Handmade Heaven: Lunchbox Pretties
DIY or BuyAimee Brock
23 November 2010
With reduce, reuse and recycle such an important lesson for our kids, I loved the idea of reusable fabric lunch bags banishing my piles of plastic snack bags the minute I heard about them. The most popular style being made by several handmade crafters are lunch bags made of vinyl – specifically, oil cloth, which is made from a vinyl material set onto cotton mesh and is durable and washable. Simply choose a colour or pattern for each child, reuse the bag at school each day, and teach them good habits about recycling and picking up their left overs off the mat!
More than just useful for sandwiches, you can use them for storing cut fruit; chips and crackers; biscuits; whatever you use plastic bags for usually.
This seems like a neat idea you can have a go at yourself. I found this incredibly simple tutorial on children’s television show Sticky TV’s website. Oil cloth is perfect for projects for young sewers because it doesn’t fray and doesn’t need hemming, so you can even get your child involved. To buy oil cloth you’ll need to visit a specialist fabric store – shop around because the price varies dramatically – or hunt out a bargain on Etsy and get it posted to you.
Alternatively, you could buy a pattern, like this one from US designer Heather Bailey, or follow a fabric tutorial like the one here and use a cotton outer and a nylon lining.
If you’d rather buy one, check out Edan Rose in Australia or ‘She Wears’ on Felt.co.nz.
There’s still some debate about using plastic with storing foods, and the argument covers traditional cling film, zip lock bags, manufactured chippie packets… and even the types of laminated fabrics I’ve described above. So if you have concerns, 4Myearth is a new New Zealand owned and operated company that has sourced a special, highly technical fabric and is making lunch wraps and bags out of these. Check them out too!
(Images of Edan Rose oilcloth lunch sack)
About the author:
Aimee Brock is a life-long admirer of handmade crafts and gifts, and recently started her own handmade children’s label, lily pad designs.