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How to Make Reusable Fabric Bowl Covers

Updated on November 10, 2015
Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer has been writing about crafts online for almost 4 years. She is an avid crafter who has been creating for most of her life.

Reusable Fabric Bowl Covers
Reusable Fabric Bowl Covers | Source

Reusable fabric bowl covers are a fun and easy sewing project for beginners, as well as for people who have experience sewing. They make the perfect hostess gift when you are not quite sure what to bring.

Kind to the environment because you won't be adding plastic wrap that does not decompose to landfills, these covers are machine washable and can be used for years to come.

With so many different fabrics available, you are sure to find the perfect pattern for your covers. Paisley adds a touch of elegance to any kitchen, while fruit adds a touch of whimsy.

With the step by step photos and instructions provided, brighten up your, or a friend's, kitchen and make a few fabric bowl covers.

Make a set and give them, along with a nice set of bowls, as a housewarming gift. Your friends will love your thoughtful gift!

Supplies needed

  • 100% Cotton - washed and pressed
  • 1/4" wide elastic
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Marking pencil

Step by step guide for making a reusable fabric bowl cover

The following photos and instructions make this project quick and easy.

Step 1 - Cut the fabric

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lay the bowl on the fabric and draw a circle around the rim, adding about 2" around the outside.Cut out on the drawn line.
Lay the bowl on the fabric and draw a circle around the rim, adding about 2" around the outside.
Lay the bowl on the fabric and draw a circle around the rim, adding about 2" around the outside. | Source
Cut out on the drawn line.
Cut out on the drawn line. | Source
  1. Wash and press your fabric and lay the inverted bowl down on the wrong side.
  2. Trace a circle around the bowl, adding about 2 extra inches.
  3. Cut out the circle.

Don't worry if it is not perfect. You can trim it and make it more circular by using a compass if you like, but it is not necessary.

Step 2 - Determine the finished size and prepare to sew

Fold the edges over about 1" and pin.
Fold the edges over about 1" and pin. | Source

Fold the edge of the fabric over to the wrong side and pin around the entire circle. Fold over approximately 1". There will be some folds and it will take a little time to complete this process, but try to pin it as evenly as possible.

Step 3 - Sew

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sew down edge.Edge sewn down.Opening for elastic.
Sew down edge.
Sew down edge. | Source
Edge sewn down.
Edge sewn down. | Source
Opening for elastic.
Opening for elastic. | Source
  1. Using a straight stitch, sew down the border, as closely as possible to the cut edge of the fold. This will leave plenty of room for the elastic.
  2. Leave an opening about 1" - 2" long for the elastic, backstitching at the beginning and end.

*Note that I used contrasting thread for this demonstration. Use thread color that blends in with the fabric for a more finished look.

Step 4 - Measure and cut the elastic

Determine the length of elastic to cut.
Determine the length of elastic to cut. | Source

There are two ways to to determine the length of elastic needed.

Important: For both methods, unless the bowl is cylindrical (has sides that are straight up and down) measure where the elastic will hit, NOT the top of the bowl. Most bowls slant inwards towards the bottom. If your measurement is too large, the cover will not fit correctly.

  1. Measure across the center of the bowl, the diameter, about an inch down from the lip. Multiply this measurement by 3.14 (pi) and then subtract 2 inches. The result will be the length of elastic that you need to cut.
  2. Using a tape measure, measure around the outside of the bowl, about an inch down from the lip of the bowl. This will be length of elastic that needs to be cut.

Step 5 - Add the elastic

Feed the elastic through the sewn edge.
Feed the elastic through the sewn edge. | Source
  1. Use a safety pin, pinned to one end of the elastic, to help you feed it through the sewn border.
  2. Once pulled through, sew both ends of the elastic together where they meet. It may take a little maneuvering, but make sure the edges are firmly affixed to each other so they don't pull apart.
  3. Finish sewing the border where the opening for the elastic was.
  4. Trim all excess threads.

Finished fabric bowl covers

The finished fabric bowl cover.
The finished fabric bowl cover. | Source

That is all there is to it. Step back and enjoy your finished product.

These fabric bowls covers only take a short time to make and the results are great. Try making one today.

