ChloeGuest Bloggers, Scrap Busting42 Comments

Sustainable Scrap-Busters: Soup Bowl Cozy

Hello friends! Chloe here. I am very excited to debut my new blog post series, all about ways to practice sustainability in sewing. Sustainability is always at the front of my mind when I am sewing. As sewists, we have the power to significantly cut down on textile waste when we make our own garments, through reusing fabric scraps to make new projects, sustainable fabric choices, refashioning, and more. Isn’t that amazing? This will be my first project in a series of tutorials all about how to do exactly that.

If you are a fabric hoarder like me, you might also hoard your fabric scraps. Don’t be ashamed- in fact, you should be proud. You can use those scraps to sew all sorts of cool projects, like this soup bowl cozy!

How to Sew a DIY Soup Bowl Cozy

You know how when you microwave a bowl of food, by the time the food is barely warmed up, the bowl is as hot as molten lava bursting forth from an apocalyptic volcano? And you try to carry it to your table using your sweater sleeves as potholders? Well, this adorable soup bowl cozy is the solution you have been searching for.

This soup bowl cozy is so easy and quick to make, and saves your fabric scraps from the landfill. You can also use a couple of fat quarters for this project if you don’t have scraps that are big enough.

Let’s get started!

For this project, you will need two 10″ x 10″ squares of fabric, two 10″ x 10″ squares of cotton batting or boiled wool scraps, and a marking pen.

PLEASE make sure that whatever fabric and batting, and thread you use is microwave safe! Polyester is not a good choice for this project, nor any fabric with metallic embellishments. Use cotton batting and cotton thread.

For the first step, layer each fabric square on top of a batting square. Pin in place.

Next, sew two diagonal lines through each square, corner to corner. It will look like there’s a big X on each square.

Then, grab one of your quilted squares. Fold the square in half, with the batting side out. Make a mark one inch in from the folded corner, and make another mark two inches down along the folded edge. Draw a line between the two dots. See the blue diagonal chalk line below:

Repeat this process on the bottom corner of your square. Make sure that you are doing this process on the folded side of the square- if you use the unfolded sides, it won’t work right.

Next, sew along each line. Trim the seam allowance down to 1/4″.

Then, fold the same quilted square in half in the opposite direction. The lines you already sewed will be opposite the fold. Repeat step 3; mark one inch in from the folded corner, and make another mark two inches down along the fold. Draw a line to connect the two marks, and repeat with the bottom corner of the square.

Sew along both lines, and trim to 1/4″.

Repeat this whole process with your second square of fabric and batting.

If you open up your squares, you will see that you now have two little fabric bowls.

How to Sew a DIY Soup Bowl Cozy

Turn one bowl right side out.

Sandwich the bowls together with right sides facing, making sure to align all corners and seam lines.

Sew along the edges of the layered bowls, at a 3/8″ seam allowance. Make sure to leave a 3″ opening on one side so that you can turn your cozy right-side-out.

After you’ve sewed the edges together, trim the corners and turn the bowl right side out through the opening. Push the corners out.

How to Sew a DIY Soup Bowl Cozy

Next, take your cozy back to the machine. Topstitch around the edge of the bowl at 1/4″, turning the edges of the opening in to close it. You can also handstitch the opening closed before topstitching.

How to Sew a DIY Soup Bowl Cozy

There you have it! Your soup bowl cozy is all finished. Isn’t it cute? It’s also reversible, so it’s up to you which way you want to use it!

How to Sew a DIY Soup Bowl Cozy
How to Sew a DIY Soup Bowl Cozy
How to Sew a DIY Soup Bowl Cozy

You are now free to microwave bowls of whatever you want without risking burns.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to sew a soup bowl cozy! If you have any favourite uses for fabric scraps, let us know in the comments!

About the author


Hi, I'm Chloe, the Creative Assistant at Helen's Closet! I'm a Vancouver transplant from San Francisco. I love sewing, the outdoors, and RuPaul's Drag Race.

42 Comments on “Sustainable Scrap-Busters: Soup Bowl Cozy”

  1. I will definitely need this for the coming cooler season here in Australia! Should I use cotton thread instead of polyester thread?

