How to make heat proof recycled denim potholders. Don’t give away your old jeans, turn them into potholders for your kitchen instead!
Here is a fun project for quilting potholders out of old denim jeans. Recycling jeans into beautiful and one of a kind pot holders that are a must have for every home cook. Denim potholders are a great fabric for handling hot items because they are thick and durable. These potholders have two denim sides with batting in the middle to make them heat resistant.
Once you make these potholders, check out How to Sew a Handbag with Recycled Jeans Tutorial.
It’s a fun and easy project that can be done with any cotton fabric scraps, some old jeans and batting. The batting can be an old towel, quilt batting scraps or Insul-Bright. If you don’t have fabric scraps and need to buy fabric, check out Best Fabric For Quilting – How to Shop Like a Pro!
Keep them for yourself or gift them to a friend or family member. Adding a denim pocket to the back side of the potholder makes it extra special and ADORABLE! Read on for more information on this fun and no stress sewing project.
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Heat Proof Recycled Denim Potholders – Materials Needed
Fabric – Use your scraps, need fabric for one side of potholder and binding.
1 pair of old denim jeans
Thread, Iron and Ironing Board
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.
Heat Proof Recycled Denim Potholders – Instructions
How to Make:
It’s fun to use the back pocket of your old jeans as the back of the potholder, as long as you have enough denim on all sides of the pocket to sew a 1/4″ seam all the way around. Read on for more information on this fun and no stress sewing project.
Prepare Up Your Jeans:
Cut your denim jeans at the seams, starting at the bottom of pant leg.
Cut jeans up so that each leg is separated. Scissors work great but you can cut with a rotary cutter too.
When you are done cutting, you should have four pieces total as shown below.
When you are done cutting the jeans, you will have front and back pieces for both legs as shown below.
Cut Jeans Into Squares:
Next step is to look at your pocket and make sure you have enough denim to sew a 1/4″ seam around all sides. The top of the pocket is the side you need to pay attention to. If you don’t have enough fabric on the top of the pocket to sew 1/4″ seam then you can’t use the pocket, just make the potholders without the pocket.
Next, take a square ruler and place it over the pocket to measure.
Determining Potholder Size:
My potholders had 1/4″ seam on all sides of the pocket, my denim square measured 8″ on all sides. If your pocket is larger, then make your potholder larger. The smallest size I recommend for pot holders is 7″ on all sides. If you make the potholder any smaller, it’s not really large enough to use in the kitchen while cooking and baking.
Whatever size you end up with, cut the plain denim square with no pocket first using your rotary cutter, cutting matt and quilting ruler. After you have cut your denim, place pins in the corners to help when you cut the denim square with the pockets as shown below.
Place the denim piece with the pins over the denim with the pocket. Make sure it covers all sides of the pocket seam and has enough fabric to sew a 1/4″ seam when you attach denim pieces together. Fold the corners of the denim piece with pins back slightly. This makes it easy to see where the pocket is and the fabric needed for seam allowance.
Keep the denim with the pins over the cut denim leg with pocket. You are going to use the pinned piece as a cutting guide now that you have completed the step above. Take your quilting ruler and rotary cutter and cut the denim leg with pocket, see below. Make sure the ruler is completely covering the pinned piece so you don’t accidentally cut both layers of denim. You only want to cut the bottom layer of denim that has the pocket.
You should have two separate denim pieces now, one with a pocket and one without. See below.
Adding fabric to the denim:
We are adding fabric to just one side of the potholder, the side without the pocket. Now is the time to get out your scraps, left over quilt blocks from other projects or even left over pieces of applique. You can add the fabric any way you like to cover the entire piece of denim. For this potholder, we are leaving the piece with the pocket alone, the pocket is the star of the show!
I have two examples of how to decorate the plain piece of denim but you can go wild and really get creative. The possibilities are ENDLESS!
Heat Proof Recycled Denim Potholders – Design Options
Nine Patch Design:
Take 9 pieces of scrap fabric and cut into 3″ squares. Take your 3″ squares and make 3 rows. Each row should have 3 squares. You should have a total of 9 squares that look like a block as pictured below.
Sew the squares together using a 1/4″ seam. Start with the row 1. Take the squares from column 1 and 2 and sew together. Next, take last square in row 1, column 3 and attach to the piece you just sewed. Follow these steps for rows 2 and 3.
Attach your rows together starting with the first row, attaching to the second row using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Then attach the third row to the piece you just sewed. Take to ironing board and press flat.
Pin the 9 patch block to the piece of denim that does not have a pocket. Center the 9 patch block so that it covers the denim square evenly.
Then quilt as you like. I sewed straight lines, 1/4″ away from each seam line where the squares connect but you can quilt it in whatever stitch design you prefer or even free motion quilt it.
Use scrap fabric cut into strips and sew strips together until they are at least the size of your denim square. My potholders are 8″ squared so my strips were at least 8″ by 8″ before I squared them up with my quilt ruler.
Take to the sewing machine and use a 1/4″ seam. Use strips of all sizes to make it more bright and interesting.
Trim fabric strips into a 8″ block using a quilting ruler and rotary cutter as shown below.
Then quilt as you like. I sewed straight lines down the some strips where they were connected using a 1/4″ seam. But you can quilt it in whatever stitch design you prefer or even free motion quilt it. For more info on quilting, check out How to Machine Quilt With Walking Foot for Beginners.
Make your binding with left over binding from other projects. If you need to make binding, find fabric that can be cut into 2 1/2″ by WOF (width of fabric) strips. Sew strips together using a 1/4″ seam until the binding is long enough to attach to all sides of the potholder. You can also try single fold binding for these too.Want more info on binding, then check out these posts, How Wide to Cut Quilt Binding & Make Easy Strips, How Bind a Quilt – Easy Single Fold Binding and How to Join Quilt Binding Ends Beginner Series.
Sandwich The Layers:
Make a sandwich from your potholder but cutting a scrap piece of batting, a cut up old towel or Insul-Bright. Insul-Bright is an insulated lining that is heat proof. It should be used with at least one layer of cotton batting but in our case, the two layers of denim used with this special batting works just fine. When I put a layer of quilt batting along with the Insul-Bright, it was too thick and hard to connect all the layers with the sewing machine. For more info, check out How to Sandwich a Quilt Step-By-Step Tutorial.
Use clips to secure all the layers of your potholder: quilted top, batting and back with pocket. I use binder clips but you can also use quilting clips or sewing pins.
Attach the binding you made earlier starting on the pocket side of the potholder first. Line the binding up to the edge of the potholder and attach with a 1/4″ seam. Take to ironing board and press.
Fold the binding over and sew the binding onto the side of the potholder that has the fabric design. Keep your needle as close to the left side of the binding edge as possible. Take to ironing board and press.
Machine wash cold on the gentle cycle by itself with a little soap and a Shout Color Catcher Sheets. Pro Tip: Whenever you make something with fabric that isn’t pre-washed, you run the risk of the item bleeding in the wash. All quilters should use these sheets when they wash the items they make for the first time if they did not pre-wash the fabric before starting the sewing project.
I also wash these potholders before gifting them to others too. Washing them before gifting them makes it easier for the recipient too because not every store sells these sheets but as quilters we always have them. If you are new to quilting, buy a box and have them on hand.
You only need to follow this step when you wash for the first time. After that, you can wash and dry along with your normal wash laundry.
Keep or Gift It
These heat proof recycled denim potholders will brighten up any kitchen and make a great gift! I made potholders for all the ladies in my life group from church. I also made these last year for family members as Christmas gifts. They were a big hit because they are adorable, especially with the pocket, are handmade and a thoughtful gift that’s one of a kind!
Recycled Denim Potholders – Beginner Quilting Supplies
Here are some quilting supplies that are great for quilters that I use and highly recommend. For more info, check out Quilting Supplies for Beginners (Best Tools To Start).
45 mm Rotary Cutter with Sharp Blade (start with this one)
45 mm Rotary Cutter Replacement Blades (start with this one)
4.5″ Quilting Square Ruler for half square triangles
12.5″ Quilting Square Ruler for quilt blocks
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.
SEW NIKKI RESOURCES – HOW TO’S AND FREE PATTERNS
- Learn How To Quilt: Beginner Quilting Guide
- How to Make Pinwheel Quilt Block (Free Throw Quilt Pattern)
- 5 Yard Quilt Pattern Free – Chevron Throw Quilt
- How to Make Half Square Triangles – Easy Formula Chart
- Best Fabric for Quilting: How to Shop Like a Pro!
- Pieced Quilt Backing Ideas – Super Simple Backs
- Quilt As You Go Patterns: Table Runner Free Pattern
- Charm Square On Point Quilt Pattern & Tutorial
- Table Runner DIY – Simple Quilted Table Runner
- How to Make Heat Proof Recycled Denim Potholders
- Chevron Quilt Pattern – Make Easy Placemats Two Ways
- How to Bind a Quilt – Easy Single Fold Binding
- The ABC Baby Quilt Sewing Pattern (Free, Easy)
- How to Sandwich A Quilt Step-By-Step Tutorial
- How Wide To Cut Quilt Binding & Make Easy Strips
- Easy Quilt Patterns – How To Make Charm Square Quilt
- How to Machine Quilt With Walking Foot For Beginners
- How to Sew a Quilt Together – Quilting for Beginners
- Mini Quilt Patterns, TQC “July” Postcard Pattern Review
- Quilting Supplies for Beginners (Best Tools to Start)
- How To Cut Fabric For Quilting (Easy and Accurate)
- How to Make Stunningly Beautiful Log Cabin Quilt Block
- Quilting Tips For Beginners (10 Essential Tips)
- How To Make Quilt With Sashing and Cornerstones
- Quilt Blocks, The Nonsense Table Topper Review
- How To Be Successful and Spend Less – New Quilter Tips
- Quilt Patterns, “Positive Effect” Pattern Review
- How To Join Quilt Binding Ends, Beginner Series
How to Make Heat Proof Recycled Denim Potholders
I hope you will make these wonder potholders. I use mine almost every day and you will too! Let me know if you make these in the comment section below. I want to build a community where we share tips and information to help each other become better when we sew, quilt and crochet. Not competitive but a community of friends that help and encourage one another with their own experience and knowledge. People who know how wonderful a handmade home is. That’s my wish for this blog!
About Sew Nikki
If this is your first time stopping by, welcome! My name is Nikki. I’m a weekend quilter, have a super small sewing space and taught myself how to sew and quilt by watching YouTube videos! My blog has How-To’s, Free Patterns and Pattern Reviews. Read more about me here.
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Sew, quilt, crochet and repeat!