This DIY fabric bowl cover tutorial will show you how to inexpensively make your own reusable covers that are customized for your kitchen.
When you are trying to get rid of plastics in your kitchen, food storage can be one of the hardest things to switch. After all, how do you store your leftovers without making a mess? Fabric bowl covers are one of the best plastic wrap alternatives because they are reusable and can be washed in hot water to sanitize them properly.
This fabric bowl cover pattern is super simple to make. And we have a detailed photo tutorial of every step to make your own reusable bowl cover.
So gather your supplies, have fun picking out fabrics you love, and start sewing these great swaps for plastic wrap.
- Fabric quarters (choose how many you’ll need – I made 3) in coordinating fabrics*
- Marking utensil (pen, pencil, laundry marker)
- ¼” white elastic
- Bias tape (extra wide double fold) in color of your choice
- Pins or clips
- Safety pin
- Iron/ironing board
- Sewing machine
*Oil cloth, which is a fabric coated with a water resistant layer, is often used to make reusable bowl covers. I personally do not like using it because it often has a plastic coating on it, sometimes vinyl which contains phthalates. And I like to throw my covers in hot water in the washing machine to make sure they are really clean. While oil cloth can be washed on a gentle cycle, it wouldn’t stand up to repeated hot water washing in a washing machine. Whichever type of fabric you choose, these directions will be the same.
Directions for Making a Reusable Bowl Cover
1. Wash, dry and iron the fabric.
2. Lay the fabric face down. Place your bowl face down on the wrong side of the fabric and trace around the bowl lightly. Be sure the pattern is what you want it to look like on the other side! Remove bowl.
3. Measure and make several small marks 1 ¼ inch away from the line you drew all the way around the circle.
4. Connect your small marks together to form a bigger circle. This can be “eyeballed” as the raw edge won’t show in the final cover.
5. Cut the larger circle out using sharp sewing scissors.
*If you are making multiple bowl covers for the same size bowl, simply trace the cut circle onto the other fabric choices. This will save you the time of tracing around the bowl again.
6. Now we need to add the bias tape. You’ll notice upon closely looking at the bias tape that it has one side that is slightly narrower than the other.
7. Unfold the narrower side of bias tape to reveal raw edge.
8. Fold in the very end of the bias tape slightly to create a clean edge once finished.
9. With the fabric now facing right side up, line the inside raw edge of the bias tape up to the edge of your cut circle of fabric (see photo). Curving the bias tape as you go, pin or clip every inch or so all the way around the circle. Overlap the edges just a bit (about ½”) when you get to the end and trim off excess.
10. Using your sewing machine, stitch along the pre-made crease in the bias tape (this is about ¼” in from the edge) around the whole circle, removing pins or clips as you go. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching.
11. Next, tuck in the raw edges of the fabric and bias tape and fold the bias tape down. Be sure the bias tape and fabric inside are laying flat, then press to reinforce the creases. Add a few pins or clips to hold.
12. Using your sewing machine, top stitch on the bias tape around the circle extremely close to the edge of where the fabric meets the bias tape. Leave an opening that is about 1.5” wide.
13. Now we need to measure the elastic. With your bowl face down, lay the elastic around the rim at the bottom. Then subtract 4 or 5 inches and cut the elastic.
14. Insert a safety pin into one end of the elastic.
15. Put the safety pin end of elastic into the bias tape casing you created on the underside of the fabric. Continue feeding the elastic into the casing until you reach the other end of the circle at the opening.
16. Overlap the two ends of elastic by about an inch and stitch them together with a zig zag stitch (you will need to adjust your stitch width to match the size of the elastic). Tuck the elastic all the way into the casing and ensure it lays flat along the opening.
17. Top stitch the opening of casing shut, backstitching at the beginning and end of your tiny seam.
18. Repeat the process for the desired number of bowl covers.
Helpful Tips for Using Reusable Bowl Covers
- These are easy to nest inside each other. Saving storage space. Or simply scrunch them up and throw in a drawer.
- Use these to keep bugs out of your food when dining outdoors, even if you don’t plan on having leftovers.
- Perfect for BBQ’s, potluck dinners, and camping or RVing.
- After using them, simply throw them in the washing machine. Hot water is best to sanitize them.
- Not sure if you want to make your own fabric bowl cover? Then check out these unique zero-waste bowl covers with a drawstring cord.
Zero-Waste Living Ideas
Looking for more great zero-waste ways to reduce plastic in the kitchen? Check out our picks for the best stainless steel lunch containers.
Here’s 19 smart tips of how to reuse food waste.
Even more zero-waste living ideas.