My So Called Crafty Life

12 Days of Handmade Gifts- DIY Recipe Potholders

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Hello there! Welcome to day two of my 12 Days of Handmade Gifts. Today I am going to show you how to make these fun recipe pot holders. I love hot pads, but mine are getting pretty nasty, so I thought I would try making some. I know a lot of you are familiar with Spoonflower. For those who are not, Spoonflower is a print on demand fabric company that will print your design onto fabric, wallpaper, wall clings, and now even wrapping paper. I have ordered from them twice now and have been really happy with the quality of the printing as well as the fabric. It’s a great tool for artists and crafters, and I’m sure you will see many more projects from me in the future that involve their fabric. When I decided to make hot pads for christmas gifts this year, I thought it would be fun to include a special family recipe on them. The cookie recipe is my grandmothers, her pecan cookies were a big hit around the holidays. The other recipe is for cheese straws that my Aunt Jamie makes and they are so delicious they always disappear within a day. These little pot holders whip up really quick, so you could make a whole batch in an hour or two!


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IMG 5232 323x600 12 Days of Handmade Gifts  DIY Recipe Potholders First decide how large you want your pot holder to be. I made mine 9″. They ended up being closer to 8″ though because I trimmed them down after quilting. To make the recipe, in your photo editing program first type up your recipe and save your file. Then, make a new page that is 18″x22″ for a fat quarter. Now drag and drop your recipe onto the blank page, repeating until you fill up the page with them. You want to make sure that your recipe is as wide as your pot holder so when you cut it out it won’t be too small. I made my recipes 8″ with 1/2″ of white space on either side, and I was able to fit six in a fat quarter. Save your page of recipes, upload them to spoonflower and buy your fat quarter. When your fabric arrives cut out your recipes to 9″ wide by however tall your recipe is. Cut two squares of your pretty fabric, one square of warm and natural batting, and one square of your heat protective batting for each pot holder. For the pocket, cut lining fabric and batting the same size as your recipe fabric. Now layer your square and pocket pieces in the following order; place your pretty fabric face down, then place your heat protective batting on top, then your warm and natural batting on top of the first batting and then the other piece of pretty fabric face up. Starting diagonally in one corner mark your quilting lines. I made mine 1.5″ apart, then turn your fabric and mark the other direction so you end up with a diagonal grid for sewing. Stitch all your layers together row by row until all of your pieces are quilted. If you need to, trim your sides down so they are neat and even. Take your pocket piece and stitch a length of bias tape on the top raw edge. Make a loop with bias tape or ricrac and staystitch in one corner for hanging with the loop facing in towards the middle. Now you are ready to bind with your bias tape. You can staystitch your pocket to the front of your square or you can pin it in place. Open up your bias tape all the way. Take the shorter edge and lay down flush with the side of your square, stitch down in the crease of the first fold all the way around your pot holder stretching around curves. If you want to do mitered corners, you can find a great tutorial Here and Here. Now fold your bias tape over the edge encasing the raw edge of your pot holder. Pin in place and stitch down close to the edge. Clip threads and you are finished.

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I have to say that even though my degree is in fashion, and I like to sew, I’m not a perfect seamstress. This was the first time I have ever used batting, and let me tell you, when batting is involved, bias tape is not my friend. I am not totally happy with the binding, but I do think they are cute. I love adding the recipe to the mix. They make great gifts, and adding a family recipe makes them special and heartfelt. I think they’d be fantastic given with a tin of cookies from the recipe, a complete and personal gift! These little hot pads make a sweet addition to your kitchen too. And with all the amazing fabric out there, you could make one for every season and occasion. I hope I’ve inspired a few of you to give Spoonflower a try, it’s really fun! Be sure to tune in next week for more fun and easy handmade gift tutorials!

Happy Crafting!

45 Thoughts on “12 Days of Handmade Gifts- DIY Recipe Potholders

  1. Love your blog! Just found you, excited for the next ten days of your Christmas crafting!!

  2. i love your recipe pot holders!! they are adorable and such a great idea to share family recipes!! plus no digging in recipe boxes or books looking for grandma’s recipe- just pull out the hot pad! love this!!

  3. Teresa Moore on 1 December, 2012 at 2:17 pm said:

    I love this idea. Too late for me to do this year, but maybe next year.

  4. Rosonia Burton on 3 December, 2012 at 4:55 pm said:

    I totally love your pot holders. I just do not know what “fat quarter” means. What photo editing software do you recommend. Please help me out.

    • Hi Rosonia, I used adobe photoshop elements for editing. To make it fit you want to make a page that is 9″ wide for your recipe and type that in using the type tool. Then save your recipe and open it back up. Create a new page that is 21×18 inches which is the size of a fat quarter, and drag and drop your recipe onto the fat quarter page several times until you fill it. Then save your fat quarter file and upload it to spoonflower. They have some great tutorials for working with designing the fabric here:

  5. Teresa on 5 December, 2012 at 4:04 pm said:

    LOOOOVE this idea! Going to use it to ‘display’ my cherished recipes!

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  7. My friend NEEDS these so much. Specifically because she doesn’t have pot holders. She uses towels. The problem is that i don’t have a sewing machine! Is there any way I can do it with out one?

