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Oilcloth Crafts: Lunch Bags

The same oilcloth that covers your kitchen table can transport your children's lunches -- or your own -- in leak-free style.




These reusable bags will cut back on waste since they can simply be washed with a damp sponge (oilcloth is not washing-machine safe). Use a single print for the whole bag, or cut out complementary patterns or solid colors for side panels. You can attach small Velcro tabs to hold the bags closed, or clip the tops with colorful wooden clothespins.


  • Oilcloth
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine


  1. Step 1

    Cut main piece 29 1/2 by 8 inches and two side panels, each 12 1/4 by 5 inches.

  2. Step 2

    Fold long panel, inside out, into U shape with 5-inch bottom.

  3. Step 3

    Make 1/4-inch cut at bottom corners of side and middle pieces so bag folds smoothly. Sew-in side panels, leaving 1/4-inch seam allowance.

  4. Step 4

    Turn right side out and top-stitch all around, 1/8 inch from edge.

Martha Stewart Living, July 2001



Reviews (206)

  • ZoeKJane 23 Apr, 2013

    This doesn't necessarily give the best instructions! That is okay though! I know enough about lunch bag patterns that I think I can give this one a go! Should be fun!

  • denim fabric 31 May, 2012

    We have factory that could produce it!

    Below is about denim fabrics & fashions in China.
    China denim fabric
    stretch denim
    China denim fabric factory welcome you!

  • annaleila 6 May, 2012

    Where are the actual instructions???

  • crafterwant2b 3 Jan, 2012

    I find the instructions confusing.

  • Love3 9 Jul, 2011

    I plan on making these out of cotton with a nylon ripstop lining. These will be great popcorn bags or snack bags as well, so might as well make them food safe. The ripstop lining will help with waterproofing. I found an intense debate on the use of oil cloth and decided not to chance it. I googled "oil cloth food safe" and found it isn't recommended for children under 12. There are lots of food safe snack bags on Etsy for sale. Look there for fabric ideas.

  • TheGreenMama 29 May, 2011

    Super easy! I'm a novice sewer and this was a lot of fun!

  • JayM 15 May, 2011

    Try the Cath Kidston range they are beautiful and very good quality.

  • Gingerita 14 May, 2011

    Where can I find oil cloth in colors and patterns as pretty as the the fabrics used in the photos?

  • Gringaloca 14 May, 2011

    Instructions are incomplete, especially for a novice seamstress. Can you provide more information? Do you make regular seams or French? How do you go around the corners? How do you finish off the top, hem it? Please help, this is a great idea for gifts for kids who take lunches to school.

  • sewingirl 13 May, 2011

    Cheryllion, I was also confused as to where the instructions for this project were. On my computer, under the first few photos for this project, I had to hit a little button that said "see more" two times to find the instructions.

  • Cheryllion 13 May, 2011

    Is it just me or does it not say how to sew it?

  • lbuser 13 May, 2011

    Oil cloth isn't actually oil cloth anymore - it is a vinyl or polyvinyl chloride. The original oil cloths were some kind of heavy cotton covered with linseed oil that was sometimes mixed with lead or with iron oxide. That might be what you are thinking of. I have never found any warnings for the vinyl cloth that you buy at the fabric stores now. It is pretty easy to work with - cut and sew and so forth. Hope this helps.

  • feathers3 13 May, 2011

    Someone once told me that oil cloth should not be used for children's items due to a processing chemical in the fabric. Do you know anything about this??

  • andreacastille 4 Feb, 2011

    Where can I find dute oilcloth like this?

  • surazul 3 Nov, 2010

    I would keep my food in a palstic bag or container even if I use this lunch bag....

  • tntmade 18 Oct, 2010

    Try using laminated cotton. No chemical warnings and can be used for clothing. Not 100% waterproof, but I've never had it leak and it is used for rainwear.

  • deanreeve 1 Oct, 2010

    Oasismom, you answered your own question.

  • Oasismom 20 Sep, 2010

    I would like to make this bag, and also sandwich cozies. I have read that oilcloth is NOT food safe and almost toxic. Is there a safer alternative, ie: beeswax cloth, or PEVA?

  • terbear09 24 Jun, 2010

    To: "Middlekid"...Read the alternitive to closures was VELCRO TABS.

  • middlekid 10 Jun, 2010

    The clothesepin seems impractical since it would come off too easiliy in transport. It looks ridiculous to boot. Any other way to secure the opening? A button and tie?

  • middlekid 10 Jun, 2010

    The clothesepin seems impractical since it would come off too easiliy in transport. It looks ridiculous to boot. Any other way to secure the opening? A button and tie?

