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tutorial: recycled reusable sandwich bag

If you’re stopping in from Sew Much Ado, thanks!  And don’t forget to see all the Go Green month projects on Abby’s blog this month!

You’ll need:

  • 1 pair men’s khaki pants
  • 1/4 yard for lining, or find some scraps
  • (2) 8.5″w x 4″ tall pieces of fabric for exterior accent
  • sew in velcro (3/4″ wide)
  • thread
 Cutting the pieces:

Carefully cut the pieces from your khaki pants (you’ll want to be sure to include the pocket lining when you cut), the pocket part of the pants will be the front of the bag and the opposite (plain part of khaki pants on the front side of the pant) will be the back.

Cut 2 pieces 8.5″ x 8.5″ from your pants (each pair of pants will yield two sandwich bags) and why not use the leg pieces for some drawstring backpacks while you’re at it?!

Cut 2 pieces 8.5″ x 8.5″ from rip-stop nylon (if you want a water resistant lining), or just cotton will work too!

Sew on the accent fabric:

Iron down the long side a 1/4″ on each piece.  Line up the fabric with the bottom of the bag, topstitch along top part of accent fabric.  Repeat for backside.

Sew the bag:

Place exterior pieces RIGHT sides together and sew along both sides and bottom.

Repeat for lining fabric.

Turn lining piece right side out and place inside the exterior piece.

Sew around top of sandwich bag leaving a 2-3″ opening for turning.  Turn right side out through hole.  Press.

Topstitch around entire opening of bag.

Sewing on the velcro:

Cut a strip of velcro approximately 5.5″ long.  Pin in place on lining.  Sew around all four sides of velcro.  Repeat for other side of velcro.

If you want to add a special touch, replace the khaki pants pocket button with a pretty one.  You can even personalize them with a freezer paper stencil.  Another option would be to skip the accent exterior fabric and grab some fabric markers and let your kids decorate their own bags!

Slip in your sandwich, tuck in a little note, add a mint or piece of candy for after lunch and you’re set!  Yum!


54 Responses to tutorial: recycled reusable sandwich bag

  1. The Cottage Mama 03.25.2010 at 8:50 am #

    That is SO cute – would have never thought to use the pants pockets. Great idea!! Love your blog!


  2. Jenny 03.25.2010 at 8:59 am #

    How creative! A pants pocket??? You’re good.

  3. Leslie 03.25.2010 at 9:04 am #

    these are great. i am headed to look a the others right now. i love a green solution

  4. Suzanne 03.25.2010 at 9:10 am #

    Very cute. I love that you recycled the pants and used the pockets! Clever!
    – Suzanne

  5. saganaga 03.25.2010 at 9:27 am #

    fabulous idea ! thanks for sharing !

  6. bekah 03.25.2010 at 9:38 am #

    my sister and i were just discussing re-usable sandwich bags yesterday… such a timely post :]

  7. The Monster & Me 03.25.2010 at 10:14 am #

    super cute and great tutorial thanks for sharing!


  8. Melissa 03.25.2010 at 10:26 am #

    Great use for an otherwise useless pocket! Thanks for sharing!

  9. 2 Giggle Boxes 03.25.2010 at 10:30 am #

    I have been wanting to try reusable sandwich bags. These are too cute! Thanks for sharing!

  10. casserole 03.25.2010 at 10:38 am #

    I love it!!! I’ve been saving the pocket pieces of pants that’s I’ve cut up for other purposes, and now I’ve got a project for the pockets.

    I linked to your project here:


  11. Mary 03.25.2010 at 10:38 am #

    These are so cute! I love the creative ways you recycle pants! :-)

  12. Vanessa 03.25.2010 at 11:09 am #

    Where do you come up with these ideas?? Very cool.

  13. alissa 03.25.2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Anna –
    These are simply adorable! I just love them. Great idea!

  14. Jess 03.25.2010 at 2:21 pm #

    I really need to make some of these! What a great idea!

  15. the mama monster 03.25.2010 at 4:03 pm #

    love them, great idea as always!

  16. Sam 03.25.2010 at 5:43 pm #

    Awesome, really cute. They’d be a perfect fit on my blog. Come see, maybe we can do a giveaway feature or something. Great blog. Keri (a.k.a. Sam)

  17. naomi 03.25.2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Great Anna!! I would love to give this a try sometime, thanks for sharing.

  18. dana 03.25.2010 at 6:57 pm #

    UMMMM…anna, Brilliant! You are such a clever lady. (sorry for sounding like a broken record on that :) )
    Hey, where do you buy “rip-stop nylon”?

  19. Jeannie 03.25.2010 at 7:35 pm #

    OH MY GOSH HOW CUTE IS THAT!!!! You are amazing! I love

  20. Micah 03.26.2010 at 8:54 am #

    CUTE!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  21. Mimi-n-Moe's Mom 03.26.2010 at 10:03 am #

    I will be making some of these. thanks so much! Karen

  22. mrs. c 03.26.2010 at 10:43 am #

    Great idea! I think that reusing pants for this is so clever! I love reusable sandwich bags!

  23. Claudia 03.26.2010 at 12:19 pm #

    You always have such super ideas and it’s so much fun to see them! Thank you very much. I will be sewing one for sure. Greetings from Germany

  24. mandylifeboats 03.26.2010 at 4:02 pm #

    so so very creative. love it.

