The market is filled with different types of lunch bags, sacks, boxes, and containers that are used to bring your meals from home to work or school.
The only downfall with these bags is that sometimes, you have to settle on other people’s creations instead of being able to carry around a lunch bag that really suits your personality.
With a little practice and a bit of understanding, you can learn how to make lunch bags at home easily, and we’ve created a short and simple guide to help you get through the basics.
Making Your Own Lunch Bag
These days, most people prefer an insulated lunch bag that has its own closure and can help keep food warm and cold. For the sake of this article, we’ve chosen a simple lunch bag that you can create at home, and also included some ways that you can personalize it more to your liking if you wish to deviate from the plan.The bag that we created is thoroughly lined and insulated while it fastens shut with a magnetic snap at the top of the sack. It’s very roomy, includes handles, and you can use a variety of fabrics, but vinyl-coated or acrylic-coated cotton is what’s recommended. What is better is that you can find bright and colorful materials and all the supplies you need at your local craft store.
Before you get started, ensure that you have all of the materials and tools required to construct your lunch bag. Also, make sure that you have a clean workspace that provides you with enough room to layout and cut all fabrics.
- Rotary cutter or scissors
- Fold-over and square rulers
- ½ yard of canvas
- ½ yard of acrylic or vinyl-coated cotton. Keep in mind that acrylic-coated cotton is eco-friendlier
- ½ yard of batting
- 30 inches of one-inch webbing
- Sewing machine
- Teflon presser foot attachment (helpful, but not necessary)
We have provided step-by-step guidelines to make the process easier, even for those of you who aren’t masters of a sewing machine. Taking your time to follow along with each step helps ensure that your finished project comes out as close to perfect as possible.
Step One: Preparing the Fabric
Cut the fabric you’ve chosen to match the dimensions exactly as they are indicated on the pattern. Make sure that you follow all instructions for directional patterns, as they do require more work and attention to detail.
Step Two: Attaching the Batting
Find the wrong side of your canvas piece and attach your batting to it by pinning it in place and then basting it. According to the plan, your batting should be ¼’’ from the edge of the canvas.
Step Three: Measuring and Initial Sewing
Make a note of your seam allowance on the plan, and sew the coated cotton side piece to the right sides of the canvas, making certain that you’ve left room for the seam allowance. Keep a close eye to the diagrams and figures laid out in the plan, and repeat the steps as necessary.Don’t eye your measurements. Use your rulers to confirm that you have the proper dimensions, especially when stitching the bottom of the bag.
Step Four: Sewing the Lining
Sewing the lining requires you to repeat step three, but a larger opening needs to be left so that the bag can get turned out later.
Step Five: Attaching the Magnetic Strip
Take your magnetic strip and center it to the lining of your bag. You can use a fabric pen or a pin to mark where your holes need to go, and then carefully cut an opening with scissors. This should be repeated for the other side.
Step Six: Attaching the Lining and Straps
Sewing the lining to the other bag does require some concentration. You should flip the lining right side out and push it into the bag. From there, you need to pin the top and your straps in place before you begin sewing. It’s important to follow any provided figures to make this step easier.
Step Seven: Final Touches
Carefully pull the sides of the bag, so they are right side out. After which, topstitch the opening.
Personalizing a Pattern
If you are familiar with sewing and know how to make lunch bags at home, there are a handful of ways that you can do to change up the pattern.
- Make it your own size by changing the dimensions to suit what you need it for
- Make the bag out of organic cotton for an eco-friendly version
- Add a flap by sewing a lined flap during the final step
- Add a pocket to either the inside or the outside, which you can use store ice packs and other items
- Add a zipper by squaring the bottom pieces and leaving out the side pieces as it helps with the installation process
The more you practice with patterns, variations, and materials, the easier making your own lunch bag becomes. Before you know it, you, your kids, and your friends can be carrying around personalized lunch bags that can’t found anywhere else.
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.