I absolutely hate plastic wrap! I can never get it our of the box without it sticking together. I used to think it was a necessary evil until I decided to make reusable bowl covers and do away with wasteful (and hateful) plastic wrap.
They are easy, inexpensive, reduce waste and pretty. I have taken several casseroles, salads and desserts to potlucks, church, and family functions and everyone asks the same thing, “Where did you get these covers?!” I have even been told by a few people that this is what they want me to give them for their birthday or Christmas. Sweet! I already have half my gift ideas figured out.
- PUL (Polyurethane laminate) fabric, I bought Babyville brand on clearance
- 1/4 inch elastic
- thread to match your fabric
Step 1 – Select a Fabric
I used PUL (Polyurethane laminate) which has a laminate back side and a polyester top side. I used the left over fabric from making Bed-Wetting Underwear, so I did not purchase more fabric. If you do purchase fabric, I found 1 yard did all of my first round of covers. If you want extras, then maybe go for 2 yards. Don’t forget to use coupons! There is almost always a 40% off regular price coupon at JoAnn’s.
I also saw some people using picnic table clothes that have a plastic backing. That seemed too heavy and crinkly for what I wanted. I wanted a smooth thin fit that would keep moisture in and debris out. Plus, I checked at Babyville’s website (the manufacturer of the PUL I bought) and they say their fabric is food grade safe.
Step 2 – Make a Pattern and Cut Fabric
A small and extra small round for bowls, cups, and dog food cans.
A 9 x 13 baking dish.
A close-up of the distance around each dish for my pattern.
I used my personal dishes as a pattern. I measured out 2 inches using a simple ruler, making marks approximately 1 inch apart all around the dish. I used a permanent fine tip Sharpie. After I have marked around my dish, I then cut the fabric smoothly connecting each dot. This is the outer edge, so make it as smooth as possible.
Step 3 – Attach Elastic
On round dishes, I attached Elastic all the way around. On rectangular dishes, I only attached elastic around the ends and left the sides straight. I found it was enough to keep the covers on the dishes since rectangular dishes have a lip and/or handles on the ends to carry the dish, keeping the cover on wonderfully.
Tips for attaching elastic:
- Do not cut your elastic to fit. Sew it on first and then cut. I found I could never get the spacing right. It worked better if I just cut it after sewing it on.
- Do a back stitch at the start and end of where you attach the ends of the elastic. You don’t want that coming loose and hanging off. Ugly.
- Pull the elastic as tight as you can without snapping, this gives it a really tight fit around your bowls. I did practice runs on the 2 small rounds I did to cover dog food cans first. That gave me a good idea how tight the fit was by how much I was stretching the elastic.
- Go slowly! Staying inside the elastic trench is the best way to not have gaps. If I run my machine too fast, it is really hard to keep the needle in the trench, while stretching the elastic.
- I found it easier to hold the elastic if I wound it around my right hand and just unwound it as I went. My left hand kept the fabric steady in the machine.
That is pretty much it! For a cost analysis, check out the previous post.
Side view of the finished 9 x 13 baking dish cover.