“You're dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.” -Walt Disney
How to Make an Easy to Sew Hot Pad
Since I had fabric scraps leftover from my How to Make a Pillow Cover project, I figured I might as well use them. Here is another one of my “easy things to sew projects” that I have been making for years. If you are looking for a way to use up some old scrap pieces of fabric or are looking for homemade gift ideas, this one is perfect.
Of course, I am extremely cheap and keep everything. Because, you know, one day I might need it. Thank goodness I kept a scrap piece of black fabric. I have no recollection of what I possibly could have made with it. But I guess I must have made something.
Thanks to my frugal (hoarding) nature, I did not have to purchase anything to complete this folded hot pad pattern.
How to Sew a Hot Pad
This is one of my all-time favorite DIY sewing projects. I have used it for many years and have used hot pads as gifts, craft fair items, and kept some for myself. They are so easy to make.
Prewash Your Fabric
For most projects, you should prewash your fabric before sewing. However, I will be the first to admit, I hate this step and sometimes skip it. Every time I do, I regret it. This is because most of the items I make need to be washed at some point. Then, when I dry them, they shrink and do not fit properly.
Since these were scrap pieces and I am lazy, I skipped this step.
Measuring and Cutting Your Fabric
You can make these hot pads any size you like. I have made them from 10” to 12.” Since my Mickey Mouse fabric was narrow, I used 10” for this project.
Cut the fabric squares for your hot pad. You can either measure each piece individually or make a template. I cheated and made a 10” x 10” template out of cardboard.
Before you start cutting, decide how you want the finished potholder to look. My plan, to begin with, was to make all the front square Mickey Mouse and the back black. But once I started cutting my fabric, I thought it looked better with alternating black and Mickey Mouse squares.
Since I only had enough black fabric to cut 2-10” x 10” squares, I had to use a piece of Mickey Mouse fabric for the inside square. If you do not have enough fabric, you can always use another scrap piece of fabric for this piece. Since it is inside, nobody will see it anyway.
Here are the squares I used. You can use the same or change it up. The choice is yours.
4 - 10” Squares of patterned fabric
2 – 10” Squares of solid fabric
Instructions for making a DIY Pillow Cover:
Now let’s get to the fun part. You can even make these if you are a horrible sewer like me. Since the finished hot pad is flipped right side out, your sewing is hidden.
1. Collect all your supplies.
2. Iron your Pre-washed fabric. This will make it easier to work with.
3. Cut your fabric. For this project, I used a 10” square cardboard template. Cute 4-10” square pieces of the patterned fabric and 2-10” square pieces of the solid fabric.
5. Take 2 squares of the patterned fabric and 2 squares of the solid fabric. Fold all 4 squares in half. Iron each one to get a nice crease.
6. Place one square of your patterned fabric face down. Use one of the pieces that you did not iron in half. This piece will be the inside of the DIY potholder. If you are using a piece of scrap fabric, that does not match the other pieces, use it here.
7. Place the 2 squares of Insul-Bright on top.
8. Place the other unfolded square of patterned fabric face up on top of the pile. This piece will end up being the back of the potholder.
9. Take one piece of ironed fabric and place it on top of the pile. Place the seam to the inside. The unfinished edges should line up with the edges of the pile.
10. Place the next piece on the pile, overlapping ½ of the first piece.
11. Place the next piece on the pile, overlapping ½ of the second piece.
12. Fold over ½ of the first piece that is visible.
13. Place the last piece on the pile, overlapping ½ of the third piece.
14. Unfold the ½ of the first piece, so it covers ½ of the last piece.
Steps 15 – 20 are optional. Complete these steps if you want to add a hanging loop. You can also use bias tape or a ribbon.
15. Cut a 1” x 5” piece of fabric.
16. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and iron.
17. Take both sides and fold them over to the center crease. Iron both edges.
18. Fold fabric in half lengthwise, so both unfinished edges are in the middle. The piece should now measure ¼” x 5.”
19. Sew it shut lengthwise.
20. Form a loop and place it between the back piece (step 8) and one of the front pieces. Use the safety pin to keep it in place. Make sure the pin is down far enough so you will not stitch over it.
21. Pin all the pieces in place.
22. Sew around the edge of the hot pad using a ¼” seam allowance.
23. Trim the edges and the corners.
24. Flip the potholder right side out. Use a tool to poke the corners out. I always use the bone folder that came with my Cricut Tool Kit.
Now you know how to sew a DIY hot pad. I hope my instructions have made this project easy for you. The first one may seem a little complicated. But once you make one, you will be throwing these things together in no time. There is a good chance it will be one of the first patterns you choose when you are looking for quick and easy homemade Christmas gift ideas.