How to Sew a Cutlery Pouch for a Lunchbox

One easy way to reduce waste in your lunchbox is to carry a real fork, knife, and spoon. This sturdy, reusable pouch takes only minutes to make, and it keeps your cutlery clean and separate from other items in your lunch. The sandwich-bag style closure holds it shut until lunchtime with no fasteners.


  1. 1
    Start with any appropriate scrap of sturdy material. This material is cut from the leg of an old pair of jeans that has already been used for various other projects. You could also use part of an old dishtowel, fabric napkin, or other leftover fabric. Make sure the fabric is sturdy, washable, and clean.
  2. 2
    Make a simple, rectangular pattern. The pattern used here is a business sized mailing envelope 4 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches long (10.5 x 24cm). You can adjust the size for your cutlery, but remember to leave a seam allowance.
    • Make the smaller rectangle at least an inch (2.5cm) longer than the longest item you wish to carry.
  3. 3
    Cut two pieces of the fabric. Place the long direction of the pattern with the grain of the fabric. Make one piece the size of the pattern and the other a bit longer. If the fabric already had a hem on one end, allow an extra inch (2.5cm) on the hemmed piece. If the fabric does not have an existing hem, allow an extra two inches (5cm).
  4. 4
    Hem one end of each rectangle of fabric. Fold the fabric over and sew a straight hem. If the fabric already has a hem, skip this step.
  5. 5
    Place the fabric right sides together and align the ends without the hems. One hem should extend an inch (2.5cm) or more past the other hem.
  6. 6
    Lift the shorter piece and fold the longer piece over as shown.
  7. 7
    Set the shorter piece back down on top. The hem of the longer piece should extend down past the hem of the shorter piece, and the folds should lie as shown. For ease of sewing, the hems should not be right on top of each other. You can trim the opposite ends (the ends without the hem) at this point if you need to adjust a bit.
  8. 8
    Stitch around the three sides that are not folded. This is a seam allowance of about 1/2 inch (12mm). (The dark pen line is to show the location of the stitching in the photo. It is not necessary to draw the line.)
  9. 9
    Cut corner reliefs so that the fabric will not bunch up when you turn it right side out.
  10. 10
    Turn the large end right side out. You can use the closed tip of a pair of scissors or the eraser end of a pencil to push the corners all the way out.
  11. 11
    Turn the small end right side out.
  12. 12
    Try out your pouch with the items you'd like to carry.


  • A pouch like this could also be used to carry pencils, crochet hooks, or many other small objects. Adjust the dimensions appropriately.
  • If you are concerned about losing pieces of a good cutlery set, get a few mismatched pieces from a garage sale, thrift, or dollar store and dedicate them to lunchbox use.
  • If you make this pouch from any washable material, the whole pouch will be washable. If food spills on it or it starts to get sticky, just toss it in with your other laundry. You may wish to make extras so that you can have a fresh pouch even when you do not have time to wash the one that got sticky.
  • To keep the pouch clean, put only clean cutlery into the pouch. You can wash it after use or bring fresh ones each day.
  • This pouch could double as a small napkin if you use an absorbent material, such as a napkin or dishtowel. Of course, you could also carry a separate, fabric napkin.
  • Metal utensils are by far the most durable, but look for reusable plastic or wooden utensils in the picnic section if you need something besides metal.
  • Feel free to re-use the forks, spoons and knives you may get at fast-food restaurants, salad bars, and the like. These less expensive utensils are helpful--especially with young children who are prone to losing cutlery!


  • Use scissors, sewing machines, and needles with appropriate caution.
  • Please confirm your local school district policy before sending your child to school with a knife. Usually very dull "butter knives" are fine. However, some schools have a extremely strict policy on the matter.
  • This pouch can act as a breeding ground for dangerous food-borne bacteria (similar to reusable grocery bags). Wash it regularly. If the material is white, it can be bleached.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrap denim or fabric
  • Pattern paper and markers
  • Scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

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