  • Maruen 8 Jun, 2010

    These bags are great! I have a tablecloth that I love but, has a [filtered word] in it. Now I can make several bags to give away and keep for myself. Thanks for the idea!! Love it!!!

  • Karole52 22 May, 2010

    Don't want to sound dumb........ but what is oil cloth and where do you buy it?

  • Cinnpie 17 May, 2010

    Rolingrock53, used your advice and covered the sewing area with tissue paper, worked a treat. Thanks again!

  • RubyShila 17 May, 2010

    Thanks, Marta! I got one of these for Christmas and my Mom said "mabye you could find out how to make them and then you could sell them". Thanks Again,

  • rock63roll64 17 May, 2010


  • joeliz 16 May, 2010

    I think a brown paper bag would make a great template for making these bags. One seam on the side.

  • linuxgrl 16 May, 2010

    THANK YOU community!! When I saw this "lunch bag" project in my inbox this morning I was shocked and really quite angry. BUT then the comments put me in a place of hope. With 186 comments I'm sure the below info has already been addressed.

    Prop. 65 Warning: This product (oilcloth) is NOT intended for food service or storage. It contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

  • Paulamar 16 May, 2010

    Muito bonito. Sou apaixonada pelas coisas que encontro no site de Martha Stewart. Obrigada.

  • shearsnip 15 May, 2010

    if you can't find oil cloth , there must be a health(cancer) reason why it's not readily available. Our JoAnn store does not carry it.

  • mommy2malia 15 May, 2010

    I'd be a bit hesitant to use this for my kids.
    This is from website

    The recent Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) prohibits oilcloth garments such as bibs and aprons or toys for children under age 12. This is due to the level of phthalates (a softener present in all vinyl) in the PVC vinyl of which oilcloth is made. There are no heavy metals in oilcloth. It is constructed of vinyl with a poly/cotton scrim backing, printed by rotogravure.

  • Cinnpie 15 May, 2010

    Tissue paper! Brilliant! Thanks :)

  • ustabahippie 15 May, 2010

    The measurements for the pieces are at the beginning of the instructions. You don't need a "pattern." Just cut the rectangles to measurement, using a square corner ruler! Easy, peasy.

  • rollingrock53 15 May, 2010

    to get oilcloth and vinyls thru my machine I put tissue paper over it - and sometimes under it, depending on the situation. Tissue paper rips off easliy and you can wet any stubborn pieces and rub them out.

  • mahrle 15 May, 2010

    It's agreat idea, I really love it and I think I will try out soon.
    But, at the moment, I've got a little problem. I#m trying to save this, but it seems, that it doesn't work. It's not been showing in ' My Collections'. Can sombody help me?

  • dschlo 15 May, 2010

    Sometimes if you place a thickness of fabric behind the foot it will even out the fabric and send it on through.

  • Cinnpie 15 May, 2010

    Got as far as turning it inside out for final stitching and due to it's finish 'patent' my foot or walker couldn't make it go through my sewing machine, it just got stuck. If anyone has an idea, I'd be very grateful.

  • RavenTresses 15 May, 2010

    What exactly is oilcloth? Is it simply a vinyl (plastic) tablecloth?

  • sandycohen 15 May, 2010

    Sorry about the typo before "before."

  • sandycohen 15 May, 2010

    Hello, I thought that I had read on an oilcloth website, that oilcloth should NOT be used for children under 12. Please check this out gbefore you buy anything.

  • oilclothalley 6 Aug, 2008

    Vist for over 75 great reto oilcloth prints!

  • mandacorry 3 Jun, 2008

    These bags turn out beautifully but I found the lenthe of the main panel to be 1" too long. I have also made them out of lightweight canvas so that I can pop them in the washing machine when they get grubby.

  • GramRay 30 May, 2008

    I like this idea and plan to make one to hold my hair curlers that I have been storing in an old purse. This will be much prettier and easy to store away in bathroom cabinet. The velcro closure will hold rollers inside without spilling. Nice little bag for various items. Thanks so much

  • alhamilton007 28 May, 2008

    I'm a true beginner to sewing and need my hand held at all times - I found this website really helpful -

  • Freckld_Face 24 Apr, 2008

    Oops, Must cut and paste from "http" to the end of "php"

  • Freckld_Face 24 Apr, 2008

    I found this web site for Oilcloth projects; the lunch bag is included there.

    Hope this helps!

