If you made my easy pot holders, you can also make a companion set of pan handle holders to protect your hands from hot pan handles.
I have a couple of cast iron pans. They are very heavy and those handles get really hot. Both of the pans have the short tab-like handle that sticks out from the pan, opposite the handle. That tab-handle also gets too hot to handle.
My pan handle holders are designed to hold that tab-handle, too. That’s the extra feature! I made two of these so I can use both of them when lifting the cast iron pans. And, they both have the extra feature that allows me to use them on the tab-handle without having to guess which one is which. They are both the same. Let’s get started!
Materials for the Pan Handle Holders
(This post contains affiliate links to one or more of the items I used in this project – which means, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission. There is no added cost to you!)
This list of materials is mostly the same as the list for the pot holders. I have detailed explanations about these materials on my pot holders post.
- Cotton Fabric – Prewash and iron the fabric
- Thermal Batting – Insulated batting such as Insul-Bright. NOTE: Thermal batting contains metal foil. Do not use these in the microwave.
- Bias Tape – If you have leftover from the pot holder project use that or make your own bias tape following my instructions
- Pattern – use mine or make your own (I will tell you how I made my pattern)
Tools to Make the Pan Handle Holders
- Straight pins or Sewing clips (these are great!)
- Sewing Machine
Pattern – Make Your Own?
I think most pan handles are close to the same size. I have two cast iron pans and I picked the bigger one for my pattern. When I finished making the pan handle holder I fit it onto both pans and the size works well with both. If you use my pattern but think it needs to be a little wider or a little longer, just add a little extra around the total dimensions when you cut out the pattern.
How to make your own pattern
Making your own pattern is pretty quick. This is how I came up with my pattern. I started by drawing the outline of my pan handle and measuring the widest dimension. My handle’s widest point is 1.75 inches. When I stitch the bias tape around the edges, that will need half an inch on each side, for a total of 2.75 inches. My final pan handle holder is a perfect fit. If your pan handle is the same size and you aren’t sure if you can stitch half an inch consistently, you can add a little extra width to this dimension. Something you can try is a test on some scrap fabric. Make just a single “sleeve” and try it on your pan handle then adjust if necessary.
For the length of the pan handle holder, I measured from the end of the pan handle to where it connects to the pan. I then added half an inch for seam allowance at the opening end. This came to 6.5 inches. My other pan has a shorter handle and this length still works okay on that pan. The “pocket” is half the length of the total length plus enough allowance to do a double hem.
To make the arc at the end of the rectangle, instead of looking for my protractor, I found a glass in the cupboard that had a diameter the same width as my rectangle and used it as a template for drawing the perfect arc.
Cutting the Materials
My pattern has three parts. These instructions walk you through how to make two pan handle holders so you can use one on each handle of the pan.
The pattern pieces are marked A, B, and C.
- A: Cut 8 pieces from your cotton fabric
- B: Cut 4 pieces from the thermal batting
- C: Cut two from your cotton fabric
Assemble the Pieces of the Pan Handle Holders
Step 1 – Assemble and Stitch the “A” Pieces
Lay out four stacks of your “Piece A” fabric with right sides together. Here I show two stacks and folded back a corner so you can see I have right sides together. Along the straight edge (opposite the curved edge) stitch a half-inch seam and press open the seam.
Step 2 – Lay in the Thermal Batting: Piece B
With the four sections of “Piece A” pieces laid out, right side down, place one piece of thermal batting (Piece B) on one half of the fabric. Fold the other half of the fabric over the thermal batting (Piece B). This picture shows two of these. You should have four stacks.
Stack two of these folded pieces on top of each other.
Set these aside for now.
Step 3 – Make the Pocket
Take your two “Piece C” cutouts and press a double-folded 3/8″ hem into the straight edge and stitch close to the edge of the fold.
Step 4 – Assemble the Full Stack
Lay piece C on top of the stack of pieces A and B and attach with pins or clips. You should have two sets of the stack you see in the picture below. Stitch 1/4 inch starting along the long edge, continue around the curved end, and finish along the other long edge. Do NOT stitch across the edge with the folded seam allowance. This row of stitching is just to hold the pieces together to make it easier to handle when adding the bias tape.
Step 5 – Apply the Bias Tape
Following the same path as the stitching in step 4, apply the bias tape. I had bias tape left over from my pot holders project. Again, do not stitch across the short edge that is opposite the curved edge. That is the opening that you will slide over the pan handle.
Your pan handle holders are now complete and ready to be used!
These two pictures show how to use the pan handle holders.
Since both of the pan handle holders have the pocket for your thumb, no matter which one you grab out of the drawer, you can can use either one on either handle!
Free Pattern for the Pan Handle Holders
Get the password for the library with the free pattern by filling out this form:
Do you have to use the thermal batting? I have thick quilt batting and seems like that would transfer less heat through to your hands than something that contains foil. I have a few potholders that I have purchased over the years and they are so thin I have to use 3 to hold a hot pan.
Tracy Lynn DeGarmo
You don’t have to use thermal batting. If they are going to exposed to very high heat, you don’t want batting that can melt. Mostly, the batting you choose to use will depend on how you use them. Some people put cast iron pans in the oven. That makes for a pretty hot handle.
Hello Tracy Lynn,
These are beautiful (and clever!) My brother-in-law does a lot of grilling using his cast iron skillets and I think these will work MUCH better than doubled up tea towels. 🙂 I have some “manly” fabric to REALLY earn me some sister-in-law brownie points. I do have a quick question, and forgive me if I’m missing something obvious. I clicked on the link to “use my pattern”, but nothing seems to happen. The web address attached to that link is the same as the tutorial itself. I don’t have access to his skillets to measure and I would very much appreciate sharing your pattern with you. Is there another place I can access and print the pattern that you used for your holders? Thank you (in advance) for such a fantastic project, and for being kind enough to share it for free. That’s truly awesome in my book!! 🙂
Tracy Lynn DeGarmo
Thank you. And, I fixed that link. 🙂
I’m not able to get the pattern, it resends me back to the tutorial page. Where can I get the pattern? Thank you.
Tracy Lynn DeGarmo
When you’re in the Resource Library, the section about the Pan Handle Holders has three lines of text. The first is the link to the Pattern, the second is a link back to the post and the third is the day I added the post. Click on the first link (in the Resource Library) to get the PDF of the pattern.
Download Resource: Pattern for Pan Handle Holders (PDF)
Online Instructions: Pan Handle Holders with and Extra Feature!
Added March 6, 2018
Thank you so much, that worked for me. I appreciate the quick response. Have a great day!
You are really sweet to share this clever idea. Can’t wait to make it. Thanks so very, very much.
Your directions are great! I have tried to make these before, but sewed the right sides together and then tried to turn it all right side our. Not easy and not pretty. The bias binding is so much better. I look forward to other clever things to sew.
Looking for a way to use up kitchen fabric scraps, and came across this on Pinterest. I have a cast iron skillet and this is perfect, thank you for sharing!