Reusable Fabric Bowl Covers
Reusable Fabric Bowl Covers | Source

© 2013 Glimmer Twin Fan

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    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Glad you liked the article. Good luck making your covers. Hope they turn out great.

    • Rachelgarner profile image

      Rachel Garner 3 years ago from Knoxville, TN

      This is great! Thank you for posting this. I am going to try making one this weekend.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks Fabric1869. They are handy to have around the house.

    • Fabric1869 profile image

      Whaleys Bradford 3 years ago from Leeds, Bradford

      What a great idea, should help keep those tomatoes fresh and keep the flies away!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi Nicole S - I appreciate the kind comments. Thanks for reading.

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 4 years ago from Minnesota

      These are so cute! And efficient. I like it. Nice hub, thank you for sharing!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much theryanpride - I always like projects that save me money and you are right, this does in the long run.

    • theryanpride profile image

      Sonya 4 years ago from Indiana

      Great idea saves money and can be easily washed.Thank you for sharing.Can't wait to make some!!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate your comments breastpumpreview. Thanks for reading!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Li Galo. I hope you give it a try and I'm glad you stopped by to read and comment.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks moonlake. I really appreciate it.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Happyboomernurse. I enjoyed writing it and I am glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • breastpumpreviews profile image

      Christy Garrett 4 years ago from TX

      Cool idea, thank you for sharing.

    • shawna.wilson profile image

      shawna.wilson 4 years ago from Arizona

      Wow, that's a great idea. It's hard to find projects that use small pieces, other than quilts.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      shawna.wilson - I am all for any project that helps me get rid of my fabric scraps. I made a vow that I was not allowed to buy any more fabric until I got rid of most of my scraps. It's harder than I thought. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Faceless39 - I appreciate all of the support and kind comments. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi Aplethora23 - A fabric with chili peppers would be super cute for the kitchen and you are right, the possibilities are definitely endless. I appreciate the comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thank you RTalloni - In the last few years I have realized how much our family throws away, and while this does not make a huge difference, I would just rather use this than plastic wrap. Glad you stopped by.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Victoria Lynn - Many thanks for your nice comments. These are a really fun project.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi Kathryn - I appreciate your nice compliments and I'm glad you stopped by again.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thank you so much eurozulu. I appreciate it.

    • Li Galo profile image

      Li Galo 4 years ago from Mainly the USA but Sometimes Abroad

      I like this. I never even heard of it before. Thanks!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Many thanks Sherry Hewins. I appreciate it.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi Sugahware - Thanks so much for your nice comments!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thank you ElleBee. This is definitely a project for people with any level of sewing skills and like you, cling wrap drives me crazy!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Congratulations on HOTD. I loved this hub before.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Congratulations on earning HOTD for this well written and beautifully illustrated step by step guide for making fabric bowl covers.

      Thanks for sharing this.

      Voted up, useful and beautiful.

    • shawna.wilson profile image

      shawna.wilson 4 years ago from Arizona

      What a great way to use fabric leftovers!

    • Faceless39 profile image

      Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      Fantastic hub that definitely deserves the win!

      Voted up, interesting, and useful.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi StephanieBCrosby - Thanks so much for your nice comments. I appreciate them and the accolade!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Same DiNamics - I hope you give the project a try. Every bowl needs a cover from time to time. I appreciate the comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi anatomynotes - You could stitch these by hands but they probably would not hold up as well with repeated washings in the machine. Glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for reading.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting IslandBites!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi mollymeadows - I love it when you stop by to read and comment because your comments are so nice and also you have my favorite avatar. Is that your cat? Thanks for stopping by.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      These are easy cleaning Mary. Also eco friendly which makes me happy. Of course they are not perfect for everything, but good for lots of things. Thanks for commenting!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate it Jamie! It was exciting to get the HOTD and this hub was really fun to write. Thanks for reading.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Sally's Trove. You are right, the possibilities are endless. Holiday themes are really cute too. I appreciate the comments.

    • Aplethora23 profile image

      AngPow 4 years ago from North Cali

      Thumbs up. Super Cute! The possibilities are endless. I'd love to make a cover with a little red chili pepper pattern. Thank you for this nifty idea!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Congrats on your hub of the day award for this neat sewing project! Useful, oh yes, and on many levels, actually, but it's too bad "smart" is not an option for the voting. :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      What a neat idea. I love it! Congrats on hub of the day. Well done!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I read this first a couple of months ago (and loved it!), and I am so happy to see that it won HOTD! Congrats!

