I love my daughter very much, and she loves rainbows – so, when I decided to make some (badly needed) reusable snack bags this weekend, it turned into a rainbow project. I think it started with a fat quarter of Anne Kelle Remix that I bought at the Creativ Festival on Friday last week. Somewhere between Anne Kelle and a random pile of scraps I dug out yesterday a tidy stack of snack bags (in rainbow order) ended up in front of my camera.

We Wilsons: the Reusable Snack Bag Tutorial

I made some snack bags a few years ago, and after searching high and low through snack bag tutorials I came upon this one by Laura from We Wilsons. It is the fastest and best tutorial I have come upon as yet. Laura has obviously put a ton of time into thinking through each step to make the bags fast and easy to put together. Her tutorial is easy to follow and she even provides a pdf download for it, so you can save it to your computer, or print it out easily.

I did things a bit differently than she did – some things to speed up the process and some to make them more “scrap friendly”! So I’ve decided to document what I did here so you can decide how you’d like to make yours!

First thing I do is line the bags with ripstop nylon. If you go to buy this you can ask the friendly employees at your local fabric store which nylon is the “ripstop” type. If you can’t find anyone to help you – look for the tiny squares on the fabric. Ripstop nylon is reinforced with a crosshatch pattern that regular nylon does not have. It is considered food safe and is FDA approved for use with food, just make sure you use the shiny side of the nylon as the “wrong side” when you are sewing it into the snack bag.

There are two other things I do when making snack bags for kids. (1) I cut my regular 3/4″ velcro in half lengthwise. The velcro sticks just fine and it makes the bags easier to open. (2) I add in a grosgrain ribbon tab on the top of the bags, again, making them easier to open because you can pull on the ribbon tabs instead of fiddling with the flat top of the bag. I add a 3″ piece of ribbon (folded in half so the tab is 1.5″ long) to the centre of each end before following step 2 of Laura’s tutorial. When I am sewing I like to double-stitch over the spot where the ribbon is, for added strength. It also helps to cut the ends of the ribbon with pinking shears so it doesn’t fray.

When I sew step 4 on the We Wilsons snack bag, I use one line of wide zig-zag stitching to attach the velcro instead of stitching around all of the edges. Because the velcro is half the width it holds just fine and makes the whole process much faster. I also like to attach my velcro with a glue stick before I stitch it, so it stays in place without pins.

Since I wanted to use up some of my scraps I decided to have 3 different versions of the bags. All of my bags measure 6″ wide by almost 5″ high when finished. Here are the measurements for how I get there. The labels on the photos are CUTTING measurements for the height of the pieces. The width of the pieces should be 6.5″ and all measurements include a 1/4″ seam allowance. If you have “one way up” fabric, use the “OR 2 pieces” size to cut your largest pieces. Once they are cut, stitch them together, you should end up with a rectangle roughly 6.5″ by 10.5″-11″ long.  Go ahead and follow Laura’s tutorial.

Now, take your stack of snack bags and fill them up – your kid will have the best dressed snack around! I’ll be posting a review of the Creativ Festival later this week so you can see some of my new stash!

P.S. Just in case you need more rainbow inspiration. Here are a few more things I love:

Rainbow Quilt (photo: Made By Rae)

Arden’s Rainbow Dress (photo: A Jennuine Life)

Rainbow Improv Quilt (quilt: Kelli P, photo: Lazy Gal Quilting)

Pom Pom Tissue Flowers (photo: Design Dazzle)