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How To Sew Reusable Snack Bags

Are you interested in making reusable snack bags? They are perfect for work or school lunches, a small hike or even a picnic! These make excellent gifts for any occasion and are a great way to reduce your use of plastic bags! 

Reference the photos for help with the instructions!

What you will need:

  • 100% cotton fabric, quilting cotton works best!
  • PUL fabric* 
  • Plastic zipper, you want it to be plastic and larger than the short side of the fabric so you can cut the excess off at the end.
  • Rotary cutter (or scissors) 
  • Rotary cutting mat (If you're using scissors you won't need this) 
  • Pins 
  • Fabric pen or something to mark the fabric with 
  • Iron + ironing board 
  • Measuring tape 
  • Sewing machine
  • Seeing thread
  • Zipper foot 
  • Sewing machine needle
*PUL stands for Polyurethane Laminate and is a compound fabric made by laminating a cloth fabric to Polyurethane. PUL fabric can be used for medical bedding, mattress protectors, cloth menstrual pads, wet bags, diapers, snack bags and more! 

Because you are making snack bags and the PUL fabric will be touching your food, you want to make sure that the fabric is, BPA free, food-safe, breathable, water-resistant and washable!

The steps:

   1. Cut a rectangle 7” x 10” of the cotton fabric and 7" x 9.5" of the PUL fabric. You want the PUL fabric to be a bit shorter than the cotton fabric on the long side because it is stretchy and will and up being pretty much the same size!

You can do a different size if you’d like, just make sure that the PUL fabric is just a little shorter on the long side!

   2. Place the rectangle of cotton fabric face up, and pin the zipper in place at the top of the fabric, zipper face down. 

The top stop (the two devices at the top end of the zipper to prevent the slider from coming off the zipper) should be on the left. 

Make sure the zipper is on the shortest side of the rectangle and that the zipper is longer than the fabric. 

The face of the fabric is also known as the "right side" both of these terms mean the side of the fabric that would be the outside of something, the side that has more colour and maybe even a design!

   3. Place the PUL fabric on the top and pin it in place. 

The "right side" of the PUL is a polyester knit and is the side that is mainly used to show the pattern. The "wrong side" of the PUL is the laminate and is shiny and smooth.

Both sides of the PUL fabric are waterproof and food-safe, but you'll want to have the side that is shiny be touching the food so place the shiny side, or the "wrong side" down.

Please note that the right side of the PUL fabric will not be seen.

   4. Attach the zipper foot and sew along the top, you should be sewing all three layers. Make sure you backstitch at the beginning and the end!

   5. Take the piece of cotton fabric and fold it over on top of itself right sides together and place the edge that was not sewn and pin it to the side of the zipper that was not sewn. 

   6. Take the piece of pul fabric and fold it over on top of itself the wrong side together (shiny side together). Place the edge that was not sewn and pin it to the side of the zipper that was not sewn (same thing that you did with the cotton fabric).


   7. Sew along where you pinned, you should be sewing all three layers. 

Make sure that you take out the pins as you sew, if the needle goes over the pins it will break.

   8. Flip everything over and make sure that the zipper handle is at the top and facing down. 

Shift the fabrics so that you have just a little bit of cotton fabric at the top above the zipper and iron it in place. 

Move the snack bag so that you can iron the long side of the cotton, I do not recommend ironing the PUL fabric.

   9. Place the pul fabric over so that it is right on top of the cotton fabric. Move the slider (the device that moves up and down the zipper) into the middle of the zipper. Pin down that side and the other side.

This ensures that you won't accidentally be making the zipper impossible to use! 

   10. On the other side (the closed side) make a marking 2” up. And change the foot on your machine back to your regular sewing foot.

   11. Sew down the first side (the side without the marking) double stitching at the beginning, over the zipper and at the end. 

   12. Sew down the other side (the side with the marking), double stitching at the beginning and over the zipper. Stop sewing when you get to the marking you made, double stitch and cut your threads. 

   13. Fold the PUL fabric up and out of your way and sew down the rest on just the cotton fabric. Do not sew the PUL closed here or else you won't be able to turn your snack bag inside out and you won't be able to use it.

   12. Cut off the excess zipper tape and flip the snack bag half inside out (keep pul fabric as the outside) using the PUL fabric. 

   13. Sew down the spot on the pul fabric that’s open and undo the zipper all the way. 

   14. Flip the snack bag inside out all the way and poke the corners. 

Congrats! Now you have an awesome snack bag!

Need more ideas for projects to do? Here's an article with tons of project ideas!

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