Learn how to sew your own DIY bowl cozy for safer cooking!
Have you ever burned yourself on a hot bowl? Well, it won’t happen again with a functional (and cute!) DIY bowl cozy. This beginner-friendly sewing project uses simple materials you can find online or in any craft store. Not only can you use it as a hot food or soup bowl cozy, you can use it for cold foods too — like protecting your hands from a too-cold bowl of ice cream. This is a great beginner sewing project anyone with a sewing machine can do, and did you know you can use your Cricut to help cut my free pattern?
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I love this beginner-friendly project because my Cricut machine does all the hard work of cutting the precise pattern pieces I need! You can, of course, also cut it by hand, but it’s a great way to use your cutting machine and save a little time and effort.
A bowl cozy is a special fabric pad for protecting your hands or a surface from a hot bowl. Unlike a pot holder or hot pad, a bowl cozy is shaped like a bowl. That means more coverage for the bowl itself, and less chance of burning yourself on hot dishes. I’ll show you how easy it is to make space for the bowl with simple darts!
To cut fabric, you’ll need a Cricut Maker or Maker 3, an Explore series machine, or a Cricut Venture. And need to choose fabrics that are microwave-safe, in the event someone uses it in the microwave— we do not recommend you put the bowl cozy in the microwave, but some people may do it, so only use cotton just in case they do. Be sure to pick fabrics and thread that are 100% cotton, because synthetic fibers or materials like polyester could melt or catch on fire when you heat them up! Do not use any recycled materials or questionable fabrics — your fabrics, batting, and thread must be 100% cotton for safety. It is also very important to note that the Wrap-N-Zap has a max of 2 minute intervals if you do choose to heat the material.
Before you get started, be sure to wash your cotton fabric to remove any chemicals added during the manufacturing process. After washing, dry it on high to shrink it — then you won’t have to worry about it shrinking unevenly after you sew it. Or any colors bleeding on to other fabrics in the wash!
You can wash the cotton batting, too — but NOT with the rest of the fabric! Wash it on gentle, or even by hand, then put it in a pillow case to tumble dry with a bit of heat.
If you’re using a Cricut Explore, Explore Air 2, Explore 3, or Venture instead of a Cricut Maker or Maker 3, you’ll want to bond your cotton fabric first with Heat ‘n’ Bond, which you can learn more about in my earlier sewing tutorials like my DIY Zipper Pouch post. The batting can’t be cut by these machines, but you can use the printable PDF to cut it by hand.
When it comes to choosing which size DIY bowl cozy to make, I’ve created three bowl cozy sewing pattern sizes for you to choose from:
Small fits a bowl approximately 3” – 4” in diameter at the bottom
Medium fits a bowl about 5” – 6” at the bottom
And Large fits a bowl about 6” – 7” at the bottom
Any of the patterns can be cut by hand using my printable PDFs, but I’ve also included SVGs you can use with a cutting machine. You can cut the small and medium sized bowl patterns with the Cricut Maker 3, original Maker, and the Explore series machines. If you want to cut the large bowl pattern with a Cricut, you are limited to the Venture because of the size of the pieces. If you don’t have a Venture, no problem — just cut the pieces by hand using the PDF.
When you’re preparing the pattern file in Cricut Design Space, you’ll notice some black shapes and lines. These are guides to help us sew later, and we’ll have the Cricut draw them on during the cutting process! Even the diagonal lines for the darts!
I’ll show you the best way to put the cotton batting on a StrongGrip mat, and the best way to get it OFF the mat without stretching it — plus I’ll share some easy tips for keeping the mat clean (and not covered in cotton fuzz).
After all of our preparing, then it’s time to sew. I want to reassure you that although this is more complex than some of my other sewing projects, I still wrote this tutorial with beginners in mind. Yet even though it’s beginner-friendly, the result is still nicely structured, thanks in part to the simple darts I’ve included in the pattern.
Plus, if you have any issues or questions, my team and I (and our awesome community of crafters) are on standby in my Cricut Crafters & Makers group on Facebook and ready to help!
Choosing your fabrics for these is really fun, and I love to mix and match to make countless variations! You can even choose fabrics to complement your kitchen decor. These make great gifts for so many occasions, like housewarmings, wedding showers, or to accompany a dish delivered to your favorite neighbor. They also go great in a care package for your college student — ramen noodles get HOT, after all.
One of my favorite ways to use them is when I’m heating up leftovers. You know when you warm up your food and sometimes the bowl is too hot to touch? No more too hot bowls with the cozy — now I can just put it into the bowl cozy right away to protect my hands! My food stays hot, my hands stay safe, and I get to enjoy my lunch. It’s an all-around win. Please, if you do choose to put the cozy in the microwave, remember that the Wrap-N-Zap only designed to be heated in 2 minute intervals and can burn, especially in powerful microwaves.
Here’s a supply list of what you need to make a DIY bowl cozy! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
Materials and Tools to Make a DIY Bowl Cozy
- About 13″ x 36″ of 100% cotton fabric for each side – I used a sunflower print similar to this -OR- 100% yellow polka dot print -OR- 100% cotton yellow print fabric
- 100% cotton quality thread like Gutermann
- About 13″ x 26″ of 100% cotton batting such as Wrap N Zap Pure Natural Cotton Batting – IMPORTANT: Wrap-N-Zap has a maximum of 2 minute heating intervals if you do choose to heat the material.