    • eurozulu profile image

      bradley brown 4 years ago from Harrow Middlesex

      What a fab hub Glimmer Twin Fan, great tutorial love the read, well worthy of award.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      This is such a cute and useful idea. Congratulations on HOTD! Well deserved.

    • Sugahware profile image

      Robyn D Bera 4 years ago from California

      Love this clever green idea! Thanks for sharing and congrats.

    • profile image

      ElleBee 4 years ago

      Very cool! I would love to be able to use less saran wrap (wasteful and always frustrating) and this might be a good solution. Plus it's a project that my sewing skills are actually up to, and a good use of scrap fabric.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Congratulations on your Hub of the Day. I remember when I first read and commented on this hub. I smelled this accolade a mile away!

    • Same DiNamics profile image

      Dianne Hunt 4 years ago from Maryland

      Really neat. I have several large bowls with no covers. I could certainly do this. Thanks!

    • anatomynotes profile image

      Edmund Custers 4 years ago

      Well explained! This looks easy to make, even for someone like me with not a lot of sewing experience. For those of us without a sewing machine, I guess hand stitching can also do the trick. Thanks!

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Nice idea.

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 4 years ago from The Shire

      I love tthis idea, because I hate plastic wrap. It looks easy enough for me -- I might try it! Congratulations on a clever idea and hub of the day!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Congrats on a great HOTD. I've always used plastic reusable bowl covers, but they have to be washed and dried and that's a pain. This idea is much better. Just throw in the washer and dryer.

      Voted UP and shared.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Congrats on getting HOTD!! This is such a neat idea... I have never even seen these before.. Great hub with awesome photos and instructions :) Love it!

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Super idea with easy-to-follow instructions that guarantee success. I've got tons of cotton fabric pieces that would be perfect for this project...for my own bowls and for gifting. Voted up and all the good stuff. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Many many thanks Bill. I appreciate it. Now if you only learn to sew......Just kidding. Have a great day.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much heidithorne - I try and get most of my sewing done in the winter because it's too nice outside to be behind a machine, but these are so quick to make, they would be a good project for a rainy day. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      StoneCircle - I bet this would keep ants out of the bowl outside, although it seems like ants can get anywhere at anytime. They definitely make the picnic table pretty! I appreciate your kind comments. Thanks.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Radcliff! I hope you give them a try. It's such a fun and quick project and I bet you'll enjoy making one.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi Cyndi10 - Let me know how they turn out with the vinyl cloth. I thought it might be too stiff for a smaller bowl, but I think it would be a great alternative to regular fabric. Thanks for commenting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hello Sunshine! Thanks for reading. I have been getting into these types of projects which are useful, quick and fun to make. Have a great day.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much ComfortB! I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi starbright. Thanks for reading. I thought about making them in oil cloths, but don't have any and I thought it would be too stiff and heavy.I appreciate your kind comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Wow - I really appreciate your nice comments Thelma! Have a nice day.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks for reading sleepylog.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Many thanks Suzie - I had fun doing this hub and I'm glad people are enjoying it. Have a great day!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thank you so much peachpurple. They would be fun with kids patterns and I bet kids would love them. They could also cover some of their toys that are stored in bowls. I appreciate the comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi SidKemp - Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Question about the cooked rice...wouldn't it dry out after a couple of days? Just curious because I always refrigerate cooked rice (and it ends up dry too). As far as washing, just in a regular machine although because they are covering food I would use a mild detergent.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it when someone I respect wins HOTD....congratulations...after three months this hub got the recognition it deserves. :)

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      Thought this was such a cool idea when you first published the hub. (Now I just have to get to making 'em!) Congrats on it getting Hub of the Day!

    • StoneCircle profile image

      Susan McLeish 4 years ago from Rindge, NH

      I believe this is the solution to my mom's ants on the outdoor table problem. She has been looking for something to sew and solve this issue. Will be passing this hub along.

