How To Make A Bowl Cozy (Step By Step Tutorial with 3 sizes)
A soup bowl cozy is the greatest invention since the microwave! It’s a cozy little cover for your bowl to help keep hands from being burned after heating soup, noodles, leftovers, or even cooking a potato. Learn how to make a bowl cozy step by step here. This free pattern includes 3 sizes so you’ll be able to sew lots using fabric yardage, scraps, fat quarters, or even layer cake squares.
This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Bowl Cozy Pattern in 3 sizes is included in the blog post below and is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF pattern for $2 is totally optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library for you to access anytime you want? Check it out.
Homemade soup bowl cozies are the perfect beginner sewing project because:
- Only a few supplies are needed and not a lot of fabric
- You only have to cut squares
- You’ll learn how to sew a dart (very important)
- All of the sewing is very forgiving if you mess up
And everyone needs a few of these in their kitchen so they make the great gifts too. And they are not just for hot dishes. Did you know you can use a bowl cozy for holding a bowl of ice cream too? I added a hanging loop at the top so it will always be handy just like a handmade potholder.
Bowl Cozy Dimensions
This free tutorial includes cutting instructions for making 3 different sizes of bowl cozies. ALL of the sizes are perfectly usable for most bowls, so don’t stress over what size to make. Here’s how I would decide:
- If you have leftover layer cake squares (10” squares), make the small size.
- If you want to use fat quarters (18” x 21” rectangles), make the medium size because you’ll only need one FQ per cozy.
- If you want your larger bowls to sit all the way in the bottom of the cozy, make the large size.
It’s that easy to figure out what size to make!
This is the ramen noodle bowl that I bought my husband for Father’s Day. He loves his ramen noodles and was so happy to get a bowl that’s wide enough at the bottom for that square piece of dry noodles! My kids love to use this bowl too when making an after school snack so it gets used a lot. The largest size bowl cozy is perfect for this larger bowl because the bowl snuggles down in the bottom of the cozy.
But do my kids notice what size cozy they are using? No. They just grab one, put their bowl full of food inside, and pop it in the microwave. That’s how I know that the size doesn’t matter when it comes to usability.
If you need more information:
- The small soup bowl cozy is 5” wide at the bottom.
- The medium cozy is 5 1/2” wide at the bottom.
- The large cozy is 6” wide at the bottom.
Tips for choosing fabric and thread for your bowl cozies:
Because this project is intended for use in the microwave, it is important to use 100% cotton fabric, cotton thread, and cotton batting. This will prevent sparks while the food is heating. It’s also very important to NOT use a bowl cozy without food inside (this means do not test it empty).
Pellon makes a special batting especially for making bowl cozies and that’s what I recommend. It’s called Wrap-N-Zap and it’s very easy to find at fabric and craft stores.
Polyester fabric or thread is not a good choice for this project because polyester is a synthetic product similar to plastic.
How many layers of batting do I need?
Some bowl cozy patterns suggest using 2 or more layers of batting, but that creates lots of bulk in the seams. It makes sewing the cozy more difficult and I don’t think it looks as nice. We have tested out lots of different bowl cozies and found that one layer of batting is all that you really need.
However, if you really want to use two layers of batting I’ll share with you the best way to add a second layer.
So let’s get started sewing microwavable bowl cozies!
You will need:
- cotton fabric in 10” layer cake squares, fat quarters, yardage, or pieces of fabric at least 10” square.
- cotton thread
- Wrap-N-Zap cotton batting from Pellon
- cutting tools: scissors, rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and cutting mat
- a sewing machine
- sewing pins
You may also find helpful:
- a walking foot for your sewing machine
- a fabric marking pen
- a chopstick or point turner
Cutting instructions are for a single bowl cozy.
1. From cotton fabric, cut
- 2 squares of fabric, 10” for the small cozy, 10 1/2” for the medium cozy, or 11” for the large cozy
- also cut 1 strip 2” x 5” for the hanging loop
2. From your WrapNZap cotton batting, cut one square the same size.
So let’s get started!
Quilt the Outer Cozy Piece to the Batting
1. Place the batting square against the wrong side of one of the fabric squares.
Since Wrap-N-Zap has no scrim (that’s a thin layer of adhesive usually used to bind cotton or polyester batting), it is very fuzzy and sticks to the fabric. It will also stretch a bit if handled a lot. If that happens, don’t worry – just trim it to the right size again.
