Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Grab-n-Go Reusable Snack Bags:Tutorial

Last week I had a crafting request from a friend of mine. Apparently she seems to think I am a creative genius or something. While her faith in me is flattering, I am not sure I deserve it! 

HOWEVER, at least this time I was able to meet her request. She asked me to create some type of reusable snack holder. I know there have been more than a few answers to the reusable snack carrier dilemma...I bet you didn't know it was a huge dilemma did you...well it is...hehehe.

Anyhoo...right after reading her request I started brainstorming. 

This is what I came up with- 

A handy dandy, super dooper, easy peasy...have I gone too far with my adjectives...well basically an altogether quite terrific reusable Grab-n Go snack bag.

 The cool thing about this bag is that the outside is made from a vinyl tablecloth. Something you can fin ANYWHERE and in tons of fun patterns. 

So do you want to make some?

Grab-n-Go Reusable Snack Bag: Tutorial

Here is what you will need:

vinyl table cloth (One table cloth will make you tons. I like to buy the largest size because the price seldom differs from the smaller ones. When you by the large one you can save the unused portion and make THIS or even THIS)
clear plastic (can be found at fabric store in utility fabric section, meant for covering things like tables)
coordinating thread


Outside (from pattern tablecloth)- 1 piece 7 1/2" by 6 1/2"
                                                    1 piece 10 1/2" by 6 1/2"

Inside- (from coordinating tablecloth or the same pattern)
                                                    1 piece 3 1/2" by 6 1/2"
            (from clear vinyl)
                                                    14" by 6 1/2"

First let me say that it is near impossible to see the clear vinyl in the pictures, so hopefully my written instructions will make sense on those steps.

Okay let's get started.

1. Sew the small strip (the inside lining of the top flap) to the clear vinyl. Do this by placing them right sides together...there is no right side to clear vinyl so you can choose...with top edge of vinyl and the bottom edge of the patterned piece. Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.

It will look like this-

2. Take the outside pieces and place right sides together with the bottom edge of each patterned piece matching. Sew together with a 1/2" seam allowance.

To add a finishing touch, I sewed a line of stitches the outside on either side of the seam line. I choose a thread color that coordinated and would show.

3. Now you will attach the outside and inside pieces together. Place the pieces right sides facing, with the top of the inside lining flap (my fishy pattern) matching the top of the outside piece (my ocean pattern).

See here is where it is tricky, because you can't see the clear vinyl...I promise it is there.

You will sew the two pieces together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Then turn it out and sew a line of stitches along the top, really securing your pieces together and adding a finishing touch. This is the flap of your bag.

4. To finish of the front of the snack bag, sew a line of stitching along the top, this will attach the clear vinyl to the front of your bag. Then sew a piece of velcro  about 1 1/2" down from the top. Make sure the velcro is centered. 

5. Final assemble steps! Lay the snack bag so that the clear lining is facing up. Fold the bag up so that the top of the front outside piece just comes up to the bottom of the inside top flap.

Like this-

You will sew the side edges of your snack bag closed. Sew up one side completely from top to bottom, making sure your completely sew the bottom corner closed. Repeat on the other side. Make sure that you sew from the bottom all the way up to the top of the flap...the entire side.

6. The last step is attaching the other piece of velcro, not quite an inch from the top.

Now you have a nifty and thrifty little Grab-n-Go reusable snack bag.

Find some treats and load 'em up.

The good news is your kids will be just as excited about these bags as they are for the treat inside.

I am sure you noticed that I played around with cut-outs with one of my snack bags. It is a fun little sneak peak to the treat inside. Play around, see what you can come up with.

After rereading this post to check for errors, I noticed it could sound tricky. PLEASE ask me any and all questions. Either in the comment section or email. These really are EASY to whip out. Once you get one done you will see.

Care instructions: These bags can be cleaned with soap and water. Then allow to air dry. DO NOT put in dishwasher/regular washer.

DISCLAIMER: I know there is some debate on materials that are safe for holding food items. Both of these materials were manufactured for the purpose of eating on/nearby them, so I felt safe in allowing my children's food to touch these bags. Follow your own instincts. 

Linking up:

Show and Tell Wednesdays: Blue Cricket Design
Whatever Goes Wednesdays: Someday Crafts
We Did It Wednesdays: Sew Much Ado
Strut Your Stuff: Somewhat Simple
Tutorial Tuesdays: The Little Birdies
Friday Fun Finds: Kojo Designs
Weekend Wrap Up: Tatertots and Jello


Nina @ Momma Go Round said...

These are such a great idea! I was coming to tell you how GENIUS you are for making me die over the Judgy VonJudgersteins comment, but now you have inspired me as well. Nice one my friend, nice one :)

Sharon said...

I love these!! I have four kids and these would be perfect for outings. :) Like the post above, GENIUS!!

Natalie said...

Holy Hannah! I love these, woman. Super cute. I'm impressed. The End. P.S. I also love that your snack of choice is candy. Tee hee.
Love you!

