DIY Makeup Bag

This bag has to be one of my all time favorite sewing projects.  It was one of my first ventures into sewing other than my burp cloths.  I wanted to hand-make some of my bridesmaid gifts for my wedding, so I made 5 tote bags (I’ll have to share that later) and 10 little makeup bags.  The makeup bags were for my bridesmaids and house party and since I was making 10 of them, I didn’t make myself an extra.  Well, now its almost a year later and I wanted one, so I decided to make one for myself and share the process with y’all. Here is the bag:

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |

And here is a pic of them all lined up and filled with goodies for my bridal party:

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |

When I got started on this project I got some great help and fabulous fabric from Sarah’s Fabrics in Lawrence, KS.  If you live in Kansas City or Lawrence I highly recommend them… they are a great little shop on Mass St.  The gray and white fabric came from there.

Alright, on to the how to, here is what you need:

  • 2- 10″ x 7″ rectangles of patterned fabric
  • 2- 10″ x 7″ rectangles of solid print
  • 2- 10″ x 7″ of interfacing (I used a medium weight iron on interfacing it makes the bags stiffer so they will sit up on their own)
  • a zipper that is longer than 10″
  • 1- 1.5″ x 4″ strip of fabric the same color as your zipper. (I show two below… but you only really need one, I just like to have extra in case I goof)
  • an iron
  • a sewing machine
  • thread

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |


First up we will prep the zipper.  I love the way this looks on the final bag, it gives the little colored stoppers at the end of each zipper.  Take your 1.5″x4″ strip of fabric and fold it ‘hot dog style’ down the middle, and run the iron over it so you have a seam in the middle. Then fold each edge in towards the crease you just made with the iron.  Now fold it in half on that crease so that your edges are all on the inside.  This is a hard step to explain, so I have a picture (I don’t have a picture with the iron because I don’t have three hands, but picture me running an iron over the fabric between each step):

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |

Now take your zipper and cut off the end of it (sorry for the weird lighting on this one… i’m still mastering the whole photography thing):

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |

Now tuck that end of the zipper in between the two folded in sides of your small piece of fabric towards one end of that fabric and sew a line of stitching across it, then cut off the excess.  You’ll use that other half for the other end of the zipper.  Now it should look like this:

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! | Cut your zipper off at the other end about an inch shorter than your bag (approx 9″)

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! | And sew the other half of your small piece of fabric onto this end of the zipper, repeating the same process. You should now have a zipper that looks a lot like this:

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! | Alright, set that to the side and grab your inside fabric pieces (solid color) and the interfacing and follow your instructions on attachment, mine you simply iron on, making sure the dotted side faces the fabric you are fusing it to.  If your fabric has a good side and a bad side, make sure you are attaching the interfacing to the ‘bad side’. It will look like this when it is finished:

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! | Now comes what I think is the trickiest part of this project, figuring out which way which fabrics go! I’ve shown you pictures of each step so hopefully this will be easier for you guys! Place your outside fabric (the gray and white), good side up, then the zipper upside down and about 1/2 of the way zipped up and centered between the fabrics (there will be about 1/2 inch overhang on each side), then the inside piece good side down, which means the interfacing will be face up. I didn’t use a zipper foot (mostly because I’m lazy, but also because I don’t know how).  But no worries… its easy to get around.

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |


Put it in the machine like I have it laid out above, and stitch down the right side of that zipper until you get to the actual zipper part. Then with your needle down through the fabric so it doesn’t move, lift up your presser foot, slip your hand in between the layers of fabric and move the actual zipper up and around the presser foot (the needle part) so that you can sew through the rest of the zipper (if you don’t the presser foot will run over the zipper and move your seam off of the fabric…  trust me).

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |


Now your bag should have one side attached to the zipper, like this:

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |


Move your zipper halfway up again, and get ready to attach the other side, like before your outside fabric goes face up on the bottom, and the solid color fabric  face down on the top, but you have to make sure your zipper is face down and the other side is sandwiched in between your new fabric, like this:

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! | Now just repeat the process from before: sew halfway down, leave your needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and move the zipper to the other side, and sew the rest of the way.

