Plastic lunchbag made from bubble wrap

Need:  A lunchbag for work

Requirements:

  • Large enough to accommodate the storage containers we use in our kitchen, which are wide, shallow, and stackable.

  • Does not need to maintain temperature.

  • Needs to have sturdy handles

  • Whimsical design

Issue: After checking local shops and online, I did not find a bag meeting these specifications

Solution: Make the bag myself using materials on hand

Materials

  • Bubble wrap (a ton of it came with Christmas packages!)

  • Scrap yarn (odds and ends from the bottom of my yarn basket)

  • Ribbon (formerly tied around a box of cookies)

  • Transparent nylon thread

Tools

  • Iron

  • Ironing board

  • Parchment paper

  • Sewing machine

  • Scissors

Guidance from: Etsy's Fusing Plastic Bag tutorial

I fused 4 layers of bubble wrap total and sandwiched it with scrap yarn to make the fabric for my new lunch bag. I used three shades of scrap yarn to give it a "hip" look.  The iron was on the highest setting possible, but because I did not pop the bubble wrap ahead of time it took a lot of time to iron it flat.  Parchment paper kept it from sticking to the iron or the ironing board. I love the cellular look the bubble wrap gave the bag.

The main body of the bag is one large rectangle, and the sides are two smaller rectangles.  I used transparent thread to attach the handles (reinforcing as much as I could) before sewing the sides together. The transparent thread allows the focus to stay on the bag  than the edges.

I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and it has worked out brilliantly.  Just the right size!

Lessons learned

  • Pop the bubble wrap ahead of time

  • This was really fun and took less time than expected

  • I might fuse additional plastic to the base of the bag next time to give it additional stability

Jenn