New and improved sandwich bags

Sand­wich bags are one of those seem­ingly sim­ple prod­ucts that are, in fact, trou­ble­some to make. Well, tech­ni­cally it’s not dif­fi­cult to make of course. It’s just dif­fi­cult to come up with the per­fect design — at least for me it was. In the past I have made a zip­pered ver­sion like this…

Zippered sandwich bag - pink elephant

and a sim­ple vel­cro ver­sion with vel­cro tabs at the top of the bag (the one on the right)…

Velcro-top sandwich bag - Cats

and a flap ver­sion with a sin­gle fab­ric like this.

Flap sandwich bag - hippos

But none of them was truly sat­is­fac­tory to me. Why? Well, here are my “pros and cons” com­par­i­son notes.

Zip­pered Version

Pros: Neat-looking design. Food bits don’t get stuck in the vel­cro. Easy to main­tain and wash. Prob­a­bly lasts longer than vel­cro ones. A ver­sa­tile pouch, because it’s great as snack bags (muffins, crack­ers, etc). Also can be used as a small wet bag, for wipes, makeup, crayons, and so on.

Cons: Fid­dly to get a sand­wich in and out of the bag because the zip­per doesn’t open to the full width of the bag. If the zip­per width is wide enough, then it’s too wide inside the bag, and the sand­wich swims in it. Zip­per can be fid­dly to use for toddlers.

Velcro-Top Ver­sion

Pros: Nice sim­ple design. Easy for chil­dren to use. Sand­wich fits in snugly and securely.

Cons: Food can get stuck in the vel­cro while putting a sand­wich in and out. Fluff sticks to vel­cro in the wash. Stitch lines for sewing the vel­cro shows through — not a very ele­gant finish.

Velcro-on-Flap Ver­sion 1

Pros: Flaps are cute. Food doesn’t get caught in the vel­cro as much, because the sand­wich doesn’t have to touch the vel­cro strips while pack­ing and unpack­ing. Sand­wich fits in snugly and securely. Vel­cro is eas­ier for kids to use.

Cons: The one-fabric design only works with non-directional prints — mean­ing, fab­rics that have no upside and down­side. The flap sec­tion was small, and it took some force to rip the vel­cro open. The stitch marks around the vel­cro strips can be really notice­able. And then there is the issue of wash­ing vel­cro, and a pos­si­bly short lifes­pan of vel­cro products.

New!! Velcro-on-Flap Ver­sion 2

Version 2 of flap-style sandwich bags

So this is my lat­est sand­wich bag. Is this the “per­fect” sand­wich bag I was seek­ing? I think it’s very close. Here’s the “pros and cons” assessment:

Pros: I love that I can slide a sand­wich in and out of the bag smoothly, with­out wor­ry­ing about food get­ting caught in the zip­per or vel­cro tab. The sand­wich sits in the bag snugly and securely — not as snugly as with a sand­wich wrap, but close.

I also love the two-fabric design. It allows me to use rather spe­cial fab­rics for the small flap sec­tion, while keep­ing the cost down some­what by using plain cot­ton linen can­vas fab­ric. I can also use direc­tional prints this way, because the print is used only for the flap bit.

The flap sec­tion is larger than the first flap ver­sion, which adds to the cute­ness fac­tor. More impor­tantly, the large flap allows an extra-wide space between the edge of the flap and the vel­cro strips. You can grab onto this bit of fab­ric to open the vel­cro eas­ily — very child friendly.

Version 2 of flap-style sandwich bags - view with the flap open

If I use busy prints for the flap sec­tion, the stitch lines for the vel­cro are not notice­able. Pretty ele­gant look­ing overall.

New sandwich bag - closeup of the flap

Cons: The only cons here are the inher­ent prob­lems asso­ci­ated with vel­cro — tricky to keep clean and wash, and the lifes­pan may not be ter­ri­bly long. Of course, if the vel­cro stops stick­ing after a cou­ple of years, it’s easy to replace them — so I hope peo­ple will not throw these pretty bags away!

Version 2 of flap-style sandwich bags - Liberty Hello Kitty bags

How adorable are these Lib­erty Hello Kitty sand­wich bags? They are so pretty, in fact, that you can use them for other things like pens and crayons (the water­proof nylon lin­ing comes in handy here). If I attach a shoul­der strap, it’ll be such a cute lit­tle girl’s bag, too, don’t you think?

These sand­wich bags will be avail­able at my upcom­ing Face­book mar­ket day, and will be listed on Etsy later on.

New sandwich bag lineup