  • martharocksthehouse 24 Apr, 2008

    Is this pattern a secret? So many people have requested the pattern, but nobody has posted where to find it. Can anyone help? It really shouldn't be this hard.

  • sharonmanis 23 Apr, 2008

    I Would also like the patteren? Where is it?

  • RitaFaye 18 Apr, 2008

    Where can I find the pattern for the lunch bags? Thanks.

  • Katrana 15 Apr, 2008

    Yes, Thanks Christine. The pattern looks great an very easy. These will make great gifts too.

  • Katrana 15 Apr, 2008

    I too would like the pattern for the bags. Searched the wedsite but there doesn't seem to be a 'pattern' for the bags. They would be great to make and very "Green".

  • pamvan35 15 Apr, 2008

    Thanks Christine. I found it!

  • pamvan35 15 Apr, 2008

    A lot of people are looking for the template/instructions. Can we please have an answer.

  • luvjudi 14 Apr, 2008

    Yes, I agree with Diannedee below. I love this idea but would like further instructions or the complimentary pattern mentioned.

  • catherinemccarron 14 Apr, 2008

    I must be missing something. Where are the patterns/instructions for the lunch bags? Found something about making placemats but nothing specific to these bags. Is there a separate link?

  • bonni 10 Apr, 2008

    There's lots of oilcloth tablecloths available at KMart. There might even be some Martha Stewart oilcloth tablecloths there. They're pretty cheap (excuse me, reasonably priced), and they're cute. Also, check with mexican groceries.

  • christineewing 10 Apr, 2008

    There are directions with a pattern on another website for making these bags. Here is the link.

  • dianadee 9 Apr, 2008

    I was thrilled to see this, and would love to make it, as with everyone else I need directions, and would like more info on were to get oil cloths of any kind. The examples are just to cute to pass up. I hope we get further instructions

  • wynette117 9 Apr, 2008

    This is a great idea! I, too, want to find out where to find oil cloth. I remember oil cloth table cloths from my childhood.

  • Ninaed 8 Apr, 2008

    So I know that there is a way of actually making the oil cloth but where is the receipe and procedure to make the mixture?

  • Shazi2 8 Apr, 2008

    I love these!! Where can someone find really precious oilcloth?

  • christineewing 8 Apr, 2008

    The below website has directions for making these bags.

  • alekan 8 Apr, 2008

    This is fantastic, please tell us how!

  • mickeymail 7 Apr, 2008

    Please, Please, tell us how to make the lunch bags!

  • raechal4 7 Apr, 2008

    I believe she means for us to copy any size brown paper bag that suits our needs.

  • ihmoore 7 Apr, 2008

    I would love to have the directions for these oil cloth lunch bags. They would be a perfect craft for my Church Circle's upcoming Fall Bazaar. Hope to see the directions soon............

  • yklauria 7 Apr, 2008

    I am disappointed not to have directions.

  • lillianrulon 7 Apr, 2008

    Love these brightly colored and useful/practical lunch bags! Can't wait for the pattern....and directions. Great idea for wedding out of town guest bags!

  • 9er 7 Apr, 2008

    am i not seeing the directions explaining how to make these pretty bags? help me!

  • kburden 7 Apr, 2008

    and i thought martha was always the 'so together' lady ... any luck on pattern yet? this is my first visit and i'm obviously dissapointed >.< this grabbed my attention because my mom is 74 and *always* packs a lunch for her

  • ddietz5 7 Apr, 2008

    Have emailed customer support regarding the pattern/directions (4/4) ~ am still waiting for a response. We'll see. . .

  • Jenniwren 7 Apr, 2008

    Big Y yardage in Orange County CA has lots, as well as Beverly's Crafts in San Luis Obispo, (San Luis Obispo County) and Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County in CA.

  • karleenoppermann 6 Apr, 2008

    If it should not be used for food items, why is it used as a table cloth? Just wondering.

  • bookivore 6 Apr, 2008

    real oilcloth contains benzene (, which should not be used for food items.
    try an alternative fabric, or skip this craft.

  • ehlibra 6 Apr, 2008

    Have looked to purchase oilcloth in the past. Found thin plastic no back, and very little print selection. Want true oilcloth. What major fabric stores in Ca. carry it?

  • kathycurrentfamilysingerknitter 6 Apr, 2008

    Why don't they give the pattern? At least we could figure it out with a pattern. Or we can go get a paper bag, cut it down on one side, and then on three sides of the bottom. There's a pattern for you! I tried this and it worked! Maybe they should hire me to work from home on this as a paid consultant! Seriously!