  8. Emily G on 14 April, 2013 at 10:53 pm said:

    Great idea! I’m thinking about making these for Mother’s Day. Not sure if I’ll get the fabric in time, but I’m going to give it a shot. What type/color of fabric did you order from Spoonflower for these?

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  10. Hey Ashlee, this is a really cool idea. This was on the “popular” category on Pinterest and it brought me here.
    1. I can’t remember recipes AT ALL, so I love something like this. 2. I can’t sew AT ALL, so the potholders in these pictures do make you look like a “perfect seamstress” to me.

  11. Emily G on 30 April, 2013 at 5:24 pm said:

    Hi! I have my fabric now and was looking over the directions again. I’m a little confused about this step: “Open up your bias tape all the way. Take the shorter edge and lay down flush with the side of your square, stitch down in the crease of the first fold”
    I tried staring at the picture that refers to this step, but can’t figure out exactly where/how you are stitching. I haven’t used bias tape very much so maybe that’s my problem.

  12. Lori C on 9 October, 2013 at 9:10 am said:

    What a fantastic idea! All those family recipes which have been handed-down for generations can be shared in a utilitarian way. Love it!

  13. Mary Counts on 15 October, 2013 at 12:53 pm said:

    We have 15 grandkids, 2 step grandkids, & 2 great grandkids. We have had to stop buying for our 6 children & spouses. I have Made pillows, candles, tea towels, etc, thru the years, for them, but my health is not always where I can do that. This is Perfect! Something they will love. A recipe of My Mom’s, handmade, and not tons of work, that I can work on as I feel like it! Thank you so much!

    • Wow! And I thought I had a lot of people to gift for :) I am so so glad that you love the project! The best reward I get from this blog is seeing people create things they love for people they love using my tutorials! I hope you have a blast making your huge stack of pot holders! Have a wonderful holiday season!

  14. Nancy ramm on 1 November, 2013 at 11:32 am said:

    Would you consider making for me ? I am not handy at all. If so, just let me know the price per each one.


    • Hi Nancy! I can make them for you, and would be happy to. They probably would cost much more than if you were buying them from a store. I would say they would be $15 to $20 each plus shipping. I know personally that would be over my budget. If you are looking for an alternative, you could always buy premade pot holders and use heat bond for applique to attach the recipe to the potholder. I am not sure how permanent that would work, but it would be much faster and easier. Let me know if you would like me to make some for you. Have a fantastic week :)

  15. Karen Bradshaw on 9 November, 2013 at 10:39 am said:

    What type of padding do you use for the potholders. I love the idea of printing recipes

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  17. I’m not sure I have the capability to create the recipe on my computer. I have
    Picasa, and Windows Live Photo Gallery, and Microsoft Publisher. Will any of those work?

    • I am not sure about those programs, but I believe you can use to create a recipe if you do not have photoshop elements or something similar. also has the ability to create a collage which would help you fit multiple recipes on one page. Hope this helps :)

  18. Really love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Gloria on 17 January, 2014 at 1:40 pm said:

    I made these as Christmas gifts for my family this past year and they LOVED them! I chose one of the recipes I’m known to make for any occasion. I have to tell you, I printed out my own recipes on my own printer using a regular word program and some sew in fabric that I had normally used to print pictures on for some quilts I had made a few years ago. I found that way easier than sending my recipe to a company to have it printed on fabric? Then I just sewed the recipe piece to the smaller piece of fabric with a zig zag stitch. I gave the potholder and a plastic spoon with each one and included a little poem I found online, describing the gift and pointing out that it was made from the heart so might not be perfect. Everyone loved them.
    Thanks so much for sharing this idea online.

  20. raksha on 9 June, 2014 at 10:57 am said:

    Very beautiful to look at and so unique idea about the printed recipe on it which makes the pot holder like a jewel for keeps.

    • raksha on 9 June, 2014 at 11:03 am said:

      I love to make pot holders for myself but never thought of giving them out as gifts. Am not sure about printing the recipes on them as I do not know anyone in nairobi who would do for me

  21. Carolyn A Lewis on 9 June, 2014 at 11:17 pm said:

    Ashlee…..this is a wonderful idea and I can’t wait to get started on my own. I love the thought that went into such a creative idea to personalize a potholder that will be a used until is it faded, worn and tattered. What a treasured meaningful keepsake these will become.

    • Thank you so much Carolyn! I made these for my all my ladies in the family with my grandmother’s famous cookie recipe. They have become very special and a good remembrance of my grandma :) I hope you have a blast making your own!

  22. i really like the pot holder, but how do you get the recipe on the cloth? i would really like to give them to my kids.

  23. Barbara on 10 January, 2015 at 7:09 pm said:

    Where did you find those great measuring spoons? This is a great gift idea. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  24. Cindy Sherwood on 18 January, 2015 at 9:29 am said:

    Ashlee, as the oldest kid (and grandkid and great-grandkid) on both sides of my family, I have all these recipes from both grandmas, etc., that I need to do this with. They would be great to give as shower gifts for my nieces, nephews and my cousins’ kids. All the grandmas are gone, but the ones I don’t have I can get from my aunts. Thank you for this wonderful idea.

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