How To: Recycled Pot Holders

Several years ago I mentioned my recycled pot holders, but never told how I made the work horses.

I made these from recycled towels and jeans, and fabric I had in my stash. We’ve been using them since I made them in February 2011! That’s really amazing for us that they lasted so long since we cook all of the time and really use them.

New pot holders from recycled stuff
Pot holders from recycled stuff

They still had some life left in them, but they were so soiled and starting to fall apart. Here’s what they looked like before I threw them in the trash the other day.

Old worn out potholders
Old potholders

Here are the new ones.

new potholders
new potholders

So let’s get started.

For making these pot holders we will be using old jeans, towels, and fabric. Look for those thin towels you’ve had around the house. Any old jeans will work. The top fabric can be anything. This was fabric I bought in Hawaii on our honeymoon. The small pieces of fabric are for the hanging loops.


In addition to the material for your pot holders, you will need your sewing machine, thread, iron, and scissors or rotary cutter.

Square pot holders measure between 7″ – 9″.  For these directions I’ll use an 8″ square, but the size can be increased or decreased, depending on the size you need.

  • 8-inch square of jean material for the back
  • 8-inch square of cotton material for the front
  • 7.5-inch square of towel as the inner insulating pad
  • 5 x 3 inch piece of top fabric for hanging loop

Let’s work on the loop first. Fold the loop fabric in half with wrong sides together and iron.

loop2 Then open up and fold each side to the center fold you just made.

loop3Fold that over and iron. Stitch on both long sides.

Next add that loop to the left side of the front side of the top fabric and pin.

recycledpotholders2Now to layer the fabric sandwich. The towel is first, jean fabric side up, and front fabric faced down. If you look closely, on the right side of the top fabric you can see where I pinned the loop.

recycledpotholders3You can pin or not before taking to the machine. I used these cute little clips.


Then to the sewing machine to sew a 1/2 inch seam around the fabric sandwich leaving at least a three-inch opening for turning.


Trim away seam allowance and clip corners.


Turn inside out. I use a bone folder to pop out the corners.


Press entire pot holder, folding over the area that was not sewn.


Starting at the open area, sew around the whole pot holder  ½ inch from edge. I do this twice. And you are done.

new potholdersAnd here is what they look like on the back.

recycledpotholders10If you forget to add the hanging loop before sewing (as I did on one of them) you can add it after you have top stitched the whole piece.

You can also free motion quilt or just stitch over the entire piece. I chose to leave these plain this time.

There you have it! Great sturdy pot holders made of recycled materials.

It’s snowing today. Good day to stay in and play. I might even do a bit of snow dyeing too! Stay warm and have a great week.