Now your bag should look alot like this:

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |

I highly recommend ironing at this stage so that the seams next to the zipper are as flat as possible.  Once you’ve done that its time to seal up your bag.  IMPORTANT STEP!!! Make sure your zipper is at least partially unzipped.  You are about to seal up the other three sides of this, so if your zipper is zipped all the way up, it becomes VERY difficult to open a zipper from the inside and you will be very frustrated with yourself for forgetting this very simple step.  Just ask me how I know.

Now, fold the fabric so your outside pieces are facing each other (for mine this means my navy fabric is facing out) and sew all three remaining sides together.  Don’t forget to back stitch at the beginning and the end!

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! | This should be one continuous line, when you get to the corners just leave your needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and move your fabric until your next side is lined up. Once you are done, trim off any excess pieces (did I mention I’m bad at measuring and cutting so I frequently have sides that don’t line up perfectly?? Totally acceptable)

You have two choices now.  You can cut your corners off at an angle like we did for the burp cloths and then turn your piece through the zipper side… see aren’t you glad you left it partially unzipped? This will make it a rectangular pencil bag like this:

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |

Or you can do another step like I did to make it stand up on its own and look a little more like a makeup bag. For this step, leave it inside out and take one corner and line up the seams so they are on top of each other like this:

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |

Measure about an inch and a half up and stitch a line across it (again, sorry for the weird lighting on a few of these):

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |

Then trim off your excess:

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |

Rinse and repeat on your other corner, now when you turn your bag inside out, it looks like this:

DIY Makeup Bag- Super Easy Tutorial! |


And its the perfect size for makeup, jewelry, etc!








DIY Headband Station

This last weekend I flew out to Little Rock for a baby shower for one of my best friends, Lauren. You can see her here as a bridesmaid in my wedding!  She and her husband are expecting a little girl, Kate, in January.  (PS… that is going to be the most GORGEOUS child because both she and her husband are ridiculously good looking).  We’ve been friends since college and lived together for our senior year of college.  (Sidenote… she explained to her husband just how amazing my master closet is compared to how my closet was in college… they may or may not have had to shove all my crap in and close the door on multiple occasions just to keep the room presentable).


Anyway,  I was so so happy to get to go spend the day with her to celebrate her and her about to be new baby girl.  And I can’t take ANY credit for the shower at all, I was just a guest, but I just couldn’t help but show you guys one of the ‘activities’ the hosts had prepared for us.  This was an awesome shower full of cute decor, great food and while I absolutely love baby showers, I am not a big fan of cheesy shower games.  Fortunately, these awesome hostesses had none of the cheesiness and all of the awesomeness. For the activity, they had a headband making station set up for all the guests to “create their own masterpiece” for baby Kate.


The hosts had purchased some elastic on the internet and cut it into pieces which they hung on a string (bad blogger… I forgot to take a picture of that!  and all my pictures are iPhone pics since I wasn’t planning to blog about the shower!!).  Then on the table they had an assortment of felt, ribbon, flowers, beads, etc and a hot glue gun to apply them.  There were directions on the table that had appropriate lengths for different ages:


I picked out a cute navy and white chevron pattern and decided to make a cute little Jayhawk headband for precious Kate.  I made a few felt flowers like I did for this wreath in red and blue.


And what project is complete without a bit of cake??


Here is the final product:


And don’t worry… like any good basketball fan I made it so that it would fit baby Kate right around March Madness! When we finished them up, the hosts had a cute little dress stand to hang them on:




The proud dad to be was checking out all the fun things he’ll have to dress Kate up in.



Sorry for the blurry iPhone pictures, but check out all the beautiful headbands that the guests made:



The great thing about this project is that you don’t have to be super crafty to make cute ones! With all the options and pre-made flowers etc, anyone who can use a hot glue gun can make a cute headband!

I don’t know where the host purchased her elastic, but a quick Google search for elastic by the yard and I found this website to buy some from online.

I thought this was a great idea for a shower that I will probably unashamedly steal for another baby shower sometime!!




One of the places that I love the most in this world is my grandparents lakehouse.  Situated dead center of the middle of nowhere, it is a place that is quiet and peaceful, where the stars shine brighter than anywhere else and life is more simple.  There is no TV, little to no cell reception and no heat or AC other than what nature provides.  (our one nod to modern technology is high speed internet, which makes it more possible for my cousins and I to come out there and keep our jobs.)   Our major activities at the lake are skiing, sailing, swimming.  But in between all of these ‘lake’ activities, we play tons of board games, a few games of baseball and washers.

