Ace Lunchtime with DIY Kid’s Reusable Lunch Bags

JUL 23, 2018 updated Jun 8, 2021

Updated February 25, 2021
Eco Canvas was retired on February 25, 2021 but you can recreate this project with Spoonflower’s Recycled Canvas. Learn more about Recycled Canvas, a woven canvas featuring REPREVE® recycled polyester suitable for seasonal outdoor use.

Lunch bags have certainly come a long way from boring (and wasteful) paper or plastic. Your kid won’t want to rush out the door without this custom-made bag in Eco Canvas

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  • 1/2 yard of Spoonflower’s Eco Canvas
  • 1 yard of ½” bias tape in coordinating color or print
  • 1 yard of ⅝” wide Velcro
  • ½ yard of iron-on vinyl (optional)
  • Cutting mat
  • Rotary cutter or scissors
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine

Pro tip: Use the Fill-A-Yard™ Vertical Split Yard to create two lunch bags! Just double the amount of bias tape and Velcro needed in this project to complete the set.

*All seams should be sewn at ¼” unless otherwise instructed.

Cut Out the Pattern Pieces

1. Begin by cutting a rectangle measuring 12 x 30” out of your main fabric. If using vinyl to line the bag, cut a corresponding piece of vinyl the same size as your main bag fabric.

2. If you’re choosing to line the lunch bag with vinyl, do this step now! Iron onto the wrong side of your fabric following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Attach the Velcro 

3. Cut one strip of Velcro 5” in length. Arrange your fabric rectangle with its right side facing you in a portrait layout: the shorter (12”) edges oriented at the top and bottom of the rectangle and the long edges oriented on the right and left sides.

4. Pin one side of the Velcro strip onto the front of the lunch bag 1 ½” from the top edge of your fabric rectangle, running parallel to the long edges of the bag and textured side facing up. Make sure your Velcro strip is centered.

5. Carefully stitch onto the bag around all four sides of the Velcro strip.

6. Take the other side of the Velcro strip and pin to the front of the lunch bag 1 ½” from the bottom of the fabric rectangle,textured side facing up. This strip should also be running parallel to the long edges of the bag.

7. Carefully stitch onto the fabric around all four sides of the Velcro strip.

Assemble the Lunch Bag

8. We will be using french seams to construct our lunch bag. To do this, fold your fabric rectangle in half lengthwise with wrong sides facing. Pin and stitch along the right and left sides.

9. Trim the seam allowance to about an ⅛” and flip the bag wrong side out.

10. Pin the seam allowance on the right and left sides of the bag again and stitch. Make sure that the trimmed seam allowance it trapped in the new seam allowance that you are stitching. You should now have completely closed seam allowances with no raw edges showing.

11. With wrong sides still facing out, match the bottom of the bag with one of the sides at the seam to create a triangular corner on one side of the bag. Measure 2” up from the point of the triangle and mark a line perpendicular to the sides of the bag. 

12. Stitch along the line you marked. Repeat for the other side. Trim the excess seam allowance in your corners. Flip right side out– you should now have a boxed bottom on your lunch bag!

Attach the Bias Tape and Finish

13. Unfold the bias tape and, with right sides facing, align the raw edge of one side of the bias tape to the top of the bag. Pin the bias tape all the way around the opening of the bag until you reach the beginning of the pinned tape. Trim the bias tape so that the beginning and end of the tape overlap by about ½”.

14. Fold the outer tape’s short edge over by about ¼” and pin through all layers of the tape onto the bag.

15. Stitch the bias tape to the bag top following the crease line at ¼” seam. Once stitched, fold the bias tape up and over the bag top selvage and pin to the inside of the bag, taking care to cover the original stitch line you created with the folded bias tape.

16. Stitch in the ditch around the top of the lunch bag to secure the bias tape.

This lunch bag is back-to-school ready! Throw in a handmade kid-sized napkin in Cotton Poplin—skip the DIY with Roostery cocktail napkins—featuring a delicious design from the Marketplace and you’ll be sure to ace lunchtime. 

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