I have always been a stickler about packing lunches for work. Not only does it save time, it also saves money. Buying lunches every day adds up quick! The only thing I dislike about packing lunches is all the baggies we go through when making sandwiches. So, we found a great solution that saves money, plus helps the environment by being waste free! Now that’s what I call a win-win!
These reusable bags are very simple to make. If you have no experience using a sewing machine this would be a great project to start with. You don’t need a pattern for it, and you can change the size to fit your needs.
I started by buying what quilters refer to as a “fat quarter” of fabric. They should have these at your local fabric store and there is pretty close to a bazillion patterns to choose from. Making up your mind is probably the hardest part. With so many fun fabrics to choose from your kids will love them in their school lunches! I found some more manly fabrics for my husband to use in his work lunches though.
I cut my fabric into 3 rectangles making 1 sandwich size and 2 snack sizes out of each fat quarter. You can make them however big you want in reality, but as a reference, I made my sandwich bag rectangle 19” x 9” and my snack size rectangle 10.5” x 7” so I would have less wasted fabric left over. I made the sandwich bag kind of big to avoid having to smush a sandwich into it.
After you have your fabric cut to the size you want, you’re going to start making the hems on the short sides of the rectangle. To do this, make a fold along the entire short side about 1/4 – 1/2”, and then fold it over again the same amount. This hides the rough edge and keeps it from fraying. Pin the hem in place with 3-4 pins to keep it from unfolding and repeat on the other short edge.
Once hems are pinned, you will start sewing! This is where you might need help from someone that has some sewing experience, or you could probably find a tutorial on how to threat the sewing machine. Once you have the machine threaded and ready, align the center of your folded edge in the machine under the needle and lower the flat part to hold it in place. Start sewing, going about half an inch, then use the reverse to go back over what you already sewed to help keep your seam in. Then release the reverse button again and go all the way down the folded edge, removing pins as you go. When you get to the end, use the reverse again to reinforce the seam on that end as well. Then lift up the flat part so you can take out your fabric, cut the thread and inspect your handy work! Repeat on the other side the same way.
Now that both the short ends are hemmed lay the fabric out on a flat surface with the colored side up. Take one side and fold it back about 1 1/2-2” showing the white side of the fabric. Then take the opposite side and fold over bringing the corners almost all the way to the opposite edge of the fabric. Put in some pins to hold in place and sew both sides about 1/2” from the rough edge of the fabric. (This edge will be inside the bag so you wont see the rough edge. However, you could hem these sides as well if you want to before doing this step.)
When you’re all done sewing, trim all the extra threads off. Flip the bag right side out and you’ve got yourself a reusable bag! They work great for sandwiches, chips, crackers or any dry snack foods. By using reusable containers for your wet snacks along with these bags you can feel good about doing your part to help the environment with waste free lunches… Plus save a few extra bucks each month!
Coborn’s Inc. Graphic Designer