reusable snack bag sewing tutorial and pattern

Going Green

Reusable snack bag Sewing Tutorial and Pattern

At the start of the school year, I was convicted to stop using plastic baggies for the kids' lunch boxes. I would ask the kids to bring home the baggies that weren't slimy but that was hit or miss. My hubby will reuse the same Ziploc bag for WEEKS...yep, weeks because he has the EXACT same thing for lunch every day. It's like groundhog day.

Anyway, I had bought some sandwich wraps that seemed easy enough to try to replicate but were really holding up quite well. I figured if the sandwich wrap was holding up so well, then the baggies probably would too. So I set to work. I tried a little bit of everything in my process of coming up with the perfect bag.

Vinyl is super cheap but my sewing machine will not sew with it in. I tried using old chip bags that I put fusible interfacing on but those didn't hold up very well (the velcro would pull away and rip the chip bag). I finally broke down and spent nearly $5 on a tube of iron on vinyl (on sale with the coupon at Joann's, normally it's nearly $10) and it works quite well.

I sew them with my serger. I love my serger. I picked it up at a garage sale on my birthday and paid $50 for it. If I could marry it, I would. Here is how I made this fancy little baggie that will hold anything from crackers to apple slices. You can wipe them out with a clean rag, or wash them on cold and hang dry.

I don't use a pattern, each baggie ends up being a different size. But I did like the size that this one ended up so I used it as a guide. Here I am lying it on the roll of vinyl and "measuring" it out.

This is what the bag looks like. You will find it in the notions department.

Here the vinyl is cut and then folded. You can see it's 8 squares across, about 6 squares in the main section and 3 squares for the top fold over section. Again, make it however big or small you want. My 4-year-old loves the little coin purse sized one for goldfish.

Peel the paper away from the vinyl, then place face down on the wrong side of the material (pre-wash your material). Put the paper on top of the vinyl so you can iron over it. Your iron should be on the wool setting. I turn the whole thing over and iron the backside too. Sort of like an iron on transfer.

At this point, I fold it again, with the paper still on it and iron it down making the creases as a guide. I don't peel the paper layer off until I get ready to sew it.

I then serge the top of both sides.

And then sew the velcro on. I have tried placing velcro on the whole length of the inside of the baggie instead of having a top flap and it works just as well too. It's just more velcro, and I haven't had an issue with food spilling out while it's packed, so it doesn't seem like an issue.

I then fold the bag up the way that I will use it and serge the sides together completing the whole line from bottom to top, but making sure the top is open so you don't sew it shut!

Trim off the extra strings and there you have it!

A new super cute lunch bag accessory. And what girl doesn't love a good accessory...even if it is just in your lunch bag!

I have since updated this and created a sandwich wrap as well. It creates a pretty awesome placemat for your sandwich and you can make coordinating snack bags.


Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

Very thrifty of you...cute idea!

Amy Molander said...

Any idea how I could do this without a serger? Can a regular zigzag stitch work?

Melissa said...

I've been wanting to do something like this for a long I can do it without doing all the foot work of figuring out how...Thanks!!

Unknown said...

Amy, I wish I could tell you I tried it on my regular machine and made it work, but really, my machine stinks and hates working with vinyl. I tried it multiple ways and with different materials (old pretzel bags fused with backing, regular vinyl) and never had any luck. My machine didn't want to stitch through it. That's not saying that yours won't, just mine didn't like it. The other problem you run into is that it's hard to turn the vinyl once you sew the two sides together. Good luck and let me know how it turns out.

Amber said...

Can you wash these? Maybe just toss them in the laundry or do you just wipe it out?

Unknown said...

You can wash these. But don't put them in the dryer. Let them air dry. I do give them a rinse after the kids use it in their lunches, but if they get really nasty, a trip to the washing machine helps.

lyonmade4 said...

Love it! I feel real bad every week when I make 4, soon to be 5 lunches everyday, using 3 minimum baggies per lunch. Yikes!! So Thank you for sharing your knowledge and talent!!

Amy said...

I love your sandwich wrap and lunch bags (found you via Pinterest). I received a Singer server (used) from my aunt, but I have no idea how to thread it... As soon as I figure it out, I'm making these!

Amy said...

Oops, that should be Serger!

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