Monday, December 5, 2011

Casserole Dish Carrier Tutorial

Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, MOPS and all the other activities I am involved in, it seems I am always carrying a hot pan of food along with me. I went to visit my mom at Thanksgiving time and we normally try to sew something while I am there (usually it is my one of my many projects). This time my mom had borrowed a friend's casserole dish carrier that she was in love with. She had wanted to change it up a bit and needed a little help. After reviewing casserole dish carriers on the internet and trying to find a tutorial for one that reflected a style that I wanted, I decided to design my own by incorporating elements of a few different carriers.

It took about 3 hours from start to finish in order to complete. This project is recommended for the sewer that has some experience. 

Materials Needed:

Fabric (Washable Home Decor Fabric): 2 yards that you will pre-wash (I used 1 yard each of coordinating fabric for the inside/outside of the carrier)
Thread: 1 spool that coordinates with the fabric
Insulated Batting: 1 yard
Oval Plate
Dowels: 2 7/16” diameter cut to 14"
Peg Board: 9 3/4" x 15"
Velcro: 2" wide, 2 pieces cut into 6" lengths each

Sewing Machine
Cutting Mat
Rotary Cutter

1.  Wash, dry, and iron your fabric (not the insulated batting).

2.  Cut out of each of your coordinating fabrics and your insulated batting (17" wide and 11.5" wide). 

Detailed directions below:
  • Take your first piece of fabric and fold in half with selvage edges together. 
  • Take the top fold line and fold it again down to the selvage edge.
  •  Line up your square ruler to find your straight edge and use your rectangle ruler to "square" the end of the fabric.
  • Make your first cut of 17" and then your next cut of 11.5" 
  • Do this for both yards of your coordinating fabric

  • Your insulated fabric is most likely already folded in half one time.  "Square" the end as stated above and make your two cuts of "17 and 11.5"

  • At this point you should have 3 layers of 17" wide materials and 11.5" wide.

3.  Layer the 17" wide fabrics (Right sides together and make sure the insulated batting is facing the correct way according to its directions).  

    4.  Cut off the selvage edge from one end and measure the below inches toward the other end and cut. You will want 30" if you want a sleek, small carrier that fits a 9x12 pyrex with a cover or 38" if  you want a carrier that will also hold a bowl.

    5.  With the 17" x 30" layers pinned together you will want to grab your oval plate and decide the depth you want your handles.  I had mine about 4 to 5 inches. I marked my plate with a marker and made sure my marks were even by lining it up on my cutting mat.  I then made sure I had it even on my fabric by making sure I had the same number of inches on each side.   You may also see that I notched the batting.  I did this so that when I turn my fabric right side out I can square my corners better.

    6.  Layer the 11.5" fabric, right sides facing each other and making sure the insulated fabric is laying the correct way according to the directions.  Cut off the selvage end and then measure 43 inches and cut (43" does not need to be exact, just get as close as your fabric allows). 

    7.  Sew 1/2" seam allowance leaving a 4" opening to be able to turn the fabric inside right. On the wider fabric sew right on top of the markings you made from the oval plate.

    8.  Cut 1/2" seam where you sewed around the half oval. 

    9.  Cut "mountains" inside the oval as pictured below.
    10.  Trim the corners.

    11.  Turn inside right and get ready to iron.

    12.  Iron down the spot that you left open and the rest of the fabric so that it is nice and flat.  Pin the opening closed.

    13.  Make a small seam around the entire piece of fabric (you can see my little helpers feet below).

    14.  We need to layer the two pieces now. 

    15.  Fold the wider piece of material in half and mark the half way point with a pin on both sides of the fabric.

    16.  Fold the thinner piece of material in half and line up with the halfway point of the wider fabric.  Mark each end with a pin onto the wider fabric so that you know where to lineup the thinner piece onto the wider fabric.  Do this on both sides of the fabric.

    17.  Fold the wider fabric in half width wise and make a crease in the material at the halfway point.  Fold the thinner material in half length wise and make a crease.  Line up the creases with the thinner fabric being on top. Your thinner fabric should line up between the pins you made in the previous step plus line up with the creases you made. Make sure you have an even amount of thinner fabric on each side of the wider fabric and pin it in the corners.

    18.  On the thinner piece of fabric sew only one long edge down.  Sew right on top of the seam.  Leave the other seam open to allow you to slide in the peg board as shown below.  Flip the fabric over and sew on top of the seam of the wider fabric.  Sew both edges.  When you are done it should look like the picture below.

