DIY Gift Microwave Bowl Potholder Tutorial

*note: Jan 12, 2014:  I’m just working on this page and testing ways to put video here.. so if this page seems messed up… lol… just know that it *is* at this moment!  🙂   Check back often – I’ll get ‘er done!

I talked about these on this blog post.   Here’s how to make ’em…


100% Cotton Fabric – fat quarters work well.  Two colors make these interesting.
100% Cotton Thread – NO POLYESTER! – I personally like Aurifil 50wt or Mettler
100% Cotton Batting – The “Warm Company” brand is very, very nice.  I bought mine with Amazon Prime.

If you can tell from the list above, it’s important to use only cotton.   The use of other polyester threads or synthetic fabrics might cause some unpleasant surprises when being microwaved.   Avoid the risk of fire, melting, etc… only use cotton!

Tools I Used:

Sewing Machine – Even the most basic one will work – just need straight stitch & reverse!
Rotary Cutter, Ruler & Cutting Mat – or, at least: Dressmaker Shears
Tape Measure – I personally like this Clover brand – they don’t break like others I’ve owned
Purple Thang – I love this little gizmo… but a chopstick can come in handy and work almost as well.
Thread Snips
Small Ruler
Wonder Clips
Pins – I only buy glass head pins.. they’re best for the tasks when you need to iron fabric with pins in.
Magnetic Pin Dish

Tips & Ideas:
Think how cute these would be coupled with coordinating placemats.
Good for serving hot – or cold – foods.
Soups (even if not microwaved) are served up best in preheated bowls.  Use boiling water in the bowls & empty before serving!  This is especially true if you have pottery dishes with more mass that needs to be warmed up so it doesn’t suck the heat out of the food!  Use these for super-hot bowls.
Cold dishes… think of how long a bowl of ice cream would stay cold if the bowl was put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before serving up ice cream?  So no cold fingers… serve up with these cozy holders!
Think about these for serving dishes, too – vegetables, etc… to protect your table from scratches.

Sewing Instructions:

Use 1/4″ seams
Backstitch a few stitches when starting seams or top stitches.

Measure the bowl.  Flip the bowl upside down, drape the tape measure over the bowl.   Example: For an 10.5″ bowl like this, if you cut your fabric into 10.5″ squares, the space between the top of the bowl to the top of the potholder will be 1/4″ shorter (1/4″ seam allowances, remember).   By the time the holder flares out on the sides, it will look more like 1″ shorter, but when you use it to hold the bowl, the sides will come up more and your hands will be protected.   Make sense?

For my yellow bowls in this example, because they have such tall vertical sides, I cut my fabric 1″ shorter – I used 9.5″ squares .  So if I hold the sides of the fabric up against the bowl, the sides are about 1″ shorter than the bowl – with it looking even shallower when the holder flares to the sides.   This is what I wanted as a finished look.  So if you’re going to be picky about how they present when being used – this just gives you some ideas how to tweak yours to get the effect you want.  🙂

Cut 2 squares of cotton fabric

Cut 2 squares of cotton batting