Lunch time!

    Posted by  ·  May 8, 2008

    A group of friends and I share a tradition of taking our kids’ teachers lunch during teacher appreciation week. We tally up the amount of lunches we need, notify our teachers and then gather in the morning to assemble the lunches. One friend makes delicious chicken salad, another brings croissants for the sandwiches, one brings fruit, another makes wonderful pasta salad and another awesome brownies. I take care of the packaging. Last year I made these sacks. This year I made oilcloth lunch sacks.

    How to make an oil cloth lunch bag

    I first made a pattern out of cardboard measuring 15 x 12. Cut a 2 1/2 inch square out of each bottom corner.

    Take two pieces of oilcloth right sides together and draw around your template. Cut out. I used small clothes pins to hold the pieces together.

    I used pinking shears to cut across the top (very optional- I thought it gave the edge a finished look)

    Sew down each side and across the bottom. I used a stitch length of 5 and 1/4 inch seams on the entire bag. My machine handled the oilcloth beautifully, but If you have any troubles, Sew Mama Sew has a wonderful article on sewing with oilcloth.

    Fold in bottom of bag bringing bottom seam and side seam together

    Pin bag bottom to bag side with clips

    Sew across on each side

    Turn bag right side out and fold in top of bag about 1/2″ and then top stitch

    Measure about 2 1/2 inches from middle side seam on all four corners, finger press, clip with clothes pins

    Top-stitch closely to the corner fold on each of the four sides


    Leave a Comment


    1. YahYah
      Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
      Perfect. I am making fun lunch bags for the grandkids. Thank you
    2. Louise Richardson
      Thursday, October 13th, 2011
      i just made this... absolutely love it!! my first time using oilcloth.. i keep buying it because its pretty and not having an actual use for it :P xx
    3. Diane Szlucha
      Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
      I am going to do this with larger measurements and then my first step will be to sew the bottom together and add two long straps that will loop from the bottom around the top and back to the bottom on each side to make a shopping or market back. Sturdy, can be wiped down to clean and doesn't favor one store over another. Then I will follow the rest of the directions.
    4. holly
      Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
      Where do you find pretty oilcloth? My fabric stores don't carry it:(
    5. Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
      I love this oilcloth lunch tote! I included it in my collection of diy lunch bags and totes here:

      Thanks for posting!
    6. Jennifer
      Sunday, September 2nd, 2012
      Here's a tip on the pattern - a grocery sack is 12" wide and 17" tall. I found it was sturdy enough for the pattern and handy, since I didn't have any cardboard around the house.
    7. Saturday, October 20th, 2012
      Lovely! Thank you for the tutorial.
    8. Emilie
      Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
      Hi. I just want to say thank you for posting this pattern with pictures. I am new to sewing so the pictures really helps me and I appreciate it.
      I made this lunch bag for my husband. He loves Batman so I chose Batman fabric and I also added some velcro so he will be able to keep it closed while also using the velcro as a handle. I hope that makes sense!
      Again, thank you!

    9. Eliz
      Saturday, April 20th, 2013
      I know this link was from a while ago, but can you tell me how much fabric I would need for this? I am having my mother-in-law make it but not sure how much fabric to tell her. I am assuming not a whole lot, but think 1 yard is too little?
      Thank you!!!
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    13. Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
      I just wanted to say thankyou for posting this tutorial and also let you know that I linked you on my blog!