DIY Fabric Tortilla Warmer {Tutorial}

Do you have an indispensable gadget in your kitchen that you didn’t know you needed until you got it? Something you can’t imagine life without now? For me, one answer is my fabric tortilla warmer.  I discovered these little wonders at Portland’s Saturday Market a few years ago, and have used one nearly every day since.

Make a Tortilla Warmer {Tutorial} | The Good Hearted Woman

It nearly goes without saying that my tortilla warmer is an essential part of the process when I make homemade tortillas. I stack them in, fresh and hot right out of the pan, and the heat and steam softens them perfectly by the time we are ready to eat. (Making tortillas is much easier to make than your might think: check out my step-by-step directions for homemade flour tortillas.) However, these insulated fabric warmers aren’t just for heating tortillas – microwave potatoes turn out fluffy and delicious, and they will accommodate a lunch-size bowl of veggies for steaming. They work as an emergency pot holder too! It seems like every week I find a new use for mine. (My kids have been known to make quesadillas in ours: I do not recommend this. Not at all.)

You may be able to find fabric tortilla warmers at your local farmers market, but if you have a sewing machine and half an hour, you can easily make one yourself.

To make one tortilla warmer, you will need:

  • 1/3 yard patterned fabric (I got this chili print for 75% off!)*
  • 1/3 yard muslin*
  • 2 – 12×12-inch pieces of 100% cotton batting (i.e., Warm & Natural)**
  • 2 – 16-inch lengths of extra-wide double-fold bias tape
  • 1 – 25-inch length of extra-wide double-fold bias tape
  • Thread

Make a Tortilla Warmer {Tutorial} | The Good Hearted WomanSince this is not a project that requires meticulous cutting precision, I cut all the fabric and batting pieces at once. (I’m a quilter and a bit of a perfectionist to boot, so if you lean that way too, trust me – everything will be OK.)

1. Using a compass or the rim of a large serving bowl, draw an 11-inch circle on one piece of the batting. This is your pattern.
2. With the batting pattern on top, stack two layers of patterned fabric, two layers of muslin and both pieces of cotton batting.
3. Cut out all the pieces so that you have two patterned fabric circles, two muslin circles and two batting circles.

Make a Tortilla Warmer {Tutorial} | The Good Hearted Woman

Next, make the two fabric-circle sandwiches.
4. For each sandwich, stack one of each – muslin, batting, and patterned fabric. (Right sides out!)
5. Sew a 1/4” seam around the edge.

Make a Tortilla Warmer {Tutorial} | The Good Hearted Woman6. Attached one 16” piece of bias tape to the edge of each fabric sandwich.   (To clarify, each fabric sandwich is still separate at this time.)  I use a straight stitch, but I’ve seen tortilla warmers sewn with a zigzag stitch too. It’s just a matter of personal preference.

Make a Tortilla Warmer {Tutorial} | The Good Hearted Woman

Now it’s time to sew the two fabric sandwiches together.
7. Pin the two circles together, right-sides out, with the bias taped edges aligned. Trim any bits of overhanging, mismatched edge fabric on the raw “unbiased” edges. This will all get covered up, but having them even makes attaching the final piece of bias tape much easier.
8.  Attached the 25-inch piece of bias tape to both circles at the same time. Be sure to turn under 1/2” of each end of the bias tape.
NOTE: I could tell you that I pin these together carefully before I sew, but that would be a lie. I just pin the turned under end in place, and then snug the bias tape onto the edge as I go around. I think this makes for a smoother bias-tape application.

Make a Tortilla Warmer {Tutorial} | The Good Hearted Woman

That’s all there is to it!  Once you make one tortilla warmer and see how fast and easy they are (not to mention how incredibly useful), you will be making them for everyone you know.  And remember – they aren’t just for microwaving! Wrap one around a bottle of salsa for a great hostess gift, add one to a festive gift basket, or pack one with warm tortillas for your next picnic.

* You really only need two 12-inch squares of each patterned fabric and muslin, so scraps work just fine.
** DO NOT use any batting with metal! It needs to be microwave-safe.

This tutorial was originally written as a guest post for Kim Demmon’s Today’s Creative Blog.  If you love DIY projects, be sure to check out her new site, Inspiration DIY!

