You Can Make a Star Hot Pad and Napkins


Grab a yard of holiday fabric and go to town with these simple instructions for holiday hot pads and napkins.

Here’s an easy way to add a little 4th of July fun to your picnic table this year with a star shaped hot pad, or it could be a placemat, and some matching napkins.

This could work for any holiday by simply selecting “holiday appropriate” fabrics and creating a “holiday appropriate” shape!  When I found this country style fabric I was drawn to it and decided that something soft and simple would be the best project for the busy design.  I quilted around the stars for the hot pad and made quick square napkins out of the remainder of the fabric.

I promise that this goes together quickly so there’s still time to make it before the fourth!

Materials List:

  • 1 ½ yds. of your favorite fabric
  • ½ yard quilt batting
  • Paper to make a template
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric tape measure
  • Straight edge
  • Fabric marker



1.  Find some paper to use as a template.  I used paper towels.  Draw the design of the hot pad you’d like to make keeping it within the width of the fabric when doubled.


2.  Pin the template in place with fabric doubled if you want the back to be the same as the front.  (I wish now I had done the back in a solid color so when I stitched around the stars on the front, they would show up nicely as stars on the back instead of being a mishmash and not matching up with anything on my star printed back.)  Cut out the pieces keeping in mind you may want to add a 5/8” seam allowance all the way around.


3.  Use the same template to cut out your quilt batting.  I had some thin batting on hand so I cut two layers to give the hot pad enough cushion. Then layer the pieces with the back right side down, the batting, then the front right side up.


4.  Pin the pieces together through all layers starting in the center and working out towards the edges making sure that the bottom fabric is staying flat.


5.  Stitch carefully around the designs on the front of your hot pad, removing the pins as you secure a section.  Because the fabric was dark and so was my thread, I reversed a couple times to “knot” the thread.  If your quilting stitches stand out, pull the threads through to the back of the hot pad and hand tie them.


6.  Once the quilting is done, you will need to cut a long enough strip of fabric 2” wide to create a binding for the raw edges.  I didn’t have a long enough strip so I put two together by attaching them perpendicularly.


7.  Stitch them together diagonally and they will open up in a straight line.  Trim the seam and iron it flat.


8.  While you are at the ironing board, iron the strip in half and then iron both sides in to the halfway mark.  Basically you are making your own seam binding.  This is available in a variety of colors, ready-made, at your local fabric store if you’d rather not make your own.


9.  Trim off the excess around the hot pad before pinning the seam binding around the edges.


10.  Once the seam binding is pinned all the way around, simply overlap it at the end.  The points on the star and the reverse points were a bit tricky for the seam binding, but play around with it until you have a nice fold, pin it in place and just travel carefully with the sewing machine and it will be fine. 

Matching Napkins 


1.  If you have cloth napkins around the house, measure them and determine the size of your new napkins.  I chose to cut my squares at 19”, planning for an 18” square napkin.


2.  The easiest way to make very narrow hems is to first iron them in place at the ironing board.  I carry my fabric measuring tape with me and keep my folds at ¼”, folded over twice.


3.  I usually don’t pin a tiny hem like this and count on my ironing to hold it in place.  I find if I do a good job using my hand to hold the seam down as it approaches the needle, things work out pretty well.  If you don’t feel comfortable with this, use pins!


I guarantee if the first time you use your pad and napkins is for an ice cream sundae….everyone will LOVE what you’ve done!  (Actually, my kids didn’t notice the new napkins until I brought them to their attention!)

Funny thing, it didn’t matter to me.  I had a great time designing this project and putting it all together.  I know that when the holidays are here, I’ll continue to put them on the table and eventually they will become one of those things everyone looks for when the 4th of July, Memorial Day or Labor Day comes up.  It will become part of our tradition, and that’s when it’s going to mean just as much to them as they mean to me!


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