Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tool Time Tuesday...Easy Casserole Carriers, Gift Ideas

This week's projects are helpful, quick gift ideas for the holidays. Are you familiar with the cooking show Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee on the Food Network? She takes store bought items and adds fresh ingredients to make a great semi homemade dish.

Well, today these 2 tutorials are Semi-Handmade...purchased place mats plus your special touch with ribbons or fabric and they are turned into bread and casserole carriers. Great gifts for neighbors, friends, teachers and hostess gifts.

The carrier can be the gift itself or you can purchase a new casserole dish or bread pan and add your favorite recipe. Bake the bread in the pan, wrap it up in the new carrier and tie the recipe to the ribbon. A fast, easy and homemade gift that everyone will love!

The first tutorial is this carrier made with one place mat and some ribbon.

The second tutorial is a casserole dish carrier made with 2 place mats, ribbon or a strip of fabric.

Tutorial #1...I purchased this place mat new at a consignment shop for 75 cents, but if you look for sales on place mats you can buy them fairly cheap.

Have your place mat on your work surface the long side on the bottom and fold in half.

Measure all three sides and find the center...(don't measure the folded edge)

Mark the half way point on all three sides and both layers...see there are 2 pins on each side.

When you unfold it, there will be 6 points that are marked with pins.

Next, measure 6 pieces of ribbon 12 inches long. I used 1/4 inch wide ribbon, but any size will work.

Here are your 6 cut pieces.

I folded over the end a little so it wouldn't fray and to add some support when I sewed it to the place mat.

Pin all 6 pieces on the WRONG side of the place mat to each of the pre marked spots you had marked with the pins.

All 6 ribbons pinned to the wrong side.

Stitch back and forth a few times for strength.

All stitched on.

I baked this pumpkin bread in one of those aluminum pans to show you how inexpensive the whole gift could be. I bought that pan for 27 cents in a discount store. That bread looks a little dark, but it was delicious. I love anything pumpkin! Just place it in the carrier...

Tie the ribbons together and your little bundle of goodies are ready to give away...now how fast is this gift!

The side ribbons keep the pan from sliding out.

See the bread all safe and warm...

This is a perfect little gift to bring with you when visiting for Thanksgiving. However, Christmas is just around the corner, so find a Christmas place mat, a red or green one and bake a cranberry bread or a batch of cookies.

Here is tutorial #2...Casserole Dish carrier

You will need 2 place mats. You can't see that price tag, but these were $1.29 each. Woo Hoo!

I also used a strip of fabric from a Jelly Roll that I had. Jelly roll fabric is 2 1/2 inches wide by the full width of fabric (about 42 inches long). You could also just use ribbon or strapping.

If you are using a 2 1/2 inch wide fabric strip, just fold it in half, right sides together...

and stitch down the 2 long sides, leaving the end open.

Turn right side out.

Iron flat.

For the main handle you could add webbing or strapping for stability.

Take one place mat, fold in half, find the center and mark with pins.

Place your ribbon or the handle that you've made on the center marks and trim to fit the exact width of the place mat.

With the extra fabric or ribbon, pin pieces to the center of the short sides of both place mats and sew in place. Just as an FYI...I made mine with the left over strip cut in half, but they were too short. Make yours a little longer than mine. These will be the ties that keep the dish from falling out. You could also use Velcro.

Now place both place mats right sides together...make sure both ends with the ties are on the same side.

Sew on all three sides...not the opening end that has the ties.

Turn right side out and you are done...another fast project and so inexpensive.

Just slip in your casserole dish and you are off to the party!!

Tie it closed to keep the yummy food inside.

The thick quilted place mats keep the hot casserole dish warm too if you were bringing it to a dinner.

and off you go...

Remember, you can just give the carriers as a gift in itself. You can also purchase new dishes to add to it and bake something special to add even more.

With times being so hard for most people these days, fast and inexpensive gifts are welcome ideas, but I know most people really appreciate the time spent with a hand made gift...well Semi Handmade in this case.

Have a wonderful Tuesday,


  1. Love, Love, Love them! I am definately giving these away this christmas. I know just who are getting them. Thanks Karen.


  2. WOW I LOVE the cassarole dish carrier!!! I will definetely make some!

  3. Beautiful and frugal...awesome combination!

  4. These are great ideas!!!! I love them.

  5. Karen, gracias por estos dos tutoriales. Están muy bien explicados. Me gustan porque son muy útiles y prácticos. Un beso

  6. Perfect gift, and, I might need to make some for myself. Love the bread for teacher gifts, those add up so quick!

  7. Karen you are the best shopper! Honestly, I see some bargains, but need to learn how to take it one step further and figure out what to do with my purchase LOL....are you going to post the recipe for that bread? Can't wait to make your sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving ;) Thanks for todays tute....fondly, Sandy

  8. Great ideas and terrific tutorials (as usual). Thanks!

  9. Very nice pieces that are great for gifts.


  10. Great ideas. You always come up with great ideas.
    I could sure use this one. Don't forget to sign up for my giveway.

