Folded Star Trivet Tutorial

Tutorial to Make a Pair of Folded Star Trivets…


This design is not a Liesl Made original–in fact, it’s probably older than I am. I’ve seen them all over the place made and sold by various people at craft fairs and online so I am assuming there is no copyright on them. Many years ago, my mother received a pair made by a local woman and being the inquisitive, puzzle-solving type, I inspected one and started playing around with making my own. This is the method I’ve come up with.

Also, another helpful note:

Don’t put them in in the washer. Hand wash only. You might be able to machine wash if you stitch down the raw edges of each folded triangle when you make the tier.

For a pair you’ll need:
2  10” squares of muslin
About 1 yard of print (45” wide)
About ¾ yard of solid (45” wide)

Or enough for…
From the print:
32 5” squares
2 10” squares
From the solid:
24 5” squares
2 scraps (something over 2 inches)
10”+ square to make bias binding (or 2” x about 60” of bias binding)

Cut out your 5” squares. Iron them in half, wrong sides together.
(If using the yardages, there is a step saver– cut (widthwise) three 5” rows from the solid and four 5” rows from the print. Iron the whole strip in half length wise then cut in 5” intervals–you’ll have eight per row. And the excess from the solid is good for the scraps needed.)

Next, iron the two corners down to make a triangle, all raw edges should be on one side.
Repeat for all.

Mark the center of you muslin by folding in half twice.
Place the scrap in the center. (This makes it so you won’t ever see the muslin peeking through. If you wanted to you could just use a 10” piece of the solid instead of the muslin.)
Starting with a solid triangle, pin in place as seen.
Repeat three more times then hand stitch the tips of the corners down.
For the next tier, place a print triangle 1/2” from center folded seam of the solid triangle as seen in the picture. Repeat 3 more times. Then four more times.
6 7
Then repeat for two more tiers: solid then print.
Next I flip it over and use a compass to mark a centered 9” circle on the back and cut it out with a rotary cutter. You can use whatever method you want, just make sure it’s centered. Flip it over and you’ll have a nicely centered circle.
Then pin the 10” square of the print on the back, wrong sides together, flip it over cut off the excess.
Now for the bias binding. It VERY important that its BIAS binding, meaning its cut diagonally on the grain, because this is a circle. (When I first attempted to make these way back when, I used straight grain binding and well, lets just say I ended up throwing them at the wall in frustration.)
You can do continuous binding if you know how, but this is a small project and I just cut and stitch each strip together separately.
Cut out a 10”+ square from the solid. (I say + because that’s about the smallest size you’d need to make enough binding. If you used the yardage then you would have something like 12” leftover.)
Cut 2” wide strips diagonally. You’ll have about 6 strips of various lengths, that’s enough. Then sew them together like seen in the picture so you have a nice long strip of binding.
Pin the binding on the front, wrong side up, folding back the under end. (Does that make sense? Fold back one end 1/2″ ish and pin the other end on top.)
Then stitch about ¼” from the edge.
Flip the binding over to the back, fold it under and hidden stitch.
Mine are always a bit wonky so I iron them nice and flat.
Repeat for the next one. And tada. You have a super sweet gift, for you or someone else.

Obviously, you don’t have to use prints and solids; I just wanted this to make sense. I think it would be cool to do the tiers in fading shades of one color.

You can also make square trivets by using
From the Print:
16 5” squares,
8 5 ¾” squares
8 7” squares
From the solid:
8 5” squares
16 5 ¾” squares
Starting with the smallest ones and working your way up, do the tiers the same as the round ones. The only difference is when you fold the 7” squares fold in half diagonally first then bring the points down so it makes a square. And obviously, cut a square, not a circle. ;)
Square Hotpad Detail

I can’t remember but you might need 12” blocks for the backing and muslin of a square.


  1. Reply
    Jen November 19, 2006

    I finished my first quilt today! It’s not beautiful when compared to other ones, and it’s certainly not intricate. But it’s made with love for my boyfriend… and it’s SO comfy! I’mg oing to uplad photos tomorrow.

  2. Reply
    mariabinns November 20, 2006

    Love this and have included a link to it from my site.

  3. Reply
    Melissa December 20, 2006

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    I see this trivet in quilt shops all the time, but they’re always out of town with only a class and no pattern.

