Woven potholders are charming kitchen staples. They're lovely to make and have around your home, and they also make fantastic gifts. To make a woven loop potholder extra special, consider topping it with a bit of cross stitch!
When you weave a potholder on a loop loom, your over-under-over-under weaving pattern creates a fabric that is perfect to stitch on. It has even squares just like linen or Aida, so you can cross stitch on it much the same way.
We prefer to use tapestry wool for cross stitching on woven potholders, but any worsted weight yarn from your stash will work. You don't need much, so it's a great way to use up those bits and pieces leftover from other projects. Embroidery floss also works (use all 6 strands), but sometimes the strands can separate a bit as you stitch making the crosses not quite as tidy.
Here's how to make your own cross stitched potholder.
- Traditional 7" potholder loom
- 100% cotton loops
- Wood hanging ring (optional)
- Wool tapestry yarn, worsted weight yarn, or embroidery floss
- Yarn needle or large tapestry needle
- Stitching pattern
- Felt for finishing the back (optional)
- Sewing needle and thread for finishing (optional)
Weave your potholder
Set up your loom and weave your potholder as you normally would. For detailed weaving instructions, see our post on how to make a potholder on a traditional potholder loom.
We find that cross stitch shows up best on solid-colored potholders, but you can experiment with stitching on woven patterns too.
When you are done weaving, finish the edges and attach a wood hanging ring if desired. Gently stretch along all sides of the potholder to even out the weave and help the potholder lie flat.
Prepare your cross stitch pattern
If you are using (our favorite) Harrisville Designs Traditional 7" Potholder Loom, your potholder will have a stitching area of 16 stitches wide by 16 stitches high. If you are using a different loom, your stitching area may be different.
You can use the heart pattern shown here, or download and print a page of blank design grids we put together to map out your own.
Stitch your potholder
Start stitching your pattern along one of the edges for easier counting. We began the heart at the top and worked our way down. As you make your first couple of stitches, trap the tail under the stitches on the back of the potholder to secure it.
(For detailed cross stitch instructions, see our beginner's guide to cross stitch.)
As you stitch, take care to bring your needle up and down through the holes created by the weave. You don't want to split or catch the loops. Using a large, blunt-end tapestry or yarn needle helps.
Make sure your stitches lie flat, but don't pull them too tightly or you may distort the weave.
To end or change your yarn, run the needle through a few stitches on the back of the potholder to secure it.
Finishing your potholder
When you're done stitching, you can leave the potholder as is, or cover the back to hide your stitches if desired. To cover the back, cut a piece of coordinating felt slightly smaller than the size of the potholder. Use matching sewing thread and a sharp needle to whip stitch the felt to the back.
Potholders make great gifts, especially when embellished with cross stitch. Kids can make them for parents, grandparents, and teachers. Pair them with a pretty mug (they work as coasters too!), or with a mason jar full of your favorite cookie mix. It's a quick and easy way to add a lovely handmade touch.
Ready to get started weaving your own potholders? Find all the supplies you need in the Stitched Modern shop.