The tutorial includes all of the instructions to make a bento bag and a sandwich wrap that folds out to a place mat (below). The projects are beginner-friendly, but we’ve included some nice finishing details so that they will hold up against rough-and-tumble little ones and frequent trips through the washing machine.BENTO BAG TUTORIAL - step by step sewing instructions.
I know a lot of us are thinking green these days — so I love that these fabric bags and bento boxes help cut down on all of the lunch time trash. (It doesn’t hurt that the projects are seriously cute, too!)
This tutorial will show you how to sew a Bento Bag plus a Sandwich Wrap that does double duty as a place mat. Not only is the bento lunch kit cute and fun, it's also a great "green" choice to help eliminate lunch time packaging waste! Although these are beginner-friendly projects, we've included some extra finishing steps so that your project will survive being left on the playground and run through the washing machine.
Sandwich Wrap and Lunch Mat
Fabric for Exterior: Cut to 12.5” x 12.5“
Fabric for Lining: Cut to 12.5” x 12.5“
Velcro (1" square)
Threads to match
Finished Dimensions: 12”x 12”
1. With right sides together, line up your fabric squares and stitch a 1/4” seam along all four sides. Leave a 3” gap on one edge so you can turn your work.
2. After clipping the corners, turn your work so that the right sides of the fabric are facing out. Chopsticks or a bamboo skewer make great tools for getting crisp corners. Turn under a 1/4” seam in the opening and press. Now, top stitch along all 4 sides using a 1/8“ seam allowance. (This time, as you reach each corner, turn your work instead of sewing off the edge so you have a nice finish.)
3. The last step is to sew on your velcro squares. Bread does vary in size, so you might as well get a custom fit. Grab some slices of bread, and do a test fold. Pin the velcro in the best spot and stitch in place.
Fabric for Top: Two pieces cut to 5.5” x 13.5”
Fabric for Bottom: Two pieces cut to 8.5” x 13.5”
Fabric for Ties (or cord/ribbon) - Two strips cut to 1” x 44” Threads to match
Finished Dimensions: Approx. 9” Tall x 7.5” Wide x 4.5” Deep
1. First, let’s sew the top and bottom pieces of fabric together to create a single front panel. With right sides facing in, pin the top and bottom fabrics together across the long edge. Stitch together using a 1/2” seam allowance.
2. Press seam open. Turn under the top and bottom seam by 1/4” and stitch in place. Repeat these steps on the back panel.
3.Now, we are going to create the channels along the top of the bag for the drawstrings. Turn under the top edge by 1/4” and press. Fold in the corners on either side as pictured below. The sides of the corner folds should measure 1 3/4”. Then, fold the top edge once again, aligning the bottom edge with your corner folds. Stitch in place across the width of the fabric. Repeat for back panel.
4. With WRONG sides together, stitch together the front and back panels along the sides and bottom 1/4” from the edge.
5.Clip corners and turn your work inside out. Stitch along the sides and bottom 1/2” from the edge to enclose seams.
6. Now, you are going to sew across the bottom corners to give your bag a square bottom. Hold the bag with the side seam facing you. Use your fingers to line up the bottom and side seams and create a triangle shape as pictured below. Measure 2 1/4” from the the bottom corner and draw a line perpendicular to your seam. Stitch across. Repeat on the other corner.
6. After you have sewn across the corners, tack them to the bottom of the bag. Align the seams at the bottom of the bag and hand stitch in place.
7. The last step is to make your drawstrings. Here are two methods to make your drawstrings. Choose the one that works best for you.
8. To finish your drawstrings, create a small rolled hem by folding the edge under by 1/4” and then again by 1/4”. Stitch edges closed. Thread your drawstrings through the casings. A bodkin makes threading the drawstrings easier. You are finished. Now it’s time to accessorize!