Rachael @ The Little Birdie said...

I love these little baggies! {especially the one with the window... good idea!} What a great idea using the tablecloths, specialty fabric like that can be SO expensive. I would love for you to come link up your tutorial at our Tutorial Tuesday at The Little Birdie. We have lots of moms and sewers who would love this!

Here's the direct link to the linky party:

casserole said...

I love these little snack bags! I hate having to use ziplocs in my daughter's lunch. I especially love the one with the little window!

I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


Kat @ KaydeeBunz said...

This is SUPER cute!!! Thank you so much for sharing :)

Julie said...

Too cute! One of tehse days I am going to make these! Thanks!

Abbie said...

Very cute and great idea to use a plastic tablecloth. I have had difficulty in sewing on clear vinyl before because my presser foot seems to get stuck to it. Have you ever had that problem?

Kim said...

Brilliant, I am so tired of wasting money and filling landfills with small zip bags!

Whatever Dee-Dee wants said...

They are darling! You always come up with the best ideas!

JoyandTren said...

Love this idea! Especially because I just bought Target valentine heart tablecloths brand new at Goodwill for 2 bucks!

Summer said...

Love this! I'll be featuring it on my blog the first week in April - all credit linked back to you!



Betsy said...

Love this!! Can't wait to try it.

Tracy said...

Love it, someone was wondering about sticking presser feet--tip: Vinyl is sticky and won't feed under your machine if you don't place something between it and the foot. Tissue paper works well, you tear it off after sewing. I just pull something out of a used gift bag!

Larissa said...

Thanks for sharing your tip Tracy!! I haven't even tried that, now I must.

Abbie, I will admit that it is super tricky and I just kind go slow and work with it. With this project, I made sure the clear vinyl was not facing the foot as much as I could control...aka I would sew with the table cloth up.

Trisha @ The Sweet Survival said...

Oh my gosh those are adorable! I need some of those for the little guy.

Stockhoff Family said...

LOVE those!!! Where do you come up with this stuff!!! My mind hurts just pondering the possibilities.
Must be Dad

Kim said...

You can get a teflon foot for sewing on vinyl (or other "sticky" fabrics).

Laura Roth said...

Super dooper cool! And thanks for the measurements in your directions :) Can't wait to make these for my nephews and my son. As always---you rock!

Courtney Elizabeth said...

I've been wanting some of these but am too cheap to buy them but have been too intimidated to try to make my own. I love the idea of using a table cloth--so smart!

Keri Oke said...

ahhhhh thanks Larissa, these are wonderful. Just what I had imagined. I knew you could make my thought a reality. youre amazing. thanks a bunch now all I have to do is get my sewing machine up and running so i can make some of these. that sis my new years resolution you know. to learn to sew. this may just be the perfect project to help accomplish that goal. youre the best.

ready for idea #2. I emailed you a while back like a super duper while back but you may not have gotten my request back then. I dont know about you but all of my cart tables I have ever owned are ripped on top rom tiny hands, sharp forks, ect. would it be an easy task to whip up some cart table covers. almost every table cloth ive found is just to gynormous to fit comfortable on these tiny cart tables. i imagine you would have to use elastic along the edges to make it a tight fit. but with summer comming up and cart tables being dusted off and ready to use I would love to have a fitted cart table cover. I triple dog dare you. ahh come on your can do it. I know you can. thanks for filling my previous request youre amazing

Christie @ A Lemon Squeezy Home said...

I love these, Larissa! They look great!

Christie @ A Lemon Squeezy Home said...

And holy shmoly, that friend has some great ideas! An elastic table cloth for the card table? (I think she said cart--maybe I'm the one who is wrong), but that is a fabulous idea as well!

Rachel at Sun Scholars said...

Awesome!!! best I've seen. I need to make some of these!

I'd love to have you share at my For the Kids Friday Link Party! I'm sure you'll find some fun ideas while you are there! Come join the fun!


Keri said...

ha ha ha Yes Christie you are right. I have no idea why I typed Car(T) I did mean Car(D) Table. thats funny you can tell how tired I am today.

Amber Branconier said...

I LOVe this idea! So smart!
I must say you are a creative genius!


Andrea said...

Cute! I love the one with the "window"...very creative!

Laurel {Make and Takes} said...

Wow, these are adorable and such a great idea! I especially love the one with the window. I'd love for you to submit this to the M&T Spotlight at http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

Jill said...

Great idea and very cute!

I would love if you came over and linked this project to my weekly Round Tuit party at:
Have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Our Seven Dwarfs said...

Great idea! I featured this for our readers on Facebook. Can't wait to make some!

Jill of oursevendwarfs.com

Jaime said...

The peek-a-boo is so fantastic!! I'd love for you to link up at Wow Me Wednesdays!


Nikki ~ Let's Craft!! said...

LOVIN IT!! You should ck out my reuseable snack wraps too. I used a shower curtain made from 100% PEVA. Now I will do THIS TOO!!! YAY!

