Make a Lunch Bag!

Want to keep trash out of landfills? Try upcycling! Start by making this resuable lunch bag from old stuff you might be ready to throw away.


Photograph by Becky Hale, Mark Thiessen

Craft idea from the Nat Geo Kids Cookbook

Make a Reusable Lunch Bag


Did you know that the average kid ages 8 to 12 throws away about 67 pounds of lunch waste each year? That’s about the same weight as an average eight-year-old boy! So before you chow down, make sure your lunch is garbage-free. By packing only what you can eat, reuse, or recycle, you will reduce the amount of waste you contribute to landfills. Start creating a waste-free lunch by ditching the brown paper bag and making your own reusable lunch bag.  


You will need:

  • a parent’s permission
  • old pair of jeans
  • scissors
  • needle and thread, or sewing machine
  • ribbon or cord
  • buttons, patches, or other items for decoration

What to do:

  1. Cut a 14- to 16-inch section from one of the pant legs.               
  2. Fold a ½-inch strip around  the top to create a place to string a cord. Sew it down, making sure to leave a small opening at both ends.                                                                        
  3. Thread a 3-foot length of ribbon or cord through the opening at the top to make a drawstring.                                              
  4. Cut an additional piece of fabric about 1 inch larger than the leg hole to create the bottom of the bag.                               
  5. Turn the fabric inside out and sew the two sections together at the bottom.                                                                       
  6. Decorate the lunch bag with things from around your house, such as buttons and patches.

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