At the time of the writing of this blog post, I am almost 57 years old and I have not bought any pot holders. Ever.
I have two thread-bare pot holders I received as wedding gifts and I have one made by my youngest daughter from one of her early elementary school classes (she is 25 now).
Why do I still have this in my kitchen?! It doesn’t even match any kitchen I have ever had.
It’s almost embarrassing. I know how to sew. I have been sewing since I was in fourth grade. Why have I never made pot holders?
I decided that had to change. I can make them to be whatever I want. And you are invited to go with me on this journey to get rid of the tattered pot holders and make nice new ones. You can make a set for your kitchen, too, or to give as gifts!
This is what I made and I will teach you how you can make them.
(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!)
- Fabric: Buy cotton. Popular fabric for pot holders is the cotton you find in the quilting fabrics. Make sure it is 100% cotton (no synthetic fibers that can melt). Other plant-based fibers such as linen or hemp will work but they are more expensive and do not come in all the fun patterns you can find in the cottons. If you want to make this exact project, buy half a yard of fabric.
- Thermal Batting: Insulated batting such as Insul-Bright. NOTE: Thermal batting contains metal foil. Do not use these in the microwave.
- Cotton Batting: I bought crib size cotton quilt batting. It is enough for this project and a couple of other things I plan to make.
- Thread: Pick a color that matches or complements your fabric.
- Bias Tape: You can make your own using my instructions for making bias tape (the fabric yardage above assumes you will make your own). You can also buy pre-made bias tape.
- Scissors (or you can use a rotary cutter)
- Straight pins or Sewing clips (I love these!)
- Sewing Machine
Prewash and iron the fabric. Prewashing will shrink the fabric before you make the pot holders. Pot holders get messy and they get washed. Ironing the fabric after washing will give you an even surface for accurate measurements and cutting.
Prewash the cotton batting, also to preshrink it. Follow the instructions for the brand of batting you buy.
Cutting the Materials
I chose to make 7-inch pot holders. I cut out 6, 7, and 8-inch squares of paper as test-sizes and decided that 7-inch pot holders suited me best. No other reason than that. You get to do whatever you want. They are YOUR pot holders.
For these pot holders, I am binding the edges with bias tape made from the same fabric as the pot holders. Because of this, there is no need to deal with seam allowance of the pot holder squares themselves. The size you make them is the size they will be.
For two pot holders, you will need:
- Four squares of fabric
- Two squares of thermal batting
- Two squares of cotton batting
Assemble the Layers
Assemble the pot holders into layers. Make two of these stacks and pin or clip them together.
- Fabric with right side down
- Cotton batting
- Thermal batting
- Fabric with right side up
Using a seamstress chalk or the edge of an old piece of soap, mark one center line down each of the pot holders.
Time to Start Sewing!
Stitch along that center line you marked.
Shift the pot holder over and stitch another row, parallel to the one you just stitched. This creates a channel that will keep the batting in place over the years. You’re doing “channel quilting” on a pot holder.
Continue to work out from the center toward the edge, stitching more channels. The distance of the channels is mostly up to you. I made mine around 5/8″ apart.
Working with so many layers, you’ll want to be sure your layers are secured well. It’s okay to add more pins or clips to help keep the layers intact while you are sewing.
Adding the Binding
For this project, I made my own bias tape. You can read how I did this at my post on making your own bias tape.
Pin or clip the bias tape to the edge of the pot holder.
Stitch the first side of the bias tape to the pot holders.
Wrap the bias tape to the other side of the pot holders and top-stitch in place.
Now I have two new pot holders! The two thread-bare orange ones are in the trash.
Now that you know how to make these, you can make a matching set of pan handle holders!
If you would like to have a quick guide to remind you of the steps, you can download it from my resource library. Sign up for your free access password here: