Tutorial: How to Make Environmentally Friendly Reusable Sandwich/Snack Bags

tutorial : Make reusable sandwich bags - dabbled.org

In my house, we (and by “we,” I mean me and my uninterested husband and kids that I am forcing this on) are doing our best to be better stewards of our environment.  So when Dot asked me to be a guest poster on Dabbled while she sunbathes on an exotic beach being served fruity cocktails by 22-year-old buff cabana boys (I am now thinking I got the raw end of this deal), I immediately racked my brain to come up with a crafty “green” project.

And thus, the reusable sandwich bag project was born. Here in the South, school starts ridiculously early – like next week.  So since we are heading back to school, I thought it would be the perfect time to make


these bags.  These bags are the perfect size for holding sandwiches, cookies, crackers, chips, apple slices, grapes and all the other lunch staples.  And while you might not want to store watermelon or last night’s pot roast in them, they work really well.  Not to mention, they are simple to clean and can keep untold amounts of plastic bags out of the landfills.  So without further ado . . .

Reusable Sandwich Bags

Materials for one sandwich size bag

  • 7”x 15” piece of plastic or vinyl lining (This is located in the home fabrics section of most craft stores.  This is a much easier project if you buy the plastic lining that DOES NOT annoyingly sticks to itself.)  If you want to make snack size bags, cut your plastic into a 7” x 8” rectangle.
  • Construction paper/cardstock/heavy duty paper template – 6.5” x 10” will work
  • 7” piece of sew-on velcro
  • (2) 7” pieces of Decorative Ribbon

Step 1.  Place your vinyl right side up on your working surface.  On each of the short ends, you will sandwich the vinyl between a piece of velcro and a piece of ribbon(ribbon on outside or right side edge, velcro on inside edge).  Pin in place.

ribbon, plastic, velcro

Step 2.  Stitch the ribbon/vinyl/velcro together.  The end product looks and works best if you hem both the top edge and bottom edge of your velcro.

Step 3.  Fold the vinyl in half (wrong sides together) so that you have a 7” x 7.5” rectangle (7” x 4” for snack size bags) with the velcro on the inside.  Place your paper template inside the folded plastic so that ¼” overhangs both sides (template will overhang top).

Step 4:  With your iron set to a medium heat, fuse the vinyl together on the edges using your paper template as a guide.  DO NOT place the iron over the entire piece of plastic.  Instead use the tip of the iron to seal the edge.  When you’re done, let the pouch cool for 30 seconds and then remove the template.P1050325

Step 5:  Stitch the now sealed sides using a 1/8” hem.  Be sure to hem the entire length of the bag, including the ribbon/Velcro portion (I suggest backstitching this portion as well) to ensure your bag can endure repeated use.

P1050348This project is easy, fast and cheap.  You can easily make a dozen bags in an hour, and when all was said and done, the cost for each bag comes in at just under 30 cents.  And best of all, most vinyl is dishwasher safe on the top rack (test a single bag first to make sure).  Enjoy!