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The Boxy Cosmetic Bag Tutorial

Posted by  ·  July 25, 2010  ·  Last Updated: July 25, 2010
I hope you are enjoying the sewing edition of the  Bake, Craft & Sew Along! Vist According to Kelly for some fun crafty non-sewing gifts and a A Southern Fairytale for yummy goodies that will be perfect this holiday season.
Jaime from Prudent Baby has the perfect gift for a man —the boxy man bag! It would make a perfect dopp kit!   Shhhh….but I am going to make these for my boys!  There are tons more projects over at Prudent Baby, so many ideas that would make wonderful handmade gifts.

Jaime writes…

How To Make a Boxy Cosmetic Bag Tutorial

Look! Something you can make for a man!

OK, so this one is for my friend Felice. Not a man. But a woman who enjoys cosmetics and bags and just had a birthday. It has a canvas outside and oil cloth inside for spill containment and easy wiping clean. But oil cloth not required.

I used Echino by Etsuko Furuya, Quiet Ground, Oil Cloth in Natural and the matching canvas, both available at Fabricworm.
Sizing is up to you. My finished boxy make up bag is quite large. You might want to make yours smaller. I don’t know any man that would need this much space for his toiletries.
So my pieces measure:
2 pieces canvas outer 16X14
2 pieces oil cloth lining 16X14
One 16″ zipper
but i suggest, for a more normal size, going 14X12 with a 14″ zipper

1. Cut your fabric.

2. Lay one piece of canvas (or whatever outer fabric you are using) right side up. Lay your zipper facedown with the zip to the left with the top edge of the zipper lined up to the top edge of the fabric. Now lay a lining piece (oil cloth) facedown on top, with top edges lined up, like so:

Sew in place with your zipper foot:

Now fold your pieces wrong sides facing.  Lay your other outside piece right side up. Now lay your zipper and assembled pieces with the outside fabric face down and the lining fabric facing up as pictured. The zipper will be face down with the zip to the right this time. Make sure all the top edges are lined up:

Lay your other piece of oil cloth (lining) right side down on top with the edges aligned.  You can pin at the very edge (pins leave holes in oil cloth but you won’t see these in the final bag):

Sew in place with your zipper foot.

3.  Flip all the pieces around so the zipper is at the top and your oil cloth (lining) pieces are on the outside right side up.  Sew straight across the bottom:

4.  Now bring the seam you just sewed to the center, above the zipper like so. Unzip the zipper halfway so you can turn it inside out when you’re done:

Flatten it out and sew up each side, across the zipper.  Reinforce the zipper edges by sew back and forth over them a few times.  Trim your edges:

4.  Now pouf up your bag, still with the oil cloth to the outside.  Pinch each corner in and pin it.  Determine what height you like and draw straight line at the same measurement across each triangulated corner (i did 5″):

Sew that line with a straight stitch:

Cut off the triangle:

Repeat pn al four corners.  Now your bag looks something like this:

Turn it right side out.  You’re done!

Pretty quick and simple right?

Stuff with sunscreen and the like.  Don’t worry about spills, you can wipe it clean!

Click here to see all the handmade gift ideas in our Bake, Craft & Sew Along (updated daily).

Filed Under: Gifts to Sew

Leave a Comment


  1. Kim Quirante
    Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
    this tutorial is awesome! Instruction is easy to understand..

    Check what i made.

  2. Hayley
    Sunday, April 13th, 2014
    I have heard great things about this tutorial but unfortunately the Pictures are broken. Help! I hAve all the materials ready.
  3. Kay
    Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
    Thanks for a great idea! I was showing them to a relative and she bought 2 of them. I couldn't find "oilcloth" so I used thermal.drapery lining. It is lighter weight and still is rather "rubbery". I also found some cute denim prints.
    I served the inside seams to prevent raveling. Fun to make!
  4. Candee
    Saturday, September 28th, 2013
    I came back to your excellent tutorial so I can make another bag. Sadly, the pictures are no longer showing up! I relied on them. Is this something that can be fixed on your end, or is it my system? THANK YOU for sharing your work!
  5. Margaret
    Monday, July 29th, 2013
    Love this as it can be made for both Men and Women. I will start making some for Christmas gifts Many thanks for sharing X Margaret
  6. candee
    Saturday, March 23rd, 2013
    Thank you for sharing a clever idea with good instructions and photos. I just whipped one out using an old pair of jeans (leg from adult pair) and some clear vinyl. I am quite pleased with the result. Now, I must create a zipper pull. Thank you!
  7. Doutrelugne
    Sunday, February 24th, 2013
    Super jolie petite trousse!!Grand merci de partager le tuto! Bravo pour toutes vos belles réalisations!!!
    Bon dimanche,amicalement! Fanou.
  8. Hollianne
    Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
    I just made this and I love it! Wonderful tutorial (especially for a beginner) :) Thank you for sharing! I referenced it back to here.

