Bento Bag ~ A Lunch bag Tutorial

Sew Mama Sew and Spoonflower put together a fabulous

Kitchen Linens Challenge!

The challenge was to choose a kitchen fabric from Spoonflower and make anything kitchen related… I made this fun Bento Bag!

Bento Bag ~ a lunch and snack bag tutorialI think selecting the fabrics was almost harder than making the bag!  I was deep into the fabric ‘rabbit hole’ at Spoonflower, but I couldn’t get my eyes off this Equilibrium from Scrummy’s food and drink collection!  And I’m sure you can see why!  Am I right?

equilibrium fabric by scrummy on spoonflower

I chose a coordinating fabric called Springtime Gold Spot, also by Scrummy to coordinate!

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Both fabrics are in Spoonflowers Linen Cotton Canvas.  If you are not familiar with Spoonflower, you choose your fabric design (or design your own!) and then you choose what type of fabric to print it on!  You can get Kona Cotton, Minky, Knit, Satin, Canvas and more!  If you are a quilter check out my Quilt Labels with Spoonflower Tutorial and design your own quilt labels!

Want to make this Bento Bag?

Bento bag - lunch and snack bag sewing tutorial

General Notes:

  • Always sew 1/2″ seam unless otherwise noted.
  • Backstitch at all start and stops.

Here is what you need…


  • 3/4 yard equilibrium cotton canvas fabric
  • 1/2 yard springtime gold spot cotton canvas fabric
  • (2) 14″ x 12″ pieces of insul-bright
  • 1/2 yard of ripstop nylon for lining
  • 7″ separating zipper
  • steam a seam 1/4″ tape
  • 15″ nylon strap for handle
  • optional fusible interfacing

To get started, from the equilibrium fabric cut:

  • two 10″ x 12″ for the bag exterior
  • two 2 1/4 x 5″ for the side pocket binding
  • four 3″ x 10″ pieces for the top zipper flaps

bento bag - lunch and snack bag sewing tutorial

Optional: For a more structured bag, back both of the 10″ x 12″ pieces with fusible interfacing cut to 9 1/2″ x 11 1/2″.  Center and fuse in place.

bento bag - lunch and snack bag tutorialFrom the Springtime Gold Spot fabric, cut:

  • two 5″ x 9 1/2″ for the bag sides
  • two 5″ x 6″ for the side pockets

    Bento Box ~ lunch and snack bag sewing tutorial

Optional: For a more structured bag, back both of the 5″ x 9 1/2″ pieces with fusible interfacing cut to 4 1/2″ x 9″.  Center and fuse in place.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Now sew the 2 1/4″ x 5″ binding strips to the top of the 5″ x 6″ pocket pieces.  Matching at 5″ sides and sewing a 1/2″ seam.  Press seam open.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Turn raw edge under two times to the back of the pocket piece and covering stitching. Press and pin in place.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorialBento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Turn to the front of the pocket piece and topstitch along edge of binding, catching the fold of the binding on the back side.  I topstitched twice and used this Aurifil 12 weight thread for topstitching to make it stand out and to be a little more decorative.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorialNext, place your pockets on top of the side exterior pieces ~ align at the bottom edges and baste in place with 1/4″ seam.  Align side units with the top edge of the equilibrium exterior piece and join with 1/2″ seam.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Press open.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial Join second exterior piece, aligning at the top edge again…

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

After sides are attached align bottom edges of exterior pieces and sew 1/2″ seam.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Now, box the bottom corners and sew 1/2″ seam across edge.

Bento Bag - lunch bag and snack bag tutorial

Turn your exterior bag right side out and set aside.  Let’s work on the top zipper now…  We will be using the four 3″ x 10″  exterior pieces (two for each zipper half) and the steam a seam for these steps.  Center the zipper, right side down, with the raw edge aligned with the 10″ edge of the fabric.  Use steam a seam or pins to secure zipper bottom and top fabrics.

bento bag - a lunch bag tutorial

Layer second fabric carefully on top (right side down) and pin or iron to secure.  Sew 1/2″ on each short end and sew along zipper (with zipper foot) on long edge.

lunch bag sewing tutorial

Repeat for second zipper side.  Clip corners and turn both pieces right side out.  Top stitch around three sides.

Bento Bag - A lunch bag sewing tutorialZip parts together, center zipper and cut to 5″ width.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Unzip and pin one zipper part, right side together with each side of bag.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorialPin handle ends in place right sides together with bag.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorialSet aside bag exterior while we work on the lining… Cut two 12″ x 14″  lining pieces from your nylon ripstop fabric and two from the Insul-bright.  Layer and cut two 2 1/2″ corners out along the bottom 14″ edge.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Now place the two ripstop pieces right sides together, sandwiched in between two pieces of Insul-bright.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Sew along two sides and a couple inches along the bottom edge at each corner.  Leave the corners open and the center of the bottom open (for turning bag later). Trim away excess Insul-bright in the seam to reduce bulk.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Box two corners and sew with 1/2″ seam.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Keep lining wrong side out and place your exterior bag inside the lining.  This step is a bit tricky with the bulk and the handle inside but just go slow and match up sides at center points and pin well.  Sew around top edge with 1/2″ seam.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Turn bag right side out and sew lining opening shut.

