It might come as a surprise to you, but you don’t need to be a sewing master to make your own lunch bag because understanding the steps that are required isn’t that complicated, even for those who have never used a sewing machine before.
This brief article is going to break down how to make an insulated lunch bag quickly so that you can get started on your next do-it-yourself craft project.
The Preparation Stage
Before you start constructing your insulated lunch bag, there are tools and materials that you need so that you can put it together correctly. There are plenty of options out there, but to keep things simple, we are sticking with a handful of items that you can easily find at your local craft, hobby, and art stores.
Fabrics and Textiles
There are thousands of materials available on the market, and they all come in different designs and colors. The great thing about making your own insulated lunch bag is that you can let your creativity shine by using one fabric design for the outside layer, and another design for the inner. There are no rules to the fabric that you use, but it’s recommended to choose something durable as well as machine washable.
You will probably have the quickest time getting going if you use a purchased pattern, simply because the authors have spent time testing and tweaking to make instructions easy, but you don’t have to go that route. Doing a quick search on the internet is all you need to do to find a wide variety of lunch bag patterns that are free, beautiful, and easy to follow. If you choose to work from a design, we recommend picking one for beginners if it’s your first time. However, for the sake of this article, a pattern isn’t required for the construction of the lunch bag.
Rulers such as the Omnigrid Ruler are essential parts of making a lunch bag at home. To ensure your fabrics have the same measurements, are the right size, and all cuts are made in a straight line, rulers are needed.
The Sulky Spray Adhesive is recommended to keep your fabrics stuck together before moving to the sewing machine, while fabric glue sticks can be used to temporarily hold the Velcro in place before stitching it to the materials.
One of the critical parts of an insulated lunch bag is the insulation; otherwise, you just have a regular lunch sack. You can find Pellon Insul-Fleece at your local craft store, and it’s perfect to use for the insulation layer of your lunch bag and helps to reflect the temperature of the food stored in the sack.
A rotary cutter for cutting the fabric, fabric pen for marking the material, an iron, optional wonder clips, and a sewing machine.
Step-By-Step Guide on How to Make an Insulated Lunch Bag
Now that you have all of the materials and tools that you need, it’s time to start using them. We’ve included an in-depth YouTube tutorial that we’ve found so that you have a visual to help you follow along. All of the steps provided in this article match up with the tutorial to ensure things remain simple.
- Cut two 16’’x 13’’ pieces of your outer layer fabric along with coordinating pieces of your insulation fleece.
- Lay the insulation on your workspace table with the shiny-side facing down, and use your spray adhesive to adhere the cotton side of the outer layer of fabric to the insulation. Ensure that you repeat the step for the other piece so that you end up with two.
- Bring the pieces of cloth to the sewing machine and quilt stitch them so that they hold together. Make sure that you smooth your fabric out as you sew so that you aren’t left with any jumps or puckers in the material.
- Take the pieces as well as the folding and square rulers and then cut the sides down to size using your rotary cutter. The recommended measurement is 15 ½’’ x 12 12’’.
- Measure two inches down and two inches inward with a small ruler, and use your fabric pen to mark the place where your Velcro should sit. One piece of your lunch sack should have the rough side of the Velcro, while the other part of the lunch bag should have the soft. Adjust the size of the Velcro to your preference.
- Use fabric glue to stick the Velcro pieces to the material and then use a basic straight stitch on your sewing machine to sew them to the fabric.
- Cut two inner lining pieces to match the outer lining at 15 ½’’ by 12 ½’’.
- Apply a single piece of Velcro to each piece of the inner lining directly in the center of the fabric, and stitch it into place.
If you want to know how to make an insulated lunch bag, you can find the rest of the steps required in the YouTube video that we’ve included below.
While there might be a lot of steps included in making your lunch bag, they are quick and easy to follow. Not only does making your lunch sack save you money, but you get to let your personality show by choosing fabrics that you want, and even ones that match your mood.You can bring a different lunch bag to work or school every day, all while keeping your food warm or cold. Who knows? Once practice makes perfect, your friends could be asking you to make them lunch sacks of their own.
About the Author
Alissa is a resilience coach, cartoonist, and advocate for ‘connection, not perfection’. She’s dedicated to helping others find a sense of safety and belonging inside themselves so they can heal, connect, and build authentic, joyful lives.