DIY Reusable Bowl Covers

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I am always looking for ways to reduce single use plastic in my life. And one of the things I really wish to use a lot less of is cling film/cling wrap. So today’s sewing tutorial is a great idea on how to do just that. Whether you have some leftovers that you wish to place back into the fridge, or if you need to protect bowls of food from bugs and/or the elements, these reusable fabric bowl covers are the perfect idea on how to do this without the need for plastic wrap or foil. Here is how to make DIY reusable bowl covers.

I have actually made these covers reversible, which makes it a really easy sewing idea. And so you can have whichever side showing to choose your mood. They are also a brilliant way of upcycling old cotton clothes that you have around the home. They make the perfect housewarming gift, and are a great idea of things that you can make to sell too. 

DIY Reusable Bowl Covers

This is a really easy sewing tutorial and the resulting washable reusable covers can be used time and time again. You don’t even need a fabric bowl covers sewing pattern, as you make them for the bowl you wish to cover and they fit other bowls around that size. All you do really need is to be able to sew well around a curve.

Find that hard? See my section about it further down for some tips

So are you ready to make some DIY cloth bowl covers? Read on for my easy tutorial!

What You Will Need To Make DIY Fabric Bowl Covers


Materials needed for reusable bowl covers

  • Fabric – do prewash your chosen material – I chose two cotton fabric pieces of similar/same weight.
  • Coordinating thread
  • A Sewing machine
  • A heat erasable pen
  • Pins/clips, scissors or rotary cutter
  • A bowl to make your DIY bowl cover pattern
  • A safety pin or bodkin
  • Thin elastic, mine is 1/8 inch (3mm) thick

How To Make Fabric Bowl Covers


Take your bowl, place it face down and draw around the top of it on the wrong side of your first fabric choice using the heat erasable pen. 

Drawing around bowl with heat erase pen

Then make a second circular line at least 2 inches out from this one. I used a pair of compasses to make mine, but you can draw dots and then join them all together.

Second line drawn for seam allowance

Repeat this on the second fabric choice. And then cut both larger circles out. 

Both circles cut

Take the two fabric circles, place them right sides together and pin.

pinned right sides together Using a few backstitches to reinforce at the beginning and end, sew a scant seam allowance of around ¼ inch (4-5mm) around the edge, leaving a 2 inch (5cm) gap at the end. 

Scant seam allowance sewn and gap left for turning

Close up of gap left for turning

Clip into the seam allowance up to the stitch line at regular intervals all the way around the curved edge of the circles. This makes the turned piece sit flat and even. 

Curved seam allowance clipped

Turn the whole thing the right way out using the gap created earlier. Give it a good press.

The circle once turned and pressed

You will still have a gap in the edge, press the seam allowance in this area.

Seam allowance pressed at gap area

Next, take it back to the machine and sew a complete top stitch line around 1/2 inch (1cm) in from the edge. This forms the casing for the elastic.

Casing made by sewing a line of stitching 1cm in from edge

Measure around the top of the bowl you wish to cover. Cut a piece of elastic that is around 2/3 to 3/4 this length. (TIP: this has been in my experience the best length of elastic to cut, however it does depend a lot on how pliable or thick your elastic is!)

Using the bodkin or safety pin, thread the elastic through the casing that you have just made. Insert the elastic in one side of the gap and thread until it comes through the other end, ensuring you don’t lose the other end of the elastic by securing it to the opening using a second pin.

Threading elastic through casing of bowl cover

Knot or sew elastic ends together. 

Knotting ends of elastic together

Finally sew the opening where you threaded the elastic shut using a row of stitching right on the very edge, ensuring you catch both layers of fabric.

Gap closed

Pull the elastic gathers evenly around the bowl cover and you have a finished reusable bowl cover!

How to make DIY Reusable Bowl Covers - a fabric bowl cover is the perfect way to keep food fresh and stop insects and bugs getting into your bowls when dining outdoors in summer. This easy sewing tutorial shows you how to make reversible reusable DIY fabric bowl covers that can be washed and reused time after time. Great outdoor food covers.

So now you know how to make food covers for your bowls you can make them in all sizes for all the bowls you use in your indoor and outdoor dining settings!

Why not make mini ones to cover glasses too? No more flies in your wine, or wasps after your drinks!

Glass cover with straw hole

I Find It Hard To Sew Around A Curve. Any Tips?

I have seen several other tutorials to make bowl covers that use double fold bias tape or attempt to fold a hem around the edge of a circle, and this is an incredibly difficult thing to achieve well, even for a very experienced sewist, so this is why I made my DIY bowl covers reversible using two layers of fabric.

Personally, I find it easier to sew around a curve than hem a very curved edge, especially if I use a magnetic seam guide to ensure I keep an equal seam allowance all the way around the curve.

I would always recommend using a seam guide if you possibly can, it has been a total game changer for me. However do check that a magnetic guide can be used with your sewing machine model, as some computerised machines can be damaged by having magnets in close proximity.

Are These Elastic Bowl Covers Washable?

You can certainly wash and reuse these bowl covers time and time again. Wash them with your usual main wash, but air or line dry rather than tumble dry. If you do feel the need, you can iron the top with a medium iron to remove creases.

Are These Fabric Bowl Covers For Microwave Use Too?

I would advise against this, as certain fabrics can overheat and burn in the microwave, causing fires. 

Could You Make Laminated Cotton Bowl Covers From Waterproof Fabric?

I see no reason why you could not make these dish covers with a plastic coated material such as oilcloth or vinyl coated cotton to make them waterproof. But do be wary about what toxins the plastic contains.

I would certainly strongly advise that you use a food safe plastic fabric such as ProCare or ProSoft. This way you know that your fabric is not leaching any harmful plastic toxins into your food, and the resulting DIY plastic cover will be safe for the whole family to use and reuse again and again.

Just one other tip, you may need a Teflon or walking foot to sew the plastic, as it can tend to stick to the base of your presser foot when sewing.

Is There An Even Easier Alternative?

Don’t want to sew? Then why not make waxed fabric bowl covers from beeswax wraps instead? My easy tutorial here shows you how.

Or if you just want a sandwich wrap then why not try my Sandwich wrap tutorial?

Love This Post? Why Not Read Some Of My Other Easy Sewing Projects Posts?

I love to show you really easy projects that  build your confidence and produce useful items. So why not read these other posts I have written?

I have loads of sustainable solutions on my site so why not go take a look?

What do you think? Will you be having a go at making a DIY fabric bowl cover ? I love to see your makes, so please do comment below, or tag me in your makes on social media.

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And please do pin this post for later!

How to make DIY Reusable Bowl Covers - a fabric bowl cover is the perfect way to keep food fresh and stop insects and bugs getting into your bowls when dining outdoors in summer. This easy sewing tutorial shows you how to make reversible reusable DIY fabric bowl covers that can be washed and reused time after time. Great outdoor food covers.

2 Replies to “DIY Reusable Bowl Covers”

  1. Kim Carberry says:

    These are such a great idea and are pretty too. I love the glass covers, they would be fantastic in the summer when the pesky wasps are trying to get in our drinks. x

  2. Zena's Suitcase says:

    We’ve just bought a sewing machine and this is the perfect project to get us started. Can’t wait to make and use these covers


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