  • kathycurrentfamilysingerknitter 6 Apr, 2008

    I believe that Simplicity or McCalls has a pattern for this in their craft section. IT CAN be carefully hot glued, carefully ironed with a warm iron with fusible web, [filtered word] punched all around and stitched with yarn or cording, or sewn on your sewing machine with a heavy duty needle.
    Problem: wrong side is not always slick or wipeable with a wet cloth. Many have flannel or a rough backing so it doen't slide on the surface: ie table-it would normally be used on

  • janarm 6 Apr, 2008

    I tried to rate this and the three choices are all positive. This needs instructions and therefore isn't either of these.

  • janarm 6 Apr, 2008

    Where do these comments go? Does anyone answer them or is this a waste of time?

  • janarm 6 Apr, 2008

    GREAT IDEA... Where are instructions/templets?? Thanks

  • RoBarbara 6 Apr, 2008

    To tpz54: I would not want to use a needle that is for stretch or woven fabrics. Don't pin because you may leave pin holes. Be carefull as you would not want to tear it out. I would make it cutting two rectangles, use a bag as a reference or any size you want, and a strip the lenght of the sides and botton and sew them on. Or put a bottom piece on and sew on the sides. The seams would be sewn on the right side and show. RoBarbara

  • Wu-PuppyLove 6 Apr, 2008

    Yes PLEASE! Can we have a template or pattern for the lunch bags?
    Wu-Puppy Love

  • tearsa_leeming 6 Apr, 2008

    Did anyone figure this one out?

  • Anita1958 6 Apr, 2008

    Could we please have the pattern with instructions on finishing edges. Thank you

  • tpz54 6 Apr, 2008

    I should imagine you would sew them on a machine just as you would ay other fabric.

  • juicer 6 Apr, 2008

    Where are the instructions? Does anyone know how to actually make these? I like them as a gift idea.

  • dorrainelmt 6 Apr, 2008

    okay...I am a crafter...most of this was easy to figure out...use a real paper bag as the template...but how did she seal the edges???

  • loislane 5 Apr, 2008

    I must be missing something - where are the instructions please or the templates for these oil cloth bags? I cant seem to locate them.... Thanks.
    Your fan, for more years than we'd both care to remember,

  • herbalist 5 Apr, 2008

    Using wax paper on the presserfoot side makes it much easier to glide through the machine.

  • danettebert 5 Apr, 2008

    Can we retrieve the pattern on Martha Stewart website, usually when we have a craft here, she always gives us the instructions with the pattern template ??? but cannot locate it this time ??? Any help I sure would appreciate it - Thank You

  • shellytabby1 5 Apr, 2008

    is the oil cloth inert? i.e. can it react with the contents? Does it smell in a different way to wax paper? Can it be machine gentle washed? shellytabby1

  • Amelia_Ann 5 Apr, 2008

    Very cute idea. You could paint the clothespin to match and you could cut a flower out of the same material or out of a piece of craft foam to match bag and glue on to clothespin. Makes for a complete look. a. cribb

  • cmcarol 5 Apr, 2008

    Be sure to go back and look at other comments. People have posted websites for instructions. Easiest pattern to follow: Go to, they have complete instructions for this project.

  • knees2thearth 5 Apr, 2008

    Very nice idea. Looking for pattern as well.

  • ammitch 5 Apr, 2008

    We must have pattern's to your crafts some you do some you don't Love the idea.

  • pltlouise 5 Apr, 2008

    Where is the pattern, instructions. I am clueless. Cute idea.

  • peppy65 5 Apr, 2008

    are there any instructions? measurements?

  • prizila 5 Apr, 2008

    I feel you have been very lax in giving instructions and patterns for your crafts. You may feel it's so simple but not to all of us. Please----more instructions.

  • Rosannegenovese 5 Apr, 2008

    I have a lunch bag that I have used for many years that looks exactly like this one, it is made out of a heavier nylon. It washes very well right in the machine. Little velcro closings have also worked nicely.

  • robbiek 5 Apr, 2008

    These would make great gift bags for friends at work.

  • sgambassi 5 Apr, 2008

    Where is the pattern and directions on how to make these oilcloth lunch bags?

  • dylansmommy 5 Apr, 2008

    Would love to have the pattern to be able to make these!

  • odrup 5 Apr, 2008

    Cute as can be. I'd like to make them in a variety of sizes if I only had the pattern.

  • clare_anita 5 Apr, 2008

    I am thinking,this would be beautiful fabric (reinforced) of course to make a grocery carry all.
    I know a lot of grocery chains are going to get rid of plastic and I have already started carrying these very boring fabric bags you can buy.
    So I think this fabric would be great to make personalized ones.
    The woman is right Fashion fabrics club,is a great resource and affordable.

