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Project Thirteen: Reusable Fabric Snack Sacks (with tutorial)

February 6, 2011

I found this reusable snack bag tutorial about a year ago and bookmarked it, only to forget all about it until this morning, so I figured I really should get on with actually making some of my own. The boy takes a packed lunch to school every day so these will make a nice change form the little Tupperware containers that usually hold his snacks (I don’t usually give him Nice biscuits, but we had nothing else suitable in the house when I was taking the photos).

I made four little snack sacks in total, two with some ice-cream fabric and two with some lovely bold apple fabric. I adapted the original tutorial because I wanted my snack sacks to have a water-resistant vinyl lining to keep food fresher and to make them wipe-clean. I didn’t want food stains all over the lovely fabric!

I have never worked with plastic when sewing before, but I had a clear shower curtain I bought in the sale at Habitat for Β£3 specifically for projects like this, so gave it a try. I have to say it was a bit of a nightmare, the vinyl was slippery but also clung to the sewing machine foot, but eventually I managed it! I probably need some special foot or needle or something to sew with this stuff. The end results were worth the effort though, and they still only took about twenty minutes each to make.

If you want to make your own, without the vinyl lining, I suggest you follow the very simple tutorial I linked to above. If, however, you want to give the vinyl a try, here are the instructions:


  • 1 piece of outer fabric, measuring 7″ by 12″
  • 1 Piece of inner fabric, measuring 7″ by 12″
  • 1 piece of clear vinyl, measuring 7″ by 12″
  • 1 piece of sew-in velcro, 6″ long
  • Coordinating thread and sewing machine
  • Rotary cutter and cutting mat, or scissors

Of course, you can adapt the sacks and make them any size you want, I’d like to make one big enough to slide a sandwich into.

For the ice-cream fabric I used a baby blue polka-dot lining, and for the red apple fabric I used a royal blue polka-dot lining. Hopefully that will make the photos more understandable.

Step One:

If you want to attach a label, sew it to one edge of your inner fabric, about 2″ down. Baste the vinyl to the right side of the inner fabric, as close to the edge as possible (just under a quarter of an inch).

Step Two:

Sew one side of the velcro strip to the top edge of your inner fabric, and the other wide of the velcro strip to the bottom edge of your inner fabric, about three-quarters of an inch down from the edge and centred.

Step Three:

Fold you inner fabric strip in half, right sides together, so the velcro lines up. Now sew along both side edges, with a quarter-inch seam allowance, leaving a gap about 2″ long along one side (to turn the whole bag right way out at the end).



Step Four:

Fold your outer fabric in half, right sides together, and sew both sides closed, again with a quarter-inch seam allowance. You should now have two little pouches of the same size, both inside out, one in the inner fabric and one in the outer fabric.

Step Five:

Turn the inner fabric pouch right side out and then slot it into the outer bag, so that the right sides are facing each other. It should look like this:

Line the two pouches up so the seams meet and the top edges are aligned. Now sew the outer and inner top edges together, all the way round, again with a quarter inch seam allowance.

Step Six:

Now pull the inner bag back out again, so it looks like this, with both the inner and outer fabrics inside out:


Now for the fun part. Start to pull the outer bag through the gap in your inner bag, and carefully pull the whole thing through the gap until you have both the outer and the inner fabric the right way round again.

It should eventually look like this:


Step Seven:

Now push your inner fabric bag inside you outer fabric bag, align the top seam and topstitch all around the open edge.


Done! Now they’re ready to be filled with snacks. Perfect for lunch boxes or days out. Great for keeping little snacks in your handbag to give your children when they start to flag when out and about. Now there’s no excuse to use horrible disposable plastic bags that just fill up landfill sites.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2011 8:03 pm

    πŸ™‚ at lest my snacks are clean

  2. Paula perry permalink
    February 9, 2011 8:23 pm

    I love this, I will be making one like it soon. Any ideas how to make a water tight reusable bag?(i.e not Velcro but something else?)

    • February 9, 2011 9:26 pm

      Hmm, tough one, I have some wet bags for camping that have stiff plastic across the top opening, and then you fold the top over three or four times and there is a clip fastening closure, I guess that would be possible to recreate!

  3. March 18, 2011 5:13 pm

    These are amazing! Really enjoying looking around your site.

  4. March 18, 2011 6:55 pm

    what a really useful project to make, I will be making these for my children

  5. September 4, 2011 11:31 am

    Those are great! If the vinyl won’t slip through your machine try putting a layer of tissue paper over it, then rip the tissue off after sewing. I do this when sewing oilcloth.

  6. November 25, 2011 10:50 pm

    Wow, these are great! I’ve never sewn with vinyl before but I was also going to mention tissue paper (or even newspaper), which I used when sewing stretchy fleece.

  7. Louise perry permalink
    January 4, 2012 8:50 am

    I was about to comment in how fantastic this is,when I noticed my very own sister has also somehow found this blog and commented on the very same thing!!
    Hello Paula!
    And as I was going to say,these are brilliant!

  8. Ronda S permalink
    January 9, 2014 2:50 pm

    I just found your blog and love it! Was reading this post about the vinyl and I have sewed with it myself and used the tissue paper method….however, I just saw this post on another blog I follow and thought you might like to read about it and try it. (Haven’t tried it myself yet, but it’s on “the list” πŸ™‚ ) I too have a HUGE stash and I’m slowly working my way thru it and some of your ideas will probably find their way to my sewing table. I also was a bit “UK-sick” after reading about your craft fair in Cambridge….we were stationed at RAF Mildenhall for 4 years – youngest was born there – and I miss England!! Have a great day!


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