How to Make a Cute Fabric Utensil Holder for Picnics and Cookouts

Skip the plastic cutlery and tote your own reusable utensils with this easy-to-make holder that requires only basic sewing skills—and it's machine washable!

wooden kitchen utencils blue cloth holder
Photo: Jacob Fox
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Using wooden utensils and metal straws is an easy way to minimize waste, but they're not always handy. This quick sewing project makes it easy to take these items wherever you go, so you can skip the plastic forks at your next picnic or neighborhood barbecue.

This simple sewing project for a DIY utensil holder turns two squares of fabric or cloth napkins into a wrap ideal for keeping your utensils clean. It can be easily washed after carrying your used forks and spoons home. It's also an easy way to transport knives safely. This sewing project isn't just for picnics and potlucks; use your handmade holder in the kitchen, craft room, or garden. Simply resize the pockets based on the utensils you need to store.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Scissors
  • 1 Ruler
  • 1 Iron
  • 1 Straight pins
  • 1 Sewing needle or sewing machine
  • 1 Fabric pencil or marker

Materials

  • 1 1 to 1-1/2 yards fabric
  • 1 1/4-inch twill tape

Instructions

  1. Prepare fabric

    To start the utensil wrap, choose two large pieces of cotton fabric ($4, Walmart); use different patterns if you'd like the outside and inside of your wrap to be different. Be sure to choose machine-washable fabric, and wash and dry the fabric before beginning this project. Cut two 9x20-inch pieces and press a 1/2-inch hem on one short end of each piece. Then pin the fabric together with right sides facing and the pressed edges aligned.

    Related: Ditch the Plastic Bags and Make These Easy Beeswax Wraps

  2. Sew panels together

    After pinning:

    • Use a sewing machine ($85, Walmart) to sew the fabric panels together.
    • Start on a long side and sew a 1/2-inch seam along three sides.
    • Leave the short pressed end of the rectangle open.
    • Use the open end to turn the fabric right side out and press to remove any creases.
    • Sew the open end closed with a topstitch.

    When all sides are sewn shut, fold the previously open end up 5 inches, creating the pocket. Pin the edges of the pocket. Cut a 24-inch piece of twill tape ($8, Amazon). Fold the tape in half and insert at the top left side of the pinned pocket. Stitch 1⁄4-inch all the way around the edges.

    Related: The Ultimate Guide to Sewing for Beginners

  3. Sew individual pockets

    To create individual pockets for tools or utensils, use a ruler and fabric pencil to measure and mark even increments across the pocketed area. We made ours 1-1/2 inches wide, creating five individual areas. If you want to store your reusable straw in the wrap, you may want to make a smaller pocket. After marking each one, stitch the slotted areas in a straight vertical line, leaving the top open. Once you've finished sewing the individual pockets, the wrap is ready to use.

    Add a set of utensils, then fold the top over and roll the wrap shut. Use the twill tape to tie it closed.

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