DIY Painted Lunch Sacks

Mer Mag Painted Lunch Sacks

Hi friends! Are your kids already in school, getting used to the swing of things? Or are you like my Cali friends still waiting a few weeks before that first school bell of the year rings? Either way it’s the perfect time to gather together your paper lunch sacks and some paint to spice up a set of lunch sacks with your little Einstein. And hey, you might end up with some masterpieces of art such as this guy little O drew. I want to frame it instead of send it trucking off to school!

Mer Mag Painted Lunch Sacks

For more on how to make these bags, head over to Minted for the full DIY.

Growing up I always had my lunch in a brown paper bag so I have a real fondness for this approach. Other kids might have had Barbie and Rainbow Brite clad metal lunch pails, which were great and all but me, I marched into the lunch room with the every simple brown paper sack. Yes I was a bit jealous of the other kids wares but I also knew deep down I was happy to have my simple lunch sack…complete with a lunch that I had made all by my very own self.

My mom was big into self-reliance (and thrifty living) so she never did anything for us that we could do ourselves. So every morning I went to the fridge and got out an apple and then proceeded to make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. At times somewhat odd things would make it into my lunch. For example one day I came to school with a gigantic (I mean it was crazy large) slice of sponge cake. Everyone laughed and even the teacher thought it actually was a sponge. I was a bit embarrassed…but also proud. Somehow, either from the way I was raised, or just from the way I was from the start (maybe both), I seemed to have a streak of “I’ll do it, and I’ll do it myself and even if you think it’s odd I’ll still do it if I like it”.

Mer Mag Painted Lunch Sacks

This led to some pretty interesting social adventures. Take for example my plum and mustard plaid wool blazer I wore to seventh grade on many occasions. Contrast this with the bright turquoise, pink and navy blue colors of the1980’s and you can get a feel for how out of place I looked. I was aware of this but I couldn’t help but feel like I was in a boarding school in England when I wore it so I simply loved it.

Yes of course I wanted to be like all the other kids with pink tasseled bikes and blue eye shadow Oh about 85% of the time…but I also knew that this wasn’t the only option for me…and that I could actually make up my own reality by creating things around me…and that thrilled me. It’s still thrills me today. I want to encourage this thrill of artistic independence in my kids as I believe it was a very helpful (and fun!) to have while growing up.

What about you? was there anything that stood out in your childhood as that “aha” moment of creativity and independence? I’d love to hear!

August 26, 2013



  1. Reply

    Courtney Snowden

    August 29, 2013

    I totally exercised my artistic independance in high school, much to my mothers dismay. I was big into painting on my clothes. I had a jean jacket that I used as a canvas, even a pair of overalls that got the works. And yes, I did wear one strap undone, it was the 80’s after all! 🙂 My art teacher convinced me to enter my “sharpie” decorated converse into the senior show. It was pretty awesome. And to think, I totally yelled (lets say talked sternly) to my trenager about drawing all over his new back pack! Ha, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

    • Reply


      August 29, 2013

      Courtney I love this! Drawing on sneakers was the coolest yo…

  2. Reply

    Courtney Snowden

    August 29, 2013

    Um…”teenager” not trenager 🙁

  3. Reply


    September 1, 2013

    I love these! I just potato printed some lunch bags…super cute and you can get really crisp designs if you use cookie cutters to cut the potatoes 🙂


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