How to Make a Fabric Potholder


Create homemade decorative and utilitarian potholders for yourself or to give as gifts for any occasion. For festive holidays, choose colorful printed fabric with Christmas and Easter themes. Other options include favorite colors, hobbies and interests such as gardens and flowers. For the chef, there are never enough potholders; a pair of cooking-themed holders are always appreciated. Children can participate in making these crafts as inexpensive gifts for their teachers, making potholders with a school theme.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric, medium weight, 18 by 45 inches
  • Cotton batting
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter
  • Rotary cutting mat
  • Clear craft mat
  • Straight pins
  • Binding tape, double-fold, 1/2-inch wide
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Fold the 18-inch width of the fabric over itself. Lay it on the ironing board and press the crease with a hot iron (steam). Open the fabric and lay it on the rotary cutting mat. Lay the clear craft mat on the crease and cut the fabric with a rotary cutter from one side to the other, making two 18- by 22 1/2-inch pieces.

  • Align the two fabric pieces, right sides together. Lay one 18-inch edge of the fabrics along the top of a rotary cutting mat. Lay the clear craft mat over the fabric parallel to the top at the 9-inch mark. Cut the two layers of fabric with the rotary cutter from one side to the other to make two 9-inch by 18-inch pieces. Put these two pieces aside.

  • Move the remaining fabric up to the top of the rotary cutting mat. Again, lay the clear craft mat over the fabric parallel to the top at the 9-inch mark. Cut the two pieces of fabric with the rotary cutter from one side to the other to make two 9- by 18-inch pieces. Place those two pieces with the first two. Put the remaining scrap fabric into a craft box for future use.

  • Cut four 9-inch squares of cotton batting on the rotary mat cutter with the rotary cutter and clear craft mat, one at a time. Align the batting at a top corner for handy measurement. Put the pieces aside.

  • Open one of the fabric pieces, wrong side up. Lay one square of cotton batting on the left side aligned with the fabric edges and fold the other side of the fabric over the batting. Pull the fabric over to the other edge and pin with straight pins to keep the pieces together. Put a few straight pins along the other two open sides.

  • Straight stitch the sides of the potholder 1/4-inch from the edges all around, removing straight pins as you sew.

  • Cut a strip of double-fold binding tape and straight stitch the open sides closed. This will be the loop on the potholder.

  • Insert an unfinished edge of the potholder into the double-fold binding tape as far as it will go and straight stitch the tape all around the potholder, catching the binding tape on either side of the potholder. Work slowly, inserting the edges of the potholder into the tape as you stitch.

  • Just before reaching the beginning of the sewn binding tape, insert the ends of the binding tape loop inside the tape and stitch it on the potholder. Cut off an extra 1/2 inch of binding tape, fold the edge under and straight stitch it onto the potholder for a neat finish.

  • Repeat sewing process with additional pieces of fabric and batting to make three more potholders.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make a number of potholders in an assembly-line fashion. This will reduce the amount of time it takes to make them.
  • Fabric can be printed or solid as desired.
  • Binding tape can be complementary color or contrasting.
  • Potholder sizes can be made larger if desired.
  • Make reversible potholders with different fabrics on the two sides that complement each other.
  • Keep a craft box handy to hold fabric pieces suitable for making potholders for any occasions.
  • This is a good project to teach older children how to use a sewing machine.

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  • Photo Credit Autumn Color Potholders image by Joyce Wilkes from
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