~ Nikki


MonroeMom said...

Very cute, but I'd be careful with what kind of vinyl is touching food directly. Unlike food storage bags, tablecloth vinyl isn't designed for direct food contact. Maybe lining the interior with an extra heavy duty Ziploc freezer bag cut down and stitched in would ensure safety from chemicals.

Becca at Motherhood "perfected" said...

I love these! I have been wanting to figure out a way to NOT use so many plastic baggies, and these are cuter than others I have seen! Thank you!!

Sunshine & All Things Crafty said...

How long did it take you to make each bag? Is it ridiculous to think that I could make this for a class of 16? lolol They're amazingly cute! I absolutely love the pattern and the little window cut out!

Unknown said...

I was wondering where you got your vinyl table cloth? I don't know where I could find such a cute cloth for cheap, if you konw what I mean!

Mary Beth! said...

I second what the lady above me said. Please tell us where you got the adorable vinyl tablecloth!! I was looking around and couldn't find anything nearly as cute.

Mary Beth! said...

I second the lady above me. Please share where you got your adorable table cloth! i haven't found any nearly as cute and I want to make these asap

Little of this, little of that said...

I love this idea! Wonderful....where did you buy the tablecloth?

:Brittany: said...

I was about to buy some of these at the bx on post. So glad I seen this!! Can't wait to make some

Adventures In Crafting said...

Is there any reason you couldn't use oilcloth? I can't find any tablecloths I like... Just wondering, as I'm new to sewing outside of quilts...

Larissa said...

You could use oil cloth. There is some debate as to if it is good to eat things that have been touching oil cloth. But I think that is a personal call. I am sure this kind of vinyl is no different :).

Jeni Maxson said...

OKay I love this but table clothes and clear plastic is not food safe. I did MAJOR research for my own buisness on these and the only fabric I found to be food safe is PROCARE.I buy it by the yard and line my bags. Just to give my ten cents. Google before you make!

Sandy said...

We just bought a boat, and I have been thinking that I need to make something for us to take snacks in when we go out fishing on the boat. This will be perfect! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise said...

I do realize that some people will be uncomfortable with using vinyl tablecloths for these bags.

I feel okay about it. We use it for dry cereal and crackers.

My feeling was, if they are good enough to eat off on a table, then they are okay for minor snacks, however I always knew there would be differing opinions.

The great thing, is that this tutorial can be used with any fabric you are comfortable using.

Snow said...

Love, love, love these but absolutely adore the fabric. Where in the world did you find this tablecloth? Anxious to find cute childlike fabrics or cloths & have found nothing.

Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise said...

The tablecloth was so stinking cute. I got it a little over a year ago at Target...best store in the world.

I am always on the look out for vinyl tablecloths in the spring and summer at Target and even Walmart.

Good Luck!

Renae said...

I love this but Im a bit slow.. Do you have a video??

Jill said...

What a neat idea. For those of you that are concerned about the tablecloths and BPA here is a site that carries BPA-free ones, reasonable and cute.


Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise said...


I don't have a video, sorry! Email me your questions and I can try to help.


Thanks for the site. I am excited to look around.

Jessie Gray said...

This is a great tutorial. But am I the only one having issues with the plastics hanging up in the sewing machine? Whenever I try to run the vinyl or table top plastic facing outwards through the machine it scrunches up....causing my edges to be uneven. Is there a secret trick to it that I missed?

Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise said...


It can be tough to send vinyl and plastic through your sewing machine. slow and steady.

the only trick I have heard of is using a little bit of scotch tape on the machine. I have never tried it though.

Kendra said...

Cute Idea, and I love the window - but vinyl is NOT FOOD SAFE! I found a food safe, medical grade fabric that is also waterproof online...so I just urge everyone to do their research before using vinyl.

Amanda McEwen ~ $5 Hems and more ~ said...

Thank you for the tip on using a plastic table cloth! Genius. $ store here I come. :D If you were to box stitch the corners you could make this wide enough to fit a sandwich in as well! i know what my kids are getting for christmas. Probably my niece too. Cheers.
Amanda in canada

Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise said...


Box corners! I totally want to do that now.

Marla said...

I love these bags!! Did you use a template for the cutout? Also, these would be great travel bags for liquids and lotions. Thanks for sharing!!

Kathleen Babbitt said...

an idea for the card tables. look and see if by chance the top is just screwed on. if so you could just unscrew it and cover the top like you would re cover chairs. if not what about contact paper? I don't know how wide contact paper comes but that would be an easy fix. just my thoughts

Gythia said...

I love the idea, great for homemade dog treats when going on a road trip,

Purple said...

These are so adorable, crafty and practical. My son and his lovely wife just had twins (July 3rd) and I can see some of these in their future! Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration!

Amy said...

Did I miss something? Are the edges supposed to be unfinished? I have fuzzy tablecloth felt sticking out all over.


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