    1. I bet some polyester thread would probably be ok (microwaves don’t get THAT hot), but if you have cotton thread, you might as well use it. Better safe than sorry!

  2. These things are awesome. People love them and they are a great use of random layer cake leftovers.

    If you give them as gifts, make sure the recipient knows to put the bowl in it BEFORE putting it in the microwave! (Yes, I just found out someone I made one for years ago didn’t know to do that!!) Also, let people know that they can throw these in the washer/dryer (unless you use wool batting).

    I use mine for cold (ice cream) bowls as well.

    1. That is hilarious. I will definitely remind anyone who I give one to to put the bowl in first!
      Also, I never thought about being able to use them for cold bowls! That is genius. I love ice cream but don’t like having cold hands.
      Speaking of ice cream, I used to always get ice cream in a cup, but when I was a teenager somebody pointed out that cones are a much more sustainable ice cream delivery system, so now I get ice cream in cones at the shop. The more you know…

  3. Hi. I’ve seen these in some tutorials and it’s always stressed that EVERY component should be cotton – fabric, thread and batting.

  4. Pingback: Start with Fabric – Max & Wolf

      1. Thank you, have been making these for a couple of years now – 3 different sizes (10, 12 and 14″) and one for chinese takeaway containers and always on the look out for ways to advertise!

        1. Beautiful scrap busting!!! So is it safe if I use 100% cotton? I’ve always been scared about using wrong fabric!

  5. I just made 14 of these for Christmas gifts. Your tutorial was perfect. I did make myself a template for the sewing line of the darts as I didn’t want to take the time to draw them on. I held up the template and then eyeballed the line. worked perfect!

    1. Wow Susan! That is amazing! You are going to have some very pleased soup-lovers this Christmas! Thanks for using our tutorial 🙂

  6. So felted 100% wool would be OK to use instead of the more expensive “specialty microwave safe cotton batting” for the inside? I make and donate these for my Mom’s church bazaar fundraiser and try to upcycle 100% cotton shirts to make these with and using upcycled felted wool would definitely keep the “make cost” down. Thanks!!

    1. This was my query too. I have sheep fleece that I’ve felted and would like to use – it has already been shrunk. Will have to see if the sheep felt gives off a smell in micro (I love the smell, but not on potatoes 🙂 )
      Perhaps a light 100% wool garment could be used as wadding?? Bye

    1. I am not able to find with 100% certainty whether bamboo fiber is safe to put in the microwave. You can totally make it for using after you microwave your items! I often transfer my hot bowl directly into the soup cozy after heating and leave the cozy out on the counter. Bamboo would be totally fine for this.

    1. Hi Joan,

      This is likely due to not using a thick enough batting. It should hold it’s shape when sewn. Perhaps try using multiple layers of your batting to achieve a sturdier shape.

  7. i am so glad i was able to find your page for i was going to make the bowls for myself and some for presents …so glad i found you …have a great day and even better New Year to come…love and much happiness…

  8. Is it necessary to use 2 pieces of the cotton batting, I find it is so thick that I tend to break the needle.

  9. I don’ know if you’re still checking these comments, but I wanted you to know that I made a cozy when this first posted, and we still use it after all these years! I came back to check instructions because I’m about to make another one for my son, who is about to move into his first apartment. You’ve made a multi-generational product!

  10. I’m curious what you used to mark as it would be getting microwaved? I used a highlighter since the batting was hard to glide over but then I panicked if that was OK on the gifts I made lol. My chalk won’t work as it’s too light. I’d like to mark batting side. Just wondering what your advice was on this? Thanks!

  11. I just sewed fabric side up and used chalk. Didnt sew quite as clean at the corners but worked! Do you think the highlighter is OK on the others? Still interested in what you used?Thanks!

  12. This thing was just what we needed for my kids ramen bowls. Finally I am no longer the designated transporter of the hot bowls from kitchen to table

  13. Thank you for the tutorial. I am planning on making some some to go in Xmas stockings.
    I am wondering if anyone has tried using 100% cotton towels in place of the batting? Thank you!

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