Jan 16

That’s a Wrap! Dressing your bento in style.

in Fuji Craft

So you’ve got your bento all packed up full of yummy food, but what are you going to carry it in?
Just carrying around a box is a bit awkward. Well, I’ve got an easy bag you can sew up in under an hour that makes a perfect bento bag.
A month ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Miss Lolly at LollyChops, held a contest to give away 3 fat quarters of adorable pear fabric that she designed. To enter you had to tell her what you would make with the fabric, and then actually make that item if you won and send her pictures.
To make a long story short, I won one of the fat quarters which I used to make a bento bag. I’ve mentioned bentos before here on LFM, as I’m slowly trying to learn the art of “bento-ing” so that when Squirrel needs to take a lunch to school I will already have the necessary skills under my belt to pack fun and healthy lunches for her.
This bag is a quick and easy way to make a cute little carrying case for a smaller sized bento. I saw bags similar to this while living in Japan and figured they couldn’t be too hard to make. I got online and did some research and found a fabulous tutorial on Cotton Spice which I used to make my bag, modifying the measurements to make the bag big enough to put a bento box in.

The tutorial provided on Cotton Spice is very thorough, so I won’t duplicate it here. I’ll just explain how to do the resizing so that your bag is big enough for a bento box to fit inside. Instead of the measurements called for on Cotton Spice, you will need to cut out two 18-inch squares and two 9-inch squares of material.
In the tutorial only 2 different fabrics are used, however I used 3–1 for the outside (Lolly’s pear fabric), 1 for the lining (lime green fabric), and 1 for the contrasting bottom (bright blue fabric). To do this I cut one 18-inch square of pear fabric and one 18-inch square of green fabric and then two 9-inch squares of blue fabric. You can do whatever your heart desires! You will also need a bit more cord or ribbon for your drawstring, about 2.5 to 3 yards (and then you can trim it down to get your desired size if needed).

Follow the Cotton Spice tutorial written until you sew in your contrasting bottom piece–then make sure it is centered (you won’t want to use the Cotton Spice measurements since those pieces are smaller).
Then when you sew down your corner edges, you will want to fold the corners back 5.75-inches (instead of 5-inches) and mark a line one inch from the corner edges (instead of 1/2-inch) and stitch on the lines back-stitching at the beginning and ending.
(I had to adjust my measurements a bit after this photo, but you get the idea, right?) The rest of the process is the same.
Once you have finished, all that is left to do is slip your bento inside,
cinch up the drawstrings, and be on your way!

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

The Food Librarian January 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm



jumbleberryjam January 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Adorable! Both bento making and sewing are far too advanced for me right now, but maybe one day…with inspiration like this, it’s sure to be sooner than later :-)


Damaris January 16, 2009 at 4:35 pm

I thought about trying to win that fabric from Lolly but I don’t sew, so no chance. I’m so glad you won. That bento bag looks fabulous. I love it so much I want one too!!!


Misha January 16, 2009 at 10:28 pm

I LOVE the bag! Mmm, can I have an early birthday present? What a horrible thing to ask with a baby to be born in a few weeks! :-) No, I better learn and try it myself, so glad you posted this one!


Abigail January 16, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Oh, that is TOO cute. Love it.


K and S January 17, 2009 at 5:17 am

very cute and creative!


lisa January 17, 2009 at 8:46 am

Very cute. I love the fabric designs!


diva January 17, 2009 at 8:56 am

OOOOH this is so pretty! i’ve always wanted a little thing like this to take my lunchbox with me. i remember seeing Kyotofoodie feature a shop in kyoto selling bento-wrapping cloths. so want one for the new year. x


Mrs. Incredible January 17, 2009 at 11:11 am

Super cute! Thanks for posting the instruction link!


Mariko January 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I’m totally going to do that, even though I sew exactly 0%. I have some cute Japan fabric perfect for this.


Michelle January 17, 2009 at 11:39 pm

That is brilliant! Great job, and thanks for sharing how you did it.


LollyChops January 18, 2009 at 8:55 am

This is a perfect tutorial Fuji! I’ll be linking to it for sure!

Thanks for sharing!



Fuji January 18, 2009 at 9:11 am

Thanks everyone!

Damaris…there may be hope! I’m planning on doing a giveaway of one after I take care of this baby business… :-)


Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella January 18, 2009 at 5:12 pm

You are so talented! I can see why you won the fabric, what a fantastic idea! I love how it’s two sided too :D


Bekah January 18, 2009 at 10:42 pm

It’s a beauty!! KAWAII!! I’m super missing Tokyo lately. I have our sayonara doll out and it’s pulling at my heart every time I glance at it. We need to come see you!


Christine January 19, 2009 at 9:17 am

Way cute!send me your e0mailand I will invite you to our blog since it is private [email protected]. Goood luck getting that baby here!


Melanie Gray Augustin January 19, 2009 at 10:57 pm

That little bento bag (and box) is adorable! I can imagine that when squirell starts school, her lunch is going to be the envy of everyone’s.


Hannah January 20, 2009 at 1:07 pm

I love that fabric, and the bag itself is so elegant. Fantastic work!


Fuji Mama January 20, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Thanks everyone–you’re too nice! It helps to have such good fabric to work with–easy inspiration!

Bekah–I’m missing Tokyo big time too. :-( Come on over and let’s have a pity party. :-)


gleek January 20, 2009 at 3:30 pm

super cute idea!


[email protected] January 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm

That is FABULOUS! I love the design! I pack my husband a Bento every day-I’m totally going to try this! Now I just need some My Little Pony fabric…something to embarrass him at work. =) I’ll be linking!


Mercury March 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm

@[email protected], i use children’s bed sheets whenever i cant find the actual fabric i want! i have all kinds of Sailor Moon purses, pants, bento bags etc…. you can order them online or search second hand shops!


mayaluna January 22, 2009 at 7:20 pm

This is so wonderful! I’m so glad she chose you… thanks for such a great tutorial, also! Yeah for Lolly pears!


Wynn January 22, 2009 at 7:32 pm

very very very pretty!! I will make one right now!! So happy to find another crafter like you!!


AikoVenus July 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm

So cute! I plan on making my own bento box as well – so hopefully this all goes well for me. ^^ I love your site.


Sri Utami March 6, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Dear Rachael,

Thank you for publishing this tutorial. I have one in the making and I’m using my leftover strips to have a log cabin center. I will come back to your site from time to time. You are an excellent teacher!



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