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Back-to-School in Style: 6 Clever DIY Lunch Bag Tutorials

by Hanna Brooks Olsen
craft & maker

DIY lunch bags aren’t exactly an invention of the crafting set; since kids have been trucking off to school, resourceful parents have been wrapping their snacks in pieces of cloth and old paper. But since Jil Sanders had the audacity to slap a $630 price tag on what appeared to be a pretty pedestrian lunch sack a few years ago, crafty moms have been coming up with more and more cute ways to send their little ones to class with handmade style.

The many, many crafters of YouTube have armloads of DIY lunch bag and snack bag ideas, ranging from the simple no-sew variety, to those which take a little more stitching skill.

And if these lunch and snack bag tutorials get you inspired, be sure to check out Susan Beal’s class, Back-to-School Craft Ideas & Projects.


Speaking of the infamous Jil Sander bag, here’s a DIY lunch bag that’s inspired by the look, without costing near as much. Like, almost nothing. Plus, it requires no sewing at all.


If you want to get a little more in-depth with the Sander-esque style, you can pull out the sewing machine for this crazy-chic lunch tote. Be warned, though: If you make one of these, be prepared to make a thousand more when everyone asks you where you got it and you reveal your crafty secret.


Got some old denim lying around? Probably — too-small or faded jeans are so hard to totally toss. Upcycle that hearty material with this cool lunch bag that just requires the leg of some old pants.


Love the look of a traditional brown bag, but can’t bear to waste all that paper? This look-a-like will last much longer, but is about the same size and shape as an old-school lunch sack.


Another big source of waste is snack bags — but with food-safe, waterproof fabric, you can make your own version of those, too.


Worried your DIY lunch bag is going to need to be a little, well, more resilient? This ultra-tough canvas and leather model can really take a beating — and look highly attractive while doing it.

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Hanna Brooks Olsen

Hanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and editor for CreativeLive, longtime reporter, and the co-founder of Seattlish. Follow her on Twitter at @mshannabrooks or go to her website for more stuff.