Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Ultimate Re-Usable Snack Bag: Machine Washable and Stands Upright

The loops are great for opening the bag and for hanging from those rings for kids -- making it easy for little ones to snack too!
Isn't this a cute bag?  Stylish and practical!
Brooke was making re-usable snack bags from leftover Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) she had from making her amazing diaper covers!  I asked if it was ok if I made some for a local craft fair and then posted the rest in my Etsy shop.  Since I first made those I have improved my own bags and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this design!
These pouches are shaped super cute and stand on their own.
Perfect for bringing to the office, play date or on the go!
And seriously, I know I've said it before but I adore this heirloom line of fabric by Joel Dewberry.  Every time I make something else with it, I fall in love all over again.  The pictures just cannot do it justice.

          • 2, 8" x 9" Rectangles of Cotton Quilting Fabric
          • 2, 3" x 8" Scraps of Coordinating Fabric
          • 2, 4" Pieces of Ribbon
          • 2, 8" x 9" Rectangles of Polyurethane Laminate (PUL)
            • **Please note: Several people have commented that PUL is not considered "food safe" by the FDA.  You can decide for yourself if you want to use PUL or another lining that one feels is "food safe".
          • 8" Piece of Hook and Loop


1.  Take the 8" x 9" pieces of fabric.  The 8" is the width, and the 9" is the height.  Cut out a 2" square from the bottom of the right and left each rectangle.
2.  Take the 3" x 8" strips of fabric and fold them in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.  Press.

3.  Line up the raw edges of the folded strip with the top of the right side of one of the 8" x 9" rectangles.  Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.
4.  Repeat with the remaining rectangle.
5.  Set aside both pieces.
6.  Take the pieces of PUL and repeat step 1 with them.  Then measure 1" down from the top of one and sew the hook strip to it.   Repeat with the remaining PUL piece and the loop strip.
7.  Place one of the PUL pieces on top of one of the cotton pieces, right sides together, tops on tops, and bottoms on bottoms.  Sew along the top seam ONLY with a 1/4" seam allowance.  
8.  Open the seam and press.  Press the seam on the back down toward the PUL and the strip on top of the cotton down toward the cotton fabric.  Repeat steps 7 and 8 with the other cotton fabric and PUL pieces.
9.  Place the pieces just created in step 7 & 8 on top of one another, right sides together.  Place the cotton fabric on top of the cotton fabric and the PUL on top of the PUL.  The hook and loop will connect.
10.  Sew down both long sides, from the top of the 2" PUL corner to the top of the opposite 2" cotton fabric corner, with a 1/4" seam allowance.
11.  Sew along the entire bottom edge of the cotton fabric, from the edge of the 2" square to the edge of the opposite 2" square with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Do NOT sew the square corners.
12.  Go to the PUL and sew only beginning and end of the bottom piece from corner to corner, leaving a 2" turning gap, in the center for turning right side out.

Now it's time to make those nice square corners!

I often use a different method for making square corners, but it doesn't always make the most even or square corners(see step 6 in this tutorial).  This is another method that I often forget about but that was reinforced recently by Trish over at Two Peas in a Pod Designs!

13.  Grab each corner of the cut square and pull them out away from one another, bringing the side seams toward one another and nesting them together.
14.  Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.
15.  Repeat with the PUL corners.
16.  Turn bag right side out, going through the turning gap left in the bottom of the PUL, pull the fabric and PUL through the turning gap.
17.  Along the turning gap, tuck the edges of the PUL in about 1/4" - 1/2" and pin.
18.  Sew the opening closed.
19.  Tuck the PUL into the cotton fabric creating a bag.
20.  Fold one ribbon in half.
21.  Find the center of the side of the bag and tuck the ribbon under the flap at the center.  Tuck the raw edges of the ribbon all the way up to the seam.  Pin the ribbon in place.
22.  Stitch along the top of the bag with a 1/4" seam allowance.
23.  Stitch around the top of the bag another 1/4" in from the previous stitching.
24.  Repeat step 23 over and over until you get to the end of the flap.
25.  And Viola!  One super cute bag!

