It’s Earth Day today so I’m here with another earth friendly project. Let’s sew some reusable snack bags to celebrate Earth Day!! Less disposable plastic waste, and it is super easy to make. Small steps matter!
When I started this project, I was wondering what kind of fabric I could use for snack bags. The fabric needed to keep food fresh, be easily washable, and perhaps even waterproof. Ideally, I want to be able to use the snack bags for things like cookies, nuts, chocolates, and dried fruits, so a 100% waterproof fabric isn’t absolutely necessary.
My first thought was to use oilcloth, or add a plastic layer in between two layers of cotton, but if you read a little about the subject you find that the food-safety of most fabrics - and all plastics - is very questionable, even with cotton. So, if you really want to be safe as well as earth friendly, you can do this: use eco-friendly certified cotton (no pesticides) and cover this cotton in beeswax. The only drawback of this method is that the beeswax doesn't hold up well to machine washing. However, if you don’t mind to wipe your wraps clean, this is the healthiest solution I can think of. You can find good tutorials online on how to make beeswax wraps.
If this option doesn’t work for you, some alternatives might be to use oilcloth or PUL fabric. If you don’t mind spending the money, you can also ask for food safe fabrics in your local fabric store. I added a link to an online store at the end of this article that has some additional options.
I find it difficult to decide how far I have to go when making eco friendly and food safe decisions for my family. A lot of the food we eat is wrapped in plastics (not 100% safe either) and I - like many others - use plastic containers in order to cut down on disposable packaging… which apparently is questionable too… So I keep asking myself.. is it worth going all the way for these snack bags? Is this small change worth the effort? A small step to better health, is a step, no? But, it’s up to you of course.
I made a beeswax version as well as an oilcloth version. If the oilcloth is rather stiff, the bunny ears will be more difficult to knot.
You can download our free pattern HERE and follow the steps of the tutorial to make your own reusable snack bags.
A finished bunny is 5” wide and 4” high without the ears.
What You'll Need
- (Eco-friendly) cotton or oilcloth, PUL fabric: 2 pieces of 6” x 11”
- Regular (eco-friendly) cotton: 2 pieces of 6” x 11”
- The FREE downloadable pattern LINK
- Sewing machine, needle & threads
- Scissors or rotary cutter + mat + ruler
- Hand needle/ darning foot
- Tracing tool
- Optional: Beeswax (+ jojoba oil & pine resin)
Step 1: Copy the pattern pieces onto your fabric with a marker and cut out the pieces
Beeswax: 4 times = 2 pieces of each fabric
Oilcloth: 2 pieces of oilcloth & 2 of the outer fabric
Step 2: Embroider with a hand needle or use a darning foot on your sewing machine to draw the bunny face on the outer fabric. I used my darning foot and put a piece of paper underneath my fabric for some support. You can just tear the paper away when finished. Bring all thread ends to the back with a hand needle, tie together, and cut away the thread ends.
Step 3: Put an outer fabric piece on an inner piece, right sides facing, and sew along the ear at ¼” seam allowance. Repeat with the other ear.
Step 4: Open each piece to the bottom seam and lay flat, right sides up. Place the two sides of the outer piece & the two sides of the inner piece together, lining up the same sides, right sides facing. Pin or clip them together. Sew around the edge at ¼” seam allowance, leaving an opening in the bottom of the inner fabric to turn the bunny inside out.
Step 5: Clip the tip of the ears, the corners, and along the seam allowance in the curve.
Step 6: Turn the bunny right side out through the hole in the bottom seam and then close the hole with an edge stitch. I used my edge joining presser foot to get tiny, straight seams.
Turn the bunny bag to the right side and press.
Step 7: I decided to add the beeswax at the end as I was wondering if I could sew through the beeswaxed cotton without damaging my sewing machine. Better be safe than sorry! I turned the bags inside out and then covered the inside with the hot wax with a painters brush. Be sure to check out the tutorial for waxing your fabric, the link is at the end of this article.
Stock your little bag with your favorite snacks or some easter eggs, tie a knot in the ears and you are ready to go!
If you’re stuck or have any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy your sewing adventures!
Sewing enthusiast and sewing blogger/vlogger for Madam Sew
I share all my sewing projects on Instagram @an_madamsew
The MadamSew tools I used