    I love this trivet and need to make many of these.

    PS I found you through

  4. Reply
    Bee January 14, 2007

    Thank you! I made one of these years and years ago as a cushion at school and always wanted a pattern to make another nicer one. I have put a link on my site to this and will make one. Thanks again.

  5. Reply
    lieslree January 15, 2007

    You’re very welcome. :)

  6. Reply
    hursi March 11, 2007

    thanks from switzerland you are welcome sinrely yours mimiswisspatch

  7. Reply
    Faye June 25, 2007

    Thank you sooo much, much appreciated. Bless you!

  8. Reply
    Diane July 7, 2007

    So clearly and simply explained with good photos – excellent – I have just dipped my toe into quilting! – made several Xmas wall hangings (all same design but different fabrics) – thanks

  9. Reply
    Maggie Alitz October 30, 2007

    A lovely and well insulated hot pad.

    Thanks, for a fun project.

  10. Reply
    Shelly November 6, 2007

    Thank so much for the tutorial! About 8 years ago bought a box of quilting stuff and one of these pot holders was in the box. I’ve wanted to make this for so long but never could figure out how or where to start.

    I’ll making a bunch of these for Christmas.

    • Reply
      Mary August 14, 2009

      What a great idea! I was thinking the same thing!

  11. Reply

    [...] Star Trivet Liesl shares her Folded Star Trivet Tutorial on her blog, liesl made, with easy-to-follow directions and a square [...]

  12. Reply
    elsie123 November 25, 2007

    I’ve got one of the finished trivets, but didn’t know how to make them. Thanks for the great instructions!

  13. Reply
    Kate December 3, 2007

    Do you have the instructions for MINI version of folded Christmas Tree Ornaments

  14. Reply
    MikKnits December 12, 2007

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I found this while searching for instructions on how to make the Christmas ornaments and will now be making trivets as Christmas gifts. I’ve made 2 square ones so far and have added two layers of cotton batting for insulation. I’ve also made the Christmas ornaments, which are basically the same thing but using 2″ squares. I used a 3″ diameter styrofoam ball. They’re great!

  15. Reply
    Maximus December 20, 2007

    I would like to see a continuation of the topic

  16. Reply
    jill December 30, 2007

    mikKnits…do you have a site for instructions for the folded ornament?

  17. Reply
    Sylvia January 1, 2008

    Thanks for sharing your tutorial. My grandmother made these by the dozens but did not leave instructions. I have two samples of hers that I can now duplicate. She used a different fabric for each round which made them look more scrappy in her frugal style.

  18. Reply
    Paula J. March 8, 2008

    Thank you so much!. Someone gave me one of these a few years ago, and I have been wanting to make one ever since. I did try to start one but never finished.

    Thank you for doing this so simple with photos too.

  19. Reply
    Paula J. March 15, 2008

    Here is a link to the Christmas ornaments:

    These are beautiful and made on the same concept.

  20. Reply
    Laura March 21, 2008

    Thank you so very much for the lesson. I have been looking for so many years for direction and complete instructions with pictures. You have made my week.

  21. Reply
    Nancy Lowry April 26, 2008

    I have been looking for the trivet pattern for 6 months. They are being sold for $12.00 on another site. Thank you so much. Some of us can’t afford those prices. My daughter-in-law has one made by her grandmother and she used coke fabric. It is so cute.
    I’ll let you know when I get it done. I’m starting today right after the little league ball game. You are now in my favorites.

  22. Reply

    [...] Patchwork Kitchen Towel Embellishment, Patchwork Oven Pads, Folded Star Trivet, Vintage Chicken [...]

  23. Reply
    susan May 30, 2008

    wonderful tutorial. thank you so much for sharing it with the world. i’m making some for a girlfriend for her birthday with the leftover kitchen curtain fabric she had (she told me to do something with it years ago. boy, will she be surprised to get it back!). the only part i am having confusion with is, do i need to stitch down the center points on all tiers or just on the first one? thank you again.

  24. Reply

    [...] Stern 3 [...]

  25. Reply
    Barbetta December 31, 2008

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. My daughter made one of these potholders as a Christmas present when she was very young…she’s now 38! I truly cherish it and wanted to make some for gifts. I’ve got the fabric but I needed the pattern, so thanks again.

