How to Make Quick and Easy Handprint Potholders


Handprint potholders are a quick and easy project for kids that also make a great gift for Christmas or any other occasion. You can use a layer or two quilt batting or old sweatshirt material as padding and insulation. You can also buy special heat-resistant material such as Insul Bright to use with one layer of batting. To make this project even more enjoyable for kids, pre-cut your fabric pieces so that the little ones can get right to the fun part of sewing.

Tools
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Hand sewing needle (optional)
  • Plastic ring (optional)
  • Fabric pens (optional)
Materials for Each Potholder
  • Heavy duty fusible web (I prefer Heat n'Bond Ultrahold)
  • White or light colored fabric for background
  • Contrasting fabric for handprint
  • Coordinating print fabric for border and backing
  • Quilt batting or sweatshirt material
  • Heat-resistant material (optional)
For Each Potholder, Cut
  • One piece of fabric large enough for you child's handprint
  • One 8 inch square of background fabric
  • Two 8 inch by 2½ inch strips of print fabric
  • Two 11 inch by 2½ inch strips of print fabric
  • One 11 inch square of print fabric
  • One or Two 10 inch squares of batting or other insulating material

Make Your Handprint Center Square
  1. Place your child’s hand flat with fingers spread on the paper side of the fusible web and trace carefully around the palm and fingers with a pencil. Cut out the handprint in an oval shape staying at least ¼ inch from the drawn line.
  2. Place the handprint, paper side up, on the wrong side of the fabric. Fuse in place with your iron, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Cut out the handprint on the drawn line.
  3. Peel away the paper from the fabric handprint to expose the adhesive. To make this part easier, drag the point of a pin across the middle of the handprint to score the paper and ten peel the paper away from the center to the edges.
  4. Lay your background square right side up on the ironing board. Position the fabric handprint, adhesive side down, in the center of your background square. Fuse the handprint in place with your iron, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Sew Your Potholder Together
  1. Right sides together, align a long edge and the ends of an 8 inch border strip with one edge of the handprint square and pin into place. Sew from one end to the other, ½ inch from the edge. Follow the same procedure to attach the other 8 inch border strip to the opposite side of the handprint square.
  2. Fold the border strips away from the handprint square and press the seams flat with your iron. Avoid ironing over the fused handprint as too much heat may compromise the adhesive.
  3. Right sides together, align a long edge and the ends of an 11 inch border strip with one unfinished edge of the handprint square and pin into place. Sew from one end to the other, ½ inch from the edge. Follow the same procedure to attach the other 11inch long border strip to the remaining unfinished side of the handprint square.
  4. Fold the border strips away from the handprint square and press the seams flat. Again, avoid ironing over the fused handprint.
  5. Lay the handprint block face down on the right side of the backing fabric square and pin around the edges. Sew around the perimeter ½ inch from the edge, leaving a 5 inch opening on one side.
  6. Trim away the fabric within the seam allowance diagonally across the corners to remove excess bulk. Be careful not to cut through the stitching!
Finish Your Potholder
  1. Turn the potholder right side out through the opening. Reach inside the potholder and poke your finger into each corner to push the corners out nice and square.
  2. Iron the edges of the potholder. Fold the fabric along the opening to the inside, even with the seam, and press a sharp crease on both edges.
  3. Put the batting inside the potholder through the opening and smooth it neatly into place. Tuck the batting under one fold of fabric inside the opening. Pin through all layers around the edges of the potholder to keep the batting from shifting.
  4. Sew around the perimeter of the potholder, ¼ inch from the edge. Sew around the potholder again, following the seam line between the border and background fabric.
  5. Hand stitch a plastic hanging ring to one corner for hanging, if desired.
  6. Have your child write his name and the year (and add other embellishments) with fabric pens, if desired.

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