How To Make Reusable Sandwich Bags

How To Make Reusable Sandwich Bags

If you have kids, as I do, you are constantly packing lunches and snacks. Even during the summer, going to the beach, or a picnic in the park, I am constantly having to pack things in zipper bags. And then we toss them. I love the convenience, but I’m not thrilled about all the waste. This is why this How To Make Reusable Sandwich Bags tutorial is a wonderful thing!

How To Make A Reusable Sandwich Bag.

This is one of two tutorials, we also have a tutorial for snack size bags! Honestly, it’s not super difficult to create any size bag. So try a few in each of these sizes and if you find yourself needing different sizes give it a try! My kids love that they have custom sandwich bags that make them feel special. Let’s get started on making these reusable sandwich bags.

Supplies for Reusable Sandwich Bags

Materials for reusable sandwich bag

A couple of things to note: I used waterproof laminated cotton, but double-sided it so that both sides were waterproof. You can also use oilcloth or sew vinyl on top of cotton if you prefer. Pins can leave holes in laminated cotton. It is recommended to use clips for this project. I chose alligator hair clips, as they would allow the fabric to lay flatter. Sew-on Velcro is best for these bags. The stick-on kind will not hold up through many uses.

How to Make a Reusable Sandwich Bag

There is no need to wash/dry your fabric beforehand. If you wish, you can wipe your bag down or hand-wash it after creating it. It is machine washable, but line drying is strongly recommended. Also, no ironing as the direct heat from the fabric could mess it up.

Measure and cut out your fabric

Before we begin, measure and cut out your fabric. You will need one 16” x 18” rectangle per bag. This is about the perfect size for a sandwich bag.

Fold the fabric in half

First, we will need to make the double-sided fabric for the bag. Fold the fabric in half so that the 18” edges touch lengthwise (the 16” sides will be folded in half) with the right sides of the fabric touching. Clip along the edges around the rectangle.

Sew all the way around the rectangle leaving an opening for turning

Now, using ½” seam allowance, sew all the way around the rectangle, but leave a 4-5 inch opening on the long side of the bag to allow for turning.

Snip off the corners for less bulk

Next, snip off the corners for less bulk and a smoother appearance.

Through the opening, turn the fabric right side out

Now, through the opening, you left, turn the fabric right side out. Push out the corners of your fabric with a turning tool. You also use a chopstick or pen if you don’t have one.

Clip around the perimeter

Now that your Reusable Sandwich Bag is starting to take shape, finger press all of the edges and then clip around the perimeter. The opening should fold in pretty easily – just ensure it folds in line with the sewn edges alongside it.

Cut your velcro to sew on

Next, cut a 6” piece of sew-on Velcro. The sew-on kind will hold up better to lots of use.

add velcro to reusable snack bag

Separate the hook and loop pieces of the Velcro. On one end of your rectangle, lay the Velcro across the end about ¼” away from the edge. Re-clip the end to hold the Velcro piece in place.

Cut a 4” piece of ribbon

Now that you are about halfway done with this how to make a Reusable Sandwich Bag tutorial, we move on to adding a ribbon. If you wish to add a ribbon pull tab, follow the next two steps. If not, skip to step 11. Cut a 4” piece of ribbon. We recommend heat sealing the edges for better durability.

add ribbon to reusable snack bag

For this part, fold the ribbon in half, then sandwich the ends underneath the Velcro piece. Clip the ribbon in place. Note that your clip will likely need to be diagonal to fit all the fabric layers.

On the opposite end re-clip to include this Velcro piece as well

On the opposite end, place the other piece of Velcro ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE of the fabric about ½” away from the edge. Again, use the clips to hold the velcro in place.

