Saturday, May 19, 2012

DIY Oven Mitt Potholders

It all started when Mom got these great potholders. At some point, I guess she decided that our conglomeration of square hot pads were either worn out, or just not good enough.
And that's when it started. My sister and I got spoiled.

The new potholders were the perfect mix of oven mitt and hot pad. They totally protected your hands while moving things in or out of the oven, yet were not bulky and hand-shaped like your standard oven mitt- so you could use them to set pots on at the dinner table.

One problem, however. You don't get to move the perfect things you grew up with when you move out of the house.

My first Christmas, guess what I asked my handy sister for? These potholders. Now, though, for some reason they were hard to find in the store, unless one wanted to pay at least $10 per each. Too much. My handy sister took a few quick seconds to look at it, and decided she could make some on her own. And so she did, and my kitchen is happily stocked with beautiful red potholders just like I grew up with.

This year, I decided my mother-in-law's kitchen needed some of these, so I embarked on a creative journey of my own. I'm not as handy as my sister, but thought I could figure it out.
Here's how I made them.

What you need:
1 bath towel
Seam Binding (about 1 yd per potholder.)

I was able to get 6 potholders out of 1 towel. I was giving these as a gift, and knew I could fit 5 on the towel, but 5 seemed like a weird number so I figured out how to piece together the last piece so I could get 6. She has a big family and 6 would suit her kitchen fine.

Ultimately you'll have to go by the size of towel that you bought. I got mine at Walmart, for 3.97
I could've spent more on a thicker towel but the next step up was about $15. When you use a thinner towel, you'll want to double up the piece that goes on the palm of your hand.

Making my own seam binding
I chose to save a little money and make my own seam binding. It comes in 3 yd packages, so for 4 or 6 you'll need 2 packages. This is up to you. Here's a tutorial from my handy sister of how to make your own seam binding. She says the width doesn't matter, but for this project, I'd err on the side of the larger, since three layers of towels gets pretty thick.

So for 6 potholders, you need 12 big pieces and 6 small pieces. I traced around the ones in my kitchen on a piece of scrap paper for a pattern. You can choose to fit enough for 6 on your towel, or go with 4 or 5.

1) Wash and dry your towel on hot. This will make your towel easier to work with, and prevents any shrinkage when washing your finished oven mitts.
2) Cut out pieces. Cut the small pieces along the finished edge of the towel. This saves you having to finish the edge, and gives you a bit of decor.
Here's the piece I pieced together to get 6 potholders instead of 5. The seam was mostly hidden, as I used it for the middle piece.

3) Sew 2 big pieces together, very close to the edge.
Sewing 2 layers together
4) Sew the small pieces on top- being sure the pretty side is on top/the outside. Again, stitch very close to the edge.
Sewing the small piece on top, making sure the wrong side is hidden
5) Starting at the corner, sew the seam binding around the outsides, securing all raw edges. When you come to the end, use the last bit to secure the first edge of the seam binding, and fold the last little part into a loop. Secure the edge with your last stitches.
Securing the  raw edge of the seam binding
Making the loop
Stitching down the loop

Completed project!

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