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Thursday, January 17, 2013

DIY Thermal Lunch Bag

When I said that I had things to do yesterday, this was one of my projects. With my husband back in school, some days he will be at campus all day. I was going to send him a yogurt then realized he doesn't have a thermal bag. We can't afford to have him eating out on all those days and if I pack him a lunch, we would have to make sure nothing needs to be refrigerated if he isn't able to eat it right away. It was never a big deal to pack him lunches at work since there is a fridge there for him to use, but there is nothing like that on campus. I searched Pinterest for some lunch bag ideas. I didn't like any of the patterns, but I found a neat idea that I wanted to incorporate in my bag. They used the hot/cold bags that you can get at the grocery store! Great idea, right?

I started with a disposable hot/cold bag (I got one at Aldi for $0.99), a zipper, and a fat quarter of fabric. I had a hard time finding a fabric suitable for an adult male, so I decided on this lovely pirate map print. Cute, huh?

Decide what size you want your bag to be. Cut out that size piece. (Bag is closed so there will be 2 layers.) 

Remove the plastic and open the piece. Cut out the fabric to match the size of your thermal piece. Place the pieces together with the shiny side of the thermal piece against the underside of your fabric. 

Keeping them aligned, turn it over so the right side of your fabric is up (the dull side of the thermal bag is down). Place the zipper, right side down, against the edge of your fabric.

Overlap the zipper and pin in place. Here is a close up. 

Sew near the teeth of the zipper.

Turn the zipper to the correct position and sew over fabric & thermal layer to keep in place. Line up the other side of the fabric with the other part of the zipper and repeat these steps.

Turn right sides of the fabric together. Sew along the 2 side edges.

Using additional fabric, fold over hem and pin in place. Sew down the edges.

This is what you have so far.

Flatten out the bottom and pinch the corners like this. Depending on what size you want the bottom of your bag to be, sew across each corner. (I decided I wanted the bottom a little bigger; that is why I have 2 lines.)

Turn the bag right side out. Position the bottom corners to lay flat. You can cut these out, but I kind of like the look and they also give a little more stability to the bag. 
(If you notice the left side of the zipper, I turned in the corner and sewed it to the inside hem so that it laid better when closed.)

There you have it. Your very own customizable (and super inexpensive!) thermal lunch bag!

*Nice perk is that it also folds flat. :)

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