Monday, April 20, 2015

Reusable Cotton Snack Bags - Tutorial

After writing Part 1 of my going plastic free post (here)  I did something I've been wanting to do for a while. I broke out my fabric stash, took the dust cover off my sewing machine, and spent some quality time my neglected SINGER.  I have been eyeing up snack bag patterns for a while, and after watching the tutorial by angrychicken here: I was totally convinced that this would be an easy and relatively quick project.

While I liked angrychicken's snack pouch pattern and tutorial (I loved her fold over flap), I decided that I wanted a double layered snack bag with pretty fabric on the inside too...and pretty seams.  I don't have a serger, so that meant getting a bit more creative for a nice finished seam.  Here's what I did:

1. Pick out the fabrics.  I used a different fabric for the inside and outside layer.

2. Cut the fabric.  I made three different sizes

Small : I cut the fabric 10" x 5"
Medium: I cut the fabric 12 " x 7"
Large: I cut the fabric 15" x 10"

(at first I thought the small size pouch would be pretty useless, but then I realized it is the perfect size for smaller items like carrot sticks and raisins)

3. Layer the fabric, right sides together (nice side facing each other).

4. Sew around the outside edge, leaving a 1.5 " to 2 " gap on the short edge. This is the hole I used to turn it right side out.

5. Trim the corners.
Left: layered fabric (right sides together)
Middle: Sewn with gap at the bottom
Right: corners trimmed

6. Turn the fabric right side out, poking out each of the four corners.

7.  Iron the fabric.
Turned right side out through the gap left at the bottom.
8. Sew across the edge with the gap, to seal it up.

9. Working with the outside fabric facing in and the inside fabric facing out, I folded the flap down and the rest of the pouch up.  I know, that doesn't make sense in writing. Just check out this photo for clarification. I used solid yellow for the inside fabric and tractor pattern for the outside fabric.
If you look closely you will see that the bottom edge with the gap is sewn.
That top part that is folded over will form the flap that hold the bag shut when you are done.
The solid yellow is the inside of the snack pouch and the print fabric is the outer layer.

10. With the flap and pouch folded, I sewed down either side of the snack pouch.

11. Trim the threads and turn the snack pouch right side out.

12. Voila! The cotton fabric snack pouch is ready.

Now, if you want to make this a whole lot easier and faster for yourself and you don't care about having pretty seams, you can make your snack pouch with a single layer of fabric.

What I love about these bags is that there are no buttons, snaps, zippers, or velcro.  They are plastic free and easy peasy.  I liked them so much that I made a few for the Glorious Life store.  So if you don't feel adventurous enough to break out the fabric and sewing machine but want to give them a try, check them out at

The best part of all was Son's reaction when I presented them to him when he came home from school: "You made them for me!? They are mine? Really?  They're awesome mom! Can I use them tomorrow?".  I feel so lucky that my family rolls with my earth friendly ideas, willing to give anything a try.

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