Patchwork Potholders


Created October 15, 2002 Copyright SuzShook
Made "Version-Independent" March 2009
Property of SuzShook

This tutorial is my own creation;
however, most of the techniques used in this tutorial, I have learned from others!
Therefore, if you recognize any contribution you have made, I thank you!
And I thank you as well for respecting this as my work by not posting it,
in whole or in part,
in any other location without written permission from me!

Individuals and PSP graphics groups are invited to share my tutorials with others with TEXT LINKS ONLY.
You can e-mail me to let me know you are adding one or more of my tutorials to your list if you like -
it's always fun to know who is doing them!

Here are some great potholders you can add to all your shelves with hooks and buttons! They make wonderful tubes, and are so practical for decorating! Hope you enjoy putting yours together!

I make my tutorials as brief as possible, without the customary paths, details, and how-to's. For those veterans among you, this will be welcome! But for those less familiar with PSP, I included a "Glossary" that contains all the details omitted in the tutorial. If you need a little extra help, check the Glossary section. Just click on the button below - the Glossary will open in a new window.

PSP glossary button

This tutorial assumes you have a working knowledge of Paint Shop Pro at the intermediate level (or advanced beginner level with the Glossary). It was originally written in and for PSP Version 7, and now made "version-independent". Screen shots for this tutorial can come from any version of PSP - where there are significant differences from version to version, a green "Version Note" will be included, along with multiple screen shots if necessary.

Where a note/tip refers to a version of PSP and all higher versions, a + sign will be used to indicate this. For example, if a note/tip applies to PSP X and higher versions, I will use the convention "PSP X+".

If you try this tutorial, and find something is inaccurate for your version of PSP, please EMAIL ME to let me know so I can fix it!

Screen shots in this tutorial are resized - your work will be larger than this!

Supplies - For this tutorial, you will need the following:
  • Paint Shop Pro - any version. The latest version of PSP can be found at the Corel site HERE.

  • The ZIP file containing the pattern used to create a material texture effect - you can get it HERE. ~ ~ Unzip into your Patterns folder.

  • The ZIP file containing the texture used to create a material texture effect - you can get it HERE. ~ ~ Unzip into your Textures folder.

  • The ZIP file containing the styled line used for the stitching on the potholder - you can get it HERE. ~ ~ Unzip into your Styled Lines folder.

~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~

OK, now we're ready to begin! Grab your mouse and let's get started!

Remember to save often!

~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~


For these potholders, I used an assortment of colors and various material samples. Your potholders will be personalized to you as you choose your own colors and cloth swatches!

Set the Foreground Material to Color and the color to a dark color for the border of the potholder - I used #000080 for the sample potholder. Set the Background Material to Transparent (null).

Create a new transparent image 400 x 400 - this will give you plenty of room to work, and you can resize your potholder later.


Add a new raster layer, naming it "border". Select the Preset Shapes tool preset shapes tool (P) tool, select the Rounded Rectangle from the drop-list, and use the following settings:

Retain style (UNchecked)
Create as vector UNchecked
Anti-alias (CHECKED)
Line style (#1 Solid)
Line width (10),

Holding the SHIFT key down, draw a rounded square about 210 x 210 pixels. Rotate this layer 45 degrees. This will be your potholder border. Move the border down near the bottom of the image - you'll need room at the top for the tab and ring later.

Now select the border and contract the selection by 4 pixels - this will give you a very narrow selection, as shown below. I've added color to mine just to illustrate where the selection is - yours, of course, will not be green!


Save the selection to the alpha channel so it will be available in the next step! Deselect and save.

Now let's make the loop that will hold the ring. Add a new layer. Click on the Swap Materials button ( swap materials icon ) to exchange the Foreground and Background materials so that the Foreground Material is Transparent and the Background Material has the border color. Change the Line width of the Preset Shapes tool to 1, and draw a small rounded rectangle centered at the top of the potholder for the hanger - watch the Status Bar so that the width of the hanger is about 10 pixels - the same as the border of the potholder. Use the Move tool move tool (M) to get it exactly centered at the top of the potholder. When you have the loop in place, merge this layer with the "border" layer before continuing!

There are many ways to add a cloth texture to the potholder border - the Texturizer plugin, or Filters Unlimited Texturize to name a few. In this tutorial, we will use PSP only, utilizing the pattern and texture provided for downloading above.

Duplicate the "border" layer. Set the Foreground Material to Pattern, using the ss-phpattern1 pattern (Scale = 100, Angle = 0). In the Material Properties dialog, mark the Texture checkbox, and choose the ss-phtexture2 texture. On the "Copy of border" layer, click on the Lock Transparency button ( lock transparency button - off ) to lock transparency - it should look like this when locked: lock transparency button - on .

Version Note: In PSP 8 and 9, the Lock Transparency "padlock" looks like this when transparency is not locked ( lock transparency button - off ), and like this when transparency is locked ( lock transparency button - on ).

Using the Flood Fill tool flood fill tool (F), fill with the Foreground pattern. Lower the opacity on this layer to about 56%.

Note: When you are finished, don't forget to:
  • Unlock the layer transparency (by clicking on the Lock Transparency button again); and to
  • UNcheck the Foreground Material Texture checkbox.

Otherwise, you may get some unpredictable results!

Merge the "border" and "Copy of border" layers, renaming the merged layer "border". Save your work!


