Upcycled Juice Pouch Lunch Bag

I have a confession to make. I don’t normally buy my kids these juice pouch drink things because (a) they like to drink water (healthy, and free is a really good price) and (b) they’re homeschooled so don’t need that kind of stuff for lunches. So, I don’t really think about them that much.

As soon as I saw this on Instructables though I HAD to make one. HAD as in, went right out to the store that afternoon, spent six bucks on three boxes of Kool-Aid Jammers and started encouraging the kids and hubby to drink them up so I could get started on my bag! So, I don’t know if this really counts as frugal recycling, but, I’m going to count it anyway!

Well, all that, and life happened and I didn’t get to my bag until today when I finally got a chance to sit down and sew. It took well under an hour, filled with multiple interruptions, to make this bag. It was extremely easy to make. If you can sew a zig-zag stitch on a sewing machine, you can make this!


To make your juice pouch lunch bag, you’ll need:

  • 14 juice pouches
  • heavy duty needle for your sewing machine
  • thread
  • ribbon for the handle (I used an old belt)


To wash them out, make a slit in the bottom with a sharp knife (it won’t show once you’re done sewing), then rinse and dry thoroughly. I let mine drain on a towel overnight. I ended up using 8 reds for the front and back and 6 blues for the sides and bottom.

Slightly overlap two pouches and zig-zag stitch them together down the middle of each pair. Repeat that three times, then you’ll end up with four sets of those like so:

Overlap one sewn pair over top of another sewn pair and stitch down the middle of those, leaving you with two pieces, made of four juice pouches each. This is the front and back of your bag.

Now, for the sides: Take two more pouches, overlapping them top to bottom & stitch together. Do this once more and you’ll have two skinny sides.

This picture shows the two blue sides on the left and the front and back red pieces in the middle and right.

Now, you just need to make the bottom. Lay one pouch down across the bottom of one of your (red) front/back pieces, as shown below. It’s not quite long enough, so we’ll need the other one, trimmed in half (or so) (mine is kind of short here, but it still worked.)  Sew it, so that it equals the width of your front/back piece.


Okay! Now to put it all together:

Stitch the front and back pieces to the bottom piece. Next, attach the side pieces to the bottom. It will look somewhat like a cross.


From there, stitch up each side, until all four sections are joined into a bag. I found it easier to start at the bottom and work my way to the top. Here is an inside view of the bag:


For the handle, I dug up an old ribbon belt that I’ve hung onto for years, even though I rarely wore it. It came with some shorts I bought for vacation in 2005. The only reason I hadn’t thrown it away, was because of the pretty buckle. Look at those sparkles! I’m a sucker for shiny things.

Anyway, I cut off the buckles (since I wanted one on each side) then trimmed it down to fit the length I wanted, running the ends through the flame of a candle super quickly to keep it from fraying. (I tried to take a picture of me doing that, left handed, like I often do. After a few attempts, I realized that catching my hair on fire for the sake of a blog post, just wouldn’t do. Therefore, no picture to accompany that step. Sorry!)


Attach the handle with a quick straight stitch across the ribbon, then VOILA! Your bag is done!



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14 Responses to Upcycled Juice Pouch Lunch Bag

  1. Lori says:

    What a great upcycle idea…I think my daughter will want one of these, and now she can make one…Thanks!

  2. Jill Flory says:

    Too Too cute!!! I’ve thought of doing the same thing in some form or anothere :) I have a bag I bought that is made out of foreign glossy bags – it is woven and looks very time consuming. Made by ladies in a third world country – can’t remember which country.
    You could totally sell those I’m sure!!

    • Jan says:

      Your bag sounds amazing! This was so fun to make; afterwards I spent time looking up other upcycled projects using juice pouches and cheeto bags (!!) and was amazed at the creativity people have! I think I’ve started myself another new hobby! :)

  3. Sheila says:

    I love these. I saw them a few years back at a church craft show and have always wanted to make one, just have never done it. They also made them out of the large one-pound plastic M&M and skittles bags. Really cute too. One of these days I am going to have to do this. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh, Jan, that is so cute! Ha ha, I think it’s cute that you had to have that little bag, so you went out and got the juice pouches! LOL Very nice job! :D

    • Jan says:

      Now, I have to go buy a box of grape for my daughter’s purple design! Though I did see that they have all juice drinks available vs Kool-Aid. I guess that would be the healthier way to go this time! :D

  5. Jane says:

    haha, you are so cute and creative! That looks like so much fun, I would have had to go out and buy the juice too! I’ve been trying to put more time aside for sewing, but it is so hard! I love it too … just need to get it done! I have a couple things I would like to make too, and I have the fabric already! I do love that bag though …

  6. My wife bought one of these from someone down in South America who makes them. We don’t use the juice bags either, and I’m too much of a cheapskate to buy them just to make the bag (my wife would need to do the making anyway). I love the idea though. Now I need to think of GUY things that can be recycled to make bags. Hmmmm.

    • Jan says:

      I bought a few more boxes of Kool-aid Jammers, but I just can’t keep that up! Hopefully, they’ll sell at an upcoming local festival & recoup the cost. My kid came home from an outing with a cousin the other day with a grocery bag FULL of empty Capri Sun pouches. He told the adult in charge that he needed everybody’s trash so that his mom could make a bag hahaha. :) It was really sweet…

      Guy things… hmmm… that is a good thing to ponder… would love to know if you come up with something!

  7. Very cool!
    I never would have thought to use juice pouches for a sewing project! Thanks for linking up! :-)

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