  • zummatwo 5 Apr, 2008

    Is someone from Martha Stewart going to give us the pattern?

  • shorewatcher 5 Apr, 2008

    So is there a template for the lunch bag?

  • eternity 5 Apr, 2008 the name wrong--Sorry! It should read as "beachglass2"

  • eternity 5 Apr, 2008

    I agree w/"SEAGLASS". I think I would prefer to use "Plastic Tablecloths". The kind w/the Linings. PLUS! you can get them pretty inexpensive, also.

  • snowball34 5 Apr, 2008

    you can take a cereal box big or med depending on the size bag you want.
    put the box on the oil cloth just as if you were wraping a gift. Leave one end open and slide out the box. Instead of tapeing the sides you would sew them as seems. hope this helps.

  • beachglass2 5 Apr, 2008

    Isn't oilcloth made from PVC? Is it safe to 'seal' your food in this type of packaging? Don't get me wrong...I love the colors and wipe-ability factor and have some large oilcloth beach bags that I absolutely love. I just think of the lead/pvc recalled lunchboxes.
    Looking forward to reading your thoughts.

  • rowdygirl 5 Apr, 2008

    Maybe this craft was meant for April Fool's Day! LOL!

  • rowdygirl 5 Apr, 2008

    Yohoo.........where's the pattern? Someone slipped up!

  • Marvee34 4 Apr, 2008

    This is a wonderful idea! Please, Martha, I need a pattern!!!! I would love to do this!

  • mamg 4 Apr, 2008

    Martha: PLEASE, PLEASE PROVIDE A PATTERN for those of us who are "creatively challenged" but would really like to try this........

    Creatively yours,
    Mary In Cathlamet

  • MashaKestel 4 Apr, 2008

    Its a fun craft to do with your kids. Maybe not very practical, but fun

  • cartersgrandmother 4 Apr, 2008

    Same comment "Where is the pattern!"

  • mickisue 4 Apr, 2008

    This seems to be a really cute idea, but I agree that we need a pattern. I'm not really getting a picture in my mind as to how to cut it out.

  • whimfancy 4 Apr, 2008

    It's a cute idea for giftgiving, I would love to receive cookies or a delicious yummy in this bag from someone but where is the pattern, someone get the pattern!!!....I'll be a oil cloth bag making fool if I can get a pattern!

  • WVJane 4 Apr, 2008

    Kids today don't carry things like this. This would make a better tote bag than lunch bag.

  • Plainquilter 4 Apr, 2008

    I would like the pattern and instructions as well. Maybe they are on Martha's site somewhere else?

  • zachsgraymom9 4 Apr, 2008

    What kid is going to carry a lunchbag with a clothespin attatched to it!!! I've taught school for over 30 years and know that the pin would either fall off in a backpack or get lost at lunch (maybe even eaten).

  • nanagramms3 4 Apr, 2008

    I agree, common sense or not, a pattern should be included. i could take a paper bag and make a pattern but if you are choosing an item as the craft of the day, instructions/pattern should be included. Sometimes, it is much quicker for "i don't have much time" people. Thank you

  • KTStef 4 Apr, 2008

    Thank you to the previous comments, which answered my questions...for some reason your comments did not come up until I had posted mine.

  • KTStef 4 Apr, 2008

    This sounds like a great idea, but no pattern, no directions, and where can you get the oilcloth?

  • novawalker 4 Apr, 2008

    Maybe this will help, I found it under Martha's Oil cloth crafts
    OilCloth By The Yard
    Authentic Oil Cloth at Discount.. Huge Selection of By the Yard!

  • khagler 4 Apr, 2008

    Yes, a pattern would be very helpful.

  • misstootles 4 Apr, 2008

    I really liked the idea of adding a pocket to hold the icepack or water bottle. I've also put silicone on the seams (inside) to make it a bit more leak-proof. Grommets and a drawstring make for a nice closure too. Good luck all!

  • Nicahe 4 Apr, 2008

    They do sell oilcloth at JoAnn's and I am sure you could even use a tablecloth in a pkg from Target or somewhere, it is is backed you could use 2 pieces with the cloth sides together. I have seen some cute oil cloth and some cute outside tablecloths and plan to try these! I agree about more detailed directions though. I guess take a paper lunch bag apart for a pattern?

  • wendystanleyjones 4 Apr, 2008

    Ahhh, lovely idea, but no pattern included. How sad.

