How to Make a Bowl Cozy in Just 10 Steps

Bowl Cozy - free pattern from Tara Reed Designs

Bowl cozies are THE BEST! They are great for both hot or cold foods so if you want to enjoy a hot bowl of soup or protect your hands from a cold bowl of ice cream, this is for you!

Not only do they protect your hands and furniture but they double as built-in potholders when used with hot food.

Quick and easy to sew, bowl cozies make great gifts and are also a way to add seasonal fun to your home. They take up little space so why not make them for the holidays, season, special occasions and more?


MATERIALS

BASIC SUPPLIES


SAFETY NOTE: If you will use the bowl cozy in the microwave make sure to use 100% cotton fabric, thread and batting. Polyesters or metallics may catch fire (and who wants that??)

This pattern features fabric from the Homestead Life collection by Tara Reed Designs, manufactured and sold by Riley Blake Designs.


Create a Bowl Cozy in just 10 Simple Steps!

Step 1:

Place each square of fabric on top of a square of batting.

Step 2:

Mark diagonal lines for stitching and pin. (fig. 1)

For a basic square I often mark and sew with the batting on top to decrease the amount of lint that goes into my machine.

For quilt blocks where you want to be more precise with the center point I sew with the fabric on top.

Step 3:

Fold each piece in half, right sides together.

Place the FOLDED EDGE along a cutting mat OR measure 1” from the fold on the top and 2” down the fold. Mark. (fig. 2)

Repeat on the bottom edge and sew along both lines on both halves of the cozy.

Step 4:

Trim seam allowance to 1/8” to decrease bulk.

bowl cozy - layer and mark sewing lines
figure 1
bowl cozy - mark and sew darts
figure 2

Step 5:

When you open the squares they will sit like a bowl.

Turn one right side up and the other right side down. (It doesn’t matter which is which at this point…) 

Step 6:

Layer both halves with right sides together (fig. 3) and clip or pin so corners and darts line up.(fig. 4)

I use a different color clip to mark where to leave an opening for turning.

bowl cozy process photo - step 6
figure 3
figure 4

Step 7:

Sew around the edges with a 1/4” seam, turning your needle at the corners and the darts.

Leave about 3” open for turning.

I sew back and forth a few times to reinforce the opening so the stitching doesn’t come apart when turning the cozy right side out.

Step 8:

Trim corners being careful not to clip the stitching. (fig. 5)

Push out corners.

Step 9:

Shape so the fabrics are on the top and bottom as you want them. (fig. 6)

The first time you do this you might panic and think something is wrong (I did!) – it doesn’t look great until you add the topstitching!

Step 10:

Topstitch around the edge of the bowl, folding in the opening 1/4” to close. (fig. 7)

bowl cozy process photo - step 8
figure 5
bowl cozy process pic - step 9
figure 6
bowl cozy process pic - step 10
figure 7

Just like that YOU ARE DONE!

PREFER VIDEO TUTORIALS?
Go to the video blog post >

That was pretty easy, right? Don’t forget these are great gifts for a hostess, teacher, co-worker or anyone!

*Disclaimer: it is my understanding that any 100% cotton batting should work in the microwave but obviously do what you feel comfortable with. 

Have a happy & creative day!

– Tara Reed

P.S. If you make this pattern I’d love to see it and hear how you used it!


— LOVE THIS IDEA? —

Be sure to save it to Pinterest and follow me for more ideas and resources for sewing, crafting and creative living.

If you make this or other projects and post on Instagram, be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Follow my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

🧵 Tara Reed

P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

— YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE —

How to sew a key fob >

Easy coasters to sew in a snap > 

How to sew a plate cozy >

Comments

110 responses to “How to Make a Bowl Cozy in Just 10 Steps”

  1. Colleen Marsters Avatar
    Colleen Marsters

    Thank you.this looks great.

    1. Tara Reed Avatar

      You are very welcome! I’d love to see what you create!
      Tara

      1. I got gifted a whole lot of fabric. How can I tell if it’s 100% cotton?

        1. Tara Reed Avatar

          Some fabrics show on the selvage but most don’t. One way to tell is to grab a fistful and wrinkle it – if it wrinkles pretty easily it’s most likely cotton. Fabric with polyester in it won’t wrinkle very much. There is also something about a “burn test” – I’m not sure what that is about and don’t want to mislead you into setting your fabric on fire so you can google that and decide if you want to try it!

          1. Jeanie Marino Avatar
            Jeanie Marino

            If you burn a thread from cotton it becomes smoot ash. If you burn a thread from polyester it will have tiny melted grains left. Works every time!

