How to sew a cosmetic pouch with a zipper: Easy step by step guide

Thursday, October 06, 2022

I find little pouches are always useful. For cosmetics, chargers, pencils, sewing utensils, first aid products… They help me organizing all the essentials I want to keep within easy reach. What’s more, sewing a pouch is a quick and satisfying DIY project which is ideal for beginner sewists.

There are many ways to sew zipper pouches, but here is the way I like the most. This type is a wide, medium boxy pouch where you can see everything that is inside in a glimpse.

The only part that can be tricky for beginners is placing the zipper. But don’t worry, once you get the hang of it, no more unthreading would be needed. Soon you will be able to make a pouch in less than an hour.

9 simple steps to sew a zipper pouch

Material to sew a boxy pouch:

  • Fabric: I like getting rid of my fabric scraps by combining different fabrics or making patchwork. I also like adding cork to the base, decorative ribbons or passepoils.

    • Main fabric: two pieces of 27 x 18cm
    • Lining: two pieces of 27 x 18cm
    • Strap (optional): 10cm x 5cm
  • Fusible interfacing: for the main fabric to make the fabric sturdier, two pieces 26x17cm

  • Zipper: 27cm

    Material to sew a pouch

Tips for zippers:

With metal zippers, always make sure you are not sewing over any metal teeth of the zipper, you would easily break a needle. Remove 1cm from each side of the zipper tape using pliers. When sewing the zipper to the main fabric, place it 1,5cm from the edge and tuck the zipper tape end (bend it 90 degrees).

Buying a zipper slider and zipper tape separately is often cheaper. If you have cut out the end of the zipper, hand-sew a zigzag stitch - you don’t want to be putting the zipper back if it goes out.

Step by step tutorial to sew a pouch:

  1. Prepare the fabrics. Cut the fabric, iron the fusible interfacing on your main fabric. If you are using more fabric pieces (cork and triangular fabric in the example), assemble them together.

Ironing fusible interfacing

Prepare the strap if you want to add it later on.

A strap

  1. Place and sew the zipper to the main fabric

Sew the zipper to one main fabric piece using a zipper foot - it allows to sew closer to the zipper. The zipper slider is facing the right side of the fabric.

sew a zipper

Step 2 to sew a pouch

Place the second main fabric piece below the zipper and sew.

Sew second main fabric to the zipper

  1. Sew the lining to the zipper

    Follow the previous stitch line you did. The zipper is in between the fabrics. 

    sewing a cosmetic bag

    Do the same on the other side.

    zipper pouch tutorial

  2. Sew the pouch

    Open the zipper halfway.  Add the strap inside in between the fabrics.

    DIY pouch for beauty products

    Flip the fabrics so that the right sides of the linings are together and the main fabrics together.

    Handmade cosmetic bag

    Sew all over the pouch just keep a 5 cm gap in the middle of the lining. Make sure to sew VERY slowly when you go through the zipper teeth for the plastic zipper teeth. For metal zipper teeth, sew 1cm from the border where you have removed the teeth.

    Easy pouch tutorial

    Voilà, you have already created a little bag!

    How to box the corners of the pouch?

  3. Mark the corners

    Take the bottom corner of the bag and mark a dot 2 cm (or 1inch) from each side.

    boxing corners of a bag

  4. Fold the corner and connect the dots with a pen. Sew over the line.

    widening a pouch

  5. Turn your bag right side out and check if everything is ok. If yes, cut the corners and make a zigzag stitch (or overlock) 1 cm (0.4 inches) from the border. Box the corners of the lining.

    medium boxy simple pouch

  6. Turn the pouch right side out through the hole.

    lined zipper pouch

  7. Sew the gap with an invisible stitch or a basic stitch.

    DIY bag as a present

    That’s it! Now you have a new handmade pouch. Once you have mastered how to place a zipper and make boxed corners, the world of bags is yours! You can use this process to make different sizes of pouches, you will just have to adjust the length of the zipper so that it corresponds to the width of the fabric. Have fun!

    Here are a few I have made. Which one do you prefer? :)

    handmade boxy DIY pouch

Pouch with metal zipper and passepoils

Pouch with patchwork from scraps

Boxy bags

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