Welcome to the August 2014 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Green Your School Year.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and the Green Moms Network. This month, our members are getting ready for back to school. Stop by all of the posts listed at the bottom of mine to get ideas on how you can make simple changes to make the school year more eco-friendly and natural.
Packing lunches or snacks for your little ones (or not-so-little, as the case may be) is an essential part of every mom’s job.
In my few years as wife and mama, I’ve used a variety of containers to keep snacks sorted in, and a staple has been the plastic sandwich baggie. Unfortunately, even if you wash them, you have to throw them away and keep buying new ones. It’s great for marketing, less so for the earth.
To counter-act this, I decided to whip up a few reusable snack bags from materials in my stash.
Tutorial: How to Sew a Reusable Snack Baggie
- 2 8″x8″ squares of your outer fabric
- 2 8″x8″ squares of your inner fabric
- 1 8″ piece of 1″ wide hook & loop (Velcro, both sides)
Lets talk materials for a minute. My outer fabric is a cute lemon cotton print. Just about any cotton print works great for an outer fabric – however, I’d recommend staying away from flannels. The sky is the limit for your outer fabric.
For my inner fabric, I used polyurethane laminate, or PUL, fabric. You may be familiar with PUL – it’s the outer fabric used for pocket cloth diapers, cloth diaper covers, etc – you see it used for cloth diapers. It has not been tested for food-safety, so make your own call on whether you want to use PUL or not. I like PUL because it’s waterproof and machine-washable.
Other options include using another layer of cotton (make sure to use at least a lightweight interfacing), muslin, or rip-stop nylon.
All seams are 1/2 inch unless otherwise noted.
First, line up your hook and loop closure on your inner lining fabric. I placed it 3/4 of an inch down from the top so that after I sewed all of my pieces together, the hook and loop would sit 1/4 inch from the top of the opening.
Next, sew your outer fabric to the top of your inner fabric.
Iron out your seam, being sure to use minimal heat if you’re using a synthetic material like PUL or nylon. Place your two pieces on top of each other and line up the hook and loop. You want to stick the two pieces of hook and loop together, and then pin the rest of the way around your fabric. You should have pinned inner-to-inner and outer-to-outer.
Sew around your fabric, starting with your inner fabric, being sure to leave a 2-3 inch opening in the bottom of the inner fabric. We will use this hole to turn the baggie right side out.
Clip the corners of your outer fabric. You don’t have to bother with the inner fabric because of how it will lay when inside the snack bag. Turn your bag right side out, but do not stuff the inner inside yet. You will have to unhook the velcro to turn it.
Sew the hole in the bottom of the inner fabric closed with a small seam.
Stuff the inside into the baggie, then topstitch around the top edge of your baggie. And you’re done!
These come out to be around 7″x7″ finished size, and are almost exactly the same size as a regular plastic sandwich baggie. This pattern is also easy to customize, so make baggies whatever size you need!
Visit Happy Mothering and to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival!
Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed: