A Bowl Cozy Tutorial
We received a couple of requests for a bowl cozy tutorial the past year so here it is… a quick and easy DIY sewing project for you to try out!
Making a bowl cozy yourself is not difficult. It is a perfect beginner project and also great as a handmade gift. In this tutorial I’m making a holder in a relatively small size. This cozy can hold bowls you use for soup, oatmeal, icecream,... It is reversible, so choose 2 different fabric patterns so you can flip the cozy whenever you like. The cozy is machine washable. You know it will get dirty 🙂
The base of the finished bowl cozy based on the instructions below, is about 4 ½ inches in diameter. It is 3 inches high and the top part has a diameter of 7 inches. The bowls we use most fit in it. You can easily make the bowl cozy bigger or smaller by using the same steps I described below, just start with bigger squares and keep the other measurements the same.
I also made a little youtube sewing video that you can access by clicking on the video below or you can go to the MadamSew youtube channel and discover all of our other sewing and quilting videos.
Ready to make your own? Read on!
What is a bowl cozy?
A bowl cozy is a little quilted piece of fabric that has a little indentation in the center where you can place a bowl. It is also referred to as a bowl koozie, a bowl holder, a soup holder so if you put a bowl cozy around your hot bowl of soup for example, you won’t burn your hands. If you want to use it in the microwave around your bowl of soup or oatmeal, we suggest using cotton fabric, batting and thread. This way there is no issue with melting of materials, better safe than sorry, right? It is basically a cute accessory for bowls, whether it is to protect your hands from the heat or the cold or just because you think it is more comfortable.
What supplies do you need to make a bow cozy?
For 1 bowl cozy, gather 2 pieces of cotton fabric 9 by 9 inch, quilt cotton is perfect for this, 2 pieces of batting also 9 by 9 inch and matching thread.. As for the tools, prepare your sewing machine with a regular needle, a fabric marker, a ruler, rotary cutter plus cutting mat or scissors and some pins or clips.
Overview of the supplies
- 2 pieces of cotton fabric: 9 by 9 inch
- 2 pieces of (cotton) batting: 9 by 9 inch
- Matching threads (preferably cotton)
Overview of the tools
- Sewing machine (straight stitch)
- Rotary cutter & cutting mat
- Quilt Ruler (longer than 9 inch)
- Temporary fabric marker
- Clips & pins
How to make this bowl cozy
Prepare the different pieces
Prepare the fabric pieces and the batting. Wash and iron the fabric to avoid shrinkage to a maximum. Cut the 4 pieces to size. Each piece is 9 by 9 inch each. I like to use a rotating cutting mat to cut pieces that are smaller than 11 inches. You can easily maneuver and cut accurately with this little mat.
You now have 4 pieces: 2 fabric pieces and 2 pieces of batting.
Quilt the batting to the fabric
Now, we are going to attach the batting to both of the fabric pieces. Grab your temporary fabric marker and mark a big cross on both fabric pieces, all the way from 1 corner to the other. This is where you’ll stitch. You can also eyeball it but I prefer to have a guide for my stitches.
Pin the batting neatly to the fabric on the wrong side of of the fabric. You can also use basting spray to temporarily hold these layers together.
Go over to your sewing machine and stitch through the fabric and the batting with a straight stitch. Do this for both fabric pieces. I’m using stitch length 3. Backstitch at start and end of each of the 4 rows of stitching.
You now have 2 pieces of fabric with batting attached to it.
Mark and sew the pleats
In order to get the necessary indent for your bowl, you need to sew 4 pleats. This sounds more complicated than it actually is. We’ll first draw the markings which makes this step really easy.
Fold a fabric-batting piece in half, right sides together.
Measure 1 inch on the edge of the fabric and 2 inches on the fold line. Connect these 2 markings. Marking on batting is not easy but with a chalk marker it does work ok, I think.
Fold the same piece in half in the other direction, right sides together.
Again, measure 1 inch on the edge and 2 inches on the fold. Connect these 2 markings.
Repeat these steps for the other fabric-batting piece.
Now go over to your sewing machine. Fold the first piece back in half and sew on the mark through both layers (actually, through all 4 layers, 2 fabric layers and 2 batting layers). Now sew on the second mark. Fold the fabric in the other direction and sew the 2 remaining pleats. In total you have to sew 4 pleats on the one piece.
Repeat this for the other fabric-batting piece.
That’s it. This is how the 2 pieces look now, 1 from the outside and 1 from the inside.
Trim the excess fabric of the pleats off at ¼ of an inch. And check if other parts need some trimming as well.
Assemble the Bowl Cozy
We’re almost there.
Position the 2 pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Clip or pin together.
If you want pointy corners, skip this step. If you prefer your cozy with rounded corners, grab a flat round object, like a lid or a cup and top off the 4 corners now. I’m topping them off, but not rounded. Let’s see how that works out.
This is the most difficult part in this tutorial. Makes sure you pinned or clipped everything neatly so you grab all 4 layers. Sew all around at ⅜ inch seam allowance to attach the 2 pieces together. Make the seam allowance a little bigger if you are unsure.
Don’t forget to leave a turning hole of about 2 inches. Position this turning hole on a straight part of the edge. This makes it easier to close afterwards.
Trim the edges and corners with scissors.
Finish the Edges
Turn the bowl cozy right sides out. I made my turning hole a little too small but with a little extra effort and my magic wand, I turned it right side out without damaging the seam.
Iron the seams flat and clip/pin the turning hole closed.
You can now topstitch on the edge all around at ¼ inch, using a stitch length of about 3 or you can just close the turning hole with an invisible hand ladder stitch.
Your First Bowl Cozy is ready! Ready to make some more?
Let your kids or friends pick the fabrics and whip them up as a little thank you gift. I’m sure you’ll get big smiles in return!
It can also be used as a fabric bowl to hold small notions in your sewing room like clips for example!
Making a bowl holder that can hold microwaved hot bowls is not hard for a crafter with basic sewing skills. Just follow the steps described above and you’ll be ready with that first one before you know it.
Look how cozy this bowl of hot soup looks in my husband’s hands!
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