It's never fun having flies and ants all over the kitchen, and fly paper isn't exactly the nicest decoration for your home. Food covers were basically a necessity when I lived in the Philippines and Hawaii, but they are also quite nice in places like wyoming, too. They have been around for centuries and they work great for keeping your edibles bug free as well as hiding the scent of food well enough that pests usually don't bother hanging around anyway. Here is a tutorial on how to make one for cheap and customize it to match your style.
Step 1: Gather Materials
For this project you will need:
-A plastic salad bowl big enough to cover a plate (or whatever you want to cover)when turned upside down, this one is from the dollar store.
-Fabric of your choice, about 1/2 yard is sufficient for most bowl sizes.
-A handle (old drawer knobs work great)
-Glue (preferably hot glue, but other kinds work too)
-A sewing machine or needle and thread
-Optional: paint and any accessories you would like to decorate with such as beads, bows, charms etc.
Step 2: Make the Fabric Cover
I like to have two alternating patterns of fabric, but you can stick with just one or do more.
The dimensions of your cover will depend on the size and shape of your bowl, but a good starting point is to measure the circumference of the lip of the bowl and the length from the bottom center to the lip of the bowl, plus 1" more so you will have enough to fold under the lip. Divide the circumference into the number of strips of fabric you want to use (usually a minimum of 6), that number will be the width of the pattern and the center to lip measurement will be the height (don't forget to add 1/4" all the way around for the seam when you sew it). You will need to get a few more measurements before you cut out the pattern though, because with only the two measurements it will come out looking like a cone, not a bowl. To get the pattern to contour to the bowl measure the circumference of the bowl at 1" increments all the way down(remember to divide by the number of strips again). I have illustrated what I mean in the pictures if it's unclear.
Once you have the pattern figured out you can cut the fabric out and sew it up.
Step 3: Cover the Bowl
These next two steps can be done interchangeably, but I think it's easier to poke the hole and then attach the fabric.
In the center of the bowl, make a hole big enough for the handle to fit in, but don't actually attach the handle yet. For most salad bowls a kitchen knife or pair of scissors will do the trick, or even the screw on the handle sometimes.
To put on the fabric cover, simply place the bowl upside down and put glue on it followed by the fabric cover. Rub it with your hands to flatten out any wrinkles and gently pull the edges to the lip of the bowl. Then dab a bead of glue along the inside lip of the bowl and fold the edge of the fabric into it to create a nice finished edge on the outside.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Screw on the handle and add any personalized touches you'd like such as charms or pendants. Here is a picture of a beach themed one for picnics, the seashell handle is made of melted plastic bottles and a dollar store charm necklace is simply wrapped around it for a little extra touch.
Keep in mind that these don't have to be girly; you could use something like a toy car for the handle and forgo the fabric cover for a simpler, more masculine look.
Step 5: Enjoy!
When the glue is dry and you've achieved the look you want you can put your cover to use; these are perfect for covering cookies, fruit, and freshly grilled burgers and hot dogs, but they can also be used for things like keeping pancakes and dinner rolls warm and moist. Now you are ready to enjoy fresh food without inviting critters to share.
Runner Up in the
Pest Control Challenge