Instructions to Make a Toiletry Bag

Written by michelle labbe
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Instructions to Make a Toiletry Bag
A toiletry bag is just the right size for small cosmetics. (make-up image by max blain from

Bags to hold make-up, toiletries and other accessories are convenient for travelling, and can make excellent gifts for others as well as for yourself, especially if you make your own. Home-made toiletry bags are an easy afternoon or weekend project for even a casual sewer or crafter, and only require a few supplies that you might even already have leftover from other projects. Customise yours bag with cute, flirty patterns, colours, and trinkets so you'll always know it's yours.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2 pieces of upholstery fabric, 11.25-inch by 7.5-inch
  • 2 pieces of fusible interfacing, 11.25-inch by 7.5-inch
  • 1 all-purpose zipper, 10 inches long
  • Thread in a matching colour
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine

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  1. 1

    Fuse both pieces interfacing to both pieces of upholstery fabric. For each piece, press the adhesive side of the interfacing down onto the wrong side of the fabric and smooth out any wrinkles. Iron over the interfacing on medium-high heat for 20 seconds. Pick up and move the iron from one section to another as necessary to cover the fabric and interfacing. Do not slide the iron.

  2. 2

    Fold one piece of fabric in half, with the short sides together and the wrong side facing out. Slide the zipper in at the top of the fold, with the zipper pull facing up and to the left. Center the fabric along the length of the zipper, and pin in place.

  3. 3

    Stitch the zipper in place with a 1/4-inch seam allowance from the fold. Unfold the fabric so the right side faces up.

  4. 4

    Fold your other piece of fabric in half, short sides together and wrong side facing out. Press the fold down and insert the free edge of the zipper on the fold, with the zipper pull facing up and on the left. Align the edges of the fabric pieces together, and pin in place.

  5. 5

    Stitch the zipper to the second piece of fabric with a 1/4-inch seam allowance in the same manner as before. Unfold the fabric. The zipper should be aligned and centred between the two pieces.

  6. 6

    Unzip the zipper halfway. Fold each piece of fabric in on itself, towards the zipper. Pin the fabric in place, starting near the zipper. One side of the fabric will form the outside of the bag, and the other will form the lining.

  7. 7

    Stitch all around the perimeter of the fabric with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, but leave a 3- to 4-inch gap at the bottom of the lining. Cut the excess zipper and clip the corners.

  8. 8

    Turn the fabric inside out. Start by pulling the outer bag through the zipper opening and then out the lining opening. Push the corners out neatly, and press the bag down.

  9. 9

    Use a slip-stitch to close the opening, and push the lining down inside the pouch.

Tips and warnings

  • To personalise your bag further, add lining, piping, or a small handle or strap out of scrap fabric. Add a small beaded chain to the zipper pull.

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