • matching thread
  • matching bias tape

It’s a good idea to prewash your materials to prevent the shrinking of the finished product.

First, cut squares of fabric 8″x8″. You will need two fabric squares for each potholder. Then cut the batting in squares the same size.

Next, layer four squares of batting sandwiched between two squares of fabric, with the right sides of fabric facing out. Pin all these layers together.
Cut a strip of bias tape 37″ long and starting at a corner, baste it around the fabric edge. Basting is an important step to have a nice looking potholder. Fold the remaining tail of the bias tape over to make a potholder hook and hand sew it in place.

Set your sewing machine on zigzag and sew around the edges of the bias tape on all four sides.

To make a different size potholder, just change the size of your squares, and adjust the length of the bias tape accordingly.
To add pizzaz, zigzag a smaller square on the potholder, about 1″ from the outer edge. Depending on the stitching options on your machine, you can be quite creative.

You can also substitute a pillow binding edge instead of using bias tape around the edge. If you use a pillow binding edge (which looks lovely), add an extra 1/2 inch to the sides of the fabric, but not the batting. Sew the two fabric squares right sides together on three sides only 1/2 inch from the edge. Then turn it right side out like you would a pillow. Insert into this your layers of batting, then hand sew the unfinished edge shut. With this variation of the potholder, it is necessary to sew a zigzag line one inch or so from the edge through all the fabric and batting layers. This will keep the batting from sliding around or bunching up inside the potholder, and give it a “finished” look.

If you’d like to make a potholder just for setting warm dishes on, you can leave it off the hook.

Once the potholder is completely finished, iron over the stitching to “set” it in the fabric. This also will give it a more complete look.
These home-sewn potholders make wonderful Christmas gifts for just about anyone. For the college student use retro, fun fabric. For the lady who has everything pick a fabric that will coordinate with her kitchen, or just pick a festive holiday fabric. My favorite is to use a green fabric with a Christmas print, and a contrasting red bias tape edge. For this, I use a red thread and zigzag one inch from the edge. It really is pretty. Use your imagination, you’ll be so proud of what you’ve done.

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