Friday, October 11, 2013

Camping 101: DIY Pot Handle Holder

Welcome to the first in our series of camping-inspired crafts (read more about why we're making camp things here). Today we're walking you through the very easy steps of making a hand mitt for holding pot & pan handles when camping, as these pots usually have little protection on the handles. Read on to see the tutorial!

I like this simple shape for a pot handle mitt, because it completely covers your hand without having to mess with a thumb-slot like a typical mitten. We didn't want to make a sleeve that slides over the handle because our camping pots & pans have curved handles that fold to hug the sides of the pans to save on space, so they can't have a typical sleeve.

You can complete this in under 30 minutes and need very few supplies!


- Variety of fabrics, can use scraps -- you'll need a total of 4 pieces measuring about 10 inches by 8 inches, depending on the size of your hand.
- 10in by 8in piece of thermal batting
- 1 yard of Twill Tape for edging

Make template:

Place your hand on a piece of paper or muslin with fingers slightly spread. Trace around your hand in an oval shape, leaving about 2 inches away from your fingers for wiggle room. Finish the oval at the wrist, and draw a line straight across for a flat bottom/opening.

Cut 4 pieces of material out of your template -- two for the lining, one for top (can use a print here) and one for the bottom, which will be handling the hot surface. We recommend you use a sturdier fabric here, thicker than a quilting cotton that will be more susceptible to heat. We used a soft canvas here. You can also use ironing board cover material (has a metallic look) if you're concerned about burning.

Cut thermal batting out from your template. Thermal batting has a metallic interior that provides a barrier from the heat source to your hand.

Layer to prep for sewing:

Layer the materials as if you were looking at the final product straight on -- you will be enclosing the raw edges with binding tape, so you won't be flipping it inside out. Layer it how you'll want it to look in the following order, from bottom to top:

Exterior bottom material that will touch pot handle first, facing down.
Thermal batting.
Liner piece, right side up.
Liner piece, wrong side up.
Exterior top material (decorative material), right side up.

Pin all together in place.

Stitch on binding to finish edges:

Place twill tape (pictured, can be purchased here) with edge against the edge of your layered stack, on the bottom side of your stack. Stitch to your layers with a 1/4" seam allowance around the oval, leaving the flat bottom un-sewn.

Fold over to the top (patterned) side, and stitch this side down against the edge of your twill tape to fully enclose your mitten around the sides. Leave ends raw at either side, and trim to line up with the bottom of your mitt.

Finish opening:

Pull apart your opening, separating the two lining pieces in the middle. Bind with a twill tape or binding tape here all the way around the opening, following the steps you took with the edging tape in the last step. We used a thicker tape here for decoration.

To finish the two ends of the tape, cut your final tape 1 inch longer than where it meets the beginning (after stitching up to the meeting point). Fold under 1/2" inch to hide the raw edge of the tape, place the folded edge over the beginning raw edge, and continue your stitching across to stitch down the end.

You're all set!


  1. Replies
    1. I know and so easy to make -- we have weird curved handles on our pots (so they can fold back to hug the side of the rounded pot) so making something that slips onto the actual handle is not an option. Since it's only used to move the pot and not to "grip" like most mitten-style potholders, I figured I'd keep it simple with the oval shape and no thumb spot.