Cloth Snack Bags

Cloth storage bags have been on my mind a lot lately. Over the long weekend I had a chance to do some sewing. Mostly mending but I managed to spend some time being creative.

A couple of years ago I was given some cloth snack bags and they now have seen better days. They are very simple and have a Velcro close top. They have a cute little tag sewn on the side so I decided to order more. I stopped in at their web site and decided against ordering more. I almost had a cow, the price was just ridiculous! I know they are hand made and are lovely cotton fabric and all those good things. I just kept thinking are you kidding me? I will pay more for hand made most every time but this was not even reasonable. I will save that company the embarrassment and not mention who they are other than tell you they are a well known “green and environment company.” But I suppose if you name alone will sell the product it’s nice work if you can get it.

Here is my version minus the cute little tags. Clicking on the images should make them larger.

First I washed and ironed some cotton and some muslin I had on hand. It was very easy to find since I recently organized my sewing area.

You will need a piece of outside fabric 7″ x 12″ and a piece of lining fabric the same size. You can adjust the size to what ever you want, this is the size that worked for the fabric I had.

You will need 2 pieces of the lining fabric 6 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ to use to add strength to the Velcro area. The muslin is the lining fabric in my bags and is a bit thin. I thought with all the stress of opening Velcro I would rip rather quickly. You can skip this if your fabric is thicker.

And you will need a piece of Velcro 6 1/2″ long. I used the sew on type and cut it down the center, length wise to make it narrower. My original bags had the full width Velcro and they were hard to open without spilling what ever was inside, and Daisy’s tiny hands couldn’t open them at all. This also used less making it more cost efficient, and added less plastic to my bags. I might try using metal snaps in the future.

snack bag

 

With the lining fabric wrong side up center the the 6 1/2″ strips along the top and bottom of the lining fabric and pin in place. Turn the fabric over and pin the Velcro about 1″ from the top and centered side to side. You will now have the Velcro on top of the fabric (the front of the fabric) and the 6 1/2″ insert on the back of the fabric.

Carefully sew the length of the velcro using a short narrow zig zag stitch. Back stitch both ends.

snack bag1

snack bag2

 

Fold the fabric in half by carefully lining up the Velcro and secure together. Sew up the sides, back stitch at the top and bottom.  Leave the top open. With right sides together on your outside fabric fold this in half and sew up the side seams, again leave the top open. I found that sewing from the fold to the open end worked much easier.

You will now have both your outside and liner fabric sewn and both should have the wrong side of the fabric showing.

snack bag3

 

Turn you outside fabric right side out. Leave the lining fabric inside out. Put the outside fabric pouch inside the lining fabric and line up the edges. Starting about 1″ from the top right sew around the top about 1/4″ from the top. Stop at the left side, leaving a 2″ opening to turn the pieces right sides out.

snack bag4

 

Turn the bag right side out.

snack bag5

 

Now would be a good time to press the bag being careful not to melt the Velcro. Push the lining fabric into the outside fabric and press again if needed. Top stitch around the top to close the opening you used to turn the bag right side out.

snack bag6

snack bag7

 

If you wanted to you could use nylon or other waterproof material. I was thinking about using the plastic cereal bags between the two layers of fabric. This might make them more water proof for things like grapes.

I found the older bags I have wash well and if I put them inside a mesh bag while washing, the Velcro didn’t stick to the other clothes in the load.

I hope these instructions are clear, but if you have questions I will try to answer them. If you decide to make your own I would love to see them.

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Posted on May 27, 2009, in Crafts, Food Storage, In the House, Tutorials and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. I have made these bags before but made them out of old cookie bags which are lined with plastic. Total recycling projects.

  2. lizzylanefarm

    Marlyn,

    Have you post the bags I would love to see them? The cookie bags sound interesting…

    K

  3. These are great! Do you know of a plastic that could be used as a liner that is non toxic and BPA free?

  4. lizzylanefarm

    Hi Robyn,

    yes, there is a waterproof fabric called PLU. Lately I have seen it used to sew cloth diapers. I know, diapers and snack bags are worlds apart! But here is one place I found to purchase the PLU to make the snack bags with. http://www.celticclothswholesale.com/fabric_2/PUL-Fabric-brDiaper-Making-Supplies.htm

    I don’t know for sure it this material is BPA free or not. I also don’t know anything about this company or the products. I have neaver ordered from them. But it might be worth a look so you can decide for yourself.

    I choose to use cotton fabric and stay completely away from the plastic in any form. Made this way the snacks will stay fresh all day! A quick run through the wash and they are ready to be used again. Like I said, I have some all fabric snack bags that I have had I would say close to 6 years and we are still using them with no problems. One is stained on the inside from strawberries, but I know it is only a stain and that the bag itself is clean.

    Hope this helps.

    K

  5. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I have made one sandwich bag so far and have quite a few more to make. I used a potato chip bag for the inside of the bag and a cute cotton fabric on the outside. I did a lot of reading before choosing what to use on the inside. PLU has not been approved by the FDA to be food safe. I considered polyurethane coated nylon, but I still was wary of the safety. I finally found someone that was making them with chip and cookie bags. Its already been approved to be food safe and worked great! I just cleaned it with a little soap and water. It can also be ironed on a low setting. Think about how much you will save on the lining just by getting friends and family to give you their chip bags when they are finished.

  6. I have been thinking about using the chip bags between the layers of fabric. Thanks for telling me about the PLU, I haven’t done any reading about it, it’s not a material I often think about. The plain cloth lining is woking just fine for our needs here. Anything that is on the wet or sticky side I use a glass container to store it in the lunch bags. I find that the cloth will keep sandwiches, chips and cookies fresh until lunch time.

    K

  7. Great tutorial. Thanks so much. I’m stuck trying to figure out what “cookie bags” are? Is that the same as the cereal bag from the box? I’m ready to try this with the cereal paper in between, but won’t that eventually disintegrate?

  8. Simone,

    Yes, they are….:) one and the same, the plastic liners inside the box. So glad you are going to give it a try…

    Karyn

  9. hi. i am new to this snack bag making and i have no clue as to what fabric to use for the lining. If i use cloth for the lining, will chips place inside remain crispy for at lest a day?

  10. I used cotton and have had no problem with the contents goings stale. I actually pack lunches the night before…

    K

  11. RipStop Nylon is also great to use as a lining!

  12. hi! does anyone end up with this problem: I get all the way to the step where you are sewing the two pieces together while still turned inside out, and the outer material seems to be a little bigger somehow and I have extra material at the end of the circle I just made around the top (to sew the two pieces together) and I have to pucker it up or fold it down to finish the seam off. I try my best to cut my pieces exactly the same size, I use the same seam allowances..and still I end up with a little extra material that has nowhere to go and I have to pleat it down. Should I just make it a point to cut my outer fabric piece a little smaller than my inner lining piece? thanks!

  13. Sorry to hear you are having troubles. Could it be one of the fabrics is stretching a bit because its cut with the grain and the other isn’t?

    Just a thought…

  14. thanks for repsonding!! I hadn’t thought of that, I’m not that experienced in sewing but I LOVE it! So, should I do a stretch test and make sure I’m sewing them both in the same direction or something? Or possibly make the outer material slightly smaller or something? thanks!!

  15. Drawstrings work very well, and would eliminate the plastic altogether. Plus they would be easy to open and close for little fingers!

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