  • cora6280 4 Apr, 2008

    Where are the instructions and pattern for making this lovely craft?!

  • 3star 4 Apr, 2008

    These bags look great, but a pattern should be included. What's the sense in advertising them if you don't show how to make them. As well, don't show it as a craft of the day, if you don't explain how to make the craft.

  • purebreed 4 Apr, 2008

    Like other, what kind of glue hold oil cloth together. More details. I don't spend a lifetime doing this sort of thing, but thought this idea was good.

  • sjcswan 4 Apr, 2008

    Where ARE the instructions?

  • JudySwortz 4 Apr, 2008

    some things are common sense, you take a paper bag and use it for a pattern. The oil cloth is commonly sold at Hancock Fabrics or Joann;s

  • Artgirlbev 4 Apr, 2008

    I love seeing the daily craft idea from Martha Stewart in my inbox, but in general the directions are not specific enough for many of the ideas that are posted. and as everyone has noted in the case of the lunch bags--where do you get such fashionable oilcloth? A supply list should be provided.

  • dee-bee 4 Apr, 2008

    Where can you find that darling oilcloth?

  • menotomy 4 Apr, 2008

    It is nice that you give these ideas, but where do you find the instructions?

  • kroerp 4 Apr, 2008

    dramatoad, your instructions are the only ones I could find, so I'm going to give it a try and thanks! I'm glad I wasn't the only one who liked the look but could not find any instructions!

  • lcm461 4 Apr, 2008

    What is oilcloth? Is it what raincoats are made of--sort of a flannel fabric on one side and shiny "plastic" on the other?

  • collarbones 4 Apr, 2008

    where are the instructions

  • candygram 4 Apr, 2008

    Where are the directions...these are so great!

  • susycoop 4 Apr, 2008

    I thought of making pockets on the inside to hold ice pack or drink bottle.

  • kayehanson 4 Apr, 2008

    Just saw the request for instructions. I used a paper bag for a pattern. Take the bag apart and lay on material. Allow for your seam allowance.

  • kayehanson 4 Apr, 2008

    They also make nice bags for gifts; you can tie them with a contrasting ribbon. If you make your own cards, just punch a [filtered word] in the corner and tie with the ribbon.

  • pgkellyd 4 Apr, 2008

    are there instructions? how to?

  • muiling 4 Apr, 2008

    I too would love to have a pattern to print out. I would also love to see the patterns in different sizes, ie. large, medium, and small as well.

  • abergop 4 Apr, 2008

    Hmmm, great idea, but there are no directions on how to make this!

  • Tethered_2_Home 4 Apr, 2008

    Probably should be filed under good ideas, rather than crafts. A pattern would be helpful, but probably can try to fumble through with something. I love the IDEA!

  • ddietz5 4 Apr, 2008

    OK, my comment was cut off, let's see what customer support says, also, Bill M, when you make the oilcloth shopping bags, would love for you to post a pic of finished product, what a neat idea!

  • Libra49 4 Apr, 2008

    Janet2 - I didn't see a pattern either but came up with what I think could be a solution to a pattern. Cut apart one of the brown paper lunch bags to use as a pattern. Youl'll have three pieces: bottom, side, front (which will be used for the back as well). Enlarge those pieces 200% to get a larger pattern piece. It looks to me that the pieces were stitched together on the outside. Good luck!

  • cmcarol 4 Apr, 2008

    Go to, they have complete instructions for this project.

  • ddietz5 4 Apr, 2008

    I've emailed customer support

  • MILisa40 4 Apr, 2008

    I dont see where to open up the instructions on how to do it?

  • grundymiss 4 Apr, 2008

    What a great idea! How about a pattern for a tote bag to take grocery shopping?

  • akari 4 Apr, 2008

    martha stewart is trying to meke our brains work by imagining the sizes and patterns of her oilcloth bags.
    totally agree with karthurs

  • shirleygassier 4 Apr, 2008

    I too would like to be able to get a printed pattern for the oilcloth bgs. They would make a good project for our Church Ladies group to make for our benefit sales. Shirley

  • karthurs 4 Apr, 2008

    Is it just me or does anyone else find that the craft project listings are lacking in detail and instruction? This one for example does not offer anything but photos of lovely completed versions. Even on projects that have some instruction, the photos are so small, and not expandable that it is difficult to make out detail to match to instruction. Also the a Rate the Craft option...the rating options are: I recommend it, One of my favorites and Easy. basically: Good, Great

  • shmoopysmomma 4 Apr, 2008

    Where is a good place to purchase these oil clothe? Is it easily found at a craft store or am I using an already made tablecloth ?