          2. Tara Reed Avatar
            Tara Reed

            Interesting… the person who taught me to make these was very adamant about 100% cotton EVERYTHING so I pass that along. (She was very convincing…)

      2. Glenda Morgan Avatar
        Glenda Morgan

        Got a couple of cozies from a friend. I would like to try making one.

        1. Have fun! I love having different ones for each season and giving as gifts

      3. Tara, I made my first cozy this morning! Fun and easy. Although I have a question. When the cozy is complete, shouldn’t you be able to see 4 darts? I don’t. Did I put it together wrong?

        1. Hi Karen – you should be able to see the darts or the cozy wouldn’t have any shape – it would be flat like a hot pad (guess how I know this… 🙄) If your cozy has shape you are good to go!

    2. Dianna Warnock Avatar
      Dianna Warnock

      Thank you so much I love this you actually went step-by-step I appreciate that

      1. You are very welcome!

    3. Karen Sharrock Avatar
      Karen Sharrock

      I’m totally confused about one of the first steps. After you marked your diagonal X’s. Do you put your material on the batting both right sided down or up?

      1. I draw the X’s on the batting. Then put the fabric FACE DOWN and the batting on top of it so you can see the X. You are attaching the batting to the wrong sides of the fabric. Hope that helps!

  2. Where did you get the cow print fabric. I just love it. Thanks

    1. Tara Reed Avatar

      Thank you Evelyn! It’s from my Homestead Life fabric manufactured and sold by Riley Blake Designs. You can find it online at FatQuarterShop.com or check your favorite quilt/fabric shop or online fabric website.

  3. I hope to use up a lot of fabric scraps

    1. Tara Reed Avatar

      have fun! It’s a great way to use up scraps and they make great gifts 🙂

  4. how do you make a larger one, i have bowls with 9.5 inch top rims and the bowl base is 6.25. wasted 2 scraps so far trying to get it accurate,

    1. Tara Reed Avatar
      Tara Reed

      I haven’t made them bigger but I did find these recommendations from Craft Warehouse: Tip: If you would like to make these larger, simply make the squares of fabric and batting larger. 12″ or 14″ is good. Darts can be made deeper, but we recommend no larger than 1/2″ unless your squares are bigger than 14″.
      Hope that helps! Tara

      1. I make the cozys 12 to 14 inches so you can use them for serving bowls . I have made a lot of these larger ones and every one loves them

        1. Tara Reed Avatar

          Awesome! What size darts do you use? 1″ and 2″ or something different? I get asked how to do them bigger quite a bit!

          1. Georgine Keeling Avatar
            Georgine Keeling

            I love making and gifting the soup bowl cozies! Your instructional steps just make it soooooo much easier!!

          2. Glad you enjoy them – they are a great go-to gift. We use them every day at home too. 🙂

    2. Will they still be ok if you only use one layer of the batting?

      1. Tara Reed Avatar

        You could try it with one layer of batting but I don’t think the bowl will hold it’s shape as well, it won’t be as sturdy or as heat resistant. It’s bulkier to sew with two layers but I think it’s worth it.

        1. I’ve made them with one layer of batting–they still protect your hands, but don’t look as nice.

  5. Been wanting to make these, your instructions were super easy to follow!
    I will definitely buy the sewing clips, wish I’d had them 30 years ago!!
    Thanks,
    Larena

    1. Tara Reed Avatar
      Tara Reed

      I know! Those clips are such a time saver – and never draw blood from poking yourself. Have fun making bowl cozies – they are addictive!

      1. Do you have a video of this? I find your instructions confusing.

        1. Tara Reed Avatar

          sorry they aren’t making sense to you – I’ll be doing a video in October sometime, hopefully that will help

  6. what are the measurements for the darts on different size bowls

    1. Tara Reed Avatar
      Tara Reed

      I haven’t made them bigger but I did find these recommendations from Craft Warehouse: Tip: If you would like to make these larger, simply make the squares of fabric and batting larger. 12″ or 14″ is good. Darts can be made deeper, but we recommend no larger than 1/2″ unless your squares are bigger than 14″.
      Hope that helps! Tara

      1. Genie morris Avatar
        Genie morris

        How many inches down do you make a dart for 14 inch cozy. I know the top is 1 inch both sides but I don’t know how many inches to go down

        1. I haven’t made these in other sizes and it would depend on how deep the bowl is. I would cut 14″ pieces on paper then fold and tape different options to see what works best for you.

