There are many reasons to make your own elastic bowl covers! They keep bugs out of food while camping or having a picnic. Plus, they are easy to pack and make transporting a cinch.
Use fabric food covers in the kitchen to keep food fresh. They can fit over a variety of bowl sizes and plates too. Just slip them over your dish. No more fighting with cling wrap!
Actually, you can ditch the cling wrap altogether. Do your part to protect the environment by replacing it with this more sustainable item. Homemade bowl covers can be washed and used again and again. We have many more zero waste sewing projects over here too.
They can easily be customized. Make a set in colors to match your own kitchen. How about a set in school colors for a new a college student? Give a set of bowls with coordinating covers as a housewarming gift or even a wedding gift.
Did I mention they are pretty easy to make? The circle shape is not the best for a beginner brand new to sewing. You’ll want to master straight lines first, and here are some helpful ways to do that. Then tackle this one. It is probably best for an intermediate beginner. Is that a thing?
This is also a good sewing project to practice using bias tape. It is small enough to master the process without wasting a bunch of effort and supplies if you make a mistake.
Are you ready to get started?
Supplies for Cloth Bowl Covers
Fabric quarters, also known as fat quarters, come in all the colors of the rainbow and are perfect for this project. If you are making multiple elastic bowls covers, you might want to purchase a pack of fat quarters. That way the fabrics are already coordinated for you. Single fat quarters can often be found for a dollar or less.
How to Make Reusable Bowl Covers
Step 1 – Wash and Dry Fabric
Wash and dry the fabric quarters. This will ensure there is no chemical residue left from manufacturing the fabric. You don’t want that near your food. Then iron as needed.
Step 2 – Trace Around Bowl
Place bowl face down on the wrong side of the fabric and trace around the bowl lightly. Be sure the pattern on the fabric is what you want it to look like on the other side.
Step 3 – Add 1″
Measure and make several small marks 1-inch away from the line you drew all the way around the circle.
Connect the small marks to form a bigger circle.
Step 4 – Cut Out Circle
Use scissors or a rotary cutter and cutting mat to cut out the larger circle.
If you are making more than one bowl cover of the same size, simply trace around the circle you just cut out on another fabric quarter . This will save time by avoiding measuring and marking the circles over again.
Step 5 – Apply Bias Tape
Unfold narrow side of bias tape to reveal raw edge.
With right sides of the fabric facing each other, line up the raw edge of the bias tape to the edge of your cut circle of fabric.
Curving the bias tape as you go, pin 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.
Step 6 – Sew Bias Tape
Using sewing machine, stitch along the crease in the bias tape (this will be about ¼” in from the edge) around the whole circle, removing pins as you go.
Step 7 – Fold Bias Tape
Tuck in raw edges of fabric and bias tape and fold bias tape down. Iron edge to ensure fabric is sandwiched inside the bias tape.
Step 8 – Top Stitch
Using sewing machine, top stitch on bias tape around circle VERY close to the edge of where the fabric meets the bias tape. Leave 1 ½” opening.
Step 9 – Measure and Cut Elastic
Measure elastic around top of bowl edge, subtract 5 inches, then cut. Pin a safety pin into one end of the elastic.
Step 10 – Insert Elastic in Casing
Insert safety pin into the bias tape casing you created. Continue working elastic into the casing until you reach the other end of the circle at the opening.
Step 11 – Sew Elastic Ends
Overlap the two ends of elastic and stitch together.
Step 12 – Top Stitch to Close
Work elastic all the way into the casing. Then top stitch the opening of the casing to close.
Your homemade, cloth bowl covers are now ready to use!
Use and Care
Fabric food covers are great because you can toss them into the washing machine. Cotton is a forgiving fabric for beginners as well. However, you can also make vinyl bowl covers, and wipe them clean with a damp rag.
Don’t forget to pin this project for later, and check out some more sewing projects for beginners listed below.
Make Your Own Elastic Bowl Covers
Replace plastic wrap with reusable, elastic bowl covers. This is an easy sewing project and wonderful step toward zero waste living.
- Wash and dry your fabric quarters.
- Iron as needed.
- Trace bowl, face down, on wrong side of fabric with marking pen.
- Use the seam gauge to mark a 1" circle around the first circle.
- Cut out the circle with scissors.
- Unfold bias tape.
- Pin bias tape around the circle's edge with right sides together.
- Over lap edges 1/2" and trim excess.
- Sew along the crease of the bias tape.
- Fold bias tape around other side.
- Iron bias tape down.
- Top stitch close to the edge around the circle.
- Measure elastic around the top of the bowl.
- Subtract 5" and cut.
- Place a safety pin at one end of the elastic.
- Insert safety pin between the fabric and bias tape until you reach the other side.
- Overlap ends of elastic and sew together.
- Place elastic in opening.
- Top stitch to close.
If you are making more than one elastic bowl cover, trace the circle on multiple pieces of fabric and cut. This saves time tracing and making a seam allowance on each.
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Brother Sewing Machine, XM2701, Lightweight Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches, 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholer, 6 Sewing Feet, Free Arm and Instructional DVD
Wrights 117-206-030 Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape, White, 3-Yard
Gingher 8-Inch Knife Edge Dressmaker's Shears
Misscrafts 50pcs 8" x 8" (20cm x 20cm) Top Cotton Craft Fabric Bundle Squares Patchwork DIY Sewing Scrapbooking Quilting Dot Pattern
Fresco 10-inch Plastic Mixing and Serving Bowls | set of 6 in 3 Classic Colors
SINGER 70032 Braided Elastic, 8 Yard by 1/4-Inch, White
9 thoughts on “Make Elastic Bowl Covers to Save Food”
The pictures are confusing. Right side and wrong sides of fabric. You’re folding the bias tape onto what looks like the wrong side, then you’re top stitching the tape on the right side. Please clarify.
That is correct just the way you stated it. First you sew the opened bias tape to the right side of the fabric. Then fold it onto the wrong side. When you top stitch from the right side it will catch what was folded under.
I need to make a set of reusable fabric bowl covers to replace the upturned plates I’m currently using. I’ve showcased your bowl covers today…
Thanks so much!
I’d love to make the vinyl bowl covers- I wondered if there was a specific material to use for the bowl covers?
Btw I love all your tutorials- I’m learning new skills whilst helping our planet, every bit makes a difference!
Cotton fabric is washable, but oil cloth is a good choice for bowl covers. It can be wiped down and comes in lots of fun patterns.
Have you every done this for the vintage cinderella bowls with a handle and pour spout on each side? would it be the same?
Yes! They work just fine for Cinderella bowls as is.
Really clear instructions and photos.. can’t wait to give them a go! Thank you 🙂