  • ellewaller 4 Apr, 2008

    a pattern isn't really necessary--you can make the bags as big or as small as you want. I've made these before and all you need to cut are: a.) 2 large rectangles for the front and back b.) 2 Skinnier rectangles for the sides that are the same height as the large rectangles and c.) a bottom piece that is as wide as the large rectangles on the long sides and as wide as the side panels on the short sides. Attach a velro square, ribbon, or snap near the top of the bag as the fastener.

  • gardenfiberdesigner 4 Apr, 2008

    You can find oil cloth at most fabric stores or buy a table cloth.

  • blueyedjellyfish 4 Apr, 2008

    Are you going to post a pattern and sewing instructions? I'm really excited to start this project!

  • Bill_Malts_First_Male_Crafter 4 Apr, 2008

    I think this is a great project idea. I am going to try it right away with that bag of oilcloth remnants I bought at the Britex sale in San Francisco! I'll send a photo when I finish. I wonder: Is oilcloth strong enough to make a grocery shopping bag?//Bill

  • linemer8 4 Apr, 2008

    Yeah, I don't see a pattern. Where is it?

  • Blue 4 Apr, 2008

    Okay, So wheres the pattern? How are they sewn together? Where do I get the fabric? What's with all the photos but no instructions?

  • hillfarmlady 4 Apr, 2008

    Ditto on the lack of instructions. They look cute, usable, and a handy thing to have-but no patterns!!! I could figure one out out but the "craft of the day" should have instructions with it.

  • Tiffpeek 4 Apr, 2008

    where are the instructions?

  • Donna_Jagoe 4 Apr, 2008

    Actually you can find the instructions to the project at or click on The instructions are for a baby bib and the bag instructions are at the bottom of the page.

  • raylene 4 Apr, 2008

    how can you call this a craft of the day if you don't have the instructions to make it.....why bother....for all we know you purchased these at a store and just say they are home made....martha stewart needs to get a clue......

  • marciacooper 4 Apr, 2008

    I'd love the pattern as well - would make a cute gift bag that's reusable. How do I get it - link doen't work.

  • goodrick 4 Apr, 2008

    Ditto on adding a pattern to cut out. Also when working with oilcloth, do you need to lengthen the stitch on the sewing machine, or anything like that? I'm not sure how to work with it. thanks.

  • Greatmaga 4 Apr, 2008

    Where is the pattern printed for us to use in making thesse lunch bags? It's nice to see the variety, but pretty useless when we don't have patterns or instructions? Are you just teasing us?

  • Squidink 4 Apr, 2008

    Me too for pattern

  • seaaes 4 Apr, 2008

    @geekygrandma :: thanks for the link!

  • geekygrandma 4 Apr, 2008

    Good grief - 3rd time's a charm - it's supposed to say 2007/7/31/oilcloth-lunch-bag at the end of the link, but it keeps getting cut off when I post the comment. Anyway, google *lunch bag pattern* and you'll find it -- geez

  • gudwitch 4 Apr, 2008

    It's a great idea for my granddaughter (she's 7) how fun !!! Is there a pattern anywhere ??????????

  • vanssmomc 4 Apr, 2008

    I would also love a pattern for this. It is very cute!! Cathy

  • kimmeetee 4 Apr, 2008

    Where can you get the fabric? I absolutely love these. If I use navy or a denim, maybe I can even get the boys to use them, not quite the thing for high schoolers maybe. They get funny about the oddest things. You'd think in Amish country oil cloth would be easier to find. Thanks ~ Kim

  • kiltie1124 4 Apr, 2008

    The clothespin closure is SOOO tacky. Why not put grommets on both sides of the bag and string a cord or ribbon through them. Then when the cord is pulled closed, it will form carrying handles.

  • margotmaynard 4 Apr, 2008

    Worth noting too, for anyone who wants to have a go, that oilcloth is beastly to work in a sewing machine when there are points in the pattern where you need to work with the fabric wrong side up. I made some tote bags using it a while back and found that slipping a sheet of tracing paper underneath the 'sticky' side worked well to keep it running freely through the machine. The paper just rips off the stitching afterwards.

    And yes, a pattern would be nice ...

  • ovestobake 4 Apr, 2008

    They are just showing us craft ideas, but nothing more. What good is that? We all have ideas.

  • samy04 4 Apr, 2008

    I , too, wish they would put instructions/templates on the MS Craft of the Day. Also, would love the website links to order these **cute** oilcloths (and for any of the other crafts' products/materials). You'd think MS would be more thorough and informative/helpful. One can't find these at the local fabric chain stores!! Darling idea though.


