I have used the snap bag method to make several different things. As an eyeglass case, a phone case for my friend Beth to use when she travels, and my latest is for carrying my rosary. I was so happy with how it turned out I made a couple for friends and some for the Little Sisters of the Poor to sell in their gift shop. I love that this is both practical and pretty. As an added bonus I can make one in just minutes. I bought this coordinating fabric to make some fun napkins and thought this was the perfect use for some leftover scraps. I love pretty things!
Here is what you need:
- An inexpensive metal measuring tape, inexpensive scissors to cut the measuring tape, and masking tape.
- 2 coordinating fabrics – main fabric and batting measuring 4″ wide by 7″ long; coordinating fabric measuring 4″ wide by 11″ long (your coordinating piece needs to be 4 inches longer than your main fabric.) I used an iron on batting for this project.
- Sewing machine, thread, iron and a rotary cutter makes cutting out the fabric and batting more precise.
The first step is to disassemble an inexpensive or broken metal measuring tape. I picked one up from Dollar Tree for – drum roll – a dollar. I unscrewed the tape and carefully extracted the measuring tape so that it would not all unwind. I keep a sturdy rubber band around the tape while I am not working with it.
I then cut out fabric for the main part of the bag, a lining piece that is 4 inches longer than the main fabric, and the batting that is the same measurements as the main fabric. For this project I used the measurements listed above.
After you cut out the fabric pieces, iron the batting onto the wrong side of the main fabric piece. Then center the main piece of fabric onto the coordinating piece of fabric wrong sides together. The coordinating piece of fabric will be 2 inches longer on each end. You will fold over the ends inch and then 1 inch again. This will make two casings at the for your bag where you will LATER insert the measuring tape as a closure.
Stitch the casings on the short ends closed. Keep your stitching at the bottom fold line. See photo below.
Fold the bag in half with the lining on the outside so that your stitching will not show when you turn the bag. Your two casings will now be at the top of your bag. Sew one long side of the bag closed. You will need to leave one side open so you can insert the measuring tape.
Cut your metal measuring tape slightly smaller than the casing. This is when you want to use the crummy pair of scissors that you probably should have tossed but hung onto just in case. (I bought a pair at the dollar store just to use on cutting the metal tape.) Round the ends off so that you do not have sharp edges and be careful of the metal slivers – they are sharp! cover the ends with masking tape.
Insert the measuring tape so that the numbers are facing the lining. This is important for the bag to be closed snug and have that magical open with squeezing the sides and then closing when you release the sides. Push the measuring tape to the end and then sew the other long side closed. Be careful not to sew the metal tape. If you need to pull it out and trim it a little – do so. I neatened up the sides with my rotary cutter while the bag was still inside out and then zig zag stitched the sides to create a neater finish and reinforce the stitching. You will have fewer thread frazzles if you do this.
Then just turn the bag right side out and you are done! Push the sides of the top of the bag to open. Release to close. Note – the measuring tape I used was pretty cheap, so I stacked two pieces of measuring tape on top of each other for each casing and it made a much firmer closure. It will not accidentally open inside my purse, so I will definitely do that if I make some of these for change purses. You need to apply some pressure to the sides of the top of the bag to open – which is what you want. For my eyeglass case I only used one layer of measuring tape since I wanted the case to open easily and I was not worried about the weight of the glasses pushing the closure open.
My eyeglass case
These bags are real easy to make and customize to your needs. Let me know if you make some!