How to Make Folded Fabric Coasters and Potholders: Easy Sewing Pattern

Sew pretty coasters to protect your furniture and use fabric scraps! This free sewing tutorial also includes a matching potholder pattern. This sewing project is easy for any beginner and makes great holiday gifts.

Folded fabric coasters use 5 inch fabric squares (that's it!), so they're perfect for sewing with charm squares and scraps. Since it's the holiday season, I made some in traditional red and green Christmas fabrics and then made some with crazy Christmas scraps.

While you're at it, make heating pads in complementary fabrics to match your kitchen accessories. Thanks to the insulated fleece, they also serve as a trivet to protect your table from the heat.

This blog post has been converted to optional PDF optimized for printing. Find it here. The free folded fabric coaster and potholder pattern is included in the blog post below and is free to read, print, and sew! Simply press CTRL+P on your computer to print. The print-optimized PDF template for $3 is optional. Did you know that you can organize ALL print-optimized PDF files into one library and access them at any time? Check it out.

I couldn't help myself, I also made some crazy scrappy Christmas potholders to match my coasters! Now I have to decide which set to keep for myself and which set to give as a gift. I like both of them!

Finished dimensions of folded fabric coasters

Finished coasters measure approximately 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″.

Folded Fabric Potholders Finished Dimensions

Finished potholders measure approximately 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″, not including hanging loop.

Tips for choosing materials

This project works best with cotton quilting fabric because of all the folded layers of fabric. The coasters are especially waste friendly because you only need 5 inch squares (charm squares). Ten-inch squares of layered cake fabric are perfect for potholders.

The top of the potholder or coaster uses 4 squares of fabric. I suggest using at least two different fabrics for the top to get that great woven effect. Of course, you can use up to 5 different fabrics if you want!

Any type of thread you can use on your sewing machine will work great. I used cotton thread on most of my potholders and coasters, but polyester thread works too and embroidery floss will add a bit more shine.

Coasters don't need any interfacing, but potholders require insulated fleece. I used Insulbrite thermal insulation wadding. It's reversible, so it doesn't matter which side is up: both sides are protective.

So let's start making beautiful fabric coasters and heating pads!

To make a coaster you will need:

  • 5 squares of fabric, 5″ x 5″ (at least 2 different prints or solids)

To make a potholder, you will need:

  • 5 squares of fabric, 10″ x 10″ (at least 2 different prints or solids)
  • 1 square of insulated fleece 10″ x 10″ (like Insulbright, link above)
  • 1 rectangle of fabric 2 1/2” x 6” to make the hanging loop

You will also need:

  • Thread
  • Optional: quilting basting spray (such as 505 or SpraynBond) and fabric glue (such as Fabric fuse)
  • Cutting tools: scissors, rotary cutter, acrylic ruler and cutting mat
  • Sewing pins
  • A sewing machine and a sewing machine needle (90/14 size suggested)
  • Wand or turning tool

How to Make a Folded Fabric Coaster

Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.

1. Choose a square of fabric to use for the back of the coaster. Put that one aside. Fold the remaining 5″ fabric squares in half, wrong sides together, and press to form 2 1/2″ x 5″ rectangles.

2. Lay the 5-inch square for the back of the coaster on your workspace, right sides together.

Place a folded rectangle of fabric on top of the square with the folded edge toward the center.

Working counterclockwise, place another rectangle of folded fabric on the left side, with the folded edge toward the center. Then place a folded rectangle of fabric at the bottom of the square with the folded edge toward the center.

Place the last rectangle of folded fabric on the right side, partially lifting the first rectangle to weave the last one. Make sure the fold of the fabric is toward the center.

3. Clamp the pieces together and place pins on each quarter of the square.

4. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew all the way around the square. You do not need to leave an opening for turning. Pivot with your needle down in all corners.

5. Cut off the extra fabric at the corners.

6. Turn the coaster right side out by running your fingers inside the folds and removing the backing fabric. Use a chopstick or turning tool to gently push back the corners. Press the coaster flat.

6. Topstitch around the coaster 1/8-1/4″ from the edge, as desired.

How to Make a Folded Fabric Potholder

Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Do the hanging loop

1. Fold the 2 1/2″ x 6″ strip of fabric in half lengthwise (wrong side to wrong side) and iron. Then open it and fold the long edges towards the center, press.

2. Topstitch along both long edges, close to the edge.

Prepare the back of the potholder

1. Choose a 10” square of fabric for the back of the potholder.

Spray the 10″ square of insulated batting with quilting basting spray and adhere it to the wrong side of the back of the potholder.

Tip: If you don't have quilting basting spray, you can layer the fabric and insulated batting together and baste around the piece, 1/8″ from the edge.

2. Fold the hanging loop in half or into a twisted loop shape (as seen above) and pin it 1/2″ from one of the corners of the square for the back. The raw edges of the loop should be aligned with the raw edges of the fabric and insulated batting.

3. Sew the hanging loop in place near the edge.

Assemble the potholder or trivet

This part of the step-by-step photo tutorial does not contain as many photos as those shown for the roller coaster. Refer to the coaster instructions, if necessary.

1. Fold the remaining 10″ fabric squares in half, wrong sides together, and press to form 5″ x 10″ rectangles.

2. Lay the 5-inch square for the back of the coaster on your workspace, right sides together. Place a folded rectangle of fabric on top of the square with the folded edge toward the center.

Working counterclockwise, place another rectangle of folded fabric on the left side, with the folded edge toward the center.

Then place a folded rectangle of fabric at the bottom of the square with the folded edge toward the center.

Place the last rectangle of folded fabric on the right side, partially lifting the first rectangle to weave the last one. Make sure the fold of the fabric is toward the center.

3. Clamp the pieces together and place pins on each quarter of the square.

4. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew all the way around the square. You do not need to leave an opening for turning. Pivot with your needle down in all corners.

5. Cut off the extra fabric at the corners.

6. Turn the potholder right side out by placing your fingers inside the folds and removing the insulated batting and backing fabric. Use a chopstick or turning tool to gently push back the corners. Press the heating pad flat.

6. Topstitch around the heating pad 1/4″ from the edge.

7. The potholders are significantly larger than the coasters, so I found it necessary to close the openings with folded fabric.

On some of my potholders, I sewed 2 straight quilting lines in each direction 1/4″ from the center folds.

On others, I used a small dab of fabric glue to hold the folds closed. Both methods worked great!

Now you know how to make folded fabric coasters and folded fabric pot holders for all occasions!

As always, I love seeing what you make with my tutorials. Please post a photo on Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe or #sewcanshe so I can see!

Are you looking for fabric gifts that are quicker and easier to sew? Check:

  • Every friend and family member loves a new apron. This free apron pattern only takes one yard of fabric.
  • I made a bunch of these card kittens (card holders) for my kids but it's the adults who always use them!
  • Make some magic by packing this messenger bag faster than someone else could find a parking space at the store!

Or check out my collection of 25+ Easy Sewing Gift Ideas.

Happy sewing,

Caroline

Disclosure: Some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, I may receive a small commission, so please support SewCanShe when you shop! All opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂




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