How to Sew a Casserole Tote Carrier or Cozy

Updated on November 23, 2019
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I love sewing, cooking, and helping people find stylish and useful ways to improve their lives.

Casserole Carrier Tote Cover Sewing Instructions
Casserole Carrier Tote Cover Sewing Instructions

How Do You Transport a Casserole Dish Safely?

Casserole totes are great for taking your food to potlucks, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas lunch, family gatherings, or any event where you need to take a covered dish or a casserole. The many wonderful cotton fabrics available allow you to really get creative and stylish with your new casserole cozy. These also make great gifts.

Below, I will explain how to put one together yourself with step-by-step instructions and photos. Happy sewing!

What You'll Need

  • 1 yard of your favorite print cotton fabric, at least 45” wide
  • 1 yard of a coordinating solid-color cotton fabric, at least 45” wide
  • 1 yard of cotton batting (or choice of batting, fusible fleece, or heat-insulation type batting), at least 45” wide
  • 1 yard of ribbon, any width, that coordinates with your fabric choice (no wired ribbon)
  • 2 pieces of ½ inch diameter wooden unpainted dowel rod, cut ten inches long
  • 1 spool of thread that coordinates with the fabric

Laying the Fabric
Laying the Fabric

How to Make a Casserole Carrier With Dowel Handles (Step-by-Step Instructions)

1. Cut 2 pieces of print fabric 14" wide by 41" long. Do the same with the solid fabric and batting.

2. Lay one batting piece on the table first. Add one print fabric face-up and then one solid-color fabric face down on top of the printed fabric. Make sure all your edges are even. Carefully pin the layers together so they don't shift while sewing.

3. Repeat this exactly with the other three pieces of fabric. You will now have two stacks pinned together. Are you still with me at this point? Great, so far so good!

Cutting and Measuring for the Handle
Cutting and Measuring for the Handle

4. Take one of the stacks and fold it in half lengthwise. Then, take your tape measure and, starting from the crease, measure 2" in and 4" down.

5. Cut that out on the crease, and you will have a four" square opening where your
handles will later be. Be sure you only do this on one of the stacks. The first time I did this, I made a little mistake and did it wrong!

6. Take the stack with the handles, unfold it, and start sewing the three panels together using a ½" seam allowance. Don't worry, we will fold down some of the fabric to make a place for the wooden dowels to slip into later. Sew around, leaving a 4-5" opening on one side of the panels so you can turn the fabric inside out.

7. Before turning the fabric inside out, clip the inside corners of the handles so the fabric won’t bunch up when turned inside out. Now turn your fabric inside out (don’t forget to take out all your pins first!)

8. Top stitch around the casserole carrier. This will be the part of your casserole carrier with the handles. The other stack of fabric will be your bottom base of your casserole tote.

9. Repeat the same steps to the remaining stack of fabric (besides the step of cutting the handle out). Once you're done, you should have two stacks of fabric sewn together, turned right side out, and top stitched all the way around.

Lay the fabric stacks like this.
Lay the fabric stacks like this.

10. Now you are ready to put the two panels together to form your awesome casserole tote. Place the panel with the handles on the bottom (print-side down) and the second panel on top, across the center of the bottom one (print-side down) to form a plus (+) sign.

Pin it all together and sew your casserole cozy!
Pin it all together and sew your casserole cozy!

11. Using the edges of the fabric as a guide, sew the two panels together. One row of stitching was sewn on the inside panel, and one row of stitching was sewn on the outside panel.

Attach the ribbon to the underside edge.
Attach the ribbon to the underside edge.

12. Take the yard of ribbon and cut it in half. Fold and edge of the ribbon under. Sew it onto the bottom center end of the panel without tabs. Then, fold the other half of the panel over to the center and sew the other ribbon onto the top of the panel right at where the fold would be.

Make sure the fabric fits around the dowel. Then, pin the fabric at the right spot and slide the handle back out.
Make sure the fabric fits around the dowel. Then, pin the fabric at the right spot and slide the handle back out.

13. It's time to make the handles. Take your wooden dowel and place it on the handle tab, folding the fabric tab over the top of the dowel so it fits loosely over the dowel. This way, you can take the dowel in and out easily when you need to wash the cover.

14. Pin the fabric down and remove the dowel. Do this for all the handle tabs. Then, sew the tab starting from the top outside edge down and across, leaving the inside opening to slide the dowel in.

15. Now that you are done sewing your little dowel pocket, you can slide your dowel into it and you are finished! You can easily remove the dowel for washing your cover.

16. Wash your cover in cool water and tumble dry low. Remove it promptly and iron if needed. Never wash your casserole tote with the wooden dowel still inside.

Here is the completed casserole tote! Now, go and make something yummy.
Here is the completed casserole tote! Now, go and make something yummy.

Do you feel stressed about preparing your nightly meal?

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    • profile image


      10 months ago

      I made this as a gift, instead of dowels I used wooden spoons the recieptant loved it! (she says she doesn't forget the spoon anymore)!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      The part about the handles - is it backwards - when I followed your directions, it did not match your photos??? When I recut the piece for the handles and cut them out of the non creased end - it worked!

    • chgdesigngirl profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      If you guys made any of these let me know how they turned out for you!

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great idea! These would also make great gifts for people who take dishes to many activities. Your tutorial makes it seem so easy, I would want to make several, all in different prints! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      It holds a variety of sizes but mostly 9x11. I cut the dowels myself

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What size casserole dishes does this hold? And where would you suggest getting the dowels cut? Thanks for writing this! This is an awesome tutorial! This is so useful and beautiful at the same time. :)

    • chgdesigngirl profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Cool!!!! Let me know how it turns out!!!

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L Cronkite 

      9 years ago from Maine

      This is so cool, I'm going to make this! It will certainly come in handy for the holidays!


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