By Erin Huffstetler | 08/11/2020 | No Comments
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Save the pockets from your worn out jeans, and use them to make a set of potholders, complete with pockets for your hands.
I just made a bunch of these to give as Christmas gifts. As grungy as potholders tend to get, I think most people could use a replacement set – especially a nice set like these.
They’re bigger than most store-bought potholders, and have a triple layer of batting, to protect your hands.
I plan to fill the pockets with a couple of my homemade mixes, but you could just as easily fill them with fresh-baked cookies or an assortment of small kitchen tools.
Here’s how they’re made.
Jean Pocket Potholder Tutorial
These instructions make a nine-inch potholder. Figure on about 30 minutes for each one. If you have a couple worn out potholders, you can use them in place of the batting that’s called for. It’ll basically be like creating a slipcover for them.
When it comes to picking a pair of jeans, bigger is definitely better. You want a nice, big pocket that you can easily slip your hands into, and plenty of fabric in the seat to work with. I would avoid pairs with rivets, so you don’t have to worry about them getting hot, or scratching surfaces.
For Each Potholder You Will Need:
- A pair of jeans (the larger the better)
- A 12.5″ square of 100% cotton fabric for the back
- A 9.5″ square of Insul-Bright batting
- (2) 9.5″ square pieces of batting (I used Warm & White)
- 100% cotton thread
- A ruler
- Sewing pins, or sewing clips
- A sewing machine (This is the machine that I have)
- A denim sewing machine needle
- An iron
Optional (but nice to have):
- A 9.5″ square quilting ruler template
- A 12.5″ square quilting ruler template
- An air or water-soluble marker
- A self-healing cutting mat
- A rotary cutter (This is the one I have)
- A walking foot for your sewing machine
Warning: Insul-Bright insulates these potholders, without adding a bunch of bulk. But it contains aluminum, so these potholders aren’t microwave safe. Since synthetic fabrics and threads might melt, if they come into contact with hot dishes, I recommend sticking to 100% cotton fabric and thread for this project.
What You Do:
Cut out a 9.5-inch square from the back of the jeans that includes the pocket. A square quilting ruler template is helpful for this step because you can move it around, until you find the way it fits best. I tried to center the pockets as much as possible, and did my best to avoid thick seams around the edges, where I knew I would be sewing.
Lay your backing fabric down on your work surface, good side facing down. Then, mark 1.5″ in on all sides. This piece is bigger than the rest because you’re going to use it to create both the backing and the binding for your potholder.
Center a piece of batting between the marks you just made. Then, layer on the Insul-Bright, the other piece of batting and your jean pocket piece. Make sure everything is neatly stacked; then, pin in place, so the layers won’t shift while you’re sewing.
To create the binding for your potholder, fold the top and bottom edges down, so that they meet the other pieces of fabric and batting.
Carefully trim a rectangle out of each corner. This will eliminate some bulk, so your sewing machine has fewer layers to sew through.
Then, fold the remaining corners in, like you’re wrapping a present …
and fold the fabric flaps down, so they meet the other pieces of fabric and batting.
Now, fold the binding over the edge of your potholder, and pin or clip in place. You should now have a nice, neat binding, complete with mitered corners.
Sew a 1/8″ seam all the way around the edge of the binding. Then, add a loop for hanging, and your potholder is complete!