When I posted last week about tips for a healthy business trip, a lot of people commented on my reusable snack bags!
They are a breeze to make! So I thought I’d share a quick resusable snack bag tutorial. These go very, very quickly if you assembly line them. I made a dozen of them in about an hour and a half.
First up, cut all your pieces. For the large (sandwich) sized bag, cut two pieces of each fabric and the vinyl into 6-1/2″ squares. For the smaller version, cut into 6-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ pieces. Or, really whatever size you want! Cut a strip of velcro to 6-1/2″.
Gather all your pieces.
Heat your iron to medium/wool setting. To attach your vinyl, pull the vinyl off the backing.
Line it up, tacky side down, on one of the liner fabric pieces.
Place the backing paper back over the vinyl and iron for 15-20 seconds over the entire piece of fabric.
Peel the backing off the fabric.
And voila! Vinyl-coated fabric!
Repeat with the second piece of lining fabric and vinyl.
Next up, pin one half of the velcro strip 3/4″ from the top of the vinyl-coated side of one of the pieces of lining fabric.
You may be tempted to not pin, but that vinyl gets slippery. Trust me, you want to pin it.
Repeat with the other piece of lining fabric and the other half of the velcro.
Using coordinating thread, sew all the way around the velcro on each piece, starting and stopping in the same place.
This is what the stitching on the back looks like. Although you’ll never see it in the finished product, I’m showing you this so you can see my stitches.
Repeat with the other lining piece.
Next up, pin one piece of lining fabric with velcro to one piece of outside fabric, right-sides together.
Sew along 1/4″ from the top.
Repeat with other lining and outside fabric piece.
Open up both pieces and finger press them.
You don’t want to iron these at this step because the vinyl will melt. Pressing the seam down with your finger will be sufficient.
Put together both pieces, right sides together, matching up the seams and velcro.
Sew around the perimeter of the piece, starting at the bottom of the lining fabric.
Leave open a 2″ space at the bottom of the lining fabric for turning.
Turn the bag right-side-out through the opening in the bottom of the liner.
Next up, close the opening in the bottom of the liner. Fold in and create a seam.
Now I usually just topstitch over this. I figure no one will be looking at the inside of my bag. But, if you really want it to be finished-looking, you can slipstitch it.
Almost done! Push the liner into the outside fabric.
See, you can’t even see the topstitched opening.
Take a light iron to the outside. Make sure you pull apart the liner immediately after ironing, the vinyl will stick together a bit.
To clean, turn inside out and wipe down. Or, if it gets really soiled, toss it into the washer and air dry.
Go make some!
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Thanks, Cassie – looking forward to giving this a try! Excellent instructions.
Thank you! Let me know how it turns out.
This is so awesome!
I just got the stuff to make my own after buying one, but havn’t gotten around to it yet. I have a question about your rotary cutter. What brand is it? Do you like it? What size mat do you have? I am looking to get one, but can’t decide what size.
Umm, I think it is a Fiskars. I like it just fine, just as long as I keep the blade sharp.
I have a bunch of different mats. The one I use the most is 16×24.
I would love to make these! I don’t have a sewing machine or know the first thing about how to sew. I wish i did! They’re super cute and exactly what I should be making because I feel so guilty using the disposable baggies every time I pack my kids lunches.
There are TONS of nice people selling them on Etsy for those sewing-challenged. :)
Those are awesome! Thanks for sharing how to make them!
Let me know how they turn out. :)
These are great..I can’t wait to make some for myself…and for my nieces…and for all my friends…I’m thinking cute Christmas gifts! Thanks for posting the instructions!
They would make awesome Christmas gifts!
THANK YOU for this tutorial! I missed it when it originally aired. We strive to be a paper and waste-free household (easier said than done) and I’ve been on the hunt for an easy how-to for cloth snack bags. I will try my hand at these this weekend.
I’m so glad you posted this because I’ve been looking for a tutorial on reusable bags. Just in time before school starts!
Perfect for school! :D
I was wondering, I heard the iron on vinyl was not food safe, I’m trying to find something else in it’s place, any suggestions.
I’ve tried making a nylon liner, but the nylon was so slippery that it made it almost impossible to sew. I’d think, for not stick/wet things (like crackers or pretzels) you could just do a fabric liner.
Try diaper liner material, available at diaper supply and Joanns
This is great ! Thank you so much !
What a great tutorial! These could make a great handmade gift too! I’m going to need to try these- Thanks for sharing!
Loved the tutorial and it was easy. I was so excited to make the bag that I put the vinyl on the front side! I liked that even better and it was so easy to make. I will be making a lot of these for friends. Thanks for all the great pictures which truly helped. Can’t wait to see what else you come up with. Nice work.
Awesome, Just finished two as a gift. Great instructions. I chose to use a thin nylon liner instead.
Hi! These are great! I am wondering how long does the vinyl hold up? Have you had any issues yet?
I’ve been using the same ones for four years without any issues in the vinyl. And they’ve gone through the wash a million times. :)
I love these!!! I’ve been tossing around the idea of doing them, but wasn’t sure what to put on the inside! Perfect!
I tried making these as gifts for my children. Sewing the velcro, I kept snapping the thread and gumming up the shaft of the needle. Any suggestions?
Are you using sticky velcro? If so, that could be the issue. Look for sew-on velcro at the fabric store (it’s cheaper, too, yay!).
Can you use PUL instead of the vinyl? I have plenty at home already and I’d love to make some o of these!
I don’t see why not! :)
What a great idea Cassie, I’m going to try it for the Grandmothers and GrandOthers charity group I volunteer for. We’re always looking for easy sewing projects and I especially like that it’s one more way to not use plastic bags! Cheers to you!
Thank you for posting the pattern! I’ve made 2 already using the PUL as a lining and I love them! I can’t wait to get some more finished!
What is PUL?
I will make it this weekend (:
what is PUL? I bet oil cloth would work for these.
PUL is polyurethane laminate fabric – used for diaper covers. http://www.diapersewingsupplies.com/pul-fabric/
I’ve never used it but it looks perfect for these.
Thanks so much for this I found your blog via the carry on bag on pinterest! this is so smart I need to do these as well just for everyday travels with the hubby. He is always wanting to know what snacks I have! Would be great for pet snacks too instead of zip lock bags that they chew through! Thanks again!
Thanks for this great tutorial. I just found it via Pintarest. I will make some reusable bags for my kids. They are learning about recycling so it is perfect.
I just made two of these and I’m in love LOVE LOOOOVE with your pattern. you made it so easy to follow! Thank you a million times thank you. I searched all over to find something to help drop out of ziploc world now that my son is starting school.
Thank you for such great instructions. Just made my first one and showed it to my daughter-in-law. She loves it too. Got 10grand children and one more on the way so I guess I better get cutting and sewing!
I have a plastic / vinyl (I’m not sure what it is) table cloth that’s slightly fuzzy (so it won’t slide) tablecloth that I’m thinking about cutting up to use. It can be washed in the washing machine. Any suggestions?
Vinyl inside or outside?
It’s rather ugly (plain tan). How might I make it more attractive?
I wonder… is there any reason we couldn’t use the empty food bags from items we’ve already purchased and eaten – ie cookie bags, nuts, etc. They could go on the inside…
Not sure how long they would last, but might be worth a try…
Here’s an example –
These are really, really cute and so great to have instead of using plastic bags everyday. For those of us less crafty, there are food safe drawstring bags you can purchase in bulk online. Check us out at state line bag co.
Where could I find iron on vinyl online? My local Joanns doesn’t have any.
Thank you for the tutorial this is very helpful
Doesn’t stitching thru the two layers of velcro make the edges not lie flat?
Nope, it always works for me. But I guess if you had very thick velcro, it might cause issues.
Every vinyl lining I can find says not to use with food. Any thoughts??
Love this! Quick question…rather than making a liner, can I just iron the vinyl onto the wrong side of the outside fabric and not have a separate liner?
You give the absolute BEST tutorials. Thank You for that. You don’t know how much its appreciated.
Fiid safe liner?
Yep, you can find more about food safe fabric here:
Hi I made 6 this w/e. They are so cute. I used PUL for the liner. The first one sewed up beautifully but with each successive one I found my machine shortened the stitches and the tension seemed a bit tighter. I haven`t worked with PUL before. Is there a trick I should know?
Hmmm, I never had this issue. I wonder if maybe your needle just got dull? PUL can sometimes dull a need in a flash.
Got to make some of these to stop using plastic bag s fabulous tutorial thanks
Hi. These snack bags you make are GENIUS! Question: do you know that the vinyl application is food safe? Thanks!
Not actually sure. But I’d think that for dry things (like crackers or pretzels), you could just do a fabric liner instead.
Hi! As I was researching where best to get my iron-on vinyl for this project, I realized I couldn’t find any info about it being BPA-free. Since the point is to put food in these, do you know if there would be an issue with using iron-on vinyl that isn’t BPA-free, or do you know of an alternative that is BPA-free? Thanks so much!
This is something I’ve been trying to find information on, too. This tutorial is nearly 10 years old, and I didn’t have quite as much information back then. If you find something, please let me know!
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