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How to make a hot water bottle cover

Keep your toes toasty and yourself cosy with our hot water bottle cover tutorial. This sleepy little bear will keep you company all winter long.

hot water bottle cover pattern

The nights are long and chilly so it’s time to put the kettle on and cuddle up under your favourite blanket, in front of a roaring fire, with a hot water bottle in a handmade cosy. Make this quick-stitch hot water bottle cover as a little gift for friends born in winter, or as a mini heater to cuddle at bedtime. Coupled with a fresh, cool pillow and you’re in for a good night’s sleep.

The lovely Samantha Stas taught us how to make a hot water bottle cover and we think her little sleepy bear makes this project extra special. It’s also a great beginner sewing project because it’s both simple and can be created entirely by hand. If you are new to sewing don’t worry. Not only is Samantha’s tutorial super easy to follow but we also have a sewing for beginners guide right here on Gathered to help you. Plus it’s a great stash buster project because you can use up those spare pieces of felt and thread ends to stitch it. Once you’ve learned how to make this hot water bottle cover make sure you check out Samatha’s other felt projects like her mug cosy pattern and her DIY Wimbledon strawberries

Grab felt in your favourite colour (or the one which fits your bedroom’s colour scheme), download our free template and learn how to make a hot water bottle cover. Over to you Samantha!

hot water bottle cover pattern cropped

You will need:

• Thick grey felt for front cover, 38x26cm
• Thick grey felt for back top cover, 25x26cm
• Thick grey felt for back bottom cover, 22x26cm
• Piece of dark brown felt, 20x14cm
• Scraps of peach or beige felt
• Scrap of black felt
• Piece of cotton ribbon, 50cm
• Cream wool
• Water soluble pen
• Black thread
• Light brown thread
• Grey thread
• Needle
• Pink chalk
• Template

Make sure you check out our round-up of sewing kits for beginners for other simple projects. When you feel confident enough to move from hand sewing to sewing machines then use our how to use a sewing machine tutorial along with our best sewing machines for beginners guide to understand your new machine! 

How to make a hot water bottle cover


You Will Need

  • Felt
  • Wool
  • Thread

Total time:

Step 1

hot water bottle cover pattern step 1

Cut out your hot water bottle cover and appliqué pieces using the template.

Step 2

hot water bottle cover pattern step 2

Lay the front piece of the cover place the bear shapes roughly in the middle. Pin just the bears body in place. Sew around the bear in light brown cotton, adding detail to his leg. Use the template as a guide. Give it a light iron, using a pressing cloth.

Step 3

hot water bottle cover pattern step 3

Fabric glue the peach or beige felt pieces on the head shape. Arrange the bear’s head in place and pin. Sew around the head and the face pieces. Give it a light iron, using a pressing cloth.

Step 4

hot water bottle cover pattern step 4

Hand sew some fur details on the leg, back and ears with light brown thread. Using black thread add his eyes and claws. We also used the black thread to create a shadow between his face and paw.

Step 5

hot water bottle cover pattern step 5

Use a water soluble marker to mark out some Zs on the cover. These can be sewn by hand or machine. Lightly spray off any pen marks and add some rosy little cheeks, using some pink chalk. Wait for any dampness to dry and give it a final press. Water can distort the felt if you iron when it’s damp.

Step 6

hot water bottle cover pattern step 6

The back of the hot water bottle cover is made up of two pieces, top and bottom. Hem the edges which form the envelope opening using a 6mm seam allowance. Cut the ribbon in half, turn the raw edge under and sew to the inside of the top cover piece (along the hem stitch).

Step 7

hot water bottle cover pattern step 7

Stitch the other half of the ribbon to the right side of the cover, 1.2cm from the bottom.

Step 8

hot water bottle cover pattern step 8

hot water bottle cover pattern step 9

Place the front appliquéd cover wrong side up. Align the back bottom piece in place, right side up, then lay the back top piece over it, right side up. You should have created an envelope opening. Pin and sew with matching thread using a 7mm seam allowance. Keep the ribbons clear from path as you sew (we’re sewing this on the right side!). Trim if necessary.

Step 9

hot water bottle cover pattern step 10

Finish with a blanket stitch. Start your stitching at the envelope opening. Use your stitch line as a guide for the depth of each stitch.


All finished! You’ve officially learned how to make a hot water bottle cover. Now you deserve to snuggle down with your hot water bottle and a mug of tea. For more fun sewing projects make sure you head over to our sewing patterns for beginners which include projects like our free rabbit sewing pattern and even a free teddy bear sewing pattern.

Meet the Maker
A fabric hoarder and Miss Marple fan; Samantha spends her weekdays in her sewing room and the weekends perusing the flea markets in town. If you’ve loved her how to make a hot water bottle tutorial then check out her Etsy store for more cute cosy peices.

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