It’s summertime and that means pot luck BBQ season! I thought I would share this tutorial on how to sew a potluck tray carrying bag with you!

It’s an easy project you can do as a newbie to the sewing machine and can be made out of pretty much any sturdy fabric! I chose a quilted fabric so that my carrying bag could hold a hot item and not need a trivet to be put down.

I used a serger to finish my edges but you don’t have to! A regular old basic sewing machine will work just as well using a zig-zag stitch.


  • sewing machine or serger
  • scissors
  • fabric
  • pins or clips
  • the tray you use most often for potlucks or your largest tray
  • thread
  • measuring tape

How To Sew A Potluck Carrying Bag!

First, start by placing your tray on your fabric.

Then cut your fabric out leaving a couple of inches on all sides to allow for sewing the pieces together. If you don’t leave any extra around the edges then the finished bag will be too tight to fit your dish.

Next, you’ll need to cut two pieces of fabric that are the same width as the last piece of fabric you cut out but slightly narrower. For me this meant that my smaller pieces were about 5 1/2″ smaller than my large piece.

Cutting them this way will make it easy to open the bag to put your tray inside. If you’ve ever sewn an envelope style pillow cover this is the exact same process except that you add handles!

On the longer side of one of the smaller pieces of fabric turn the fabric over 1/2″ and press, then sew along the edge to hem. Repeat this process on the other small piece of fabric.

To make the strap cut four pieces of fabric that are 2” wide and 27″ long. Like this!

You’ll then match up two pieces of fabric and sew along the long edge on each side of both straps. Make sure you leave the ends open to turn the straps after sewing them.

Once you’ve sewn along the edges turn your straps right side out and press. Then sew along the edge of each strap for a finished look.

Place your largest piece of fabric right side up on your work surface and then align one of your strap pieces with the edge 4″ from each edge. Then place one of the smaller pieces of fabric on top and pin or clip together.

Sew the edge closed with a straight stitch and then a zig-zag, or use a serger if you have one!

Repeat the process on the other side of the carrying bag. When you open up the bag it should now look like this with the straps in the middle.

Close the pieces back together and sew along the remaining two sides to close the bag.


You now know how to sew a potluck carrying bag and can take all of your yummy dishes to gatherings without burning your hands! And you can carry more at once since you can slip the straps down onto your arm!

Do you go to a lot of potlucks during the summertime? What is your go-to dish to bring to a potluck?