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This DIY lunch bag made from oilcloth is a stylish way to take your lunch and also makes a useful gift for a friend. With some basic sewing skills and a small piece of oilcloth, you can easily make a homemade lunch sack to brighten up your meal.
A group of friends and I share a tradition of taking our kids’ teacher’s lunch during teacher appreciation week. We tally up the number of lunches we need, notify our teachers and then gather in the morning to assemble the lunches. One friend makes this delicious chicken salad, another brings croissants for the sandwiches, one brings fruit, another makes a wonderful pasta salad, and another friend makes these awesome brownies. We add a water bottle for an easy drink and I take care of the packaging.
Last year I made these paper lunch sacks, but this year I made reusable lunch bags with oilcloth. It only took minutes to make each one and it will be something the teacher can use all year long.
What is oilcloth?
Oilcloth is a tightly woven fabric that is treated on one side (usually with linseed oil) to give it a waterproof finish. The fabric is usually cotton, but can also be linen, and the finish makes it easily wipe-able. You can find it at most fabric stores and is often used to make table cloths.
Here Are the Supplies You Need
- cardboard to make pattern
- 2- 15 X 12 inch pieces of oilcloth fabric
- clothespins or clips
- sewing machine
How to Sew a Cute lunch bag
Step one: Make a pattern out of cardboard measuring 15 x 12. Cut a 2 1/2 inch square out of each bottom corner.
Step Two: Take two pieces of oilcloth right sides together and draw around your template. Cut out. I used small clothespins to hold the pieces together.
TIP: Mini clothespins work great but I have become a huge fan of these plastic sewing clips made for sewing.
Step Three: I used pinking shears to cut across the top (very optional- I thought it gave the edge a finished look)
Step Four: 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, if you have trouble a piece of tape on the bottom of your presser food can help keep the oilcloth from sticking.
Step Five: Fold in bottom of bag bringing bottom seam and side seam together
Step Six: Pin bag bottom to bag side with clips
Step Seven: Sew across on each side
Step Eight: Turn bag right side out and fold in top of bag about 1/2″ and then top stitch
Step Nine: Measure about 2 1/2 inches from middle side seam on all four corners, finger press, clip with clothes pins
Step Ten: Top-stitch closely to the corner fold on each of the four sides
Finished! This really is an easy project to make cute lunch bags for friends to take their lunch to work or pack kids’ lunches. You can add an ice pack to keep your lunch cool, and I recommend hand washing the bag if you have a spill. I would really love to know, do you call it a lunch sack OR a lunch bag–and where are you from? I find it is called both here in the midwest.
If you’re sending this cute lunch sack with a loved one, you’ll want to make sure that you add one of these cool lunch box notes (over 100 designs to choose from). Stay tuned for a reusable snack bag and sandwich bag sewing pattern as we are trying to get away from single use plastic bags at our house and start using more reusable storage bags.