  7. Frances Golynia Avatar
    Frances Golynia

    Thank you for these really easy to use instructions.
    I’m making a couple of these, bigger than your pattern. I cut a square of spare fabric, guessing the size and laid it over the upturned bowl, putting the darts in to fit. The squares are 12 1/2 ins. The darts are exactly the same size as you suggested.

    1. Tara Reed Avatar
      Tara Reed

      Thanks for sharing – I’ve had a few questions about making them bigger!

  8. When making a bowl cozy, do you put batting on the inside of both of the squares?
    Thank you very much.

    1. Tara Reed Avatar
      Tara Reed

      Yes you do! So in the first steps it shows how you do a square of batting and a square fabric then sew diagonal across in both directions. You do that for each side before connecting them to form the bowl.

  9. Sally K Avatar
    Sally K

    Is there a certain batting to use? I’m new at this sewing experience 🙂

    1. Tara Reed Avatar
      Tara Reed

      You want to use a 100% cotton batting so it won’t catch fire in the microwave. 🙂

  10. Linda Avatar

    I filled out your capture form and still can’t get the pdf because the capture form comes up again.

    1. Tara Reed Avatar
      Tara Reed

      Hi Linda – Not sure why that happened, the form would have said “thank you for your submission” and then taken you to a page telling you to check your email. The email was sent your email address, with the link to the pdf, check your junk or spam for an email from tara @ tarareed.com Thanks and happy sewing! Tara

  11. Marcy McIntyre Avatar
    Marcy McIntyre

    I’ve made these bigger and I do a few things differently. I make the darts larger, if you don’t the sides become really floppy. If you want the sides of the bowl taller make the dart leg longer towards the center of the bowl. My preference is 1” width and 3-3 1/2” length for the dart. I also use 2 layers of batting on each side of the 2 fabrics.
    The last thing is experimenting with the the two diagonal lines that go from corner to corner of the bowl. I tried using circles, squares and a diamond in the center of the bowl. My preference is the diamond. I connect the bottom of the dart legs to form the diamond shape. This step to make a definite shape to the bottom is in my mind just as important as the top edge. Next bowl I’m going to try rounded edges❣️

    1. Tara Reed Avatar
      Tara Reed

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing the tips Marcy! 😍

  12. Eleanor Sessoms Avatar
    Eleanor Sessoms

    I luv to sew and now that I’m getting older I like making things that are more crafty and different. This project looks very interesting to me. Thanks

    1. Tara Reed Avatar
      Tara Reed

      I hope you like it! We use these almost every day at our house!

  13. Hello, Do you have to use two layers of batting?

  14. Nancy Johnson Avatar
    Nancy Johnson

    I don’t know what thickness of batting and which brands to order when ordering from Joanne fabric store.They are the only place to get fabric and notions near where I live.They have curbside pickup.I will order from you and Amazon but found Joannes was the only place to go into and see and feel the fabric and batting before covid came .Thank you for the availability to print the pattern.

    1. Tara Reed Avatar

      I have a link to the kind I use at the bottom of the blog post. The most important thing is 100% cotton so it won’t melt or catch fire in a microwave!

  15. chris mcintosh Avatar
    chris mcintosh

    I love these best without the top stitching!

    1. Tara Reed Avatar

      That’s the beauty of sewing, right? We get to make them exactly the way we like them!

    2. When I am sewing these, my thread keeps snapping, moreso when I am back stitching. Has this happened to anyone else? Is this a tension issue?

      1. Oh that’s frustrating! My guess is that it is a tension issue – these are pretty thick (as I’m sure you know!) so it’s important to use a sharp needle and go slowly on the thicker parts like the corners and darts. I would suggest you look up tension suggestions or troubleshooting for thread breaking for your specific sewing machine. Good luck!

  16. Hello, thanks for the awesome idea! I read in one of your previous responses that you were planning to upload a video tutorial, have you done that? I’m not the greatest at following written instructions lol Thanks!

    1. Tara Reed Avatar

      Coming soon – I promise! Just a lot I’m juggling behind the scenes

  17. Can you make these with a square bowl, the bowl is about10 inch bowl?

    1. Tara Reed Avatar

      I use mine with a square bowl quite often – it is 6″ across and 2.5″ high. You would need to play with enlarging the pattern for it to work with a 10″ bowl – maybe a 15″ square with bigger pleats, but I’m not sure what exactly. I’ve only made this size. If you have success please let us know!

  18. Lauri Drosendahl Avatar
    Lauri Drosendahl

    I often use folded up terrycloth dish cloths to remove bowls from the microwave. My question is, instead of batting, do you think I could use old towels as batting?? It seams I should be able to, but I am not sure why I’ve never seen this suggestion in the various directions I have read.