      Congratulations on HOTD!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I LOVE this! What a great idea. I seriously need to get a sewing machine now. :D

      Thanks for sharing! Great hub.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Great how to. I imagine using vinyl cloth would be a plus. Never thought of making cloth covers, but I might give this a try. Looks quick and easy. Congrats on Hub of the Day.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I never had a use for a fabric bowl cover, but if I ever do I'll know how to make them! :) Very clever! Congrats on HOTD!

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      I love this how-to hub, the images (use of color), and step by step instruction. HOTD very well deserved. Congrats.

    • starbright profile image

      Lucy Jones 4 years ago from Scandinavia

      Brilliant idea. FYI: For those that bake you can also make them in muslim or even plastic for bread making. They are wonderful and much better than cling-film. Great hub and congrats on the HOTD. Voted up and a very useful tip.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Congratulations! I knew it would become a HOTD one day. A well deserved award.

    • sleepylog profile image

      Sleepylog 4 years ago from Australia

      New or clean shower caps can also be used this way and they'll help keep your food from losing moisture in the fridge, unlike cotton which won't.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi GTF,

      Had to come back to congratulate you for HOTD!! I so enjoyed this hub first time I read and LOVE your opening pic, one of the best!

      A well deserved acknowledgement of superb work!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      beautiful cover for the bowl. I could make a good use to cover up my kid's cereal bowl. Your bowl cover idea is fantastic, useful and beautiful . Gonna make some for these bowls. Thanks for the beautiful pictures and clear instructions. A well done hub. Congrats !!

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      These covers are great! Congratulations on Hub of the Day. For those of us with an oriental inclination, they can be used to cover wooden bowls of cooked rice - the rice will be kept fresh under the cover for 2-3 days without refrigeration - which gives better texture and flavor. For this purpose, a less dense weave that allows more air in is best.

      What is the best way to wash these covers?

      I don't have a sewing machine right now, but, when I get one, this seems like a great first project!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi Michelle - Thanks so much for reading. I like them because they add a little decoration to the table and brighten things up. I appreciate the support!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Beautiful, Glim......thanks for sharing. Good protection for food that may have to be left on the table for a period of time too.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate the support Thelma! The right fabric for this project really brightens up the room.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Beautiful craft! I´ll give it a try. Voted up and shared.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Rogene Robbins!

    • profile image

      Rogene Robbins 4 years ago

      How cute!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi cashmere - It is pretty simple. I hope they work for you. Thanks for reading.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Athlyn Green. I appreciate it!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thank you so much moonlake. They are fun to go by and quick to make. We are expecting spring temps here this weekend so spring patterns would be really pretty! I appreciate the support.

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 4 years ago from India

      I'm going to try this out. It seems simple enough, what can go wrong?

    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 4 years ago from West Kootenays

      Love this idea!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Funny I just saw this hub. I was thinking yesterday I needed to make some covers for my bowls. Now I have your pattern to go by. Thanks for sharing voted up and shared.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much pstraubie! Wow - a room full of machine will keep you very busy! I appreciate the comments and support.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Glimmer Twin Fan

      You are so clever. This is such a great idea. I have seen plastic ones in the stores but not fabric like these. My sister is moving nearby and she has a room full of sewing machines so I know a project for us.

      thanks for sharing.

      Voted up and pineed ++++ Sending you Angels this evening. :) ps

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thank you for your nice comments Kathryn. My favorite part is picking out the fabrics.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      This is a handy project. It would be fun to choose pretty fabrics for bowl covers. Thank you for sharing these instructions with us, and for having so many photos to show how the process goes.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks vespawoolf. It's definitely not a difficult project. Make one of your great recipes as a gift and give it as a gift with one of these and you'll make anyone happy! I appreciate the comments.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is a clever idea and very useful for me. I like the idea of having a cover tailored to a bowl and I think even I have the level of sewing expertise necessary to do this simple task! : ) Your photos are beautiful, too. Voted up and shared!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much carozy. I hope you give it a try and let me know how it turns out.

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco

      What a creative and yet practical project! I'll have to try this someday.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I agree brsmom68 - Fabric is not perfect for some things, but others it is a great alternative. I have made a pledge that this year is the year I only use fabric I have and not buy anymore. We'll see if that works or not. Thanks for commenting.