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Enjoy your new Bento Lunch Bag!

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

Plenty of room inside to pack a good lunch!
Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial

If you like this post… Please share it!

Bento Bag - a lunch bag sewing tutorial from rebeccamaedesigns

Thank You Sew Mama Sew and Spoonflower for offering this challenge!

Check out the participants!

Michelle from Falafel and the Bee
Alicia from Two Kids and a Blog
Mary from See Mary Quilt
Trina from Will Cook for Shoes
Daisy from Ants to Sugar


See More Tutorials ~


Giveaway Day!

I’m participating in the giveaway day over at Sew Mama Sew today ~ I’ve got a bundle of fat quarters from Kate Spain’s ‘in from the cold’ collection to give away today!


Remember I used it for my Holiday Hostess set?  I made a mug rug and a wine bottle gift bag (find the tutorial here).



Now I’m offering one of my followers a four fat quarter bundle for your stash!  (US shipping only)  If the winner is an international follower I’ll send you two free patterns from my etsy shop of your choosing!

Everyone can be a winner! 

The giveaway closes on the 13th, I will announce the winner (random generated) on the 15th and I’ll ship out the ‘stash’ on or before the 20th!

in from the cold kate spain

If you like me on facebook or if you

 Follow on Bloglovin

please comment below for a chance to win… * 

and tell me what you’d like to make with this fabric bundle!

12/15 Update: We have 2 winners!

US Fabric Winner is Jenniffier from

and the International Pattern winner from Canada is Laura from

I will be in touch!! Congrats!!


 * comments appear after moderation, thanks!sherri


Handmade Holidays!

Don’t miss out on Handmade Holidays!  Every November Kristin and Beth over at SewMamaSew host this fantastic series of tutorials, recipes, and printables to get you ready for the holidays!  Not only is this is a fun tradition over at Sew Mama Sew ~ they have prizes GALORE!


Every day this month there is a guest curator offering links to free tutorials… and PRIZES!  Here is a peek at the topics this past week…

November 1 ~ Handmade Gifts for Tweens

November 2 ~ Handmade Gifts for Gadget Lovers

November 3 ~ Handmade Gifts for Cooks

November 4 ~ Handmade Holiday Clothing and Accessories

November 5 ~ Handmade Gifts for Babies & Toddlers

November 6 ~ Handmade Gifts for Geeks

November 7 ~ Handmade Gifts for Travelers (ME!)

November 8 ~ Handmade Gifts for Make Believe


 And Don’t Forget ~

Have you signed up for these New FREE Classes over at Craftsy yet?

Learn How To Piece, Patch, Quilt with Craftsy for FREE! – This class is perfect for the ultimate beginner to learn the basics of quilting. Who knows, maybe they could catch on quick and have a quilt in time for Christmas!

Learn How To Take Professional Family Portraits with Craftsy for FREE! – How perfect a class is this for the holiday season? Everyone is getting ready to take their family portraits for Christmas cards or just to have in their picture frames at home! Now they can wow everyone with professional quality pictures.



Giveaway Day is Here!

Yippee!!  December 3rd is the start of Giveaway Day!  Thanks to Sew Mama Sew for hosting this giveaway!  I can’t believe it’s been a year since the last one already???  Giveaway Day is so much fun with so much to see that it now lasts a WEEK!   All giveaways start today at 6 a.m. PST and close December 7 at 5 p.m. PST, and winners will be announced by email no later than Sunday, December 9

This year I’m giving away any pattern of your choice from my shop!  I just love giveaways!  I can’t wait to see all the fun giveaways myself!

Here are just some of the patterns the winner can pick from:

Cool coupon bag…

coupon organizer bag / holder


or a nice cover for your ipad…

or maybe a fun quilted hot water bottle cover… I love this!

maybe a pattern for a cosmetic case?

or a mug rug…

or some fun mittens..


 subscribe to rebeccamaedesigns at the bottom of this post 

comment that you did and tell me what pattern shown here is your favorite?


Additional entries for following on facebook,twitter or pinterest.

Thanks so much for looking and Good Luck!  I know I’ll be checking out all the other fabulous prizes!

Winner will be chosen with the plug-in ‘And the Winner Is’ and notified via email.

You can also  enter to win a wool wreath from me ~ Enter Here

When you’re done, click here to link back to the giveaways @ Sew Mama Sew…

Thanks for stopping by!


I like the mug rug!