Optional: Use the fabric marking pen to draw diagonal lines on the right side of the fabric. Since I wanted to keep this project as stress free and easy as possible, I skipped this step. 🙂
2. Using a medium stitch length of about 2.5-3, sew straight quilting lines along the drawn lines. Or if you did not draw any lines, quilt diagonal lines to connect the corners. Then turn the fabric and batting and quilt shorter horizontal and vertical lines.
You’ll end up with a pretty star design that has a purpose too. The quilting holds the fabric and batting together at the corners, and along the sides while you are sewing the darts.
If desired, you can also baste around the edge of the bowl cozy 1/8’’ from the edges.
Cut the Cozy Pieces to Mark the Darts
1. Fold the exterior piece in half, right sides facing. Use the fabric marker to make a mark along the top edge that is 1” away from the fold. Then make a mark right on the fold that is 2” below the top edge. If you like, you can draw a line to connect the marks.
2. Place your ruler on both marks and cut in a straight line. Since you are cutting along the fold, you will cut away a small rectangle of fabric and batting.
After making lots of bowl cozies, I realized that I didn’t need to use my marking pen at all. You can simply line up the fabric and batting with the lines on your cutting board and use them as your guide.
3. Make the same diagonal cut at the bottom of the folded edge.
Then unfold the fabric and batting and refold it in the opposite direction. Make two more cuts along the fold.
4. Repeat with the lining fabric piece.
Tip: if you wish to use two layers of cotton batting, quilt a second square of batting to the lining piece before cutting the darts.
5. To sew each dart, fold the piece in half (the same way it was when you cut it) and sew the diagonally cut edge together. Backstitch at the start and end of each dart.
Repeat to sew all 4 darts on the cozy exterior and all 4 darts on the cozy lining.
They will now have that awesome shape! Aren’t darts amazing?
Sew the Bowl Cozy Together
1. Place the two pieces right sides together, matching up the corners and the darts. Pin together at the corners.
Note: Some people recommend pressing the darts open. For this easy project, I do not find that it makes a big difference in my final result, and it simply takes too much time. So I don’t press my darts open.
2. Begin sewing near one of the darts and sew around the edge of the bowl cozy. Pivot at each corner with your needle down.
3. Sew right off the edge of the last corner to end.
4. At the 3 corners where you pivoted (not the last corner), trim away the extra fabric to help the corner turn nicely.
5. Turn the bowl cozy right side out through the opening. Use the chopstick or point turner to gently push out the three trimmed corners. (You’ll make the hanging loop shown above in the next step.)
6. Carefully press all of the edges flat. Turn the raw edges at the opening to the inside and press.
Make the Hanging Loop:
1. Fold the 2” x 5” strip of fabric in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press. Open and fold the long raw edges to the center and press again. Fold in half and press again to make a 1/2” x 5” strip.
2. Topstitch along both long edges, about 1/8” from the sides of the loop.
3. Fold the loop in half and insert the ends into the opening at the corner of the bowl cozy. Arrange the loop so that it sticks out at an angle from the corner. Use a pin to hold it in place.
Finish Sewing the Bowl Cozy
1. The last step is to topstitch around the cozy, closing the opening and securing the hanging loop at the same time. Begin sewing near start of the the opening.
Sew up to the corner (attaching the loop).
Pivot with your needle down and continue topstitching around the edge of the bowl cozy.
End sewing and topstitch neatly when you reach the place where you started.
And you are done. These easy bowl cozies are so fast and fun to make – you are going to make lots more and need to give them away to all your friends!
As always, I love to see what you make with my tutorials. Please post a picture to Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe or #sewcanshe so I can see!
Are you looking for more food related sewing projects? Check out:
Or see all 10+ Cute Things to Sew For Your Kitchen.
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂
Thank you for this tutorial. I made a bunch of these years ago and now everyone will get a new one, complete with cute ramen bowl for Christmas!! If a make a few at a time I will have this project done long before I need them!!
Thank you for this pattern. I’ve been wanting to make some of these, and you always have the best tips and easiest ways to get a great result.
Thank you, easy make, great instructions. I’ve been wanting one of these forever, it’s perfect.
Thanks so much for simple, common sense directions!
Thank you so much. Your instructions are sew easy to follow. I am loving the 3 yard quilts also.