If you happen to follow me on Facebook, you may have caught a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with a young bachelor I know (ugh, that made me sound old!) about how to keep his brand new pans from scratching each other up while they’re stored. After I had a little laugh about the fact that my own pans are separated by paper towels, I got to work on a solution to our problem.
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He suggested a fabric circle, which is perfect, but I wanted to take it a step further than just protecting the pans. It would only take one additional layer to turn it into a pan protector that could also be used as a hot pad, so it was almost a no-brainer.
To make these, you’ll need fabric for each side, cotton batting and Insul-Brite. I made these with home dec fabric, which is a bit heavier, but I also made one using regular quilting cotton and it worked out fine. I recommend using a different color or print for each side because the Insul-Brite works best when the metallic side is facing the hot pan and that will make it easier to tell which that is. Whatever you use, you should pre-wash the fabric and the cotton batting you’ll use inside so these can be washed later without shrinking.
Find a circle that’s 1/2” larger than you want the pan protector to be. I rifled through my cabinets measuring bowls and plates until my daughter asked what size I was looking for. I told her, and she grabbed a plastic lid and said “About like this?” No, EXACTLY like that. These kids did not get their crazy math skills from me.
Trace your circle onto the back of your fabric. Trace the same circle onto the Insulbrite and cotton batting. Cut an additional piece 1” by 2 1/2” from whichever fabric you prefer for the hanging loop.
To make hanging loop, fold 1” by 2 1/2” piece in half lengthwise. Press fold. Open out and fold both edges in to meet fold. Press again. Fold in half at original fold and press once more. Stitch near the 2-fold edge.
Layer pieces, starting with the cotton batting.
Followed by the bottom fabric, right side up.
Fold the loop in half and pin to edge.
Lay the top fabric over that, right side down.
Follow with the Insul-Brite with the shiny side down.
Pin all layers together. Start sewing on the edge opposite the loop, stitching in 1/4” straight from edge, pivot and stitch a 1/4” seam around, backstitching over the loop and stopping about 3” from where you started. Pivot and stitch out to the edge.
Turn right side out. Turn in the opening and press. I wish I had a fantastic trick for turning in a curved edge, but I don’t. If you have one, please share it in the comments, as I would LOVE to know a great way to do this. I did find it worked better if I turned and pressed one side at a time.
Top stitch around edge.
Trace a smaller circle in the center. I found my travel coffee mug to be a good size.
Stitch along the line.
I finished the set for our friend and liked them so much I made some for our house and a couple for a kitchen-warming/get-well gift.
These only look about a thousand times better in the drawer than the wad of paper towels I had there before.
If only everything in my kitchen was this easy to organize. Thanks for the great idea, Kyle!