Sew Your Own Potholders!




Introduction: Sew Your Own Potholders!

About: I'm a community manager here at instructables! Mountain hermit by day, stitch witch at night. Not a fan of social media, but sometimes you can find me on Twitter at @makingjiggy ^_^

This instructable will teach you how to sew up quick and easy potholders from cotton fabric and old towels, and best of all - no time consuming binding!

I've tested these up to 450 degrees F, and can verify that they work! No burned hands, yay!

Step 1: What You'll Need:

  • 2 8x8 inch squares of 100% cotton fabric - the thicker, the better!
  • 1 8x8 inch square of an old terry cloth towel - must be 100% cotton
  • ribbon or fabric for a loop to hang the potholder (optional)
  • pins
  • something to mark fabric
  • sewing machine
  • iron
  • cutting and measuring stuffs

Step 2: Loop Tip:

I'm using a tea towel that I bought for the potholders. To form the loop, I decided to trim off the hem. It will fray very little and saves time - I won't have to sew any fabric for it!

Using thick ribbon is another great idea.

Step 3: Assembling.

Place one of your cotton squares right side up on your work surface. Take a length of your loop fabric or ribbon (about 8 inches long) and attach it to one of your corners with a pin as seen in the picture.

Now, place your other cotton square on top of that one so that the right sides are together.

On top of those, place your towel square.

Pin all of these layers together and mark a 3-4 inch opening on one side. You will turn everything right side out through this opening.

(At this point, you can also turn it over so the fabric side is facing you and trim off any excess towel. Makes it easier to line up when sewing. - as seen in picture 4.)

Step 4: Sewing.

You will have a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

The potholder is sewn terrycloth side up. Start at the lower marking of the opening and backstitch.

Continue all the way around, lifting the presser foot and turning at the corners so it's one continuous line. Stop when you get to the top marking of the opening and backstitch again.

Step 5: Trimming and Turning!

Remove all your pins and begin to trim the potholder down.

On all sides but the opening side, trim the fabric so that it is 1/4 inch or less from the stitches - this is especially important on the corners.

On the opening side, only trim down the towel. You need extra fabric there so that you can sew the opening closed. :)

Now, turn your potholder right side out. You'll have towel + fabric on one side and only fabric on the other. Push the top corners through the opening and then the rest. Use a capped pen to poke the corners out!

Step 6: Pressing.

Once your potholder is right side out and the corners are as square as possible, you need to line up the opening so that it can be sewn shut.

Fold the opening in and press it so that it is in line with the rest of the potholder, as seen above.

Step 7: Sewing, Part 2.

Now you're going to topstitch all the way around the potholder - this will secure the edges and close the opening.

You'll be using a 1/4 inch seam allowance this time.

Start on the opening side and go all the way around the potholder. Turn on the corners like before so that it's one continuous line. Line the end up with the beginning as best you can and backstitch. Trim the strings. :)

Now you have a fabulous pot holder! Pat yourself on the back and get cooking. :D

1 Person Made This Project!


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5 years ago

The instructions are pretty good and I know nothing about sewing. Made two and put more insulation (Insul bright?) in the second one. The top stitch on the opening is going to need practice.


5 years ago

Thank-you so much, easy for me to understand, I'm a beginner sewer and I wanted to make my Mom pot holders for her Birthday.

Is it better to use wool instead of cotton? (Burn wise) Could you use an old wool sweater for the filling?


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

Definitely much better! An old wool sweater would be great.

But this was certainly a case of "I-need-something-and-I-have-these-horrible-towels" :)

Very Interesting
Very Interesting

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

I'm going to use towels too; just wondered about the sweaters. Thanks :)