Recently I’ve been delving into the world of reusable and sustainable, in every aspect of my life that I can. This is why I wanted to create these DIY reusable snack bags. Of course this isn’t something I can try to accomplish overnight, and I’m not going to stress myself out by attempting the impossible in trying to complete this journey too fast. That being said, I’m making slow steps into making my household a more eco friendly one, that is also healthier for me and my family. Plus less plastic in the house, means less garbage for me to deal with and less for my kid to get into.
I picked up a small portable sewing machine from amazon, when my father reminded me that my nana has a sewing machine that no one is using, so next time I went to visit I picked up her older sewing machine. It took me about a week to figure out how to properly thread it and use it, I went through a lot of scrap fabric, but I really wanted to be able to start making the things I was finding on pinterest. So I stuck with the frustrating machine until I finally had everything figured out, then I ran to walmart and picked up some squares of fabric to use.
I absolutely adore using her old machine because it reminds me of her so much, it’s loud and sounds a little bit like a train running through the house which brings back so many childhood memories. Being able to sew also means we save money on clothes in the long run cause I can finally just patch them up instead of having to get rid of them, which will come in handy when EJ is ripping holes in all his pants.
I have a whole board on pinterest dedicated to things I want to make, but most of it, even though it’s labeled as beginner friendly, seems pretty daunting. I decided to start with something fairly small, that didn’t involve anything but straight lines, hence why I picked snack bags. They are super simple to make, but I did notice that even though the website I got the pattern at was really user friendly, it didn’t go as in depth as I needed. I ended up having to guess and look up quite a few things, so I thought I would help others out there who are maybe on the same journey as I am with as little sewing experience. I made sure these DIY reusable snack bags are EXTREMELY beginner friendly so that no one feels daunted by them.
First things first, picking out your fabric.
Walmart has a bit of variety for about 2.99 a square, one square made me three bags, one larger, two smaller. I also picked up some plain white cotton/polyester to line the inside of my snack bags with, which isn’t considered microwave safe so if you want to be able to microwave your bags, choose a different fabric.
If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can definitely hand sew these, the fact that you sew them inside out before turning them right side, means that most of your mistakes will be hidden in the seam. Which is perfect for me, because I don’t exactly have perfectly straight lines yet, and I definitely have a few oopsie moments.
Sizing your fabric
When I say this pattern is for beginners, I’m talking serious beginners. I don’t have a lot of the fancy schmancy sewing things yet, like fabric scissors or the fabric rulers and things to help make cutting easier, so I make do with what I do have. Lay out your squares, and eye ball what you want. Three rectangles, or two, or one giant one. Whatever will suit you best, rectangles work best, but if you want to make a square you can, it will make your dimensions a bit different in your end product.
Cutting the fabric to size
To cut the white fabric the same size, I just pinned my squares over top and cut around them to make them match.
Hem The edges of your project
Like you can see from my pictures, I may not be the best at straight lines, but hey that’s okay. Next up, I hemmed the shorter edges. To make hemming easier, if you have an iron, use it to iron the edges to make it super easy for your hem to stay where you want it. I don’t have an iron so I just used pins to keep it where I wanted it and hoped for the best.
When you sew, back sure you do a bit of back sewing at the beginning and end, to help make sure your thread doesn’t just pop out and make your life difficult.
Next up, white side up, line up your bottom edge about 2/3’s of the way up and pin in place. Sew up the sides. (Sorry my picture is a bit blurry, my cat decided to interrupt.)
Next up, turn it right side out.
Cleaning it up
As you can see, my edges aren’t perfect, I went back in and sewed down the bits that were poking out. Cleaned up all the strands of thread, then picked out a button. You can use velcro, you can just fold the top in, whatever is easiest for you. Once I had the button attached, I just a slit for the button on the top part so I could close the bag. I hemmed the slit, and let me tell you, it is not a good hem job. It looks wonky and very messy, but it works. That’s all that matters.
It can be so daunting to want to create these kinds of projects for yourself. Maybe your friends or family tease you, maybe you feel like you wouldn’t be able to make it perfect so why bother? You may feel like you need all this intense equipment to make these sort of projects, or that it’s just too time consuming. There’s so many excuses that feel too daunting to overcome, but let me tell you, it doesn’t matter. Mine aren’t perfect, but they work. I’m still proud of myself, and it took me less then an hour to make three of these.
There is also so so so many benefits to reusable snack bags, that can lead you into the rabbit hole of creating as much reusable and sustainable products for your household that you can. I’ll be writing a post on those benefits so be sure to stay tuned!
As you get more used to sewing or creating things it becomes easier to make these bags. I made a new batch of them and want to share some updated tips for beginner sewers. Cut the corners of your squares so that when you fold over to hem you don’t have fabric collecting in the corners. Use an iron to help hold down your fold so when you sew your hemming it’s so easy for it to stay where you want it. If you don’t have an iron, heat up the bottom of a pan. Does the same thing. I also used velcro this time to help keep the bag closed better so that tiny snacks don’t start trying to escape.
Let me know if you try this project out, or if you have any tips, comments, or other projects you want to see!