Turn Old Towels Into Pot Holders!

Turn Old Towels Into Pot Holders!

Hi Live Creatively Inspired readers!  I’m thrilled to be here with my first post!  My name is Jenny and I blog over at Days of Chalk and Chocolate. It’s my slice of the blog world where I share craft, recipe, teaching, and DIY ideas!

We recently replaced all of our old bath towels with new ones. I was happy to have new, pretty towels but I didn’t have the heart to throw away the old ones that were dingy and starting to get worn in spots. I didn’t need a million towels for wiping off the dog so I decided to re-purpose them into pot holders!  It is an easy and quick project and I am happy to share it with you today!

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You’ll need old towels or thick terry cloth fabric, fabric for the outside pieces, coordinating thread, and basic sewing notions along with a sewing machine.  These directions are for 1 pot holder, by the way.

I used an old pot holder to size my fabric, increasing the size by a half-inch on all sides for the seam allowance (my measurement was 8″x8″).

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 Cut out one square from the towel and two from your cover fabric. You’ll have three squares all the same size.

Layer them from bottom to top:  terry cloth, fabric square right side up, fabric square right side down.

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Sew around the edge, through all three layers, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, and leaving an opening for turning the pot holder right side out.  Clip the corners for easier turning.

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Turn your pot holder right side out. You’ll need to turn the terry cloth and its closest piece of cover fabric together as if they are one piece so that your terry cloth is sandwiched between the two cover pieces.  Fold in the opening and pin. Top stitch about a 1/4″-1/2″ from the edge all the way around, sewing the opening closed.

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Now you can leave your pot holder like this but I chose to quilt diagonal stitches to keep the terry cloth from rippling or shifting inside.  I did this in two ways. The first was to simply sew a line, back-stitch, cut thread. Repeat over and over. This created a ton of threads that needed to be clipped. The second time I used a different method and it was quicker and neater.

Begin sewing a straight stitch from one corner to the opposite corner. Stop when you reach your top stitching.

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Turn the pot holder 90 degrees, sew an inch or so (you’ll be sewing on top of your top stitching) and turn 90 degrees again. Stitch another line straight until you reach your top stitching. Your second line of stitching will be parallel with your first. Continue sewing and turning until you have run out of space and have reached the corner. Back-stitch to secure.

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Complete the other half the same way. Then turn the pot holder 180 degrees and repeat the whole procedure to create a criss-cross pattern.

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I love my new pot holders!  They are thin enough to bend to grasp handles securely but thick enough to keep me from burning myself. I plan on whipping up a bunch to use up more of the old towels!

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Thanks for visiting Live Creatively Inspired! I’ll be back here in a week or so but you can always find me at Days of Chalk and Chocolate


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  1. Jennifer, what a great idea! Thanks for sharing with us! ~Tammy
    Tammy Killough recently posted…Chippy Sheet Music Step StoolMy Profile

  2. Eleanor Treole :

    Jenny, these are lovely! So easy, why didn’t I ever think of that?. Do I have old towels? YOU BET!!! It’s also a good way to refurbish older pot holders with outer fabric that is worn and ripping. But still protective of my hands. Thanks! You are wonderfully creative and economical!

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