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!









  1. Emily Webster says:

    WHAT?! YOU MADE THOSE?! You are SOOOO extremely talented! You just surprise me everyday, Marynell Taylor Jones Popst.

  2. Hi, I made the make up bag but couldn’t understand the part with the zipper tabs. when I did it, it came out too thick? so I must be doing something wrong. also, mine was a lot larger than yours looks. please help!! lol

    • amusingmjblog says:

      Tammy, were you using a thicker fabric? I did mine with a fairly thin cotton (the navy fabric) and my machine had no problem sewing through the 5 layers (four of the fabric and one of the zipper). Feel free to send me pictures at if you want me to take a closer look at what’s happening to yours!


  3. nichelle says:

    Hi thanks for the tutorial! What are the bags dimensions once it’s finished?

    • amusingmjblog says:

      You are so welcome! I love these bags! Mine is 9 inches at the top and about 6 1/2 at the bottom and 6 inches tall. The bottom width really depends on how deep you want the bag to be and how much of the corners you cut off on that step.

  4. wondering if fabric measures 10×7
    how did you end up with 9 top and 6.5 bottom or 6in tall
    top and bottom should be small width
    height 7
    width 10
    depth may change when you box the corners

    • amusingmjblog says:

      Kathie, sorry for the delayed response, but the height of the fabric before you sew it is 7 inches, and the width is 10″, I used a half inch seam on both sides, so the final width at the top is about 9 inches. Because I add in the zipper and use a half inch seam allowance (although along the zipper it is a little less than that), it ends up being about 6.5 inches tall. Boxing the corners changes the dimensions of the bottom of the bag, but not really the top. But the great thing about this bag is that it can be made any size you want, just change your original fabric square sizes and the length of your zipper.

  5. Your bag looks like fun! I’m going to try making this today. (everyone is going to get one! LOL) Could you possibly make it in a download or pdf version? I’m using my phone and it keeps turning off. I couldn’t get it to print either.

  6. Hi…. so the inside the edges r raw….

  7. this is adorable!! would you have the instructions on a PDF or word file to make printing easier?

  8. I think this is the best way to make the zippered pouch

  9. Thanks so much for your tutorial! I’ve made two of my own bags and I’m a brand new sewer! (Just got a sewing machine for Christmas from my husband!) I so appreciate the pictures you posted as it really helped me follow along. These are so fun to make. I am also wondering if there is a way to sew the lining so that the raw edges don’t show when you look inside the bag. Have you tried doing this yet?


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