Pan Protector and Hot Pad

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.

pan 1

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.

pan 2

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.

pan 3

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.

pan 4

Layer pieces, starting with the cotton batting.

pan 5

Followed by the bottom fabric, right side up.

pan 6

Fold the loop in half and pin to edge.

pan 7

Lay the top fabric over that, right side down.

pan 8

Follow with the Insul-Brite with the shiny side down.

pan 9

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. 

pan 10

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.

pan 11

Top stitch around edge.

pan 12

Trace a smaller circle in the center.  I found my travel coffee mug to be a good size.

pan 13

Stitch along the line.

pan 14

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.

pan 15

These only look about a thousand times better in the drawer than the wad of paper towels I had there before.

pan 16

If only everything in my kitchen was this easy to organize.  Thanks for the great idea, Kyle!


24 thoughts on “Pan Protector and Hot Pad

  1. I want some drawers for my pots and pans like you have! And I love these pan protector’s/hot pads. Thank you so much for sharing!


  2. Pingback: Tutorial: Pan Protector and Hot Pad · Sewing |

  3. OH! MY! I SO need these!! I have the same pans you do and am using the cardboard that was in the packaging to put between them. I love this idea!!….how do I get on your gift list to get a set of these? 😉


  4. This is a great idea. I have a hint to use to make turning the finished pad . After it is sewed, carefully usinng sharp pointed sissors, carefully clip the seam allowance, do not cut through stitching. Make sure you seam allowance is not more than 5/8 ” Good luck, hope this hint will help you. I think it will solve the problem. Pam


  5. A good tip to help with turning round or any shape for that matter. After sewing all pieces together,trim seam to 1/4″, workin your way around the project using sharp pointed sissors clip the seam allowance, being very careful not to cut your sewing stitches.Ths allows the seam to lay flat & smooth. Press following turning. Good Luck. Pamela


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  7. I have a small plastic blade type tool (don’t remember where I got it) The blade is about 2 inches long and is sorta rounded out to the tip. It is not sharp at all. I clip around the circle and turn it right side out. I then slip the blade inside ande press it around the edge of the seam. This will help flatten the circle and then press it.


  8. These look so nice! I have been using some old hot pads of my mothers and grandmothers, but I think these would fit better! Thanks.


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  10. You asked for ideas for turning and pressing on a curve. I can’t say I know of any good way to do that but, I am a bias tape girl, you can make it out of any fabric, you just need a cutting may, rotary cutter, a 45 degree angle ruler, a good hot iron and some patience. I would just lay the pieces together with right sides out, pin together, quilt the center circle and then bind the edges with the matching bias tape I made.


    • Thanks Suzy. I am a quilter and always have pieces of bias quilt binding and batting left. I like the idea of contrasting binding. I just got new cookware and was searching for ideas to protect it without resorting to the cardboard that came in the box.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I know this is now 2015, a bit late, but when I am going to sew anything that needs turning through, I do a line of stitching on both pieces of fabric, a little longer than the opening, before I put the pieces together. Even on a straight line, it makes it much easier to see where to press it before sewing up the opening, and the fabric tends to want to fold on the stitching line, so it gives an accurate finish to the project.


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