Make A Reusable Bowl Cover 18

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Sewing Bee Fabrics Tutorial
How To Make A Reusable Bowl Cover

How to sew your own bowl covers with Pul Fabric

Whilst writing "cling film" down on the shopping list, it occurred me that it may be a lot cheaper (and prettier!) to have a few bowl covers that could just be popped on and off, thrown in the washing machine and yet keep food fresh, so I pulled out my stash of PUL fabric and made one of these. PUL is perfect - because it is waterproof it will keep the food inside fresh and stop it drying out even in the fridge.

What you need:

Enough PUL fabric to cover the top with at least half an inch extra all around. Like this...

Bowl Cover tutorial cutting PUL

Enough bias tape to cover the full circumference of the PUL circle (better to cut off a little more than you think you need than it is to run out! )

Thin elastic which will sit inside your bias tape folded with enough space to still stitch at the side

A small piece of ribbon to make a bow

How to make it:

This really is very straightforward to make. The first thing I do is to pin the elastic to the back of the bias tape. Note that bias tape is not always made equal. It is deliberately lop sided so that you can put your narrower side on top where you are stitching and still be sure you will be stitching the under side even if it has moved fractionally.

Bowl cover tutorial - Bias binding

Make sure your elastic as close to the centre fold as possible to reduce your chance of catching it with your stitching. I find it helps to put a pin or safety pin in the end of the elastic so that if you accidently pull it, it can't disappear down the seam when you are attaching and adjusting later on. Or, you could sew the bias first and pass the elastic through with a safety pin attached to the end so you have something to grab on to, to pull it through.

Pinning elastic to bias

I find it far easier to sew with the elastic relaxed so i don't cut it from the roll until I've pulled it through to save waste. I find the bias tape fits better with less crinkles if you don't attempt to pin it. Just go slowly and feed the tape to the edges of the circle and you should get a good fit. I use a running stitch and try to keep the stitching as close to the edge as possible to avoid catching the elastic. Don't forget to remove 1 pin at a time from the elastic as you near the sewing machine foot to keep it in place until last minute.

Attaching bias binding to PUL bowl cover tutorial

Sew around the whole circle leaving 1-2 inches of bias tape unattached with the ends of the elastic free. Note how one end is still attached to my bundle of elastic.

How to make a bowl cover closing the bias and elastic

Be very careful not to loose one end as you pull the elastic to tighten it. If you make enough of these it is inevitable that at some point you will forget or get distracted and loose an end. If you do, don't despair. Just unpick the stitching nearest to the elastic end, attach a small safety pin to the elastic and pass it back around inside the rest of the bias tape and re-sew before tightening again.

Once you have pulled it tight, I pin the elastic ends together and try it over a the bowl. Adjust the tension as required, then cut your elastic from the roll and sew the 2 ends together. Make sure the stitching here is strong so you will need to go over it a few times. I find that it can be fiddly to do on the sewing machine without letting an end ping off so I tend to do a line of cross stitching repeated twice by hand to ensure a strong bond. At this point it should look like a shower cap.

Push the creases of fabric away from the open end like this:

Tightening the elastic under bias binding bowl cover tutorial

Sew the final bit of bias tape in place exactly the same way as you attached the rest. I made a small bow out of ribbon. I stitched over the centre of the ribbon to help it keep it's shape, then attached it to the bias tape. I find it easier to do this if the cover is over the bowl, then that way the ribbon will end up sitting perfectly where you want it. When decorating these, I recommend only attaching embellishments to the bias tape as the more you sew through the PUL, the less waterproof it becomes. So, a lovely bow or flower on top may look fantastic but the chances are that your food will dry out quicker.

If you want to make an even quicker version, you can always use fold over elastic instead of bias filled with elastic.

Pop it over the bowl and your ready to take it to your nearest bring a bowl party to show it off!!!

How to make your own bowl cover tutorial

We hope you enjoy our tutorials and love hearing what you think so please leave us a comment or send me an email to

Happy Sewing!

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18 thoughts on “Make A Reusable Bowl Cover

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      I use it to cover bowls of leftovers, melon halves etc and don’t notice my food drying out any differently to clingfilm… but then the kids never leave food in there long so I can only vouch for a day or 2! For the breathability of PUL, air can pass through the fabric but water molecules are larger and they can’t get through. This is useful is you are wearing it and trying to keep cool as the warmer air can move out without the rain getting in. As the water can’t escape, it doesn’t loose moisture into the air, and I find it will often form condensation inside the cover when I use it over moist food as a bowl cover in the fridge.

  • Geral

    Hi, thanks for these great ideas, ; could it possibly make a seam allowance to insert the elastic, instead of biais binding ? Only a suggestion.

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      You could give it a try but hemming a perfect circle is always tricky as the outer circumference of your circle will be wider than the inner circle you are joining the edge to, so as you turn the fabric over you will have to slightly gather it as it goes. The wider the hem, the more pronounced the difference and the harder it is to do. This is why many people choose to finish off circle skirts with bias binding around the edge. You would likely find it easier to encase standard elastic or a drawstring within bias binding if you prefer not to use fold over elastic. Or alternatively you could just stitch elastic to the underside of the polyurethane laminate and leave the edge raw to give a frilly effect as this fabric doesn’t fray.

    • Barbara Williams

      Thank you for your tutorial. Funny that I found this. My daughter lives in the U.K. and has said how expensive this type of item is.
      I have one question and I hope it doesn’t sound too dense. What is PUL?
      Thank you in advance and for your time.

  • Elaine Gowing

    Thanks for this idea. I have lots of scraps left form making shields for Days for Girls. I hope the scraps are big enough to make some covers. Any other ideas for using small pieces of PUL?

  • RWTreasure

    Great idea! I get tired of buying and throwing away wraps from keeping food a couple of days.
    I’m curious though — what is PUL fabric?

  • Elizabeth Giambelluca

    This seems to be very easy and would be a great shower or wedding gift to make three sizes and put tissue in a nice box and put your hand made tag on it. Thanks for sharing the pattern. I bet you could make some really cute shower caps too! Sincerely, Lizzie

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      Thank you. I get people asking where I got them whenever I take them out so I’m sure they would be fab as presents. If you have a go, I’d love to see how they come out…. on your bowl or on your head! 😉