Hi everyone! I love making snack bags! They are easy, fun and only take a little bit of fabric. Kids LOVE fun, bright fabrics. If you use this pattern, please do me a favor and comment below.
- 1 yard of ProCare Barrier Fabric 36 wide (This will make 8 snack bags)
- ½ yard of cotton printed fabric 42/44 wide (this will make 5 snack bags if cut correctly)
- 6.5 inches of white Hook and loop tape per snack bag
(Buy ¾ inch to 1 inch hook and loop tape. Make sure to get the hook AND loop as some sites sell these separately.)
- Coordinating thread. (I’m a fan of natural colored thread. But, feel free to match up your colors. Just have white or natural on hand for sewing on the hook and loop tape, as you will see the thread color on the ProCare side.)
- Rotary cutter and self-healing cutting mat- These are awesome tools that every seamstress needs. You don’t need the biggest or the best, especially since this is a small project. Just please be careful with that rotary cutter! It’s sharper than you would think! If you fear the rotary cutter, which is understandable, then use fabric shears to cut your bags out. Fabric marking pens are your friends here.
- Straight edge for cutting – you can find these at your local fabric store in the quilting section.
- Sewing Machine
- Craft roller or rolling pin
- Sewing pins
- New needle for sewing machine yes! Let’s change our needles today! ( I always forget! You?)
Let’s Get Started!
- Pre-wash your cotton fabric. This is so important as it will shrink after washing and your lovely handmade item will lose much of its beauty when it warps and shrinks. ProCare, PUL and nylon don’t shrink, so don’t worry about them.
2. Cut your fabrics. First decide which size snack bag you want. (Note: if you want a smaller or larger bag, adjust the sizing! Go for it!)
*Snack – cut 7.5 by 12 inches. Cut hook and loop tape to 6.5 inches
*Sandwich – cut 7 by 16 inches. Cut hook and loop tape to 6 inches
3. If you have a serger and don’t get stressed by threading it, feel free to serge all the edges. For the rest of the seamstresses that either don’t have a serger OR get panic attacks at the thought of threading, pass on this step. It’s REALLY okay!
4. Line up your fabrics right sides together. For the ProCare, the right side is the smooth side. So, match up the smooth side of the ProCare with the print of your cotton. Match up the shapes so that it’s a rectangle. Easy, right? Now we will start sewing.
(Notice I didn’t pin these bags. I never pin, but you can. Just remember that if you want your bag to be waterproof, then don’t poke holes in it where they shouldn’t be. Keep your pin holes within ¼ inch of the edge. )
6. Start sewing ¾ of the way on the right of the side. Look at the above photo. This is where I’m starting. Back stitch here, because when you turn the bag right side out, the back stitches will make it so much easier when you turn the bag!
7. Use a ¼ seam allowance. If you are a ½ inch seam allowance person, that’s fine, just sew straight and keep the seam allowance consistent.
8. Sew to about ¼ inch from the edge. Put the needle in the down position, lift the foot and turn the fabric.
9. Sew down the side of the rectangle. Keep your stitches as straight as possible. Go slowly if you need to.
10. Stop again ¼ inch from the corner. If your edges are uneven (the ProCare is shorter than the cotton, etc, then stop ¼ inch from the shortest piece).
11. Turn the fabric, keep sewing across the bottom. Turn again at the corner and sew up the edge. Repeat this until you are at the top of the bag again.
12. Leave a 2-3 inch hole on the top of the bag. Now, sew for an inch or two, and then stop. Back stitch. See how lovely it looks?
13. Clip the 4 corners off with scissors.
14. Turn the bag right side out. Use a crochet hook or another tool to get the corners.
15. Iron – Lower your iron settings to synthetic or LOW. You don’t want to melt your mostly finished bag or ruin your iron, so turn down the heat. Go ahead and carefully iron the snack bag flat – Use the crochet hook or another tool to push the fabric to out to the seam, and press flat. Avoid steam.
16. Next, sew across the top of the bag only. In this step, you will close the 2-3 inch hole that we turned the bag through. Line up the edges and hold them together as you sew OR pin it shut.
17. Sew on your first piece of hook and loop tape. I also choose to put the hook side – the scratchy side here. That way, when the kiddos are reaching into the bag, they aren’t getting scratched. Position the hook tape just below the top stitch we just did in step 14.
a. Start at the top left corner and back-stitch. Sew all the way around the hook tape, using the needle down corner method we used earlier. Stay pretty close to the edge, making sure you are catching the hook tape in all places.
b. Some people like to use a zig-zag stitch here because it’s easier to make sure you always get the hook tap on securely. It’s up to you.
18. Now we are going to sew the loop tape on the other side of the rectangle. Other side meaning, the bottom of the rectangle, and on the ProCare side. It’s hard to see, but the loop tape is there. About ½ inch from the edge.
19. Next, we are going to fold the bag up and sew the sides. This is where it will ALL make sense, if you feel confused, that is.
a. Fold up the bag like so. Make sure that the hook and loop match up when it’s closed. This is where you want to keep the fold and this is how we will sew it. Unfasten the hook and loop and we will start sewing.
20. Starting at the bottom left corner of the bag. Stitch 1/8 to ¼ of an inch from the edge of the bag, making sure to catch all four layers of the bag in one seam.
21. We are going to sew around 3 sides of this bag. We will leave the bottom un-sewn. back-stitch at the 2 places where the top of the bag forms the pocket. This is to ensure a secure seam for the bag. Back stitch at the end.
22. Clip your threads. Here is what it should look like. It might be a little uneven your first try, but as with everything else, practice makes perfect.
23. Fill with yummy snacks and give to your favorite little person!
Fabric choices – my 2 cents:
So here’s the nitty-gritty on snack bag fabrics . . . keep in mind this is all my opinion.
There are 3 common fabrics people use for snack bag interior fabrics: PUL, rip stop nylon, and ProCare. These are all waterproof (within reason) fabrics. You can always use cotton for the interior also, like quilting cotton, broadcloth, muslin, etc, just pre-wash those fabrics, as they shrink.
The problem with rip stop nylon is that it doesn’t last forever in washings. I felt like it got thin after a dozen washings. You need to double stitch around the hook and loop tape and edges. It can also wick moisture with some foods. I also don’t believe that it is food safe. If you use a Polyurethane coated nylon, make sure you sew it with the coated side as the underside, so the coating is not touching the food. Also an important thing to note, manufacturers do not market their fabrics as food safe. You can Google coated rip stop nylon manufacturers and look at all the intended uses. Food safe is a big deal in the world of snack bags.
This brings us to the next fabric choice: PUL. PUL is awesome for diapers and covers, but whether it is food safe is the million dollar question. Everyone seems to have an opinion about it, but the manufacturers do not list food safety as an attribute to their fabric. That says a lot. If you choose PUL, please place it so that the Polyurethane coated side is away from the food.
We have chosen ProCare Barrier Fabric as our #1 choice in snack bag interior fabrics. Here’s the breakdown: 25% polyester, 75% vinyl, proprietary does not contain dehp phlalates or BPA plasticisers – that’s important to a lot of people they are looking for BPA free plastics. It’s also free of lead and cadmium. The manufacturer is Canadian, so their claim to food safety is by Canadian standards, to my best understanding. But the long list of harmful materials NOT included in ProCare is promising.
In addition to being food safe, it’s a medical grade fabric. It can stand up to 1,000 home washings, which is spectacular, as I don’t think my best kitchen towels could even do that!
So, that’s my breakdown. Take my words as my opinion here. Please understand that I’m okay with you choosing which ever fabrics will work best for you.
I sometimes sell Procare by the Yard. You can look here or convo me.