Back to School Ideas DIY-Packed-Lunch-Storage-Solutions

Published on June 10th, 2014 | by Julie Finn

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15 DIY Packed Lunch Storage Solutions

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15 DIY Packed Lunch Storage Solutions

Packing lunch can be so toxic! It often seems that harmful products are far easier to buy than eco-friendly ones, whether it’s plastic sandwich baggies that you’re looking at, or vinyl lunch bags, or individually wrapped applesauces.

It’s definitely worthwhile to spend the money on a few high-quality packed lunch supplies (my Klean Kanteen is practically an extension of my hand), but you’ll be surprised at how many packed lunch storage solutions you can craft for yourself from eco-friendly supplies, whether they be natural or upcycled:

1. Bento box. Sew your own bento box!

2. Cloth lunchbox napkins. These cloth napkins are small enough to fit in a lunchbox, but can be washed at home with your other cloth napkins.

3. Fabric bowl lid. I don’t super love PUL + food, but this fabric bowl lid that uses PUL fabric doesn’t actually touch your food; instead, it saves you from having to cover your casserole, your bowl of chips, or any other serving bowl with Saran Wrap when traveling to or from a picnic or potluck.

4. Felted wool lunch bags. My felted wool lunch bags are a modification of the tutorial available in Makery, by Kate Smith.

5. Lunch box. If you prefer a lunch box to a lunch bag, here’s how to make a zippered lunch box!

6. Mason jar with pour spout. A half-pint Mason jar retrofitted with the cardboard top from a salt canister turns it into a cute little dispenser. Perhaps you’d like to fill it with mini chocolate chips, brown sugar, and granola to dress oatmeal packed hot into a Thermos?

7. Mason jar sippy cup. You can also rig a Mason jar with the pour spout from a juice carton.

8. Mason jar cozy. Keep all the Mason jars that you pack nice and grippy by fitting them with a felted wool Mason jar cozy.

9. Microwave potato bag. If your lunch room has a microwave, make and pack this microwave bag for perfect baked potatoes.

10. Microwave popcorn bag. And for a snack, bring DIY microwave popcorn!

11. Patchwork pouch. Simple sewn baggies are useful to hold all kinds of non-messy foods; this boxy pouch is roomy enough for a couple of apples or oranges to stay tucked together and bruise-free.

12. Re-usable produce bag. Use tulle upcycled from old formal wear to make a set of mesh produce bags to throw into your lunch box.

13. Re-usable snack bag. A re-usable bag like this is a great substitute for a plastic sandwich baggie.

14. Tote bag. If you’re packing lunch for several people, you might as well pack it all in a tote bag.

15. Water bottle slingYou can carry your water bottle with you without having to bring the rest of your lunch along!

Do you have some favorite waste-free lunchbox storage solutions? Share them with me in the Comments!

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



  • Tina

    I love these ideas! We don’t need to take meals on the go much, but we if we do, I just throw the food in our pyrex containers. I have wanted to try the LunchBots (stainless steel lunch containers) for over a year now but I haven’t taken the plunge.

    I have looked at the Klean Kanteens. Is yours the insulated one? We have three Hydro Flasks http://www.hydroflask.com/ (12, 21 and 64 oz) and we LOVE them. The only problem is they don’t fit in my water bottle compartments in my hiking pack. Well, the 12 oz does, but I pretty much finish that off in one big gulp.

    We also just purchased some Liberty Bottles. They are 100% recycled AND made in the USA. We like them, except they are not insulated (we are spoiled now because of the Hydro Flasks). If they were insulated, they would be perfect.

    Anyway, thanks for the round up of fun ideas!

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