Top stitch around each piece of Velcro very close to the edge

Top stitch around each piece of Velcro very close to the edge. Your seam allowance will likely be less than ¼”. Be sure you catch the ribbon with your stitches. *TIP: When you turn to come back down lengthwise along the Velcro, you’ll need to fold your bag fabric up carefully on top of itself. See photo!

add flap for reusable sandwich bag

Next, fold the non-ribbon side of the bag up on top of the other side. This will make the flap about 7.5” (where the actual bag part will be), and the open/close flap about 1.5”. Clip along each side.

sew reusable sandwich bag

Finally, using a very close seam allowance (1/8” – ¼”), stitch along each side of the bag. Be sure you catch the edges on the top and bottom of the bag. Your seam will be on the outside of the bag, which will cut down on the number of crumbs and “hiding spaces” for germs and such inside the bag. Also, be sure to backstitch at the start and stop of your stitching for reinforcement – especially on the end where the bag will be opened. 

reusable sandwich bags

You have made a Reusable Sandwich Bag! Use and enjoy. Repeat for the desired number of bags! Pop in a sandwich (or another treat), close with the Velcro, and go on a picnic!

Final reusable sandwich bag

Now that you have made a reusable sandwich bag, you can complete a few more and then head out on your picnic! Get your kiddos involved by helping to pick the fabric and even your older kids could help with the process. These are fun to use and will make a difference in the environment! Wipe off or wash them and reuse them again and again!

How To Make A Reusable Sandwich Bag

If you liked how to sew this simple how to make a reusable sandwich bag tutorial, make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to make this simple project on your own, make certain that you take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing the fabrics and color choices that people use!

Yield: 1 Bag

How to Make a Reusable Sandwich Bag

How to Make a Reusable Sandwich Bag

Are you tired of having to constantly buy zipper bags? This tutorial will have you making Reusable Sandwich Bags in no time! With these, you can wipe them down or wash them and reuse them over and over!

Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5.00

Instructions

    1. Measure and cut out your fabric. You will need: One 16” x 18” rectangle per bag
    2. Fold the fabric in half so that the 18” edges touch lengthwise (the 16” sides will be folded in half) with the right sides of the fabric touching.
    3. Clip along the edges around the rectangle.
    4. Using ½” seam allowance, sew all the way around the rectangle, but leave a 4-5 inch opening on the long side of the bag to allow for turning.
    5. Snip off the corners for less bulk.
    6. Through the opening you left, turn the fabric right side out. Push out the corners of your fabric with a turning tool.
    7. Finger press all of the edges, then clip around the perimeter. The opening should fold in pretty easily – just ensure it folds in line with the sewn edges alongside it.
    8. Cut a 6” piece of sew-on Velcro.
    9. Separate the hook and eyepieces of the Velcro. On one end of your rectangle, lay the Velcro across the end about ¼” away from the edge.
    10. Re-clip the end to include the Velcro piece.
    11. *If you wish to add a ribbon pull tab, follow the next two steps. If not, skip to step 11.* Cut a 4” piece of ribbon. You may heat seal the edges if you wish.
    12. Fold the ribbon in half, then sandwich the ends underneath the Velcro piece. Re-clip to include the ribbon – your clip will likely need to be diagonal! (see photo)
    13. On the opposite end, place the other piece of Velcro ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE of the fabric about ½” away from the edge. Re-clip to include this Velcro piece as well.
    14. Topstitch around each piece of Velcro very close to the edge.
    15. Fold the non-ribbon side of the bag up on top of the other side. This will make the flap about 7.5” (where the actual bag part will be), and the open/close flap about 1.5”.
    16. Clip along each side.
    17. Using a very close seam allowance (1/8” – ¼”), stitch along each side of the bag. Be sure you catch the edges on the top and bottom of the bag. Backstitch at the start and stop of your stitching for reinforcement.
    18. Enjoy your reusable sandwich bag!

Notes

  • I used waterproof laminated cotton, but double-sided it so that both sides were waterproof. You can also use oilcloth or sew vinyl on top of cotton.
  • There is no need to wash/dry your fabric beforehand. If you wish, you can wipe your bag down or hand wash it after creating it. It is machine washable, but line drying is strongly recommended. Also, no ironing!
  • Pins can leave holes in laminated cotton. It is recommended to use clips for this project. I chose alligator hair clips, as they would allow the fabric to lay flatter.
  • Sew-on Velcro is best for these bags. The stick-on kind will not hold up through many uses.

More Reusable Sewing Projects:

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