Click on the Swap Materials button ( swap materials icon ) again so that the Foreground Material has the border color. Add a new raster layer, naming it "grid". On this layer, we'll draw in lines to separate the patches for the potholder. You might want to hide the "border" layer to make this task easier.

For the outside edge of the grid, load the selection you saved to the alpha channel and flood fill with your solid color. Deselect. Choose the Pen tool pen tool (V) with the following settings:

Connect Segments (UNchecked)
Create on Vector (UNchecked)
Show Nodes (UNchecked)
Anti-alias (CHECKED)
Line style (#1 Solid)
Line width (1),

Set the background style to null, and holding the shift key down, draw lines from the top left side of the potholder to the bottom right side - be sure these lines just overlap the edges of the grid so that you'll be able to select each section of the grid later! The first coordinate of the first pair of coordinates in the Status Bar will help you keep the lines evenly spaced - I kept my lines about 50 pixels apart. You should have about 3 lines, and your image should look something like this, though you won't have the white background that I'm using for illustrative purposes:

grid lines

Duplicate the grid layer, and mirror the duplicate layer. Your image should now look like this:

grid lines
Note: If the outside edges of the two grid layers do not coincide, use the Move tool to move the image on the duplicate layer until it just overlays the image on the original "grid" layer.

Merge the two grid layers renaming the merged layer "grid". Make all layers visible - if your grid lines extend beyond the border of the potholder, use the Eraser tool eraser tool (X) on the "grid" layer to remove the excess! Then save your work!


Add a new raster layer, naming it "patches". Using the Magic Wand tool magic wand tool, click in each area of the potholder on the "grid" layer, and expand the selection by 1 pixel. Then move to the "patches" layer, and flood fill with your color/pattern. For my sample pot holder, I'm using 3 colors: #DFBAD5, #9B9BB3, and #A7B8AC.

CAUTION: Be sure you are on the GRID layer when you select the areas to fill, and on the PATCHES layer when you flood fill those areas!

Once you have all the sections filled, move the "border" layer to the top of the stack, and the "grid" layer right underneath it, with the "patches" layer on the bottom. Now let's add some finishing touches!

Save your work!


There are all sorts of ways you can finish your potholder. In each of the examples below, I started with the same basic potholder created in STEPs 1-4 above. Then I had some fun!

  1. Sample #1:

    To achieve this effect, I selected each of the patches on the "patches" layer and applied an Inner Bevel effect with the following settings:

    inner bevel
    Bevel (#2), Width (16), Smoothness (75), Depth (15), Ambience (-40),
    Shininess (0), Color (white), Angle (132), Intensity (50), Elevation (59)

  2. Sample #2:

    For this one, I applied the Tiles Texture effect to the "patches" layer - here are the settings I used:

    tiles patchwork preset
    Tile Shape (Triangle), Tile Angularity (100), Tile Size (14), Border Size (1), Smoothness (60),
    Depth (2), Ambience (0), Shininess (50), Color (white), Angle (315), Intensity (50), Elevation (32)

  3. Sample #3:
    For the next example, I merged the "grid" and "patches" layers, and then used the Tiles Texture effect with the same settings as above EXCEPT I changed the Tile Shape to Square and the Tile Size to 19:


  4. Sample #4:
    Finally, here's a sample where I followed the same procedures outlined in the last two paragraphs of STEP 2 (substituting the "patches" layer for the "border" layer) to add a cloth texture to the potholder! You may need to adjust the opacity of the duplicate layer to get the amount of texture you want!


Save your work!


Instead of using the Tiles effect, you might want to add stitching to the patchwork potholder. To do this, add a new raster layer above the "patches" layer, naming it "stitching". Select the Pen tool again, this time changing the Line style to the ss-phstitching dashed line you downloaded for this tutorial. With the SHIFT key depressed, draw a dashed line very close to one of the grid lines:


Duplicate this line, and move the duplicate to the other side of the grid line. Merge these two layers, renaming the merged layer "stitching".

Duplicate the "stitching" line three times, moving two copies up to the parallel grid lines. Rotate the 3rd copy 90 degrees, and move this copy around one of the intersecting grid lines. Duplicate this last set of lines twice, moving the copies to the last two grid lines:


Here's the final result, after applying the same inner bevel as in STEP 5 to the "patches" layer:


Save your work!


There's only one thing left to complete the potholder - adding the ring to hang it from. For that, add a new raster layer, naming it "ring". Set the Foreground color to white and the Background Material to Transparent (null). With the Preset Shapes tool set to Ellipse, Line width = 2 or 3, Line style = #1 Solid, depress the SHIFT key and draw a 40-46-pixel circle. Apply the Sculpture Texture effect - here are the settings I used:

sculpture texture effect
Size (100), Smoothness (0), Depth (52), Ambience (0), Shininess (0),
Color (white), Angle (315), Intensity (50), Elevation (66)

For the Pattern, use any gold or silver or brass pattern in your pattern folder. When you have the ring the way you want it, move the "ring" layer below the "border" layer and move the ring up to the edge of the tab on the potholder border.

And that's it - you're done! Merge the layers and tube your potholder so you'll have it for future use! You can make all sorts of these potholders, varying the colors and patterns!


Have fun with your potholders! Don't forget to sharpen if you resize!

If you have any problems, comments, or questions, please do not hesitate to Email me.


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All graphics and content 2002-present by SuzShook