These simple pocket-friendly DIY dog treat bags have a waterproof liner. It’s our hidden secret weapon to prevent soggy treats and mushy crumbs on rainy days! These are my go-to bags for carrying treats on walks and outings. No matter what the weather, every day is a great day for walkies. And for treats. Hehehe. Check out the DIY details on how they’re made.
Transitioning to Fabric Pocket Treat Bags
Our Previous Pocket Treat Bags
When we set out to try and significantly reduce plastic waste, I made some small drawstring bags for carrying treats on dog walks without messing up pockets with loose treats and crumbs. They’ve been used every single day since (often several times a day). After over three years of use, wear, and regular washing, they were coming apart and due for replacing. I love to create but I also like practicality and purpose. I consider using something so much it’s well worn out as a small victory for creative utility. And a great excuse to re-make new and improved versions of useful old favourites.
Changing the Treat Bag Design
I loved our old treat bags, but there are a few pitfalls with fabric. One of the things I disliked was ending up with soggy treats and mushy crumbs if my pockets happened to get soaked during wet weather. Ahhh… Life in New Zealand! I added a waterproof liner to some of my replacement pocket treat bags and they’re quickly become my favourites. I also changed the seams to suit the lined bags.
The other change was omitting the drawstrings. I didn’t use them (lazy) when using the bags for pocket treats. I just roll or fold the top for quick and easy access, especially when juggling leashes. They always stayed secure in the bag squeezed inside my pockets anyways. Omitting the drawstring sleeves means very easy sewing, less materials, and the bags are tailored to the way I use them. If I was making these as a gift or for a different purpose, I’d still include drawstrings for extra versatility.
Making Dog Treat Bags with Waterproof Liners
Supplies and Materials
The materials and supplies used in making the drawstring treat bags shown in this post include washable outer fabric, food safe PUL for the liner, coordinating thread, scissors, rotary cutter (handy but not essential), iron and ironing board (optional but recommended), and sewing supplies. Bags can be hand sewn, but will be much quicker and easier if you have a sewing machine. I used both a sewing machine and a serger when making these bags.
- Fabric (exterior)
- PUL (interior liner)
- Straight edge (either as a cutting guide or to mark a guide line)
- Measuring tape (optional)
- Complimentary coloured thread
- Sewing machine and (optional) serger
- General cutting / sewing supplies
- Iron and ironing board
Feel free to have fun with colour! My PUL was a bright blue, (bought on sale) and I went with a bright coloured patterned fabric from my stash for the outside. A bit of a lesson learned from past treat bag experiences. Light colours and plain fabrics are more vulnerable to stains. Not that the dogs care, but dingy fabric just seems kind of dirty, even when it isn’t. As a bonus, the PUL lining helps reduce potential staining from treats.
Polyurethane Laminated Fabric (PUL)
My treat bags use a supplier certified food safe PUL fabric for the liner. It’s waterproof, flexible, durable, and very washable. The same material is used in reusable food wraps, fabric sanitary pads, washable nappies, and other heavy use, heavy wash items. It’s great for making slim but durable treat bags that will need to withstand a lot of use and washing.
PUL isn’t plastic free; however, these bags will get a whole lot of use compared to a baggie. Plus both the outer fabric and the liner were scraps in my craft stash. The PUL pieces were offcuts from leftover from making belly band dog diapers for Oli.
Sewing the Treat Bags
Instead of making a matching set of bags, to reduce fabric waste, I used the shape and size of the offcuts to work out bag sizes. This means that my bags are slightly different, but not an issue whatsoever for my purposes. The basic bag-making process was similar to the previous drawstring treat bags, but with a simplified top edge (no sleeve required). I also opted to serge the inside side seams instead of French seams. More on that below.
Preparing the Fabrics
- Outer fabrics should be washed, dried, and ironed flat prior to the start of the project. This is reduce dye bleeding risks and to preshrink the fabric so that things don’t distort during normal usage and washing after construction.
- Quality PUL shouldn’t shrink or bleed. Pre-washing is optional. If not pre-washed, I’d recommend washing prior to first use just to make sure your treat bag is clean. Ironing can damage PUL. If necessary, iron on low temp with protection.
- Cut fabrics to size for your finished bag size plus seam allowances. The outer fabric needs a top edge allowance (both top edges, bottom is the middle fold) for a double fold over hem. The PUL does not need this extra top allowance as it tucks up under the fold.
Sewing the Bags
To finish the top edges, I used a double fold over hem. On the lined bags, the PUL was tucked under the folded outer fabric. Neat, tidy, and cute. Using a French seam with a PUL liner works, but it’s thick. Not a big deal if making a tote, wet bag, or other larger project, but I didn’t like the bulk for my small pocket bags. I opted to serge the seams instead. Love my new serger!
- Starting with one of the future top edges, create the fold for the double hem fold inwards and iron press, then fold again and iron to press.
- Repeat for the other future top edge. Ensure both hems are the same size.
- Tuck the PUL fabric into place so under the fold, aligned with the outer fabric. Secure in position for sewing. I used binding clips to hold the fabrics together for sewing, but you can use pins. Every hole reduces the waterproof lining, so try to keep any pin use within the hems, if possible.
- Sew each of the double fold hems, concurrently securing the tucked under PUL liner into place.
- Fold the joined fabrics right-side-in at the middle (fold becomes the bottom edge), lining up the top edges. Secure in position. Again, I used my binding clips to reduce the use of pins and holes.
- Serge the side edges (or use another sewing style of your preference for the hem). Secure any loose tails / thread chains and the trim excess if/as needed.
- Invert the bag to right-side out. Done!
Tip: As with anything waterproof, what helps keep water out can impede your usual cleaning. Flip the bags inside out before washing and drying to ensure they get a thorough cleaning. If line or rack drying (I air dry all of our washing), drying will be faster if the bags are open to airflow. I usually pop them over the end of the rack’s flip out hanger rod. Super simple and they dry quickly.