An easy tutorial for a zippered picnic roll perfect for carrying your reusable utensils. Serves as a placemat, napkin and a trash bag!
I like to carry these rolls with me for trailside picnics. The pouch nestles the reusable utensils, and the zipper pouch is great for a proper pack-in, pack-out situation. I like that it can be used as a placemat and a napkin, then the dirty side can be rolled to the inside. I don’t have to worry about the inside of my pack getting slimed from lunch.
The materials needed are minimum. I bought a tablecloth from the thrift store, 50% and it was enough fabric to make a number of projects. The large pieces of the project should be around 11″x16″, a pocket piece that’s 9″x7″, and a 3″ strip of fabric 15″ long for the tie and buckle. In addition, have a zipper and a buckle. Instead of a buckle, the pattern would also work with two long ties that can be knotted around the roll.
Cut two pieces that are 11″x16″ and put one aside. With the other large piece, cut a 3″ strip from one side. This is where the zipper will be installed.
Place the zipper, face down, on the fabric and align the edges. pin and sew using a zipper foot. The size of the zipper does not matter and I recommend using any old zipper you may have on hand. They can be cut to make shorter, or, in the case of this project, the end of the fabric can be secured for a shorty zipper.
Fold the zipper over and press into place. Depending on the length of the zipper you use, there may be “dead” space at the top and bottom of the zipper. That’s ok, it can be secured later, or it can be left open when the top and bottom are sewn together.
Lay the zipper and strip face down on the remaining cut portion of the large piece. Sew the zipper into place, fold out, and press into place.
f desired, sew the open end pieces into place, or leave them as is for the next step.
Pin the zippered panel to the second large piece and sew end to end as shown below.
Make a pocket: cut a rectangle that is 9″x7″ and fold in half. Sew the long edge, leaving the folded edge alone. Fold so one side has a seam in the middle, as shown in the pictures below. One side of the pocket will have a seam, and the other will not. Sew one of the short sides of the pocket and turn right side out.
Position the pocket on the picnic roll with the open side facing the bottom of the pocket. I like to place the opening for the utensil pouch on the same side as the zipper opening. This helps to open the zipper without spilling the utensils. Flip the pocket upside down and sew across the bottom of the pocket. Flip the pocket back up and top sew around three sides, leaving the pouch opening.
Create the tie and buckle strip: Fold a 3″ by 15″ in half sew in a knotted length of yarn. Sew the length of the strip, careful not to sew over the yarn. Use the loose end of the yarn to pull the strip right side out. Press flat and cut 4″ for a buckle end.
Place the strips, one on top of the other, to the middle of one end of the picnic roll. Pin to the right side of the fabric. Place the other end of the picnic roll on top and pin. Remember that one side of the picnic roll is longer than the other. It’s ok.
Because one end of the picnic roll was longer than the other, when it is sewn, one end will fold over. Press it into place and sew the sides of the picnic roll. Clip the corners.
Open the zipper through the fabric and turn the picnic roll right side out. Press well and top stitch the perimeter of the picnic roll. Get a set of utensils from the Thrift Store or other source that can be reused. These are great for picnics, but also serve well for workplace lunches. A wonderful gift for an eco-friend.