12 Days of Handmade Gifts- DIY Recipe Potholders

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!


 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.

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!

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72 Responses

  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

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

  4. Rosonia Burton

    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: http://www.spoonflower.com/help#design_help

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

  6. […] mysocalledcraftylife.com via Amber on […]

  7. they are so adorable!

  8. 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?

    • Thanks Hila! You could handstitch them , but I think that would take a long time. If you were going to hand stitch, i wouldn’t quilt them to save time. Have a great holiday!

      • Sheila

        You might be able to assemble these with some sort of fabric glue

  9. Emily G

    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?

  10. […] | 5. DIY Gardening Kit from Odessa May Society | 6. Homemade Marshmallows from The Frugal Girl | 7. DIY Handmade Recipe Pot Holders from My So Called Crafty Life | 8. Christmas in a Jar with Printable Labels from Dandee Designs […]

  11. 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.

    • Haha, Nisha, you cracked me up! Noooo I am not a perfect seamstress at all 😉 But I am so glad that you enjoyed my project, and I hope I inspired you to give it a try sometime! It’s really fun!

  12. Emily G

    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.

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

  14. Mary Counts

    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!

  15. Nancy ramm

    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 :)

  16. Karen Bradshaw

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

  17. […] DIY Recipe Pot Holders @ My So Called Crafty Life […]

  18. 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 picmonkey.com to create a recipe if you do not have photoshop elements or something similar. Picmonkey.com also has the ability to create a collage which would help you fit multiple recipes on one page. Hope this helps :)

  19. Really love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

  20. 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.

  21. raksha

    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

      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

      • Thank you Raksha! If you can get iron on transfers for the printer you can use those, or you could free hand the recipe on plain fabric with a permanent marker like a sharpie :)

  22. Carolyn A Lewis

    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!

  23. 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.

    • Hi Lori! You can get the recipe printed at Spoonflower.com, or you can get printable fabric sheets from the craft store and print them on your printer. These are so fun to make! Hope you have a blast!

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

    • Thank you Barbara! The spoons I got a few years ago from Anthropologie. They still have cute sets, but not this particular design. I also found some cute ones at world market a while back.

      • Heather

        I was going to ask about the measuring spoons, I thought they might be anthropologie. But my next thought was, if I had a blog, a anthropologie hack of these with white ceramic measuring spoons and sharpies or ceramic pens. Thank you for sharing all that you do and love. We seem to have similar tastes.

  25. Cindy Sherwood

    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.

    • Thank you Cindy! I hope you enjoy making them for your family! Keepsakes and things with special meanings behind them are like the best things ever, aren’t they!

  26. Marnie Houston

    I was told you could print on fabric with any laser printer if you out iron on stabilizer behind it. Has anyone tried this? If you use a wash away iron on stabilizer it could be washed out before you start making them.

  27. Jenny

    Hi there. I found your blog through freesewing this evening. I live in South Africa and we don’t have anyone to print our fabric for us either. I use unbleached calico soaked in starch, ironed and dried as per the manufacturer’s instructions then cut my fabric the size of an A4 page and put these through my printer. Works like a charm.

    • Thanks so much for the tip Jenny!

    • Jenny, When I was little, mom made me simple sun bonnets, soaked them in liquid starch, and flattened to dry on the refrigerator. It seems so weird to talk about that effort as something desirableI But today it seems like a vintage craft I’d like to revive. However, can’t seem to find liquid starch anymore. I envy you!!

      I’d like to know if you can launder your fabric after printing? And what type of printer are you using?

  28. […] Great Gift-Giving DIY – Homemade Recipe Pot Holders […]

  29. What about ironing on freezer paper on the back for a stabilizer? I love this idea if it works through the printer to cut down costs. I can see my church craft group doing a collection of mug rugs or kitchen art, one for each lady with her favorite recipe for a snack to eat with whatever might be served in the mug. I find the group cookbook is becoming obsolete for many people since the advent of the “recipes online.” I’m glad I’ve preserved my family faves on my computer. I’ll need to experiment with my computer today. So can the items be washed after being printed at Spoonflower or a laser printer?

    • Sorry for the delay darlin! It’s been a little crazy here. You can wash the spoonflower fabric, the different fabrics they have have different wash directions. Most of them are wash in cold water and line dry from what I remember. I am not sure about the lazer printer fabric sheets. Mug rugs sound like a fantastic idea too, and very clever for a craft group project! Have fun!

  30. Printer/freezer paper update. I have successfully printed a family recipe on a piece of canvas dropcloth ironed onto a piece of freezer paper. I had to put a piece of cardstock behind the fabric/freezer paper to get it to feed through my printer. I learned NOT to choose “iron on transfer” in the media choices, because my printer flips the whole design over. My recipe looked like it had been printed in the far East. I turned the recipe into a mug rug and did some quilting. I also learned to center the design on the piece of paper on my computer vertically. I did that horizontally. And I had an idea i wanted to fussy cut the center with the recipe in a hexagon shape. I didn’t have enough fabric left at the top to do that.

    I printed my projects on a Lexmark 5100-6000 series machine which I’ve had for a while.

    I know I need to try washing my recipe mug rug to see if the design will STAY on the fabric. But I like it so much, I might have to wimp out and try the washing on project 2. I have already printed a recipe and a photograph for those.

    Thanks so much for the cool idea, and to your followers who helped me realize I could print my designs, and then do creative things with that fabric..

    Tomorrow, I am going to design some recipes for life and inspirational quotes that will fit in my hexagon center.

    What an inspiration you have been!

    • This is awesome! Thank you for writing this comment about your experience with printing! So glad you are enjoying this project! Would love to see some of your projects :) xoxo

  31. Such a novel idea. Sure to be a hit at Christmas! Thanks.

  32. I was just looking around for Christmas gift ideas and found this. Thank you!!!

  33. Thank so much I loved

  34. I do not understand how you got the recipe printed on the fabric ?

    • You create a digital file of the recipe and then upload and print the file at Spoonflower.com You can also get printable fabric at the fabric store that you can print from a home printer. I always use spoonflower because the quality and it holds up when washing.

  35. Saw these that someone on Facebook had made. Fantastic idea!!!

  36. I love this blog! I will continue to watch for more in the future!

  37. WHERE did you get those measuring spoons????? they are the cutest thing I have seen

  38. Where do you get your heat proof batting?

    • I bought mine at JoAnns. You can ask the gals at the cutting counter and they will direct you to the aisle it’s on. At my store they keep it on the same aisle with the outdoor fabrics which is not where I would have expected to find it. :)

  39. Barbara Bowling

    Love the idea, but rather than pay someone, you can print your own fabric for the pot holder. I have printed out pictures and verses for years to put on pillow covers, totes, etc. At Joann’s you can get packets of printable fabric to use in your home printer. Check it out!