DIY Projects: How to Make an Insulated Lunch Bag

How to Make an Insulated Lunch Bag

It might come as a surprise to you, but you don’t need to be a sewing master to make your own lunch bag because understanding the steps that are required isn’t that complicated, even for those who have never used a sewing machine before.

This brief article is going to break down how to make an insulated lunch bag quickly so that you can get started on your next do-it-yourself craft project.

The Preparation Stage

Before you start constructing your insulated lunch bag, there are tools and materials that you need so that you can put it together correctly. There are plenty of options out there, but to keep things simple, we are sticking with a handful of items that you can easily find at your local craft, hobby, and art stores.

making your own insulated lunch bag

Fabrics and Textiles

There are thousands of materials available on the market, and they all come in different designs and colors. The great thing about making your own insulated lunch bag is that you can let your creativity shine by using one fabric design for the outside layer, and another design for the inner. There are no rules to the fabric that you use, but it’s recommended to choose something durable as well as machine washable.


You will probably have the quickest time getting going if you use a purchased pattern, simply because the authors have spent time testing and tweaking to make instructions easy, but you don’t have to go that route. Doing a quick search on the internet is all you need to do to find a wide variety of lunch bag patterns that are free, beautiful, and easy to follow. If you choose to work from a design, we recommend picking one for beginners if it’s your first time. However, for the sake of this article, a pattern isn’t required for the construction of the lunch bag.

Measuring Devices

Rulers such as the Omnigrid Ruler are essential parts of making a lunch bag at home. To ensure your fabrics have the same measurements, are the right size, and all cuts are made in a straight line, rulers are needed.


The Sulky Spray Adhesive is recommended to keep your fabrics stuck together before moving to the sewing machine, while fabric glue sticks can be used to temporarily hold the Velcro in place before stitching it to the materials.


One of the critical parts of an insulated lunch bag is the insulation; otherwise, you just have a regular lunch sack. You can find Pellon Insul-Fleece at your local craft store, and it’s perfect to use for the insulation layer of your lunch bag and helps to reflect the temperature of the food stored in the sack.

Other Tools

A rotary cutter for cutting the fabric, fabric pen for marking the material, an iron, optional wonder clips, and a sewing machine.

insulated lunch bag

Step-By-Step Guide on How to Make an Insulated Lunch Bag

Now that you have all of the materials and tools that you need, it’s time to start using them. We’ve included an in-depth YouTube tutorial that we’ve found so that you have a visual to help you follow along. All of the steps provided in this article match up with the tutorial to ensure things remain simple.

  1. Cut two 16’’x 13’’ pieces of your outer layer fabric along with coordinating pieces of your insulation fleece.
  2. Lay the insulation on your workspace table with the shiny-side facing down, and use your spray adhesive to adhere the cotton side of the outer layer of fabric to the insulation. Ensure that you repeat the step for the other piece so that you end up with two.
  3. Bring the pieces of cloth to the sewing machine and quilt stitch them so that they hold together. Make sure that you smooth your fabric out as you sew so that you aren’t left with any jumps or puckers in the material.
  4. Take the pieces as well as the folding and square rulers and then cut the sides down to size using your rotary cutter. The recommended measurement is 15 ½’’ x 12 12’’.
  5. Measure two inches down and two inches inward with a small ruler, and use your fabric pen to mark the place where your Velcro should sit. One piece of your lunch sack should have the rough side of the Velcro, while the other part of the lunch bag should have the soft. Adjust the size of the Velcro to your preference.
  6. Use fabric glue to stick the Velcro pieces to the material and then use a basic straight stitch on your sewing machine to sew them to the fabric.
  7. Cut two inner lining pieces to match the outer lining at 15 ½’’ by 12 ½’’.
  8. Apply a single piece of Velcro to each piece of the inner lining directly in the center of the fabric, and stitch it into place.

If you want to know how to make an insulated lunch bag, you can find the rest of the steps required in the YouTube video that we’ve included below.


While there might be a lot of steps included in making your lunch bag, they are quick and easy to follow. Not only does making your lunch sack save you money, but you get to let your personality show by choosing fabrics that you want, and even ones that match your mood.You can bring a different lunch bag to work or school every day, all while keeping your food warm or cold. Who knows? Once practice makes perfect, your friends could be asking you to make them lunch sacks of their own.