The ribbons make this bag super easy to open.   Put one finger from each hand in the center of each loop.
Then pull them away from one another, opening the bag.  
Snack Time!


mizoal said...

thank you for sharing!

great tutorial!


Heather A said...

I love this! I think it will make nice gifts for my office pals!

Leah said...

Love that it stands up! Great clear tutorial!

Crafty Me! said...

Thank you for the awesome bag tutorial.

And thank you for spelling Voila correctly!

Liesl said...

This is the coolest snack bag design I've seen!
However, you should know that PUL is *not* food safe.
I'm still on the hunt to find the perfect material to use in reusable bags that *is* food safe.

Sarah said...

I also wanted to say thanks for sharing this great tutorial! Ive made several with anorher pattern but this looks even better!!

I would also like to add that PUL is not food safe. I have been using Rip Stop Nylon which is food safe and can be found in the same area as PUL at your fabric store, it comes in several colors.

Happy crafting!!

Heather said...

PUL is not considered food safe by the FDA. Please consider this and do your own homework before sewing these.

MadScientistK said...

I did some more research into it, and polyurethane films are approved for food contact on a case by case basis, but the PUL is not approved partly because nobody has applied to have it approved. The FDA doesn't test everything for food safety, just the things that commonly come in contact with food and whatever they are requested to test.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how it stays closed. Can you elaborate on that for me please? btw, I love the square bottom!

Mauby said...

Thank you @MadScientistK you said exactly what I feel and have found in my own research! I really appreciate that you took the time to address everyone on that issue.

Mauby said...

Hi @Anonymous! The bag stays closed using hook & loop fastener (A.K.A. Velcro). You can find the details on how to sew that in step "6. Take the pieces of PUL and repeat step 1 with them. Then measure 1" down from the top of one and sew the hook strip to it. Repeat with the remaining PUL piece and the loop strip."

Anonymous said...

The PUL+food thing weirded me out a little too -- BUT I just made one of these last night lined with the same fabric I used for my 3x8" strip and am using it as a makeup bag in my purse. I couldn't be any happier - too cute! Thanks for the tutorial!

Alycia said...

I love this. The fabric is fabulous. Where did you get it?

Mauby said...

Hi Alycia! Thanks so much! The fabric is from the Heirloom line by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit.

The Fat Quarter shop still has some prints:


You can also check other Etsy shops like Venezie Designs:


Heather said...

Great tutorial! This was one of the clearest, easiest to read ones I've followed. I found the directions very simple to follow and my bag turned out great!! Thanks for sharing!

Mauby said...

Thank you so much Heather! I hope you get to enjoy your bag and find some of my other tutorials useful as well!

~ Aubrey

Anonymous said...

Hi - I have a suggestion for lining the bag: Use the bags that enclose cereal in the boxes. It's gotta be some sort of food safe, right? :)

Smilie Mommy said...

I love this idea! And will definitely be trying it for my kiddos. I will go with Sarah's suggestion above whee she said: "Rip Stop Nylon which is food safe and can be found in the same area as PUL at your fabric store, it comes in several colors." Thanks for posting this great tutorial! :-)

Jenna said...

I love how you made the bag standing! I am definately doing this. I am going to use PUL from wazoodle that says "DiaperMaker PUL fabric contain no lead, phlalates or BPA making them ideal for applications that require direct contact with baby skin. They are also food safe, meaning they can be used to make or line snack bags."

I wonder why other PUL's are not food safe...

teri said...

This will make a great bag to take sewing supplies to my quilting group and I can use it as a snip it bag while I'm there. Thank you for the cute idea.

Tina said...

I like to use the wax liner bags from cereal boxes. The thicker the better. You could even double them up for better wet protection.

Stacy Child - The Wild Child Bunch said...

I actually found some food safe pul fabric on Wazoodle.com
Can't wait to make many of these for myself, hubby and kids. Not to mention as gifts. My kids love the idea that they can have more personal ones to relate their liking. My 5 year old was way excited when he saw I was going to make him a Lightening McQueen one. My daughter the same with princess and Hello Kitty.

Angela R. Stewart said...

Is the one in the photo the same size as the tutorial? Mine seem to come out too large for a kiddo.

Mauby said...

Thanks for the recent and not so recent comments on liking the design and tutorial! I have been a little MIA recently with my family and all. @angela r. Stewart, not sure if you got my email reply: yes, the bag in the photos is the same size as the tutorial. You can make the bag smaller by decreasing the height and width the same amount and decreasing the corners by 1/2" for every 1" you decrease the width and height by. You will also want to decrease the width if the top strips (blue n the picture) by 3/8" for every inch you decrease the height by. Hope that helps and isn't too confusing! ~ Aubrey

Priscilla said...

Sorry if this is a repeat but, I just finished one for my daughter who just went away to college. I love it and I know she will too. Thanks for the clear, easy to follow directions and photos. I even used your instructions and made my snack bag 2 inches smaller. Perfect! Thanks so much!

Iola said...

Thank you!
I've done one and want to repeat!
It's very nice.
I've put some photos in my blog: http://blogdaiola.blogspot.pt/2012/10/saco-do-lanche.html

Benike Boutique said...

I have a silly question; how do you wash these? I'm not sure if they are machine washable, and not sure if surface cleaning is sufficient?

Also, as far as the PUL not being food safe, I guess I assume that people should be their own judge when making their own products. But that's just me...

Mary Beth said...

I also have a silly question. Which side is the "right" side of the PUL? Should the cloth or plastic side be "showing" when you open the bag?

Amy said...

Great tutorial & great bag. I made a bunch of these for Christmas & they turned out great! The right side of the pul is the plasticity side. I sized down the pattern to 6 x 7 inches with one-inch cutouts in the corners. Perfect size!

Anonymous said...

i like the tutorial. a possible option instead of pul is an oilcloth tablecloth.

Jill Jackson said...

I love, love love it!!! I made my first one at my Pinterest Party! Now I'm making lots more for giveaways at my reatrat!!! So much fun! I covered my lining with iron on vinyl. Couldn't do the top stitching over the seams, but fine without it!

Jenny Layman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny Layman said...

This is the most simple, wonderful tutorial to follow. My bags came out so perfectly. And since I'm new to sewing, the quicker the project, the better right now, and this one took me less than two hours, but I had the kids helping. They are bigger than expected though, which is great because my family loves to snack. Thank you so much for the tutorial and those corners are really easy!

Barbara said...

What a great tutorial you have shared with us. I didn't see a pinterest pin on your blog. Do you mind if I pin this to my crafting board?

Two Pink Suitcases said...

So cute! Thank you for posting this!
I think a natural alternative for those who don't want to use PUL might be to infuse the cloth with melted beeswax and a tad of olive oil so it's still flexible but impermeable (or less permeable) to moisture. Now I gotta make some of these for my kids...

Barbara Hogeland said...

Love this. Thanks for sharing. Can I pin it to one of my pinterest boards? I didn't see a pinterest button on your blog so I thought I'd ask.

Escargopotte bordados said...

love this ! thanks for sharing !

Mauby said...

Please feel free to pin any of my tutorials you would like. Boards with my work on my own pinterest board can be found here:



Thank you for the compliments! Glad so many people enjoy these tutorials!

- Aubrey

Amy said...

How do you wash PUL fabric? I'm wanting to use it for bags in a nursery so they will be water proof. No food in them, just need them to be large enough for diapers and wipes and water proof/ washable. Thx

Rebecca said...

What a cute bag! Thanks for the very clear tutorial with great explanations and helpful pictures :)

Mary said...

Oh my gosh! The ribbons to open the bag! I never in a million years would have thought of it, but it is so simple! I will be retrofitting all my snack bags now, so my son can open them himself. Thank you thank you thank you a million times over!

AFHMOM said...

This is a great pattern and tutorial. I like the repeated lines of stitching at the top and the ribbon PULS. I will be checking out your other tutorials.
Glad this came up when I Googled Tutorials with PUL!

Jess said...

This is the cutest snack bag I have seen, can't wait to sew a bunch up for coworkers. They will be perfect for holiday gifts along with some homemade cookies. Thanks for the great tutorial!

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