  11. What a great idea! Super easy and a perfect gift idea. Thanks for sharing your tutorials.

  12. What a fun way to take goodies to someone....thanks!

  13. Karen the wonders you can do with place mats. They do make great gifts. I was just wondering
    have you made your hubby place mat drawers???
    Just kidding......":O)

    P.S. "drawers" is southern slang for underwear.

  14. I love the bread carrier! I have been thinking about gifts for my neighbors for the holidays...and I love baking with my kids. Adding our baked goodies to this cute carrier is a perfect gift :) Thanks!

  15. Wonderful tutorials! Thank you for the great gift ideas.

  16. Those are great and will make great gifts too! Thanks for sharing!!

  17. Thanks for some great ideas. I love the quick carrier idea. It's so inexpensive and quick to do this. This time of year I have so many dinners and parties to attend, these will come in so handy for those.

  18. WOW! LOVE IT! THANKS FOR SHARING! I love all of your inspirational ideas!

    Deck The Halls of HOME with JOY!

  19. Wonderful gift ideas!
    Suzie @

  20. Those are fab! I think I'll have to make a couple of each for Thanksgiving! Thanks for sharing!

  21. These are great ideas! And the place mats you used are beautiful!

  22. very clever! thanks for sharing!

  23. Hi! These are fabulous ideas! Using the quilted placemats, the casserole carrier could work for some laptops too. If I get a chance to make one, I think I'll try a tab and big button closure.

    Enjoy the weekend!



  24. I LOVE the casserole carrier ... and I'm going to make some for Christmas gifts!

  25. These are wonderful projects! Thank you so much for posting such detailed tutorials--it's wonderful to have easy-to-follow instructions!

    It's nice to meet you, by the way. . . I've been married 25 years and have three sons! :)

  26. what wonderful ideas!! love it! If you have time I'd love for you to come link up to Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings! www.ladybug-blessings.com

  27. Karen, Love this idea! Such a perfect hostess gift for the holidays! Thanks so much for linking to The Sunday Showcase party - I greatly appreciate it. I have featured thison my first round of showcases; please feel free to stop by and grab a featured button. Hope you are enjoying your week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  28. Oh my gosh! I love this. It's s pretty and useful at the same time! Bookmarking..

  29. Karen these are great ideas. A perfect gift for any hostess. Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial.

  30. Is just the one handle enough to hold the casserole carrier even? I'm wondering if the dish could slide out? Trying to make my first one and wondering if I should put two handles on it??

  31. The cuteness of your crafts just don't have an end, do they?! :D I love the one carrying the bread, with the ribbons! It's so cute...and an excellent way to gift some baked yummies! I love this idea. :)

  32. From"Tool Time Tuesday...Easy Casserole Carriers, Gift Ideas" i find nice collections of gift case.
    Send gifts to pakistan

  33. i love this now i just got to the fabric store and get some fabric o my god i have to quit looking because i am finding stuff that is sssooo cool

  34. Just to add, make the stapping go all the way around (under the cassarole) it will make it much stronger. Thanks Debbie

  35. Wow Its really nice idea. This post comes up with really innovative Gift Ideas.

  36. What about the casserole tipping while you are carrying it and juice spills out??? Why not have a strap around the long end also??? Velcro!

  37. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  38. Hand made gifts means alot they show real love for the one you going to send send gifts to your loved one's anywhere in the world Pakistan gifts itx not about wastage of money :)

  39. Do you have some more information about hand made gifts?

  40. hello . great technique use to keep the food alive with its fresh taste its great to know about it i am going to share it with my relative really a wonderful technique it is . thanks for uploading it .

    send flowers to pakistan

  41. OMG, I knew there had to be an easy way to fix those darn food carriers. Well now I feel Great about making one. Thank You very much. I've bookmarked this site and will be back often. I signed up.

    Rude Ruth

  42. Thank you for this wonderful and creative idea. I love making hand-made gifts and this one is going on my to-do-list.

  43. Hi there. Very cool website!! Man .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds also…I’m happy to locate a lot of useful information right here within the post. Thank you for sharing.

  44. I just stumbled across this tutorial through a link in my email. I love this carrier and am definitely going to make some! Thanks so much for this brilliant idea!


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