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How To Sew Reusable Snack Bags

 This article is brought to you by Lizzsews.

Are you interested in making reusable snack bags? They are perfect for work, 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.

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) 
  • Self-healing 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.

Recommended read: What is pul fabric

Because you are making snack bags and the PUL fabric will be touching your food, you need 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 cotton fabric and 7" x 9.5" of PUL fabric. 

You want the PUL fabric to be a bit shorter than the cotton fabric on the long side as it is stretchy and ends up being the same size!

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

   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. 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 (the same thing that you did with the cotton fabric).


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

   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, don't iron the pul fabric or it will fuse together with itself.

   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.

   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 you won't be able to turn your snack bag inside out.

   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. 

(I could have cut off more of the zipper tape here)

   13. Topstitch the gap in the PUL fabric closed.

Recommended read: What is topstitching

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

Recommended read: How to sew tea towels
Recommended read: How to sew scrunchies
Recommended read: What are feed dogs

Leave a comment below and let me know if you made some snack bags! And don't forget to subscribe to stay up to date with all of Lizzsews new articles. See you next time!


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