Jul 8, 2009

Reusable snack bags + free tutorial for a sandwich wrap

Last week, Kade went to day camp. I packed him a lunch every day, and realized by the end of the week that I had used at least 8 plastic ziplock bags! Next year he'll be taking lunch to school, and if I use that many baggies every week for a whole year.... wow. Lots of money wasted, lots of plastic bags in the garbage. So, I decided to make him some reusable snack bags.

(Chocolate milk is there so you can see how big they are)

I have made two sets so far (SpongeBob and outer space) and will probably make one more. They are the same basic size as the snack size and sandwich size ziplocks. They have tabs to make them easy to open, and velcro all the way across the opening.

The inside is made out of PUL (polyurethane laminated fabric)- it is soft and flexible, waterproof, washable, and safe*. I got mine at Kids in the Garden- she is very reasonably priced, and you can buy by the inch! You could also use oilcloth, or just regular cotton fabric.

After I made the snack bags, I decided to try and make a sandwich wrap. The boy I nanny uses them every day at school, and loves them! They hold everything in nicely, make a nice clean place mat for his food to sit on, and also work for crackers, apple slices, cookies, etc. So, I sat down and drew out a little tutorial for myself (I have to figure stuff out before I start sewing, or who knows what I'll end up with!), and here's what I came up with!

(Once again... chocolate milk was easier to show the size than making an actual sandwich!)

Cute, huh?! The great thing is that all three items (2 snack bags and 1 wrap) only cost me about $5, total! I love saving money! And I feel good about reducing (even if only by a little bit) the amount of trash we throw out.

Here is my little tutorial for the sandwich wrap. Now you can make some for your kids too! :) I don't know how to attach a PDF to my blog, so just click on the picture to make it bigger, and save it to your computer if you want to.

So there ya go! If enough people want me to, I'll also do a little tutorial sheet on the 2 sizes of snack baggies. I hope the tutorial makes sense, if you have any questions or if anything is confusing, just let me know :) Enjoy!

* There is a lot of conflicting information on the web about whether PUL is food safe or not. From all my research, I have decided that I am comfortable using it for my family. PUL is plastic, so if you don't like saran wrap, ziplock baggies, etc. coming in contact with your food, PUL might not be a good choice for you. PUL is also not to be heated up, of course. As with anything else, do your own research and come to your own conclusions about whether or not to use PUL.


Our Family said...

Melody -
That is so cool! You should definitely sell those on your Etsy site!!! Really awesome!!!

Life With The Elf said...

I really want to make some of the bags for sure! Mark me down for wanting the tute for that! And I agree with Melody--you should add them to your esty shop!

Riahli said...

I third the response, sell those cute puppers! I really want some I will have to try my hand at that in my spare time...oh yeah I don't have any of that, oh well. See this is why you should make some to sell, for people like me. I will be buying a cute little stuffed animal from your etsy site soon for the newest bundle of joy on the way here...when I make up my mind which one I want!

Anonymous said...

wow---these little "green" bags are so cool.....I think you should sell some, too :o) I like the one with the tutorial....QM

LuLu said...

I really need to sew some of these for me. As a teacher I pack my lunch daily - (school lunch stinks)

Lynette said...

Sewing is the one thing I CAN'T DO! So, you definitely need to add these to your Etsy store for people like me to purchase:)

Ammieloris said...

Thanks for the tutorial. These are so cute! I've been wanting some reusable sandwich baggies, and now I can make some. :D

Julia Marie said...

So you can just toss the whole thing in the wash? So cute, thanks!

Debbie Hodgson said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I can't wait to make some.
Regarding using a week's worth of zip lock bags, you can wash and re-use them several times, can't you? I mean, if you need to. Letting you use at most one a week instead of seven.

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Unknown said...

Hi Melody - thanks for doing this. I thought I would make up a bunch of sandwich/snack bags to sell at the farmers market this summer (I also sell kid's Usborne Books so I think it will be a good fit).

You mentioned using plain cotton inside in place of the PUL. I was talking it over with the gal at Manglesons (a craft store here) and she and I thought maybe muslin to line it with. What do you think of using a plastic bag between both layers of cotton for keeping food dry? I thought I'd just sandwich everything and "quilt" it with either zig zags or strips and then sew on the velcro.

Tina "The Book Lady"

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