    1. Tara Reed Avatar

      I guess you could try it! If the towel had any texture it would make the whole thing bumpy and I’m not sure if there would be a difference in how much heat was transferred through the cozy. Please let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

  19. when you make your cozy bowl you say to use 100% cotton batting you do not say use wrap n zap cotton batting I heard the you should the wrap n zap because the other cotton batting could start on fire in the microwave.

    1. Tara Reed Avatar

      Wrap N Zap is one brand’s cotton batting – it is my understanding that any 100% cotton batting should work but obviously do what you feel comfortable with.

      1. Ann Flanagan Avatar
        Ann Flanagan

        Hi! I just followed your Youtube tutorial on making bowl cozies. The batting you use looks nice and thin (but still thick enough to do the job), not as bulky as the Wrap and Zap I’ve tried using. It makes it so hard to sew through all the layers. Any suggestions on another kind of cotton batting that works well, but isn’t as thick?
        Thank you!

        1. Tara Reed Avatar
          Tara Reed

          I actually used the Wrap & Zap… I always use a new needle when doing the topstitching so it’s nice and sharp and move very slowly on the corners and at the darts.

        2. Mona Fenton Avatar
          Mona Fenton

          Hi…love these cozies, but if I want to make the bottom where the bowl sits a little bigger could I just shorten the darts by a 1/4 inch ?

          1. You could start with a bigger square and keep the darts the same so you still have enough coming up around the bowl to act as a potholder. I haven’t tried it myself so if you do, please report back!

  20. Ani Joseph Avatar
    Ani Joseph

    Love your video I also love your sewing machine can you share what sewing machine you are using in the video? Thank you.

    1. Tara Reed Avatar
      Tara Reed

      Thank you! I used a Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9450 – love their machines (and no, that’s not a paid endorsement 😉)

  21. Nancy K Avatar

    What size / point needle do you recommend? If broken several needles when top stitching over the darts 😢. Thank you

    1. Tara Reed Avatar
      Tara Reed

      That can be a bit thick – I’ve broken a needle or two myself! I use a basic 90/14 needle usually. Use a new needle (so it’s nice and sharp!) and go really slowly over those thick points. Hope that helps!

      1. Hi can u use cotton poplin

        1. If it is 100% cotton it should work.

  22. Kathi Jackson Avatar
    Kathi Jackson

    Wondering about the plexiglass templates on Etsy. Asked if they had instructions and your site was mentioned. You use 10×10 squares and the templates are not squares. Do you have any instructions for bowl cozy that use these templates?

    1. Sorry I don’t – I’m not even sure what templates you are referring to.

  23. Everything needs to be 100% cotton and the batting must not have a scrim on it.
    The reason is that when heated in a microwave anything other than cotton including thread can easily catch fire.

  24. Tip: make one first and test with your bowls before you cut out all of the material. I learned the hard way. When I get to the topstitch over the darts I manually turn my needle with my hand until I’m over the seam.

  25. I have a stash of 100% cotton flannel fabric. Have you heard of flannel being used for making a bowl cozy and/or do you think it would be suitable? Thanks!

    1. That’s a great question… since it’s 100% cotton it shouldn’t be a fire hazard however I feel like it would absorb more moisture than you might like since it’s more porous than a cotton, but I haven’t tried it. Please report back if you do!
      Tara

  26. Can you tell me what kind of wooden pointing tool you use. I’ve searched for one like it on-line and can’t find anything like it.

    Thanks so much for your wonderfully clear and detailed video. I’m just learning, and you’ve been so helpful. 😇

    1. I just added a link to the blog post but I use the Alex Anderson’s 4-in-1 Essential Sewing Tool (it’s a turner, presser, seam ripper and stiletto all in one!) You can find it on Amazon (affiliate link) here > https://amzn.to/2YBl701 Have fun making these!

  27. It’s the best tutorial video I’ve seen, you’re not long winded. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    1. You are welcome and yes – I like a shorter, to the point video myself so that’s what I try to make. I think it takes a lot longer to edit which might be why many aren’t – or if they post something they did live? Happy bowl cozy sewing!

  28. I made a few bowl cozies fro Christmas this year. I used flannel (100% cotton) and have had no issues with the moisture. Since flannel is a little heavier then regular cotton I have just put in one layer of wrap 7 zap batting, it seems to hold up pretty well.

    1. Thanks for the tips! I’ll have to try that

      1. Becky Reid Avatar
        Becky Reid

        Can you use 100% screen printed material to make the microwave bowl holders?