DIY Projects: How to Make Lunch Bags at Home

How to Make Lunch Bags at Home

The market is filled with different types of lunch bags, sacks, boxes, and containers that are used to bring your meals from home to work or school.

The only downfall with these bags is that sometimes, you have to settle on other people’s creations instead of being able to carry around a lunch bag that really suits your personality.

With a little practice and a bit of understanding, you can learn how to make lunch bags at home easily, and we’ve created a short and simple guide to help you get through the basics.

Making Your Own Lunch Bag

Making Your Own Lunch Bag

These days, most people prefer an insulated lunch bag that has its own closure and can help keep food warm and cold. For the sake of this article, we’ve chosen a simple lunch bag that you can create at home, and also included some ways that you can personalize it more to your liking if you wish to deviate from the plan.The bag that we created is thoroughly lined and insulated while it fastens shut with a magnetic snap at the top of the sack. It’s very roomy, includes handles, and you can use a variety of fabrics, but vinyl-coated or acrylic-coated cotton is what’s recommended. What is better is that you can find bright and colorful materials and all the supplies you need at your local craft store.

Supplies Needed

Before you get started, ensure that you have all of the materials and tools required to construct your lunch bag. Also, make sure that you have a clean workspace that provides you with enough room to layout and cut all fabrics.

  • Rotary cutter or scissors
  • Fold-over and square rulers
  • ½ yard of canvas
  • ½ yard of acrylic or vinyl-coated cotton. Keep in mind that acrylic-coated cotton is eco-friendlier
  • ½ yard of batting
  • 30 inches of one-inch webbing
  • Sewing machine
  • Teflon presser foot attachment (helpful, but not necessary)

Step-by-Step Guide

We have provided step-by-step guidelines to make the process easier, even for those of you who aren’t masters of a sewing machine. Taking your time to follow along with each step helps ensure that your finished project comes out as close to perfect as possible.

Step One: Preparing the Fabric

Cut the fabric you’ve chosen to match the dimensions exactly as they are indicated on the pattern. Make sure that you follow all instructions for directional patterns, as they do require more work and attention to detail.

Step Two: Attaching the Batting

Find the wrong side of your canvas piece and attach your batting to it by pinning it in place and then basting it. According to the plan, your batting should be ¼’’ from the edge of the canvas.

Step Three: Measuring and Initial Sewing

Make a note of your seam allowance on the plan, and sew the coated cotton side piece to the right sides of the canvas, making certain that you’ve left room for the seam allowance. Keep a close eye to the diagrams and figures laid out in the plan, and repeat the steps as necessary.Don’t eye your measurements. Use your rulers to confirm that you have the proper dimensions, especially when stitching the bottom of the bag.

personalized lunch bags

Step Four: Sewing the Lining

Sewing the lining requires you to repeat step three, but a larger opening needs to be left so that the bag can get turned out later.

Step Five: Attaching the Magnetic Strip

Take your magnetic strip and center it to the lining of your bag. You can use a fabric pen or a pin to mark where your holes need to go, and then carefully cut an opening with scissors. This should be repeated for the other side.

Step Six: Attaching the Lining and Straps

Sewing the lining to the other bag does require some concentration. You should flip the lining right side out and push it into the bag. From there, you need to pin the top and your straps in place before you begin sewing. It’s important to follow any provided figures to make this step easier.

Step Seven: Final Touches

Carefully pull the sides of the bag, so they are right side out. After which, topstitch the opening.

Personalizing a Pattern

If you are familiar with sewing and know how to make lunch bags at home, there are a handful of ways that you can do to change up the pattern.

  • Make it your own size by changing the dimensions to suit what you need it for
  • Make the bag out of organic cotton for an eco-friendly version
  • Add a flap by sewing a lined flap during the final step
  • Add a pocket to either the inside or the outside, which you can use store ice packs and other items
  • Add a zipper by squaring the bottom pieces and leaving out the side pieces as it helps with the installation process


The more you practice with patterns, variations, and materials, the easier making your own lunch bag becomes. Before you know it, you, your kids, and your friends can be carrying around personalized lunch bags that can’t found anywhere else.