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Renée ♥

I'm a writer, teacher, autoharper, food & lifestyle blogger and proud Native Portlander.In my spare time, you can find me writing love songs about cowboys, exploring the moss-covered nooks and crannies of the Pacific Northwest, and making music with my talented singer-husband.
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  1. Annette says

    Hey Renee,
    I was just wondering what inexpensive gift I could give to my daughters and daughters-in-law for their birthdays this year. This sounds like it may fill the bill Thanx

  2. Dorcas says

    Hi I ran into this page while I was trying to figure how to make a tortilla warmer and yours is absolutely my favorite. my mom is going to have a get together and I thought it would be a cool idea to create at least 10 tortilla warmers to give out, however, im just so confused on the measurements I don’t know how many yards is good enough to make 10 tortilla warmers if you could help me out on this confusion and also recommend me any good affordable fabric websites or stores that would be great ☺

    • says

      Everything is cut in 11″ circles, so figuring the yardage really depends on how wide your fabric is. For example, You need a total of 6 circles for each warmer – 2 of the outside “pretty” fabric, 2 of inside liner fabric, and 2 of the batting. If your fabric is 44″ inches wide, you could get 4 circles across if you cut very carefully. That means 4 circles = 1/3 yard. (Or just make it a bit smaller.) Let’s take the case of the outside fabric – you will need 20 outside fabric circles for 10 warmers, so that means you need 1 2/3 yards of outside fabric. If all the fabric was the same width (which is won’t be), that means you would need a combined total of 5 yards of outside fabric, liner fabric and batting. Just do the math – it’s pretty easy. Good luck – it sounds like you have a fun project planned!

  3. Hope Mayles says

    Do you use it in the microwave to heat the tortillas or just for storing them after you have heated them in a skillet?

    • says

      The warmer is for heating them in the microwave. Works like a charm! No more overcooked, tough tortillas.

  4. says

    These will be perfect to add to the kitchen set I’m making for an upcoming auction for a fallen police officer! I also just wanted to say hello from a former east side camp girl (Arrah Wanna) – my kids went to outdoor school at Namanu. Our house overlooks the Sandy River, and we appreciate the view every day!
    Crafty Staci recently posted…Super Stitches Sewing Book Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  5. says

    I was told that everything must be 100% cotton for the microwave. All of the bias tape has polyester in it. Can that be used?
    Sue MacDuff recently posted…Bobs Red Mill TourMy Profile

    • says

      It has never been a problem for me. Perhaps the recommendation you are referring to is in regards to the batting, which should either be 100% cotton or specifically made for microwave use. Polyester blend for the bias tape is fine.

  6. Ellen says


    Great tutorial however EVERYTHING should be 100%cotton. Bias tape and thread. I’ve sold over 2,000

    microwave potato bags. Trust me.

    • says

      All I can say is that I’ve made a lot of these with poly-cotton blend (Wright’s) bias tape with no problems. The one I have now has been in service for well over two years without any problems.

      I wonder if it makes a difference that these are for warming tortillas. What I mean is, I have a potato bag too (I bought it) and because the time it spends in the microwave for any one job is so much longer, it endures much higher temperatures. Just a thought. Anyway, for the tortilla warmer the poly-blend tape hasn’t been a problem, but I would definitely agree that the fabric & batting need to be 100% cotton.

  7. Melanie Duff says

    I can’t wait to make these and give to all my friends. Thanks for the pattern.

  8. Meghan says

    i int have any muslin in my stash. Can I just use a piece of an old cotton sheet? I have one I’ve been cutting up and using for various projects.

    • says

      Of course. You can use whatever you want, as long as it is 100% cotton.

  9. Donna says

    Thanks for the tutorial. I am new to sewing on a machine and want to make useful items. This tortilla warmer is something I need and would use. Love it as a gifting idea too.

  10. says

    So, I’ve been making these for a few years and have three on the sewing table right now, waiting for the binding. I ran out on one last night and just made my own from the fabric. I’ve used the same bias binding you use and have never had a problem – I think it’s because the warmer is only in the microwave for a few seconds. I never have mine in more than 20 or 30 seconds. I’ve done the binding your way (before I found this tutorial) and another way I found on another blog. Yours is easier. I think I’ll stick to what’s easy. :-) Thanks so much – wish I’d found this sooner!!
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