Got Scraps? Make Pot Holders

Vintage fabric potholders--a great project for scraps

There’s something comforting about pot holders.  Maybe because they’re  one of the first projects little girls of my generation were taught to make.    (Remember Brownie Scouts and those metal frames and loops?)

Lately I’ve been making pot holders again, this time from vintage scraps.  Any fabric combos will work, but I like using mid-century tablecloth remnants.   Damaged–these 50s gems are still cheap and turning them in potholders keeps them in the kitchen where these great designs and bright colors belong. 

Damaged tablecloths are easy to find and cheap--

Quilting the fabrics to pieces of old cotton towels stabilizes the vintage cottons and protects hands from heat.   You could also use layers of batting, but I like the feel of heavy old towels and reclaiming them is thrifty and “green”.

  • Start with three rectangles of fabric, front, middle and back.  I’m making a two piece potholder, so my rectangle measures  9 x 17 inches. It will be cut later.  A one piece potholder is even easier.  Find one in your kitchen and use it as a template.  Just be sure to start with fabric pieces at least 1 inch larger than your finished piece.
  • I’m not big on glues but this temporary quilters’ adhesive is great stuff.  I use it to tack my layers together for stitching.
  • Rows of machine stitching hold it all together.  Stripes are great for this–instant stitching guide linesOnce the stitching is done, trim, square corners and cut in two pieces that measure approx. 8 x 9 inches and 8 x 7 inches.
  •  Round all 4 corners of the longest piece and the bottom two of the hand flap.  (I round the first corner, then use it as a template for the others)
  • Finish top edge of hand flap by cutting a wide band, stitch to back, turn to front and press under raw edge.  Trim is cool.  Vintage green rick rack here.
  • Baste hand flap and back together. Then cut a bias strip to cover raw edges.
  • Working from back to front again, pin bias edging and stitch. 
  • Press bias strip to front, pin and top stitch.  Use extra bias to make a hanging loop and you’re done.  Vintage pot holder–useful, fun and strangely comforting.   They also make great one-of-a-kind gifts for cooks. 

I’m making a batch of these mid-century pot holders  for my Etsy store.  Look for them soon at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s