Several years ago I set out to design a very simple reusable snack bag for things like sandwiches and crackers. I came up with an easy design that took me only 15 minutes to sew! These little DIY reusable snack bags are cute and they’re so functional for litter-free back-to-school snacks and lunches. If you’ve ever asked the internet how to make your own reusable sandwich wrap, this post is for you!
If you’re like me, school lunches can be a real struggle. Besides what to actually put IN the lunches (this is a constant headache, isn’t it?) there is the stress of packaging. I feel a bit guilty about all those plastic bags, but what else can you do for crackers, cookies and whatnot? Well, I’ve found one of those easy sewing projects that I love sharing with you guys! You don’t have to be an expert seamstress to make your very own reusable snack bag. Let me show you how it’s done!
This tutorial was originally published in August 2013 and has since been updated with new photos.
Materials (for one 6 ½” x 6 ½” snack bag):
- 2 pieces of laminated cotton fabric (or another material of your choice**) that measure at least 7 ½” x 16 ½”
- Roll of 1″-wide velcro
- Sewing machine & thread
- Paper clips to hold slippery fabric in place (optional)
What fabric can I use for reusable snack bags?
Let’s start with fabric choice before we really get into this DIY sewing project! I realize that some people may prefer to use organic cotton or other fabrics rather than laminated ones near their food. Of course you want to choose a fabric that you’re comfortable with. However, remember that if your fabric does not have a “plasticky” coating, your food won’t stay as soft or crisp as it would with a less natural fabric.
I’ve researched laminated cotton and personally, I think it’s a great option. I’m comfortable using it next to my food since it’s phthalate and BPA free and is considered food-safe fabric. If you choose laminated cotton for making your reusable bags, you get all the convenience and function of the plastic baggies you are replacing but with fewer chemicals, and you get to reuse them too! So I think it’s still a healthier and more environmentally friendly choice. Whatever you decide, go to the fabric store and find a pattern and fabric you love! There are so many options.
How do you make snack bags?
Now let’s get to the instructions for making these adorable and practical additions to your kids’ lunch bags so you can say goodbye to Ziploc bags forever! Here’s how you make your own reusable sandwich bags:
Cut out two rectangles of laminated fabric that measure 7 ½” wide by 16 ½” long. I chose to cut my lining pieces and outer piece out of the same kind of fabric (laminated cotton), but you could make them each a different type of fabric if you want.
2. Place the pieces of fabric right sides together and sew around three sides (using a ½” seam allowance), leaving one short end of the bag open. You can choose to keep the fabric pieces in place with paper clips as you sew (I just wing it!).
3. Turn the rectangle right-side-out so the wrong sides are showing, and then fold the short edges in about a ½” and top stitch to close the remaining short end.
4. Finger press around the perimeter of the rectangle (you can’t use an iron on laminated cotton). Cut a piece of velcro that’s about 6″ long and sew the “hook” side to the top edge of your rectangle as shown (use the side without the top stitching) and the “loop” side to the opposite end of the rectangle (but place it on the back of the rectangle and about 2″ from the edge as shown).
5. Fold the bottom edge up as shown so that the bottom velcro is facing outward and its edge is about 2 ½” from the top edge. Secure with paper clips if you wish, and then top stitch around three sides of the snack bag, securing the sides and finishing the top flap.
And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed my little reusable sandwich bag tutorial. This is just one of those simple projects that makes so much sense. It’s a darling little reusable snack bag in a few easy steps and with minimal materials. These bags are even machine washable! It’s such a great idea for reducing waste in our daily routine, and I’m so happy I get to do my little bit for the planet while also finding a creative outlet.
I’ve made lots of these bags, and my original batch is still going strong at 6 years old! So I know they last for a long time. Let me know how they work for you. If you prefer a zippered snack bag over one with Velcro, have a look at my zippered wet bag tutorial and size it to your needs.
If you have already made your own sandwich bag or have another suggestion for reducing waste in kids’ lunches, I would love to see and hear about it! Put your snack bag or advice in the comments. And of course, if you’re here looking for ways to make back to school season more exciting, I’ve got other ideas too!
Next up: Beeswax Wraps!
A beeswax wrap is another reusable alternative to plastic wrap. They’re so easy to make and a great way to use up your leftover fabric. You can use them to wrap up cheese, cover bowls, sandwiches, fruit pieces, and more! I’ve experimented with a few ways to make these, and this method creates the stickiest wrap.
- 2 pieces of laminated cotton (or another material you choose**) that measure at least 7 1/2 x 16 1/2″
- a roll of 1″ wide velcro
- sewing machine
- paper clips to hold slippery fabric in place (optional)
- Cut out two rectangles of laminated cotton that measure 7 1/2 ” wide by 16 1/2″ long. I chose to cut my lining and outer fabric out of the same kind of fabric (laminated cotton), but you could make them each a different type of fabric if you choose.
- Place them right sides together and sew around three sides (using a 1/2″ seam allowance), leaving one short end open. You can choose to keep the fabrics in place with paper clips as you sew (I just wing it!).
- Turn the rectangle right-side-out, and then fold the short edges in about 1/2″ and topstitch to close the remaining short end.
- Finger press around the perimeter of the rectangle (you can’t use an iron on laminated cotton). Cut a piece of velcro that’s about 6″ long, and sew the “hook” side to the top edge of your rectangle (use the side without the topstitching) and the “loop” side to the opposite end of the rectangle (but place it on the back of the rectangle and about 2″ from the edge).
- Fold the bottom edge up as shown, so that the bottom velcro is facing outward and its edge is about 2 1/2″ inches from the top edge as shown. Secure with paper clips if you wish, and then topstich around three sides of the snack bag, securing the sides and finishing the flap.
Watch my YouTube video to learn how to make these reusable snack bags plus more zero waste DIYs:
Watch this video to get ideas on Amazon products to buy to help reduce waste:
Find the Amazon products mentioned in this video right here.