How to Make an Insulated Lunch Bag

Our ways of living have really changed over the years. As such, we have fast food outlets all over. This is because we find it convenient to buy ready food compared to cooking.

Have you ever considered how much calories and bad fat(yes, bad fat is a thing) you ingest in a single meal of the so-called fast food? On average, an adult female should take in 2000 calories a day to keep the body at the optimum function while and an adult male requires 2200 calories. However, an average American takes in about 3,000 calories for a man and 2,400 for a woman according to SFGate. To make matters worse, we rarely exercise.Jason Block of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute conducted research under the subject matter. Here is what he found.

Teens underestimated the calories in fast-food meals by 34%; parents of school-age children by 23%; adults by 20%..

As you can see, most diners underestimate the number of calories in fast food meals and that’s why the number of obese people has dramatically increased in a short period of time.

Saying this shouldn’t derail you from treating yourself once in a while, just be cautious of what you consume.

As if the food being unhealthy is not enough, it is also very expensive. Allow me to explain, on average an adult can spend $8 on a meal in a day. Seems relatively cheap enough huh? What about in a week or a month? The amount becomes a staggering $160. Now imagine having your whole family on the same meal routine.

Here is a smart and simple way to fully battle all these expenses while at the same time filtering what you put in your body. Cooking your own healthy food and carrying lunch from home using not just any lunch bag, but an insulated lunch bag.

Allow me to explain how it works, why an insulated one and the most important of all, how to make an insulated lunch bag.

What are insulated lunch bags?

Also called cooler bags, these are basically bags made to keep food warm or at room temperature as a later on meal. The bags are easy to make and are made of three simple layers namely;

  • Outer layer
  • Inner layer
  • An insulation layer (should be in the middle)

How does insulated lunch bag work?

The heart of this mechanism is the needle punched insulated fleece. It has a shiny surface which you quilt facing the inside, this keeps your meal either hot or cold depending on the state it is on. It also balances your food to nice room temperature.

Why do you need an insulated lunch bag?

  • Do you want to eat healthily?
  • Do you worry about what you eat at fast food restaurants?
  • Do you want to cut cost and save that extra dollar?
  • Do you worry about what your children eat at school?
  • Do you worry when your child gets his packed meal cold?
  • Do you want to lose, gain or maintain your weight?

If the answer to the above questions is a YES then you definitely need one of these bad boys.

How to Make an Insulated Lunch Bag Step by Step Guide

The steps are easy and simple for any level quilter, personally, I’m a novice at this topic but I can assure you, I did my fair share of research and made one myself. Now, let’s get right into it.Materials you’ll need

  1. Oilcloth or any other fabric
  2. Needle punched insulated fleece
  3. A zipper or Velcro
  4. Polyester webbing
  5. Quilting thread
  6. 19/14 point sewing needles
  7. Fabric scissors
  8. Angled Ruler
  9. Binder clips
  10. Sewing machine
  11. A Pen
  12. Small ruler
  13. Rotary cutter
  14. Folding Ruler
  15. Lapel stick
  16. Glue sprayMeasuring tape.
  • Cut your inner (lining) and the outer fabric of your choice to a perfect 16-inch by 13-inch piece. Measure carefully to get it just as accurate as possible. Make sure you’ve chosen an easy to clean fabric for your inside.
  • Take your needle punched insulated fleece and do the same. Cut 6 in total. For good results, make sure they align just right.
  • Pair them up(the outer fabric and the insulated fleece). The shiny part facing the inside.
  • Spray baste the two fabrics i.e. the insulated fleece and your outer fabric using an adhesive spray. Make sure you’re spraying the inside part of your outer fabric since the fleece isn’t a cotton material. Also, choose a nice odorless spray with a concentrated nozzle for easy use indoors. Don’t forget the shinier part of the fleece faces the inside.
  • Sandwich the 2 together and carefully smoothen it from the inside out and repeat the process for the other side.
  • Now quilt one at a time. The basted up parts together from one diagonal and just work your way across. While quilting, smooth out the fabric to avoid puckers. Here you can measure by a 3-inch difference and mark them to get it more neat and precise. When straight stitching, it’s advisable to add a couple of millimeters for a better hold.
  • Once held together, measure 15 ½ by 12 ½ inches and cut the excess with either your pair of scissors or rotary cutter.
  • Now mark out with a plus sign 2 inches from the corners i.e. 2 inches from the top edge and 2 inches from the side edge to where you’ll put your Velcro. Use a little ruler for easier and clean work. Do this for each side of the two pieces.
  • Attach the Velcro on the innermost part of the plus sign you’ve made, the Velcro shouldn’t be too big. Make sure you place the inner (soft part) on one piece and the outer (the rough hook-like part) on the other both facing outwards.
  • Apply glue to help hold them down in place and stitch them carefully in place.
  • Cut down the lining to the same measurements as the outer pieces. Fold it horizontally and scratch the top with your finger to make a crease mark on the center. Measure 2 inches from the top and mark it out, this is where you’ll place the inside Velcro. Do the same for the other lining.
  • Attach the opposite parts of the Velcro in the linings with glue and stitch it in place.
  • Now lay the two outer parts together making sure the Velcro is in place. The insulated fleece should be facing outside. They should match up and the layers should be even.
  • Use your clip to keep it all together, confirm that the Velcro is on the top and sew it all together. Remember to lengthen your stitch a little and use a 19/14 needle in your machine. Also, backstitch at the begins and ends and, don’t forget to leave the top part open.
  • The outside is almost done. Now while flat, pinch the bottom corner and measure 2 ½ inches. Mark it then head to the sewing machine and stitch it up. Use an angled ruler to get that 90-degree angle. Cut out the excess fabric and do the same on the other side. The measure will double up giving you equal measurements when tucked back.
  • Repeat the process on your lining fabric but leave one side open i.e. apart from the top part. Remember to use clips to hold the fabric down when boxing the base part.
  • To fix the two together you’ll need to put the inner fabric facing right side up in the outer sandwich facing the opposite side. Basically, the right parts should be facing each other. Make sure the seam (lines of stitching) of the lining match up with the ones on the outer side. Using your clips, hold it together for stitching.
  • Reach in through the opening you left. Grab it and flip the bag over right side up. Head over to your ironing box and give that opening a nice press then stitch it up. Ensure you poke out the corners before stitching.
    Now push the lining inside, press the top then and stitch it together.


After following this easy guide on how to make an insulated lunch bag, I guarantee you a nice well-insulated pack. Carrying lunch for work or school has never been this convenient. You don’t need to be a pro quilter to get it right if you follow the above steps properly.

Remember, healthy living is the best punch in our modern war against lifestyle diseases like stroke, obesity and type II diabetes. Any progress against the fight of these diseases starts with you!

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