Sew a Christmas Tree Holiday Potholder: Free Sewing Pattern

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Put some cute Christmas trees in your kitchen with my festive holiday potholder pattern. It’s fat quarter friendly! These easy-to-sew hot pads make great gifts for teachers, neighbors, friends, and relatives. You will love the two different styles of potholders that I will teach you to make, and everyone you gift them to will love them, too!

Using decorative stitches on your potholder is optional, but it’s so much fun to add a little extra stitching that looks like garland! I never pass up the chance to play with those extra stitches on my sewing machine.

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Christmas Tree Potholder Pattern is included in the blog post below and is free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF pattern for $3 is optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library to access anytime you want? Check it out.

This free sewing pattern and tutorial includes two different potholder styles. The first style does not have a pocket on the back, so it could be considered a Christmas Tree trivet. The second style has a big insulated pocket on the back, so it is also an oven mitt pattern and protects both sides of your hand.

Don’t miss the other holiday kitchen accessories I made this season: Folded Fabric Coasters and Potholders.

Christmas Tree Potholder Finished Dimensions

The finished potholders (both styles) are approximately 15” tall and 11” wide.

This generous size will say, ‘I love you enough to make you nice big potholders so you don’t get burned!’ Only you will know that you used leftover fabrics from your last Christmas Quilt or stray fat quarters that didn’t match anything else!

Tips for Choosing Materials

Cotton is the best fabric to use when making potholders. This project works well with cotton quilting fabric because of the thick layers of fabric and insulated batting. You may use a thicker cotton fabric, such as canvas, if your sewing machine is heavy-duty. In any case, be sure to use a heavy-duty needle, such as 90/14 or larger.

One fat quarter of fabric is enough to cut two tree shapes, which will make the trivet-style potholder. You’ll need 2 fat quarters or a 1/2 yard of fabric to make the oven mitt-style potholder. I suggest mixing up a bunch of coordinating fat quarters or leftover fabrics to make a colorful, beautiful tree!

I used cotton thread on most of my potholders, but high-quality polyester thread is fine too because it is made to hold up to high heat.

You must use a layer of insulated batting such as Insulbrite brand wherever you want heat protection. There are two layers in the oven mitt-style potholder. Insulbright is reversible, so it doesn’t matter what side is up – both sides are protective.

So let’s get started making a Christmas tree for your Kitchen!

Christmas Tree Potholder Pattern

The template above prints on 3 pages. Print at 100%, do not enlarge or reduce the template. There is a 1/2” margin around the printed area.

Trim off the 1/2” margin as needed and tape the tree shape together as shown. The 4 dashed lines on the template suggest minimum quilting lines. The top dashed line will also also used for folding the template when making the oven mitt style potholder.

Please note that the template is not exactly symmetrical (just like a real tree!), so some fabric pieces will need to be cut reverse-image with the template placed face down or on the wrong side of the fabric.

You Will Need:

  • 1/2 yard cotton quilting fabric
  • 1/3 yard or more insulated batting such as Insulbrite brand
  • A 12 1/2” x 16” piece of cotton quilt batting for the trivet-style hot pad
  • Thread
  • Optional: Quilt basting spray (such as 505 or SpraynBond)
  • Cutting tools: scissors, or rotary cutter and cutting mat
  • Sewing pins
  • A sewing machine and sewing machine needle (size 90/14 suggested)
  • Chopstick or turning tool

To Make the Trivet-Style Potholder, Cut:

  • 1 fabric tree piece with the template face up (for the potholder front)
  • 1 reverse-image fabric tree piece with the template face down (for the potholder back)
  • 1 tree piece from insulated batting
  • 1 tree piece from insulated batting or cotton quilt batting
  • 1 rectangle of fabric 2” x 6” to make the hanging loop

Tip: The easiest way to cut the shape out of batting or insulated batting is to trace the tree template on the batting using a pen or marker.

To Make the OVEN MITT-Style Potholder, Cut:

  • 1 fabric tree piece with the template face up (for the potholder front)
  • 1 tree piece from insulated batting
  • 1 rectangle of fabric 2” x 6” to make the hanging loop (not shown)

Fold the top part of the tree template down along the top dashed line, then cut:

  • 1 reverse-image fabric tree piece with the template face down (for the back lining)

Fold the bottom part of the tree template up 1” above the trunk dashed line, then cut:

  • 1 fabric piece with the template face up (for the mitt lining)
  • 1 reverse-image fabric piece with the template face down (for the potholder back)
  • 1 piece from insulated batting

How to Make a Holiday Tree Potholder

Use a 3/8” seam allowance.

