How To Sew An Insulated Lunch Box

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Tired of spending money on lunchboxes at the store to find out that they’re not really all that sturdy or insulated? Why not make your own? This tutorial will show you how to sew an insulated lunch box so you can keep your food cold and show off your sewing skills as well. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to keep your food hot or cold when you need to!

Being able to sew your own lunch box is a great way to create it exactly the way you want to. There’s no doubt that being able to pack your own lunch and have it insulated and cold (or hot!) is important. Don’t forget to change up the fabric when you’re creating this simple DIY as well.

How To Sew An Insulated Lunch Box

What I love about this simple DIY lunch box tutorial is that you can tweak it a bit to your liking easily. Change the fabric and make it perfect for an adult or a child to be able to take to school. We all need a good lunch box for our daily travels and activities so it just makes sense to make one for yourself!

What You’ll Need:

supplies needed for lunch box

Cut the following:

  • 1 -20”x11” piece waterproof fabric
  • 2 -20”x11” pieces of outer fabric and Insul Bright 
  • 2 – 24”x4” pieces of outer fabric Insul Bright
  • 2 – 24”x1 3/4” pieces of Insul Bright
  • 2 – 11” pieces of canvas webbing

How To Sew An Insulated Lunch Box

laying out the fabric

The first step in this how to sew an insulated lunch box sewing tutorial is to baste, pin, or clip your Insul Bright to the wrong side of your outer fabric. Using a fabric marking pen and your cutting mat and ruler as a guide, mark any pattern you would like to quilt your fabric.

sewing batting on insulation

I made vertical and horizontal lines that were 3” apart. Stitch your fabrics together along your marked lines. Repeat until all lines have been stitched.

outer piece of lunch box

Now we will make the handles.Your handles are going to go on the short sides of the quilted fabric. Using a fabric marking pen, mark and “X”, 3” in from the long side, on the left and the right. Repeat on the other side. Top stitch the handles in place.

pressing sides

With wrong sides together, fold your two 24”x4” pieces of outer fabric in half lengthwise and press with a warm iron. Insert the 24”x3 3/4” piece of Insul Bright inside and using a ¼” seam allowance, baste the open end closed. Repeat with the other piece. Iron flat with the warm iron. We are about halfway through this how to sew an insulated lunch box sewing tutorial!

making DIY insulated lunch box

Next, we will add the zipper closure to our insulated lunch box. Pin your zipper in place on the folded end of each of the strips from step 4.

sewing the seams on DIY insulated lunch box

Using your zipper foot, sew your zipper into place. Having a zipper foot makes it much easier to sew the zipper in place because it allows the needle of the sewing machine to stitch close to the raised edge of the zipper teeth.

sewing zipper on DIY insulated lunch box

It is a good idea to also stitch along the outer side of each side of the zipper to give more stability.  I do this with almost all my zippers that I know will get regular use.

clipping the sides of DIY insulated lunch box

Now on this how to sew an insulated lunch box sewing tutorial, we get to put the lunchbox together! Using your fabric marking pen, fold your zipper panel in half and make a mark on the wrong side of the fabric. This is your middle point. Fold one side of your main body in half between the handles and mark on the wrong side. This is your middle point. 

sew around DIY insulated lunch box

Match these points up, wrong sides together and pin or clip into place. I find it easiest to open the zipper and using a 3/8” seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter of the lunch box on one level and then repeat on the other. Clip your seams, being careful not to clip unto your seam allowances. Turn your lunch box right side out and enjoy!

finished insulated lunch box

Now that you know how to sew an insulated lunch box, you can make some for the kids or even for yourself and your spouse. This insulated lunch box will keep your produce and drinks nice and cool, plus it can also keep ice packs all day.

How do you clean this lunch box?

Since you’re using it for your lunches, there’s a good chance that there is going to be food and drink spilt on it. Don’t worry, you can wash this simple DIY lunch box.

Make certain that you put it on gentle cycle for your washing machine and wash it in cold water so that the colors of your fabric don’t bleed.

Once it’s done in the wash, it’s time to lay it flat and let it dry. This will get it to dry quickly and easily and in a way that won’t have it bunched up or wrinkled. (but if it does wrinkle, you can iron it on low heat carefully on the outside fabric to get rid of the wrinkles)

How To Sew An Insulated Lunch Box

If you liked this How To Sew an Insulated Lunch Box tutorial, make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to use this tutorial, take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing how others use these tutorials.

Yield: 1

How To Sew an Insulated Lunch Box

DIY Insulated Lunchbox Create Card

Make your own super cute insulated lunch box! This quick and easy tutorial makes it fun to make your own. Great for kids and adults alike. Easy sewing tutorial for beginners!

Prep Time 3 minutes
Active Time 17 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $10.00

Materials

Cut the following:

  • 1 -20”x11'' piece waterproof fabric
  • 2 -20”x11” pieces of outer fabric and Insul Bright
  • 2 – 24”x4” pieces of outer fabric Insul Bright
  • 2 – 24”x1 3/4” pieces of Insul Bright
  • 2 – 11” pieces of canvas webbing

Instructions

  1. Baste, pin, or clip your Insul Bright to the wrong side of your outer fabric.
  2. Using a fabric marking pen and your cutting mat and ruler as a guide, mark any pattern you would like to quilt your fabric.
  3. Stitch your fabrics together along your marked lines. Repeat until all lines have been stitched.
  4. Your handles are going to go on the short sides of the quilted fabric. Using a fabric marking pen, mark and “X”, 3” in from the long side, on the left and the right. Repeat on the other side.
  5. Top stitch the handles in place.
  6. With wrong sides together, fold your two 24”x4” pieces of outer fabric in half lengthwise
  7. Press with a warm iron.
  8. Insert the 24”x3 3/4” piece of Insul Bright inside.
  9. Using a ¼” seam allowance, baste the open end closed.
  10. Repeat with the other piece. Iron flat with the warm iron.
  11. Pin your zipper in place on the folded end of each of the strips.
  12. Using your zipper foot, sew your zipper into place.
  13. Stitch along the outer side of each side of the zipper to give more stability.
  14. Using your fabric marking pen, fold your zipper panel in half and make a mark on the wrong side of the fabric.
  15. Fold one side of your main body in half between the handles and mark on the wrong side.
  16. Match these points up, wrong sides together and pin or clip into place.
  17. Open the zipper and using a 3/8” seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter of the lunch box on one level and then repeat on the other.
  18. Clip your seams, being careful not to cut stitching.
  19. Turn your lunch box right side out and enjoy!

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