Just like that, summer is winding down and it’s back to school time! That means it’s time to take inventory of all the supplies you have on hand and make a list of what’s needed for the upcoming school year. Today I’m sharing a fun DIY in partnership with Martha Stewart that’s perfect for back to school season. These easy to sew and fun to decorate DIY reusable snack bags are a great, eco-friendly way to store lunch box treats and anytime snacks for your kids and yourself!
If you are intimidated by a sewing machine, no need to worry! If you can sew a straight line you can make these bags. They don’t have any fussy closures like snaps or velcro; you just sew six straight lines to create a sandwich sized bag that can be used again and again. This is a great DIY project to make with older kids or you can sew up a batch during nap time and have your littles help with the decorating. The adhesive paper stencils and non-toxic multi-surface craft paint make this an ideal back to school project to make with your kids. Just be sure to sew a few extra because I guarantee you’ll want to keep a couple for yourself!
Just one yard of the food-safe fabric will make 7 snack bags. So what are you waiting for? Gather your supplies and get making today!
you will need:
Martha Stewart Adhesive Paper Stencils
Martha Stewart Family Friendly Multi-Surface Acrylic Paint
Martha Stewart Crafts Stencil Tape
Martha Stewart Crafts Dauber Set
Waterproof food-safe fabric
Cut 2 pieces of the waterproof food-safe fabric, each 7″ x 15″. Place one piece of fabric on top of the other with the right sides, or coated sides together. Keep them in place with the plastic wonder clips.
Note: Clips are used in place of regular sewing pins since they can leave holes in the coated fabric. I highly recommend investing in a set of wonder clips if you plan on making a bunch of these. If you don’t have them, tiny binder clips will also do.
Using a 1/4″ seam allowance (which is just a fancy way of saying sew with the needle positioned 1/4″ away from the edge of the fabric) sew along both short sides. Be sure to lock your stitches by sewing forwards and backwards a few stitches at both the beginning and end of each side. Trim the threads at the ends.
Turn the fabric right, or coated sides, out. Topstitch both short ends, 1/4″ away from the seams.
Fold the bottom up about 6″ to create the pouch. Fold the top edge over so that it overlaps the bottom pouch. Use clips to hold it into place and sew along both sides, though all the layers of the fabric.
Note: the fabric can feel sticky in your sewing machine when sewing this step. Gently guide it along when sewing and be sure to use a sharp needle before starting this project. It will make this step so much easier!
Using sharp scissors or a rotary cutter and ruler (my preferred method), trim the seams of both left and right sides of the bag down to about 1/8″. Since the fabric is coated on one side, it won’t fray along the edges and doesn’t need have finished seams.
Remove the paper backing and place your favorite paper stencil on the front side of the bag. Press firmly to make sure the stencil is adhered well. Use stencil tape to hold it in place and mask off any areas where you don’t want paint to get into. Then using a paint dauber, dab paint inside the stencil to fill it in. Once done, remove the stencil and allow the bag to dry completely. Repeat with other stencils to add more fun shapes (like brightly colored dinosaurs) to the outside of the snack bags. Use the tiny daubers to create polka dots or confetti-like patterns in the background.
Since food will be going inside the snack bags, make sure to only paint the outside of each bag.
Lunch Bags, Backpacks and Binders oh my!
The adhesive paper stencils can also be used on other back to school supplies too! I used the same method to customize a colorful canvas lunch bag. They can also be used to decorate binders, pencil cases and backpacks too.
Use it then reuse it!
The bags can be hand washed with a sponge and warm, soapy water. They can also be washed in the washing machine! Turn them inside out and place them in a garment bag. Then hang them up and allow them to air dry completely before reusing.
When you’re back to school shopping, be sure to stop by your local Michaels where you can exclusively find Martha Stewart products, including the family friendly multi-surface acrylic craft paint, paper stencils and other supplies used in this DIY.