If you haven’t played washers, it is a game played with two boxes and a PVC pipe in the center.  They are set 21′ apart and the rules are simple (a full set can be found here): toss the washer into the other box.   You get 3 points for each one in the PVC cup and one for each one in the box.  You play against another person or team and at the end of each round (both teams throw 4 washers) only one team gets points.  If both teams score equally, they cancel each other out.

It is a great backyard game or tailgating game and is VERY simple to make.  Here’s what you need:

  • 1- 2″x4″ at 12′ long (or 2 @ 6′)
  • 2- 17″x17″ squares of plywood
  • finishing nails
  • woodglue
  • 2 latches
  • 4″ round PVC pipe (in the plumbing section at your hardware store)
  • grass carpeting (optional)
  • rope for the handle
  • glue–I used E6000

To make this project you are essentially making two halves of a box that will fit together to make one full box.  Your finished project will look a lot like this:


Build your own Washers game! |

Sidenote: I realized I forgot to add the rope handles to this box to make it easier to carry, so I’ll be going back later to add those… but you guys are smart cookies I think you can just pretend they are there.

Okay now on to the building process: first step, take your 2″x4″ and measure 17 inches.



Take your miter saw (or the same can be done with a hand saw and miter box) and cut the piece at a 45° angle.  There are two tricky things about this: the angle should be on the 2″ side of your board.  And your angled cuts should be towards each other, sometimes woodworking directions will call this not parallel.  The long side of your piece should still be 17″ when you are done.  You will have to do this 8 times… these will be the sides of your box: 4 for each box.





When you have all 8 pieces cut, you will need to join them into a box.  Each 45° angle should match up to another one so that you will form a 4″ (or technically 3.5″ since 2x4s aren’t really 2×4) tall box. To do this, I used wood glue first (ps the picture below is a little overkill on glue… you want enough to join but not so much that it squeezes out)



Then put the two pieces together and secure it with a couple of nails.  I used my air compressor and nail gun, but this could just as easily be done with a regular old hammer and nails or a screwdriver and screws.  I have a couple of 90 degree clamps that I used, but again… they just make this easier, they aren’t required.  Just make sure when you are securing it that you make sure they are square so that the box is a true square not a parallelogram.  (My geometry teacher would be so proud of me for remembering what that is)



While that glue is drying, its time to cut your plywood into squares.  I used the normal 1/2 inch plywood, the cheapest they sold.  Then we cut it into 17 inch squares using a circular saw.  Here is my lovely husband hand modeling for you:




Once you have those cut, you can cut down your PVC pipe.  We cut it down to 3″ just using the miter saw.  Its technically a wood blade, but I don’t have another one and it had no problem slicing through the thin PVC… but with every time you use a saw… WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES… you don’t want a piece of that baby to fly into your eye.




Now its time to put it all together.  I used the nailgun to secure the piece of plywood to my square.  And although it looks like its attached in the picture below, DON’T glue on your PVC pipe yet!! Because, it is time to paint! I spray painted them white since that’s what we had on hand, but you can really make it any color you want.



I’m actually missing pictures from the next few steps because my husband finished those while I was at work.  But essentially, after they were painted he cut the faux grass carpeting  to be 14″ square (I bought mine in the carpet section of HD… I had to buy a 12′ long section of it that was 14 inches wide because they only sold them in big long rolls, but I think even then it was only about 6 or 7 dollars).  He then used a utility knife to cut out a circle for the PVC cup and glued both the PVC cup and the carpet down with E6000 (ps be careful with that stuff… it is strong).  Since we will primarily use this outside and it will get pretty banged up anyway, I didn’t bother to patch my nail holes or make it look pretty… functionality over fashion?  But if you wanted to spruce it up you could easily patch your holes and put a coat of wood-filler over the edge of the plywood to ‘finish’ it up a bit.  But since we didn’t care so much… it is ready to play!!

Build your own Washers game! |

We also attached a latch to each side of the box so that it will fit nicely together to store in the garage.  To do that, but the boxes together before you screw in the latch so that you are sure they will line up correctly!  Oh… and then we painted half of the washers red so that you can tell whose are whose.  These were 2.5″ metal washers found at the hardware store.  I think in the nuts and bolts section but I can’t quite remember.

And that is how you build your own set of washers!

Build your own Washers game! |