  26. Reply
    Dorothea Bowline January 5, 2009

    What fun to have our Sat. Sew and Sew group making these trivets. Over 30 years ago, my daughter and I put out this pattern after taking apart one( we called it a potholder) to understand its construction. We added a loop so it could be hung…. We made dozens and sold them at Craft Shows, and sold the pattern through an ad in the Quilter’s newsletter. I can not find the original one, but I know I made dozens!! We sold them for either $6 ir $7, The patterns was sold for $2.00, and I received hundred of requests. What fun to see it surface again. How wonderful the internet is …..I wonder what they sell for now, It would be interesting to know.

    thank you
    Dorothea Bowling in Tennessee

  27. Reply
    Diane July 27, 2009

    Thanks for the tutorial. My mom made one of these in a class years ago and wanted to make more.

  28. Reply
    Mary August 14, 2009

    Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to put together this tutorial to share on the internet!! I decided I wante to try to make one of these and search on Google. Came up with your site on Sunday. Since then I’ve made 4 of them.
    I just posted a picture of one of them on my blog along with the link to your site. I hope that will be okay.
    Thanks again! Mary, Austin,TX

  29. Reply
    Laurie October 16, 2009

    Thank you.
    Are the square ones fun too? Are they hard? I have never done bias binding. Looks hard. :0)

  30. Reply
    Laurie October 31, 2009

    I have been looking for this pattern for about a year now! I made a pot holder with this pattern many years ago, but couldn’t remember how to do it. Thank you so much for posting this! :)

  31. Reply

    [...] over at Lieslmade shows this beautiful example of folded star pattern.  I want to make a whole quilt this way.  The accuracy of paper piecing–without [...]

  32. Reply

    [...] Now we are to the binding stage. Make sure your binding is *bias binding* because you have to maneuver the rounded corners. A simple google search for bias binding directions will provide plenty of info if you’re a newbie to binding. Or you can check out how I made mine for the Folded Start Trivet Tutorial. [...]

  33. Reply
    wordpaintervs March 16, 2010

    I am so thrilled to find this. I made one years ago in a class, but the directions were ‘sketchy’ and it didn’t come out well, when I tried to duplicate it. I love the photos so I can follow along at my leisure. I was reaaly happy to see I could make a square one as well. MAYBE I can do some in shades of pink to raise money for the fight against Breast Cancer. I do other crafts to help when I can, and this might be something new.

    I’m off and running on this one. FUN FUN FUN…make great gifts for my kids and grand kids. Thanks so much.

    You are a jewel!

    Hugs to you and yours.

  34. Reply January 23, 2011

    I am interested in making a pillow top (finished size approx. 16″) and need to know how to adjust your istructions, material needed, etc. for making the folded star pattern to end up with one large enough.

  35. Reply
    Sarah December 4, 2011

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have a hot pad my grandmother made me years ago and I’ve always wanted to make one myself. I think I’ll make some for Christmas!

  36. Reply

    [...] design. I just googled “circular hot pad folded stars” and voila! Many results. I used this one at Liesl Made (perhaps I was drawn to it because our cat’s name is [...]

  37. Reply
    TheaM January 9, 2012

    Love this technique – it has been around for at least 50 years – I’ve done it as a Christmas ornament, potholders, pincushion, etc.
    fun and fast!

  38. Reply
    Jen July 12, 2012

    Excellent instructions! Have just made my first folded star, and have ordered the christmas fabric to make lovely things for Christmas!! … was thinking of trying to work the design as a runner at some point….

    • Reply
      Liesl July 15, 2012

      So glad you enjoyed them. Hope you have lots of fun making more things with this technique, Jen.

  39. Reply
    Patti February 24, 2013

    I watched a tutorial and they stitched in the fold of the triangles to hold the whole thing together. Thank you for the tutorial, I’m pulling fabric to try this tonight!!

  40. Reply
    Patresa September 9, 2013

    Great instructions! I have made several of these now and always receive compliments. I sometimes mix them up with each row a different fabric. Yet my favorites remain with the two fabrics. It emphasizes the star more. Again, many thanks and keep up the incentives for the rest of us to keep sewing!

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