Aug 8, 2012

Reusable Sandwich and Snack Packs (Pattern)

I like to make some small efforts in being environmentally friendly, especially when it comes to waste. I try to have those reusable grocery bags on hand when I go to the store, and even though I forget sometimes, I save all my plastic grocery bags to use to make plarn (plastic yarn), so at least they're not going out into the dump. I also try to be conscious of my daily waste, especially my lunch stuff. I already use reusable lunch containers - I like my To-Go Ware stainless steel tiffin and my little bento-sized Lunch Bots - but sometimes I still use little plastic zip bags for snacks and sammies. I always feel bad when I throw one out, too. I have a couple of reusable snack baggies that I picked up from Bed Bath and Beyond (they are also available at, but those are a little pricey for just a couple of bags. And then I thought, this can't be that hard to make at home... so I made a pattern for snackies packs! And then I made another pattern for sammies packs!
My patterns are no-sew just because I don't have a sewing machine and if I have to stitch things by hand, I'll never actually do it. I'm sure the patterns could easily be adapted to be sewn. My dimensions are my eyeball estimate of how big I think a typical snackies or sammies pack is - the snack pack comes out to 3" x 5" x 2", 30" cubed volume inside, and the sammy pack is 6" x 6" x 2", 72" cubed volume inside.
Things you'll need:
  • 1 - 2 yds. smooth knit fabric (sale bolts or those little packs of fabric scraps are perfect)
    • things like cloth napkins and bandanas also work really well (make sure they are super clean before using them with food)
  • Velcro (8 inches for every sammy pack, 7 inches for every snackie pack)
  • Hot glue and gun (for no sew)
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • chalk or pencil (for transferring pattern onto the fabric)
  • Patterns (see below)
Start by clicking to download the pattern you wish to make. The files are PDF and are licensed through Creative Commons (and sport my cute RoboLogo watermark): Snackies Pack (1 page) Sammies Pack (2 pages) In the following directions, I'll use the snackies pack pattern as my example; it's pretty much exactly the same process to make the sammies pack. Cut out all shapes by cutting the outside of the solid black lines (leave the color lines and dashed lines intact with your pattern). Next, tape all the pattern pieces together matching up colored lines on the shapes. Be sure to line up the fold over flap colored line with the back panel colored line as they are positioned - the flap should have an extra inch on either side of the panel. Spread out your fabric and lay out the pattern on top. Use a pencil or some chalk to trace the outline of the pattern onto the fabric. Remove the pattern (keep it near by for reference) and cut out the tracing on the fabric.
Decide which side will be the inside of your pack. Place that side down on your work space, with the thicker end closer to you. Now comes the gluey part and my obligatory warning: hot glue can be really hot so please be careful using it. Glue each step one at a time so the glue doesn't cool and harden too soon. Click open the image below (because it's easier to use pictures to describe this).
Make sure everything is cooled before moving on. Turn the pack right side out so all the glues seams are inside. Glue one side of  one long strip of velcro to the inside of the fold over flap, and the glue the other side of the same velcro to the outside of the pack just at the opening. Now you can fill your packs with some yummy and heathy snacks and have a picnic! Other options: you can double line the pack to make it sturdier by cutting out two patterns and then gluing them together before gluing the sides up and I have also found some slick fabric placemats at the dollar store and made packs out of those. Care: The packs should be washed regularly after use with other laundry of similar color and weight, hang or lay out to dry (do not dry in the dryer - this could melt the hot glue). Creative Commons License Reusable Snackies and Sammies Packs by Jen Hernandez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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