Julie posted a couple of weeks ago about how to sew up lunchbox cloth napkins for a waste-free packed lunch. We shared the post over on our Facebook page, and a savvy reader there asked:
…what about reusable bags?…i have covers for sandwiches thermoses but when i wanna pack goldfish or something i have to use bags that are disposable because the lil cups that i can wash do not fit 🙁
It just so happens that I’ve made quite a few reusable snack bags, and they’re easy peasy! Here’s how you can make your very own reusable snack bag. This tutorial will make a 7″ X 6.5″ bag, which is a good size for little snacks or even a small sandwich. If you need something bigger or smaller, you can play around with the dimensions to whip up whatever size you like!
This snack bag is fully machine washable. I recommend flipping it inside out to wash, since the side that touches the food is going to be funkier than the outside when it’s time to wash.
Snack Bag Materials
- One piece of vintage or organic fabric, cut to 8″ X 13.5″
- One piece of organic fabric (I use organic hemp), cut to 8″ X 13.5″ – this is your lining fabric. You want organic fabric on the inside, because it’s touching your food.
- One 8″ piece of Velcro
- Pinking shears
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine and thread
1. Press both pieces of fabric, then place them wrong sides together and pin along the short edges.
2. Run each short edge of your fabric through your sewing machine with a 1/8″ seam allowance, then flip the tube you’ve created so that it’s right side out. Iron the tops of your fabric to create a nice top and bottom edge.
3. Grab your Velcro and separate it into the two pieces: the hook side and the felty side.
4. Pin the hook Velcro 1/8″ from the top edge across the lining fabric side. Pin the felty Velcro 1/8″ from the bottom edge across the lining fabric side. Sew the velcro in place by sewing a line of stitches at the top and bottom of each piece of velcro, all the way across. I’d recommend matching your thread color to the Velcro color for this step.
5. Fold up your snack bag wrong sides out, lining up the top and bottom edges. The Velcro pieces should be on the outside now, and you want to make sure they’re aligned, so the bag will close properly. Iron again, making sure that the second layer of fabric isn’t bunched up at all.
6. Sew up both unfinished sides of your fabric with a 1/2″ seam allowance, then trim off the excess with your pinking shears.
7. Flip the bag right side out and iron one last time. The Velcro closure should work perfectly, and you’re ready to pack a snack!
I am not crazy about sewing with oilcloth, since I try to avoid plastic wherever possible in my crafting. If you want this bag to be more liquid resistant, though, you can use oil cloth for the outside. I definitely wouldn’t use it for the lining, since I wouldn’t want that plastic touching my food!
Do you have a question about how to make or reuse something? We’d love to hear from you! Hit us up via the contact page.
11 CommentsLeave a Reply
Hello, Thank you so much for this post. I have purchased one snack bag for my daughter but much prefer to make my own, so that I can control the size. I had a terrible time finding a liner since I always figured it had to be some sort of food safe plastic. It never occurred to me to just use organic fabric.
Thanks so much for sharing a nice and easy pattern–I’ve made several already and also plan to teach a friend! I wanted to post a quick correction for those who may be new to sewing and might not catch the error. Step #1 should read that the fabrics must be placed right sides together (wrong sides facing out, not “wrong sides together”). As it’s written, the right sides of the fabrics will both be hidden on the finished bag.
I did the two sides of each bag with no raw edges (French seams). To do this, mark 1/8″ in from the edges on the printed fabric sides. Mark 1/2″ on the muslin side. Put the bag right-sides out (muslin facing/touching muslin) and sew an 1/8″ seam on each side. Trim excess. Turn the bag wrong-side out and iron it flat. Then, sew along the 1/2″ mark. You have to be really careful to capture the raw edges within this seam.
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