- Sewing Machine – I used the Janome Arctic Crystal Sewing Machine with an appropriate needle
- A method to cut your fabric and batting — I used the amazing Cricut Maker 3 with the rotary tip and washable fabric pen. You can also use the Cricut Maker, or an Explore (original, Air 2, or 3), or a Venture using my bonded fabric tutorial
- Pink FabricGrip machine mat, 12″ x 12″
- Purple StrongGrip machine mat, 12″ x 12″ to cut the cotton batting
- Cricut Rotary Blade – if using a Maker or Maker 3
- Cricut Blue Washable Fabric Pen
- Clear acrylic ruler
- Handheld Rotary Cutter – to cut pieces by hand or trim
- Self healing cutting mat
- Sewing Pins
- Alcohol Free Baby Wipes to clean your machine mats between cuts
- A home iron
- Pressing mat or ironing board
- Design #526 – (My free SVG/PDF/DXF design files are available in my free resource library (get the password by filling out the form at the bottom of this page)
How to Make Your Own DIY Bowl Cozy
The detailed step-by-step assembly video on how to make bowl cozies debuted during Maker Academy Weekend 2023, held online November 1-5, 2023. Get an on-demand pass to watch all 30+ workshops, each with a printable handbook, transcript, audio file, design files, and support with a VIP pass below:
Answers to Your Questions About My Bowl Cozy Sewing Tutorial
Q: Where is your tutorial for this project?
A: These DIY bowl cozies are a special project we made for our free Maker Academy Weekend 2023 event! A complete and detailed step-by-step video premiered during the event November 1-5, 2023 — this tutorial video was available to watch for free for 24 hours only during the event. If you missed it, you can get access to the full video, the 15-page printable handbook that details how to make this beautiful project with a VIP Pass to Maker Academy Weekend 2023, which comes with other perks and bonuses, too! Look at all the star ornaments made by our VIP passholders in the lead up to our big event!
Q: Can Wrap-n-Zap go in the microwave?
A: We do not recommend that you put the bowl cozy and its batting in the microwave. If you decide to heat it, only heat in <2 minute intervals because the Wrap-n-Zap is not approved for longer times in the microwave and can burn.
Q: How do you make a simple bowl cozy?
A: Simply follow my free tutorial and use my free bowl cozy pattern to cut and sew your own! This is a super easy sewing project, and you don’t even technically need a Cricut — it’s just a tool that makes cutting the pieces of fabric a bit simpler and more precise. Just print out my paper pattern that you can find in the PDF file in my free download folder for this project. In addition, all of the materials I recommend like 100% cotton fabric and batting, high quality cotton thread, and my entire list of tools can be found in this tutorial.
Q: Can you tell me what fabric to use for a bowl cozy? Can you use flannel for a bowl cozy?
A: It’s important to strictly use only 100% cotton materials and pre-wash your fabric prior to cutting and sewing. Cotton flannel is okay, just make sure it’s 100% cotton and doesn’t contain any other materials. Do not risk using any recycled or questionable fabrics, as they may not be 100% cotton.
Q: Can you use cotton batting for a bowl cozy? Can I use polyester batting for a bowl cozy?
A: I only recommend using cotton batting for your bowl cozy, because the manufacturer claims it is microwave-safe for 2 minutes at a time. I highly recommend using the kind of batting from my materials list for this reason. If you use polyester batting, you run the risk of burning or melting your bowl cozy, or even starting a fire if it goes in the microwave by accident! Use 100% cotton material ONLY.
Q: How many layers of batting are in a bowl cozy? Do bowl cozies need two layers of batting?
A: My DIY bowl cozy pattern calls for two layers of batting. I wanted to make sure it was really insulated, and one layer didn’t seem like enough to protect hands from a really hot bowl of soup or microwaved leftovers. If your personal preference is less padding and insulation, go ahead and use one batting piece. Just beware that it may not be enough to protect your hands from a bowl of hot soup or microwaved food.
Q: Can you microwave bowl cozies?
A: There is controversy as to whether you can put bowl cozies in the microwave — some say yes, others say no. To be on the safe side, keep it out of the microwave and use it only to protect your hands and/or keep your bowl’s contents warm or cool. And use only 100% cotton fabric, batting, and thread just in case someone does use it in the microwave. If the Wrap-N-Zap is heated for longer than 2 minutes, it could burn in powerful microwaves.
Q: If I use all cotton fabrics and threads, can I put them in the microwave?
A: Some will say you can microwave bowl cozies, but please be extra careful. Double-check all fiber content as the materials must be 100% cotton to avoid getting really hot or potentially damaged from contact with hot bowls. Polyester, rayon, nylon or metallic threads, fabrics, or batting run the risk of overheating and burning, as do recycled materials because you can’t always be certain of their content. If the cozy is accidentally heated in the microwave, these synthetic materials are a safety and fire hazard, so please be sure about your materials before you try it. While the Wrap-n-Zap is marketed as microwave-safe, it is only intended to be heated in 2 minute intervals. And never put a warm cozy away before it cools off completely.
Q. How do I wash my DIY bowl cozy?
A. When your bowl cozy needs to be washed, use gentle wash and dry cycles for best results.
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I SO hope you’ll make your own DIY bowl cozy! Please share a photo of your cozy in our Facebook group or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.