It’s that time of year again for new backpacks and lunch bags as we head Back to School! Here’s a collection of some great indie finds in this month’s Bazaar.
This nicely designed set has everything you need for stylish lunches on the go: a set of reuseable utensils, five cloth napkins, and BPA-free plastic food compartments all tucked into a handmade bag sewn by Becky of Glue and Glitter. The fabrics for the bags and napkins are all sourced from recycled remnants, and you can choose from several color combinations, or design a super-customized lunch kit based on your own favorite colors and designs – I loved this blue and white owl appliqué.
As Becky points out, along with skipping the disposable forks, napkins and containers you’d get with take-out food, at an average of $7 per lunch you can save up to $1700 a year packing your own healthy options – very inspiring!
Lunch kit, $45-55, by Glue and Glitter
Know It All Pencils
This brilliant set of six colorful Number 2 pencils stamped with handy tips (like water’s boiling point and the year women won the right to vote in the USA) are sure to bring you an extra round of good luck and good grades! They come packaged in a cute 5-by-8-inch stamped muslin drawstring bag.
If academic tips aren’t your thing, you can also find cooking or California-themed pencil sets in the paperpastries Etsy shop, along with a sturdy metal pencil sharpener for good measure.
Know It All Pencils, $11, by paperpastries
Cover an iconic black and white composition book with this adorable burlap book sleeve! These covers, hand-stenciled and sewn by nextdoortoheaven, have an original owl design and removable button rosette pin. Each one is lined with cotton fabric and fits right over a standard composition book (which is included, too).
You can also choose from a few other designs if owls aren’t your favorite – a custom monogram (adorned with a tiny bird) and a chandelier are both very pretty options. The cover will last through notebook after notebook as you fill them up in class this year!
Burlap book cover, $12, by nextdoortoheaven
School Bags for Children
This darling Japanese craft book (from the Heart Warming Life series) is filled with patterns and instructions for making dozens of adorable school bags for kids. Along with nicely designed details like sturdy handles and pockets, the bags are decorated with charming appliqués like lions, rainbows, and balloons. The book’s collection of projects to make includes backpacks, pencil cases, shoe bags, lunch sets, shoe bags and tons more ideas, most in coordinating sets for maximum cuteness. I think my absolute favorite is the cloud-and-rainbow tote bag on the cover, but the peeks at the pages inside are pretty tempting too…
School Bags for Children, $21.95, by This and That from Japan
I recently sewed my first set of fabric snack bags for my daughter and it was a lot of fun… but if you’re looking for a beautifully made set of six sandwich-sized fabric bags ready to jump right in and streamline your lunch-packing routine, I thought this set from Kate McFaul was fantastic. They’re handmade, plastic and PVC-free, and go right in the wash — this peapod fabric print was my favorite.
You can also order a single bag or a larger set of a dozen, and the size (6.25 x 6.25 inches) is perfect for a sandwich or a generous helping of snack, with a foldover top to keep everything nicely organized.
Sandwich Bags by Kate McFaul, $16.50 for 6