Cappers Farmer Blogs > Old Dog, New Tricks

Making Hot Pads For Presents

Mary ConleyDear Friends,

Doesn’t the word, homemade, make you think of a creative, resourceful person? I have always wanted to be that person who could make Christmas presents that were actually practical and appreciated, but the truth is, you need to start way ahead of time or it most likely won’t happen. This Christmas, I was determined I was going to make something easy but still useful for the four women of our family. I always get them a gift, but I wanted to also throw in a homemade item that said I cared and at least tried.

Two weeks before Christmas, I dug out a few pairs of worn-out blue jeans from the attic that I have been saving for a much bigger project. Only this time, I was going to make hot pads. I had seen them on the web, and thought them very cute with the pocket still attached to stick your hand in. I’m going to show you the finished project right off so you can determine if you want to continue reading and possibly make some yourself.

hot pads

Aren’t they cute! My husband, Larry, thought them very clever. I want to give my daughter, Amy, one of the light colored ones since she wore those jeans in high school! (She is 45, now!)

back pad

For each hot pad, I cut two 8-inch squares off the upper legs, and two 8-inch squares from along the sides of an old, heavy flannel sheet. I’ve also used worn-out sweatshirts for padding. After cutting around the pockets, I cut out the back side near the seams.

attach pocket

Now to attach the pocket to one of the denim pieces. I already had dark gold thread since I’m often shortening our jeans, and I used it to stitch on top of the outer gold line you see on the pocket. This is when I first noticed that jean pockets are not symmetrical, so it is impossible to make it look perfectly centered.


On the above photo, I have pinned all four layers together and am machine basting them about 3/4 inch in from the edges.


Then I cut about an eighth inch off the flannel all around so the bias tape would fit easily over the four thicknesses. I could have just cut the flannel smaller in the first place, but I like doing it this way.

Now it is ready for the bias tape around the edges, which was my only cost. You could make your own, but I didn’t have time.

If you need to learn to sew on bias tape, just type “how to sew on bias tape” in your browser and you’ll find all kinds of information including videos. I’m not proud of the job I did. In fact, I’m a little embarrassed, and had to tell myself a few times that the hot pads are just going to get stained and maybe even burned around the edges, anyway.


I was surprised at how easily my hand slipped into the pockets and folded the hot pad for use. I hope to make some for myself after the holidays.


If you dislike sewing on bias tape, you could leave raw edges and fray them as I did in the above photo. I like the look, it is quick, and costs nothing but the thread. This one was an experiment and I’m keeping it for myself.

Now be sure to save those jeans with the holes in the knees and find a way to turn them into something useable again. After all, they weren’t cheap!