  • janwilliams 4 Apr, 2008

    These are cute, but please add directions the next time you post this one. If not specific directions, how about some dimensions on the pieces?

  • lhendri479 4 Apr, 2008

    A pattern would be nice.

    I guess I we take a lunch bag apart and make our own pattern.

    What does every one say? Not fair to show us something this nice without providing a pattern though.

    My 2 cents is in now!!

  • NWKelli 4 Apr, 2008

    Do you have a website that carries the cute oilcloth material or at least where to buy?

  • spinssheep 4 Apr, 2008

    I like this idea alot! Too bad I don't have kids going to lunch and I have an insulted bag for my own lunch. I'm not too crazy about a cloths pin for the closure. Clothespins tend to pop off, especially if they are tossed into a bookbag. Sewing fabric ties onto the body of the bag would at least leave it tied until lunch time.

  • seaaes 4 Apr, 2008

    It's been said but instructions print out would be nice...

  • rhondasdelights 4 Apr, 2008

    Can't make them without knowing how. Is there a place to find the directions or do we need to pay for them? They would make great back to school gifts to kids or perhaps for someone with a new job (or make an old one feel new). Please let me know where to find the directions.. Thank you

  • KasiaPowell 4 Apr, 2008

    This is a wonderful idea, however I thought it would be good to add a pocket on the inside for an icebar. Living in the heat of Floida, we always look for ways to keep things cool. If you put the vinyl side in - on the pocket piece of fabric, it will help keep the moisture of the icebar from sweating/leaking onto the contence of the bag. Where the stitches show on the outside of the bag where the pocket is placed, decorate with a piece of ribbon or other embelishment glued on.

  • tinkonthebrink 4 Apr, 2008

    I do think there might have been some instructions, but c'mon. Unfold the brown paper bag in your cupboard and trace it out. It isn't brain surgery.

  • kearsarge 4 Apr, 2008

    YEA, where ARE the instructions?

  • PudgesGirl 4 Apr, 2008

    I would add a square of velcro to keep it closed.

  • tsoave 4 Apr, 2008

    Hey there caroled2! Oilcloth is fabric on one side and a coated thin vinyl-like product on the other. Not as heavy as vinyl, more supple. I've never seen it at any of the chain fabric stores. I came across a great selection in a quilt store and an independent fabric store in my area. I'm sure you can find it on-line too.

  • Barb50 4 Apr, 2008

    Yes, I also was wondering when on Martha's website is the pattern!

  • SwisherSweetie 4 Apr, 2008

    Oilcoth is a fabric that is coated with a plastic-like finish. It is mainly used for tablecloths. You can find it at JoAnn fabrics. Just ask them when you are there. It is pretty inexpensive.

  • egghead96 4 Apr, 2008

    Am I crazy or shouldn't there be a pattern here? I guess we could get a small brown paper bag, de-construct it ourselves and maybe make it a bit larger, but a printable with some detailed instructions would be so nice for the people like me who NEED instructions.

  • penelopeswindow 4 Apr, 2008

    Yes, pattern please!

  • tsoave 4 Apr, 2008

    I agree, a handle would be nice. I also think I would like to add a clear vinyl pocket to insert a name tag and maybe some velcro to close it up! But, they are very cute and I've been looking at some oilcloth not knowing what all I could make out of it. Doesn't really match anything in my home it is just such a darn cute print!

  • caroled2 4 Apr, 2008

    What the heck is oil cloth and where do I buy it?

  • babettemiller 4 Apr, 2008

    I would like to have a down loadable pattern, also.

  • katiecolleenhughes 4 Apr, 2008

    I would love to have the pattern as well... these are awesome!! k.

  • dramatoad 4 Apr, 2008

    Take a brown paper lunch bag and make a pattern by cutting on all folds. You'll have a bottom, 2 sides, a front and a back. Add seam allowance to each and cut. Sew sides, then front and back to bottom. Turn inside out and sew sides. Then finish top edge with a seam. Add handles if you'd like. Or you can fold down top and add a snap to keep closed, or velcro.

  • momvoyager 4 Apr, 2008

    Instructions would be great!

  • jillmurtagh 4 Apr, 2008

    How about some instructions?

  • mrsmagoo2005 4 Apr, 2008

    I think I would like to add webbing handles to make it easier to cary

  • Janet2 4 Apr, 2008

    Do you have a pattern we can print out for the oilcloth lunch bag?