Make the Hanging Loop

1. Fold the 2” x 6” fabric strip in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press. Then open it and fold the long edges to the center, press.

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

Quilt The Front Layer

Both styles of potholder have a quilted front side.

For the trivet-style potholder, I suggest quilting the front using cotton batting and then adding the insulated batting underneath.

For the oven-mitt style potholder, there will already be lots of layers. In this case, do not use the extra layer of cotton batting. Quilt the front with the insulated batting instead.

Trivet style potholder front layered with cotton batting
Oven mitt style potholder layered with Insulbright insulated batting.

1. Adhere the cotton quilt batting piece (for a trivet style potholder) or the insulated batting piece (for an oven mitt style potholder) to the back of the front piece using quilt basting spray.

Tip: If you do not have quilt basting spray, you can layer the fabric and insulated batting together and baste around the piece, 1/8” from the edge.

2. Quilt the potholder front however you desire! I quilted lines of stitching that look like hanging garland. On this red potholder, I used my sewing machine’s straight stitch. On the other potholders, I had fun playing with the decorative stitches.

3. Fold the hanging loop in half or in a twisted loop shape and pin it 1/2” away from the tree top (or wherever you would like it. The raw edges of the loop should line up with the raw edges of the fabric and insulated batting.

4. Sew the hanging loop in place 1/4” from the edge.

Assemble the Trivet-Style Potholder

If you are making the other style, skip to Assemble the Oven Mitt Style Potholder below.

1. Place the insulated batting piece underneath the tree front.

2. Place the potholder back piece on top, right side down. Place pins all the way around.

3. Sew all the way around with a 3/8” seam allowance, leaving a 3” opening at the bottom for turning. Be sure to backstitch at the start and end.

4. Make scissor clips into the inside corners all the way around the tree.

Cutting notches around the curved edges will help them turn much more smoothly.

Cut lots of notches at once using pinking shears!

5. Turn the tree right side out through the opening at the bottom. Use the chopstick or turning tool to gently push out all the curves and corners.

6. Press the tree flat. Turn the edges at the opening to the inside and press.

7. Topstitch all the way around the tree, closing the opening at the same time.

Assemble the Oven Mitt-Style Potholder

1. Hem the top edge of the lining for the back of the potholder. Fold the top straight edge of the lining piece over 1/4” twice towards the wrong side and press.

2. Sew the 1/4”hem close to the edge.

3. To make the oven mitt pocket, layer the potholder back piece on top of the insulated batting that is the same shape.

Place the mitt lining piece on top, right side down. Pin along the straight edge at the bottom.

4. Sew across the straight edge with a 3/8” seam allowance.

5. Press the seam open, then turn the lining to the back so that the wrong sides of both fabric pieces are against the insulated batting. Line up the edges and pin.

6. Topstitch along the straight edge 1/4” away from the seam.

Then baste around all of the curved edges. Sew as close to the edge as you can while still catching all of the layers.

7. Place the quilted potholder front piece on your workspace right side up. Then lay the mitt pocket piece on top. The side that is meant to show on the back of the potholder should be face down against the quilted piece.

Lay the hemmed lining piece on top, right side down. Pin around all of the edges.

8. Sew all the way around through all layers with a 3/8” seam allowance. You do not need to leave an opening for turning.

Pro tip: When you sew over the hemmed edges, backstitch to make them extra secure. This will prevent the stitching from coming out when you are turning the potholder right side out.

9. As with the trivet-style potholder, make scissor clips into the inside corners all the way around the tree. Cut notches or use pinking shears to trim around the curved edges.

10. Turn the lower part of the tree right side out through the hemmed lining.

Use your fingers or a turning tool to carefully push out the curves and corners of the lower side of the tree.

Turn the top part of the tree right side out through the oven mitt pocket.

Use the chopstick or turning tool to gently push out all the curves and corners on the top of the tree.

Press the tree flat.

9. Topstitch all the way around the tree.

Note: You will be able to feel the fuzzy insulated batting at the tip of the tree when using the oven mitt-style potholder. This is just fine.

Before using Insulbright insulated batting in all of my potholder designs, I tested it extensively. As my final test, I cut a 10” single-layer square of Insulbright and used it all alone for all my baking for months. I could not feel heat through the single layer of batting until the oven temperature was 400 degrees and above. Even then, I did not get burned; I could simply feel some warmth, similar to store-bought potholders. Insulbright is a wonderful product. I am not paid to use it, but I do!

Are you going to keep your tree potholders or give them as friends and neighbor gifts?

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!

I’m adding these potholders to my collection of 50+ Christmas Stocking Stuffers to Sew.

Make sure you check out all my free sewing patterns.

Happy sewing,


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. 🙂