This is a great beginner sewing project to test the waters a little more. Here is a very easy to follow tutorial from the Happiest Camper on how to sew a reusable lunch bag. It requires minimal supplies and the basic knowledge of how to use your machine. Give it a try!

Not ready to sew a reusable lunch bag yet? Save it here on Pinterest for later…



Oilcloth Lunch Bag Tutorial

Forget boring, brown paper lunch sacks. Follow these step by step instructions to make a fun oilcloth lunch bag!

This is a good project if you’re just learning how to sew or have years of experience. It only requires straight lines and a handful of supplies.

Choose a brightly colored oilcloth print to cheer up your lunch hour. There is a rainbow to choose from, and it is to keep clean. Just wipe it off with soap and water, then use the oilcloth lunch bag again and again.

  • 1 yard Oilcloth Fabric (I chose two coordinating fabrics at 1/2 yard each.)
  • Sew on Velcro
  • Scissory
  • Sewing Clips
  • All-Purpose thread
  • Sewing machine

To view her exact list visit the original tutorial on

The oilcloth lunch bag is made with one yard of oilcloth fabric. You can use the same fabric or choose coordinating fabrics. A different fabric for each side would be adorable! I chose two coordinating fabrics at a half yard each.

Oilcloth Lunch Bag Tutorial

For the hook and loop (Velcro), be sure it is marked as ‘sew on’. The sticky Velcro products will not endure multiple uses for this particular project.

Oilcloth Lunch Bag tutorial

You will also need basic sewing supplies like a sewing machine, thread, scissors, and clips. Pins will leave holes in the oilcloth, so clips are a better choice.


Begin by measuring and cutting your oilcloth. Cut two pieces 20″ by 8″ for the front and back of the bag. If you are using a complementary fabric, cut the remaining pieces with that: Two pieces at 20″ x 5″ and one 5″ x 8″.

Oilcloth Lunch Bag Tutorial

Clip side pieces (20″ x 5″) to each side of the small base piece (5″ x 8″) with right sides together. Sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Open the seams and finger press. Then zigzag stitch along seams for added durability.

Oilcloth Lunch Bag Tutorial

Clip the remaining pieces (20″ x 8″) with the shortest side along the base of the bag, right sides together. Sew with 1/2″ seam allowance.

Open seams, finger press, and zigzag stitch along seams.

Oilcloth Lunch Bag Tutorial

Still, with the right sides together, bring the longest pieces together and clip along the sides. Sew with 1/2″ seam allowance.

Oilcloth Lunch Bag Tutorial

Turn down the top 1/2″ of the bag and clip.

Oilcloth Lunch Bag Tutorial

Sew around the top of the bag with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Oilcloth Lunch Bag Tutorial

Turn the bag right side out, pressing the corners out with your finger or a turning tool. Then topstitch with 1/4″ seam allowance along all seams. This helps the oilcloth lunch bag stand up on its own.

Oilcloth Lunch Bag Tutorial

To attach the Velcro, fold the top of the lunch bag down one inch, Then fold it onto itself again, and mark the center of the front. Directly above this spot make a mark on the front of the bag and directly above it where the folded part meets the front.

Sew a Velcro square to the front, and sew its corresponding square where you marked the opposite side. I suggest adding three pieces so it is very secure, and sew an ‘X’ through the Velcro square as well. You don’t want the oilcloth to rip with repeated use.

Oilcloth Lunch Bag Tutorial

  1. Cut two pieces 20″ x 8″ (front and back)
  2. Next, cut two pieces 20″ x 5″ (sides)
  3. Cut one piece 5″ x 8″ (bottom)
  4. Clip sides to the bottom with right sides together
  5. Sew with 1/2″ seam allowance
  6. Open seams and finger press
  7. Zigzag stitch over seams
  8. Clip front and back pieces shortest side to the base with right sides together
  9. Sew with 1/2″ seam allowance
  10. Open seams and finger press
  11. Zigzag stitch over seams
  12. Cip longest sides together with right sides together
  13. Sew with 1/2″ seam allowance
  14. Turn down the top 1/2″ and clip
  15. Sew around top with 1/2″ seam allowance
  16. Turn bag right side out
  17. Topstitch 1/4″ seam allowance along all seams
  18. Fold top down one inch, then onto itself another inch
  19. Mark under where the fold meets the front on both pieces
  20. Sew Velcro squares where marked


  • Use one yard of the same fabric or mix it up with coordinating prints.
  • Make sure your Velcro is ‘sew on’, Adhesive backed Velcro does not stick to oilcloth well enough to last for this project.
  • Opt for clips instead of pins to hold your pieces together. Pins will leave holes in oilcloth fabric.
Joan Mantini

About Joan Mantini

After several years of being the Facebook page owner at Beginner Sewing, I noticed there was a desperate need to have a single go-to spot for members to be able to find answers to their common questions, get some useful tips & tricks, as well as find reputable places to purchase sewing products online. Taking my role as a trade publication editor by day, and combining it with my knowledge of frequently requested beginner sewing advice, I created An outlet that gives new sewists a free digital magazine geared for entry level sewing as an extra bonus!

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