The Pink Lunchbox

So let me tell you a story.  When we first started bringing Julius to daycare all we were bringing for him to consume was milk.  So I randomly grabbed the first lunch bag I could reach, threw his bottles in with an ice pack and brought it to daycare.  I took the bottles out when we got to daycare and placed them in the fridge.  No one really saw the bag so I barely gave any notice to the fact that the lunch bag was pink with purple and white polka dots.  I thought the bag was kind of cute.

As Julius got older we brought more food items for Julius, always in the same lunch bag.  By now I had noticed that it was pink, but again it did not bother me.  I told myself that the lunch bag was mine anyway, since Julius was not packing the lunch himself or unpacking it himself.

Fast forward to a month ago when Julius started in the toddler room.  In the toddler room the toddlers keep their lunches in a lunch bag with an ice pack.  They take their own lunch bag out at lunch and eat their lunch (with help of course).  Putting his pink lunch bag on the shelf the first time I noticed that no child had a bag that is any color other than blue or green.  By now Julius has been in daycare for 8 months with the same pink lunch bag.  Not only is he the only child with a pink lunch bag but he is the only child in cloth diapers.  Connection?  Definitely not, but my brain imagined me being judged by all the other parents as “the hippie mom who makes her son to use a pink lunch bag”.  All of a sudden Julius’ pink lunch bag started to bothered me.  Honestly, it isn’t even that great a lunch bag.  It only barely fits his lunch and it isn’t anything special – why not trade it out for a larger one?  I briefly considered changing his lunch bag over to one of the other ones I have downstairs.  But you see the conundrum now, don’t you?

It is twofold.  First off I am a hippie mom and (though it wasn’t intentional) I do make my son use a pink lunch bag.  I can’t think of a reason to change, when it isn’t hurting anyone.  Secondly, I am a feminist and I don’t want to add to the gender stereotyping of colors. Changing Julius’ lunch bag to one with a color other than pink would be giving in to the patriarchy.  And you know what I have to say about that…  So the pink lunch bag stays.  But since the other kids have cute lunch boxes and his is just some old thing I had in the basement, I figured it was okay to make the bag more adorable.  Instead of commenting on the color (which for the record no one ever did except in my head), the new improved pink lunch bag was met with a lot of compliments!

Dragon Lunch Bag Makeover

What you’ll need:

  • an old lunch bag that you’d like to modify
  • about 16″ of 3/4″ ribbon in a contrasting color to the lunch bag
  • the eyes and name tag patch embroidery file here (Note the file is zipped, so you’ll need to unzip it first)
  • white scrap fabric for eyes
  • scrap fabric for child’s name patch
  • black embroidery thread
  • medium weight tear away stabilizer
  • temporary spray adhesive
  1. First, hoop the medium weight stabilizer in a 100x100mm hoop, insert on embroidery machine with black embroidery thread.  Load embroidery file and change child’s name to desired name.
  2. Start the pattern.  It will begin by stitching the guide outline for the first eye.  Cut a piece of (white) fabric slightly larger than the guideline, spray adhesive onto the back and then press firmly over the guide stitching.
  3. Continue stitching.  The second set of stitching should attach the white fabric to the stabilizer.  Cut around the section, as close to the stitching as possible.
  4. Finish stitching.  Repeat steps 2 & 3 for the other eye and the name patch.
  5.  Once all your embroidery is complete, pop the patches out of the hoop by tearing out of the stabilizer.  This will form your patches.
  6. Hand stitch the eyes onto the lunch bag on the flap of the bag.  You may need a thimble if the fabric is thick.
  7. Hand stitch the name tag onto the bag wherever desired.
  8. Take the ribbon and fold the end of the ribbon over and then over again so no unfinished edges are poking out.  Pin this to the forehead of your dragon on the flap in between the dragon’s eyes.  The unfinished (unrolled) edge of the ribbon should be trailing down the front of the lunchbox.   Stitch.
  9. Measure about 2″ and move 1″ away from where you just stitched, away from the flap. Pin, forming a loop for the dragon’s spikes.  Stitch.
  10.  Repeat these steps for 7 spikes.
  11. For the 8th spike again fold and fold again the end of the ribbon. Attach it to the bag as you did in step 8.

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2 Responses to The Pink Lunchbox

  1. Maren says:

    I was starting to feel weird about not dressing her in girly clothes like the other moms at school do, but this reminded me that maybe I need to find a happy medium!

    • lexicolton says:

      Isn’t it crazy that we end up worrying about these things?! I guess we can only do what we think is best for them until they can tell us what they want.

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