This DiY fabric lunch bag requires some sewing skills and can be customized to fit any personality. It fits the Rubbermaid Lunch Blox perfectly.
This fabric lunch bag DIY project is even easier to make than my pencil bag. I really dislike the options for lunch bags and boxes at most stores. They aren’t cheap, but they last about a week before something breaks. By the end of the school year, my kids’ lunch bags look as sad and worn out as their tennis shoes. Ew. I’m not sure how they get that way, but it also makes me a little wary about germs. Fortunately, this one can just be tossed in the laundry. You can make one in about an hour, so you might want to make a couple. That way you can toss one in the wash and always have a spare.
How to make a fabric lunch bag
1/2 yard of fabric, or two fat quarters (The assembled pattern measures 23 inches by 16.75 inches and I have found that fat quarters vary a little.)
sewing basics (thread, needle or machine, scissors, etc.)
step 1: Make your pattern
I made this lunch bag to fit the Rubbermaid Lunch Blox kit. We have two and they are by far my favorite way to pack lunch. I love how nice and neat everything looks and the containers are really durable. As in, we are using the same ones I bought
12 months 2 years ago. The bottom surface area of these tubs is about 4 1/2 inches by 5 1/2 inches, so that’s the measurement I used when I first made this pattern. If you have a bigger container, you’ll have to adjust.
To make my pattern, draw an L-shaped rectangle with the following measurements. Cut two pieces of fabric using this pattern.
*Update: new pattern*
After using and washing my lunch bags for a whole school year, I found that one of them had shrunk just enough to make getting the tubs in and out difficult. You could just use better fabric than I did (a cheap cotton/synthetic blend) or you could try my new pattern.
It took some mad math skills, but I increased the base of the bag by a half inch in each direction. I’ll save you the details of my trial-and-error, but if you are making your own pattern, make sure that the three open sides that make up the base on the pattern should add up to the same length as the longer inside measurement in the L. (In the above photo, that would be 4.75″ + 5.75″ + 4.75″ = 15.25″) Confused? Download my new fabric lunch bag pattern PDF below. It is slightly larger than the above measurements to accommodate shrinking. It prints on six pages and then you can tape it all together. Cut on the solid lines; fold on the dotted ones.
step 2: Sew the fabric
Put the right sides facing together and stitch around the outside. Leave the smallest 5.75-inch section (6.25 inches in the new pattern PDF) at the bottom open so that you can turn it right-side-out. Clip the points off of the outside of each corner. This will ensure that the corners are smooth when you turn it out.
step 3: Iron the seams
Turn the piece right-side-out. Iron around the edges. Turn the open edge under about 1/4-inch and iron it too.
step 4: Sew the corners
Starting on the inside of the “L”, line up the bottom edge with each side. Sew along the edges, one at a time. Sew as close to the corner as you can, but don’t sew all the way into it. You will need it to be able to turn, if that makes sense. When you finish this step, you should have a weird tent.
step 5: Sew the sides
All that is left is to sew up the sides. Line up the open ends and sew. Iron to crease the other sides and sew them too. This isn’t strictly necessary, but I’m a little OCD and this makes the bag very symmetrical. It also helps it stand up sturdier.
step 6: Attach the velcro
You can use any kind of velcro for this. I’m partial to the peel-and-stick kind. I didn’t sew it on, but I might go back and do that later. Especially after a few times through the laundry. Fold the top of the bag down. Stick you velcro in the middle and be sure to line up the bottom piece.