    19.  Fold down your carrier handles 1 1/4" down, pin and sew straight line right on top of the seam leaving an opening on both sides to be able to insert your handle all the way through.

    20.  You should now have a product that looks like this.

    21.  Adding the Velcro (2"wide 6" long); place your Velcro 1" from the top and 1" from each side and sew them onto the front of the fabric.  Sew the other pieces of fabric on the backside of the fabric 1" from the top and 1" from each side and sew them down.  This will hold your 9x12 pan tightly in your carrier.

    22.  Place your dowels through the handles.  Insert your peg board and trim the board if necessary.  You are now ready to take a casserole anywhere this Holiday Season!

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    1. I love this Jolen! So great. I wish I was crafty because this is something that I definitely would be interested in making.

    2. I like it! I have to try to do something like this. It,s very good idea.

    3. This the best carrier I have seen! Been wanting to make some for a long time. THANK YOU
      Meghan in Medford Oregon

    4. This is a fantastic idea! I love the idea of using dowels for handles. It would make it that much stronger. The pegboard is a great idea too for some stability.

      Wonderful tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

    5. Muy bonito el resultado. Y el tutorial genial!

    6. Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial! I made one of these years ago and I use it quite a lot at the holidays or just to take a casserole over to my daughter's house. I lost the pattern, so this one of yours will come in handy to make more for gifts. The only difference is with mine I put in a pocket to hold a large teflon serving spoon.
      Happy New Year!

    7. I love this what a great idea! I'd love you to add it to my what we wore and made party over at

    8. I really like this idea and will be making it soon. Thanks! Saw it on Pinterest... (which I'm now addicted to!)


    9. Thank you so much for sharing! Although the holiday season is over, I plan on making at least one of these for my home, and perhaps several more for Christmas gifts next year - great job!


    10. Love the fabric!! Where can I find it?

      1. All the fabric came from the Home Collection from Joann Fabric and Craft Store. It was purchased around Thanksgiving time so I am unsure if they would still have it.

      2. Thank you. Will make a trip there!

    11. Love the fabric!! Where can I find it?

    12. Love this thanks so much for sharing

    13. I have one of these I received as a gift and it is used all the time. I will give this a try - I could use another one. Great tutorial!

    14. Love this tutorial and have made a couple as gifts. Is there a reason you used Home Decor fabric instead of regular cotton fabric? Just the size or is the heavier weight fabric better for hot dishes? Hoping I haven't goofed...

      1. Jana,
        II am so excited that you love the tutorial and have made a few of these already. I liked the heavier weight of the Home Decor fabric but if cotton worked on your other ones I think that is great! Thanks for the comment, always fun to hear from people that have used the tutorial!


    15. I love your pattern, I hope to make it as a gift soon. My one question is about the dowel handles...How do you keep them from sliding out by accident. I can see that they should be removable for ease in washing the carrier, but I'd hate to have one fall out while carrying it...

      1. The ends of mine are closed and the dowel is easily removed for cleaning but you may have to pull the pegboard out. (No pegboard in mine and no issues). Mine also has a serving spoon holder sewn on the flap that has the dowel. It looks like an elongated U and has binding around the raw edges. This is a great pattern

    16. i made this pattern and i loved it

      1. I am so glad you made it and loved it! I would love to see a picture if you blogged about it! =)

    17. Beautiful! Functional art at its best.

    18. Hey there, I bought some new fabric this weekend and I would LOVE to try this, but where would I buy pegboard in this size?! I cannot find it listed on any of the following sites in this size: Hobby Lobby; Wal-Mart; Home Depot; Jo-Ann's Fabrics/ Craft; nor Hancock Fabrics.

      1. I bought it at Lowe's/Home Depot and had to cut it myself to size.

      2. Oh, I wonder if Lowe's could have cut it for you since they offer a complimentary cutting service! And, thanks for the source! :)

    19. I want to make this with the handles going across the width instead of the length. I saw a similar pattern where wooden spoons were used instead of dowels and they'd be too short to use lengthwise - have to put my thinking cap on and switch some things.

    20. I just finished making a Casserole Cover for a Christmas Gift. This is the first project I have sewn in over 10 years, and only my 4th or 5th sewing project. It turned our great. Thanks for the wonderful instructions!!

    21. How do I download pattern for furture use?

    22. What size is your casserole dish?

    23. Spoon Rest in the shape of a cucumber or pickle?
      spoon rest