  25. Lizzy 03.27.2010 at 2:31 am #

    I love this!!! so totally going to make one (or two) this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration!

  26. Joanna 03.27.2010 at 6:08 pm #

    this is so great, anna! smartypants!!!

  27. Eileen 03.28.2010 at 7:36 am #

    Great idea to use the pockets…

  28. Ingeborg´s Lotta 03.28.2010 at 3:11 pm #

    How do you come up with all the ideas? I’m new here and looking forward to be inspired.

  29. Heidi 03.29.2010 at 4:44 am #

    such a nice idea! thank you for sharing!
    best wishes from Austria!

  30. sneezerville 03.29.2010 at 10:42 am #

    love this! yet another project that I want to make over easter break. where will i find the time!

  31. luvinthemommyhood 03.29.2010 at 5:52 pm #

    Love it!

  32. Jana 03.29.2010 at 8:48 pm #

    I love your color combinations-what a great idea!

  33. Kari 03.29.2010 at 10:53 pm #

    Seriously, is there anything you can’t make with a pair of men’s cargo pants?? Love them!

  34. Wendy 03.30.2010 at 11:53 am #


  35. Kimara@weefolkart 03.30.2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Love this on so many levels! Makes me wish we could wear out our khakis faster! Thanks for sharing and I’ll be linking on Facebook.

  36. nualan 04.27.2010 at 5:19 pm #

    FUN tastic!!!
    I love it! Can i post in my blog??
    plese visit us!


  37. A glance at my world 05.13.2010 at 1:05 am #

    Very neat! Do you have any trouble with the bread drying out or does the velcro close securely enough?

  38. Anna 05.13.2010 at 11:32 pm #

    I don’t think a sandwich would last fresh more than a day, but crackers and snacks would probably be okay for a couple days.

  39. Tegan and Tage 05.19.2010 at 11:47 pm #

    This was a great tutorial. I had been looking for one for snack bags and couldn’t decide which to use. I’m glad I went with yours, I am so happy with how they turned out…

  40. 05.24.2010 at 11:23 am #

    Well done! Thanks for sharing … I’ve posted a link.

  41. michelle@somedaycrafts 08.13.2010 at 9:21 am #

    I loved this idea of yours. I am featuring it today at my Back 2 School Bash at

  42. Moe 08.13.2010 at 10:09 am #

    This is so cute! I’ve mentioned your project here and I hope you’ll pop by :)

  43. Stephanie 08.13.2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Such a great idea! A question for those who’ve already tried and used them — do you just wash them in the washing machine?

  44. Anna 08.13.2010 at 2:14 pm #

    hey stephanie~ I just wash them in the washing machine turned inside out, you could also stash them in a lingere bag so the velcro doesn’t get caught on other things you’re washing. oh and it probably wouldn’t hurt to be using an all natural type laundry detergent.

  45. Kimbo West @ a girl and a glue gun 08.29.2010 at 6:44 pm #

    loved this…featured it on my blog today

  46. Tina Peterson 03.24.2011 at 11:48 pm #

    That is too cute! I have a ton of fabric for sandwich baggies (to sew) and I think I need to try these too. I’ll have to stop at the Goodwill and pick up some $1 pants – maybe in the kids section. This would be a cute idea for a purse too.

    Thanks! Tina “The Book Lady”

  47. Pati @ A Crafty Escape 08.01.2011 at 7:22 am #

    I love this idea- so cute!

  48. Anonymous 09.11.2011 at 12:09 pm #

    Wooow… less than 100 comments!!… I have to take advantage of this and write my comment on your blog… ok… what should I write??… mmm, I don’t think my criminal history would help me gain your sympathy, uh?? haha… anyway, I just want you to know that I think you’re a terrific blogger and writer… so, thanks for that.. now I know I’m not a robot. well, this comment is getting too long to be read, so i’ll stop now…

  49. Nancy@OwensOlivia 09.19.2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Using pants pockets is a genius idea! Next time I’m throwing out a pair of pants, I am cutting out the pockets. :)

  50. Anonymous 05.17.2012 at 4:49 am #

    Anna- A few days ago I posted a comment here re: the risk of using these bags for unwrapped food; sandwiches, etc. as you suggest. Bacteria can grow in these, or any, fabric bags if not washed daily. I noticed my comment was removed promptly by you. Do you not want others to see the risk in using these bags as you describe? Why do you take that as a criticism? Are you that arrogant that you would risk food poisoning by those who choose to sew them? No one is questioning your sewing skills and talent. You could simply suggest they wrap the food well before placing them in the bag!

  51. Anna 05.17.2012 at 9:33 am #

    Sounds good to me anonymous. I honestly thought that your first comment was spam (I had turned off my word verification for comments and was getting a ton). I actually have never heard of the bacteria thing, my mom uses the ones I made her almost every day for over two years now.

    And please don’t call me arrogant, that’s just mean.

  52. Tami 07.25.2012 at 11:49 am #

    So cute!

    I’d love it if you shared this with the Fun Family Crafts audience.
    FFC is similar to Craftgawker but it only features kid friendly tutorials.

    Looking forward to seeing what fun crafts you submit!

  53. heather 06.26.2013 at 2:40 pm #

    i am so glad i’ve found your tutorials- really awesome! thanks a ton for sharing! :)

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