Kitchen on the Go

I'm so honored that you all voted for my "Kitchen On The Go" project this week! In this tutorial I'll show you how to make two different types of reusable bags: the sandwich bag and the snack bag.
You'll need:
  • 2 gallon size freezer-safe (because the plastic is thicker) plastic bags
  • 2 coordinating cotton fabrics (washed, pre-shrunk, and pressed), dimensions below
Let's get started. First, prep your plastic bags by cutting the left and right sides and top off of each to make two large sheets of plastic. Set one aside.
We'll make the sandwich bag first, so you'll need three pieces of fabric. The main body of the bag is 6.5 inches by 18.5 inches and the two sides are 2.5 inches by 5.5 inches. Rough cut 3 pieces of plastic out of one of your plastic bags so that each piece is about 0.5 inch larger than the fabric on all sides. It doesn't have to be perfect because you'll be trimming it later.
Place one of the fabric pieces on top of its corresponding piece of plastic (with the right side out) and secure it with a few pins. Stitch around the outside edge of the fabric with 0.25 inch seams. Repeat this process with each of the three pieces, then trim the excess plastic.
Fold the seams down once (0.25 inch) and then again (0.25 inch) so that there are no frayed edges showing and all are tucked under. (This will take up about 0.5 inch of your project on all sides.) Secure with pins and then sew down. Repeat this process for all three pieces of the your sandwich bag.
Next, lay your project out like the picture below. The piece closest to you in this picture is going to be the front flap. Attach both of the sides 2.5 inches from the point closest to you. Only sew down the right seam for the right side and the left seam for the left side, we'll attach the other parts of the sides later.
Fold the front flap under the two sides and sew again along the left and right seams.
Now the bag is starting to take shape! Fold the sides out and sew the bottom. This is what it will look like from the inside. And this is what it will look like from the outside, the seams are out.
Continue sewing the side of the bag to the back flap using the same technique. When you're all done the inside will look like this... all covered in food-safe plastic and ready for your sandwich!
The snack bag doesn't have side flaps, so its construction is much quicker. You'll need a piece of fabric 6.5 inches by 18.5 inches (same size as the main piece of the sandwich bag). Again, you'll want the plastic to be about 0.5 inch larger on all sides.
With the fabric on top of the plastic, sew 0.25 inch around each of the edges of the rectangle, then cut the excess plastic just as before. Getting deja vu yet? Fold and stitch the edges all the way around.
We're almost there... Fold the rectangle so that there is a 2.5 inch space from the back flap to the top of the front flap. The front flap will be folded down 2 inches, like in the picture below. Sew the sides along the existing seams on the right and left sides and you're all done. The sandwich and snack bags close just like the old sandwich bags, pre zip-lock. Just turn the front flap inside out around the back flap. To wash these, turn the whole thing inside out and rinse.Now that your creative juices are flowing, check out some of my other tutorials!
-Sarah from Create Studio


Practically Perfect In Every Way said...

that is awesome! how cute is my kindergarteners lunch box gonna be next year???!

do you think it would last longer if I used a clear plastic/vinyl?? my luck it would get a hole in it the first day!

Sarah said...

The most important thing is using a plastic that you are certain is food safe. You could even use cut up Capri Sun juice bags and I'll bet those would last a long time! Your kindergartner's lunch box is going to be WAY cute!! :)
-Sarah from Create Studio

Tipnut said...

Really nice job! I've seen a few similar tutorials but they weren't careful to use food safe plastic (very important!).

Just popping in to say your tutorial was submitted to Tipnut and I'll be featuring this soon.

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for something like this for MONTHS! Thank you Sarah, and thank you TipNut!

ellen said...

I went to the fabric store and purchased oil cloth or table cloth vinyl and then lined it with the gallon bags as shown. Now I open them up and put them on the top shelf of the dishwasher and they are clean for the next day. Love them.

Lisa Caron said...

This is so cool, it will actually fit in my son's lunch box!! It is so hard to find a reusable container that is not made of rigid plastic. Thank You so much for sharing. I think this would make a very nice teacher gift as well.

melanie said...

bravo! i'm going to try to use your pattern with re-purposed milk bags and brown sugar bags...(although i have heard milk may not come in plastic bags south of the 49th parallel, so this reference may seem odd to some...) thanks for inspiring more snack-time colour and craft!

Ally said...

Just wanted to say it's 11:30pm, I'm pregant and now really craving a sandwich that looks just like the one in your example :) (thought that might make you laugh)

Thanks for info and tons of pics are very helpful. Love the idea of using a ziplock too since I don't think the chemicals in vinyl are very good for us. Thanks again!!!

Jeannie said...

I am really excited to make some of these for my daughter before she starts third grade. I have read the instructions many times and have a question that is probably pretty lame :) With the sandwich one, does anyone have a picture of it closed? I am trying to picture how to close it up without having it in front of me. I'm sure once I make it, it will make sense. Do you fold it similar to the snack one?

Anonymous said...

I'm with Jeannie. Could you please post a picture of the sandwich bag closed? I'm wondering how you'd close it and keep it shut. Thank you so much! Your tutorial ROCKS!!

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