        1. That is out of my wheelhouse – I’m not sure. You’d need to research whether the paints can safely go in the microwave I guess

  29. I made my bowl cozies out of cotton cut to 11″ because my bowls are a little wider than some. Everything else was the same [including the 1 X 2 darts] as per your excellent instructions.

    Later, I tried experimenting using some heavier homespun type cotton fabric [an old napkin] for one layer and quilt cotton for the contrast. I sewed 1 layer cotton batting to the quilting cotton, plus 1 extra layer of quilt cotton sewn to the back of the heavier fabric. It felt just right when all 3 layers were sewn together. I had experimented holding various layers of fabric and batting together before cutting out and sewing, choosing what felt best. Two layers of cotton batting when using the thicker napkin as one layer added unwieldy bulk.

    1. Thanks for the info – always interesting to see how people modify. Enjoy!

  30. Kathleen Alexander Avatar
    Kathleen Alexander

    I’m new to using the walking foot and it is puckering my fabric. I’ve tried loosening tension on presser foot and the top stitch and still when I get done sewing the first two lines diagonally, I have to slightly tug on each end to straighten. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong.

    1. Unfortunately I’m not sure what to tell you. I would google your machine and the issue or see if there is a store that sells the brand that could help. Good luck!

  31. Glory Mahaffey Avatar
    Glory Mahaffey

    I have made over 50+ of these. I love your detailed steps. I modified the dart to be deeper and longer. I also made a template of the dart, so I do not have to measure each dart. I can’t tell you what a game changer this is. I also cut out 20 to 30 at a time, sports, Christmas, Halloween, summer, etc. I give them as gifts. I also made smaller than normal napkins to match. I’ll probably be doing another 100 before Christmas. I also save this to my efile. Tyfs.

    1. What a great idea and you sew girl! 100 more? That’s amazing!

  32. Diane R Shaffer Avatar
    Diane R Shaffer

    I’d like to give this project a try over the next week. What’s an efficient way to cut the cotton fabric and the batting into 10″ squares so the lines are straight?

    1. I would recommend using a rotary cutter with a self-healing mat and quilting / fabric ruler. You can find all of those things at any fabric store, many craft stores and on Amazon. Have fun!

  33. Iris Gluzman Avatar
    Iris Gluzman

    Thank you for putting the time to create a tutorial for us. I am about to try them today. One quick question, after attaching the batting to the fabric, do you quilt? I would assume it will give the bowl more structure.

    1. I just do the stitching from corner to corner on each set of fabric and batting but you can do more. You could also try and add some quilting after you have sewn it all together – totally personal preference. We feel like it works great as-is for our bowls. Let me know what you decide!

  34. Love that she goes a little slow to explain each step.

    1. Have fun making these!

  35. Are the darts the same size if you want to make a larger cozy, like 12 or 14 inches square?

    1. I think others have said they used the same dart size for 12″ but not sure about 14″ (check the comments.) I would recommend pinning the darts and checking the bowl(s) you would use them with and decide what you want. Have fun!

  36. Patricia Avatar

    THANK YOU!

    Your post promised a printable and free pattern and there it was 🙂 Not what most are doing these days.

    I can’t wait to try this!

    1. You are very welcome! Have fun!

  37. Robyn Sinnette Avatar
    Robyn Sinnette

    These are easy precise instructions. Thank you

    1. You are very welcome!

      1. i like your totorial i could undetrstand it im going to try making some for gifts soon got to get fabric i got the batting anxious thanks for your good information very easy

  38. Do you preshrink your fabric & batting? I do & it seems to make the batting even thicker & harder to sew through. Also what kind of machine are you using?

    1. I preshrink the fabric but not the batting. And I have a Janome M7 Continental.

  39. Thank-you for the inspiration – I haven’t really sewed much since 1990!! I finished a mini production line of 6 using this video & have since joined my local Boomerang Bag group – to continue sewing straight lines.
    Very impressed your machine can do the knots, I ended up winging it & left most threads untied – year of living dangerously 😉 Love the clips – will look for those in the future.
    I see your point about which angle to film from given the tight spaces – from above perhaps?
    Will have to look around your website & see what else I can have a go at making. Again, thank-you for making things anyone can try – cheers

    1. Hi Lisa – glad you found me, I”m all about quick and easy things to whip up (and I’m getting better at filming angles to see what on earth I’m doing!) Be sure to bookmark my blog and/or subscribe to my YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/@ArtistTaraReed – so you don’t miss anything! Happy sewing!

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