Reusable Bowl Covers - And Creating Your Own Brand Swag

Make your own reusable bowl covers

This year, I incorporated guest bloggers into my work. These writers provide a unique perspective on camping and outdoor activities.  I want to say thank you to these special contributors for their work this year.  In my day job, branded swag is how businesses promote their name.  How could I create something that promotes my brand that separates me from the general swag like tee shirts and water bottles?

I'm an avid crafter, so I settled on something practical and useful.  Reusable items for both our home and camper are things that I enjoy.  I feel good about using these products.  I recently discovered reusable fabric bowl and casserole covers on Pinterest.  Immediately, I knew that they would be an excellent thank you gift for blog contributors.  And, I would use these for both camping and home.

Because you can make these items yourself, you can customize your covers to any size bowl or casserole dish that you would like.  These are particularly practical for eating outdoors and keeping things covered from bugs and the elements.  Camping and picnics are excellent uses for reusable covers.  These are also a solution for tailgating and potluck dinners.

If you have fabric from existing projects, you can use what you have.  Or, if you are creating something for your brand, then use something that fits in with your colors, theme or product.  I started with some fabric left over from the curtains that I made in our camper. I also purchased some fabric from the Riley Blake Glamper-licious line.

If you are interested in this fabric line for glamping themed projects, this is a fun collection that coordinates well.

Once you have selected your fabric, you will need the following supplies:
  1. fabric to make your covers - fat quarters work well if you have to buy some fabric
  2. 1/4 inch elastic
  3. extra wide double fold bias tape (optional)
  4. rick rack (optional)
  5. Brand labels (optional)
Start by measuring your bowl or casserole dish that you would like to cover.  Lay the item face down on the fabric and measure 2 inches extra around the bowl or casserole.  You will want to make several marks around the container measuring two inches each time to get the correct shape.

Measure around your bowl and mark with a pencil.
If you are making a casserole cover, use your 9 x 13 pan to mark around the edges for your shape.

For bowls, you may need to shape up your cuts.  Fold your circle in half and then a quarter to trim up and make sure that your circle is a nice even shape.

Fold your circle that you make for your bowl in quarters to shape up into an even shape.

If you are going to add rick rack to trim your cover, now is the time to do it before the elastic goes in.  To finish without bias tape, measure about 2 inches inside the perimeter of your shape to place your trim.  For the bias tape finish, measure about 1 1/2 inches inside the perimeter.  

Also if you adding branding your cover, you can have little labels made with your logo or brand name on it.  This is what I did.  I had labels created with the name of my blog, slogan and web address.  Dutch Label Shop is the company that used for my labels.  You can purchase small to large quantities of labels.  These would also be great for someone that is a crafter that sells or gives items as gifts.  You can personalize them in a variety of ways.  

Determine the placement of your logo label and sew it onto the cover before adding the elastic as well.  I placed mine about 2 inches from the bottom right side.  I used the fabric positioned over my container to help me decide on the best placement.

I had labels made for my blog from Dutch Label Shop and love them!
Now that you have your shape, you have two options.  You can finish with or without bias tape.  Both methods work fine.  The bias tape makes it look a little more finished.  But, it is not really a necessary step unless you want to do it that way.  

Finished Without Bias Tape

Take your shape and finish with a zig zag stitch all the way around the edge.

Zigzag your edges.

Stitching around the edge will help with fraying.
When you have zig-zagged the edge, turn the edge down about 1/2 inch all the way around.  Pin as you work.  Leave approximately 2 inches at the end open.

Pin around the edges to get an even pocket for your elastic to wind through.
Sew all the around the pinned edge closely to the stitched seam.

Cut your elastic about 5 inches shorter than the diameter of the shape.  Use a paper clip or small safety pin and attach to the end of the elastic.  Pull the elastic through the small pocket you have created on your cover.

Once you pull the elastic through you will have a gathered edge that will fit around the bowl.
Either hand stitch or sew the elastic together with a machine.  Then hand stitch the opening you left closed. 

The elastic fits nicely around the bowl to create a seal.

Finished With Bias Tape

Cut your fabric shape using your bowl or casserole dish as a pattern to measure around.  For this option, cut your fabric 1 inch wider for the casserole container.  For a bowl, you could still use a 2 inch wider cut from around the edge of the bowl.  Zig zag the edge of the fabric before adding your bias tape.

Insert your fabric edge into the open side of the bias tape.  Pin closed and work all the way around the edge of the fabric.  You will want to remain close to the edge of the fabric. 

Work the bias tape all the way around the edge of the fabric.

Pin the bias tape as your work around.
Sew close to the edge of the bias tape working all the way around the edge of your fabric.  Leave a small opening at the edge where you first started. 

Sew the bias tape closely to the edge of the tape ensuring that the fabric remains inside of the bias tape opening.

The bias tape makes a finished edge and a smooth pocket to insert the elastic.

Cut your elastic about 5 inches shorter than the diameter of the shape you are working with.
Thread the elastic through the pocket the bias tape creates using a pin or paper clip attached to the elastic.  Sew the elastic together.  Finally, sew the open end closed by hand.

Attach a paper clip or safety pin to the elastic to weave it into the bias tape pocket.

When you are finished, you will have a cover that fits snug around your bowl or casserole.

The casserole cover fits snug around the dish.

The bias tape creates a pop of coordinating color and gives a professionally finished look.
If you enjoy camping, there are quite a few novelty camping prints available through  I have used the terms camping, glamping, woodland, outdoor, and picnic and terms to help locate themed prints that fit my blog.  Soft cotton fabrics with a tight weave work best.  Avoid fabric such as canvas or broader woven fabrics.  Fabrics labeled for quilting and home decorating accents would sew nicely.

These covers would make a thoughtful gift for friends and loved ones.  They are small and lightweight which makes them good mailing candidates.  A 9 x 13-inch casserole cover would be useful since this is a standard size.  Bowl covers would be harder to do as a gift since bowls come in so many different sizes.  Include a recipe card for a favorite casserole and maybe a wooden spoon or serving utensil.

Or, you could take the leftover fabric and embellish little kitchen towels with rick rack and a matching fabric border.  I did this using my leftovers.

I used bar mop towels from Walmart to create the embellished towels to go with this project.

Reusable casserole cover with coordinating camper towel.
Now I have some swag to share that has my logo branded onto it.  I also think that my swag is specific to my blog and everything it is about.  I can't wait to share it with others!  And, I have some new bowl and casserole covers that I can use as my campsite as well.

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