Crafts #6: Fabric Lunch Bag

May 24, 2012

Get ready to pack your lunch tomorrow, because May 25th is National Brown-Bag-It Day! We’re not going to wax poetic about all the virtues of bringing your lunch to work / school (you know, money, health, etc., etc.)


Instead, we’re proposing a sort of lunch-packing incentive – the re-usable fabric lunch bag! It might sound a little nerdy, but hear us through. This simple DIY project requires only minimal sewing skills and is completely customizable in terms of fabric. You can make it look rugged and industrial by using waxed canvas, play up the fun factor with chalkboard cloth, or just keep it simple with a patterned fabric you really like. Plus, you get to feel extra good about yourself for being eco-conscious. Double win!


And for those who equate the brown bag lunch with boring ham sandwiches and an apple, try to think a little outside the bag – haha, pun intended. Leftovers make great lunch fare and there are plenty of things that can be prepared the night before. Wild rice salad, a cheese and charcuterie plate, a slice of quiche. Seriously, the possibilities are endless.


Just to give you a general idea, here are some of the lunches that have been spotted at the KMIP studio recently: marinated kale salad with currants and almonds, spicy kimchi noodles with a soft boiled egg, slow-cooker split pea soup, and even a bowl of classic spaghetti with veal meatballs.


Now let’s get to it!

What You Need


1/2 yard fabric of choice

1″ strip of Velcro

Sewing machine


1. Cut out two pieces of fabric using the template in the left diagram (measurements are in inches).


2. With the right sides facing each other, sew the right, left, and bottom sides together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Finish the raw edges with a zig zag stitch to keep fabric from unraveling.


3. Bring the side and bottom seam together as indicated with the red dots in the diagram so that the corners create a straight line.


4. Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, sew together. Zig zag stitch this seam to keep fabric from unravelling. Turn the bag right side out and iron the edges straight as shown.


5. Turn the top edge under 1/2-inch, then again 1-inch, and stitch close. For the sides, top-stitch along the ironed crease as close to the fold as possible – making sure to catch the front and back sides of the fabric. Repeat for the remaining side creases. This will ensure that the bag holds it’s crisp shape.


6. On the front side of the bag, attach the velcro, centered, 1/2-inch from the top edge. Roll down the top twice to approximate where the remaining piece of velcro should be placed and attach. The final piece of velcro should be centered, about 3-inches from the top edge – on the other side of the bag.


7. Fill with food.