Lunch Tote

When I was in 2nd grade,
I begged my mom for this lunch box:

In my mind Barbie and the Rockers were the epitome of cool.
I was so excited to carry it to school that first day!

A girl at my table made fun of it, though.
"You have a baby lunch box!" she laughed.

Devastated, I never brought it to school again;
opting instead for a generic brown paper bag.

I think back now and laugh at elementary school drama,
wishing I had the confidence to carry the box I loved so much.

(I am mindful of my own little girl at school today.
Her first day of 2nd grade.
No one better make fun of her Hello Kitty lunch bag!)

I am happy to say that today,
I couldn't care less what people think of how I carry my food!

Fashioned from a huge reusable shopping bag from
TJ Maxx, I was able to construct an all-new lunch tote!

I know that lots of stores sell this type of bag,
but I've found that TJ Maxx has the cutest selection
- and they are only 99 cents each!

The fabric is perfect for carrying food
because it is similar to oilcloth,
making it super easy to clean.

I completely cut up the bag to create a new tote.
(You can see what it looked like originally in the picture above.)

It took nearly every inch of the original
tote to make the new lunch bag.
(I lined the inside as well).
I was even able to salvage the snaps and straps,
and incorporate them into the design.

I encourage you to grab one of these totes the next time you spot one. They are such a fun fabric to use (and easy to sew with). I've made my daughters purses from them and now a lunch bag, but would love to come up with something else...

Can you think of any creative ways to repurpose these totes?


The Queen said...

Love the lunch bag!! How about making an apron out of the bags?? A wipable apron sounds perfect to me! You may have to use more than one bag though. Those bags are so cute it makes me wish we had a TJ Max close by!

Ashly Chaffin said...

Super cute, Kristin!! So creative!

Stacie said...

This is soooo cute! I'm a beginner sewer and wouldn't know where to start. Did you use a pattern or could you provide a basic tutorial?

Jennifer said...

I *LOVE* it!!! I am so addicted to those reusable bags but sometimes the cutest bags have store logo's that I don't want to carry around 24/7 (petsmart) so I don't get them. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

frances_maynard said...

Fantastic idea - super cute!

Threeundertwo said...

hmmm - my TJ Maxx has the lunch bags right next to their tote bags! I got the cutest one. I wonder why yours didn't carry them. I love the apron idea. Nice and waterproof for washing dishes.

Ginny said...

OMG that is adorable! I'm going to have to check out my tj maxx for those shopping bags. Super cute & I loved how you made a lunch tote out of it, almost has a grown up Barbie feel to it :)

I loved Barbie & the Rockers as well! I think we started carrying brown bags in middle school, in elementrary it was ok :) I remember trying to give my now 8th grader a brown bag years ago & she was like I cannot take THAT to school. She said everyone carries a lunchbag, nobody brings brown bags. Thought it was so funny how different it is, lol.

Amy said...

Sooo cute! I bought the same bags to bag a purse after I saw your purses. Now, I'm going to have to copy this! What about a big swimming bag or laundry bag (for kids carrying laundry to laundry mat at college)? You would need two or three of the bags but they would be great since they are waterproof.

The Young's said...

how cute and HOW clever!!! Cute, cheap and practical, my kind of style! =)

mommy e said...

I made a bib for my daughter from one of these totes! It worked out great and was super cheap and easy.


OK Chick said...

I love the lunch bag. Do you sale these?

Amy said...

I am fairly certain that I had that exact same lunchbox growing up!

Michele said...

Those are adorable shopping bags...and an even more adorable lunch tote.

I just came across your blog for the first time and I'm really looking forward to reading through it!