  9. Thursday, October 11th, 2012
    This is too cute! Love the patterned fabric you choose! What a great gift to give and could be used for so many things! I'll be posting it on my FB!
  10. Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
    Good share, you topic is very great and useful for us…thank you. I just like the approach you took with this subject. It isn’t every day that you discover something so concise and enlightening.
  11. Crystal (createBYcrystal)
    Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
    The original size is the perfect size to use as a shoe bag, or in my case high heel bag! I absolutely love it! Ive been trying to figure out a way to better pack my heels to protect then when I travel and this it it. I can't wait to make more so. Thank you for an awesome tutorial.
  12. Sunday, July 29th, 2012
    Just found your site today and LOVING your AWESOME patterns -- THANK YOU so much for sharing these!!! Be putting my new sewing machine to work for SURE!!! ;-) Think my sweet DD will be THRILLED!!!
  13. Monica
    Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
    Thank you so much! I am so excited to make one of these! I can't believe how hard it looks, but your tutorial makes it so simple!
  14. Thursday, April 12th, 2012
    Love this! That fabric is dreamy!
  15. Amanda
    Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
    Can you sell me this one?! Haha it's so cute!!!
  16. Saturday, October 15th, 2011
    Thank you for the wonderful Tutorial, I made my first version of this using black vinyl that looks like leather grain for my hubs Christmas gift. It turned out pretty good. My only complaint is on one of the sides I messed up perfectly lining up the zipper,but this was my first zipper install and it went great. Thanks again!!!!

  17. Monday, September 26th, 2011
    What a great tute! What are the final dimensions of the bag? I couldn't seem to find that anywhere. I need a bag large enough for my shampoo/conditioner, detangler, toothpaste. All those full size leakables.

    Thanks again for sharing this awesome tutorial! I have my fabric all picked out already. :)
  18. Thursday, September 1st, 2011
    Thanks for the great tutorial! I was able to whip one of these up in less than an hour the very first time!
  19. Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
    ooooh my god!! i'm so gonna make thiss!!!
  20. Jenn
    Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
    This is the best boxy zippered pouch tutorial I've done. Fantastic result in less than an hour! Thanks for the clear instructions and step by step photos!
  21. Sunday, June 12th, 2011
    Great tutorial, thanks so much!
  22. Tammy
    Thursday, May 26th, 2011
    Thanks....this is a great tutorial
  23. Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
    I just wanted to let you know that I blogged about my experience making this on my site. (http://sewingnovice.com/2011/03/13/toiletry-bag/)
  24. Monday, December 27th, 2010
    This tutorial is wonderful. I've tried to make it but I've made too many arbitrarily changes (and mistakes) to fit my supplies so I've ended up with a completely different bag! hahaha
    You can take a look here if you want:
    Thanks for sharing! :-)
  25. Monday, November 15th, 2010
    i think that is a great tutorial
  26. Monday, August 16th, 2010
    Love this tutorial!! Made in a snap! (Except I put the oilcloth on the OUTside...

    Check out my version:
  27. Carein
    Friday, August 13th, 2010
    Thanks for the Great visuals I think I just found another GREAT blog to follow!
  28. Thursday, August 5th, 2010
    I love it and such a good tutorial too. The fabric is perfect.
  29. Thursday, August 5th, 2010
    Once again great post. You seem to have a good understanding of these themes.When I entering your blog,I felt this . Come on and keep writting your blog will be more attractive. To Your Success!

      The perfect!These articles written too great,they rich contents and data accurately.they are help to me.I expect to see your new share
  30. Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
    Awesome! Thank you!
  31. Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
    Great tutorial! I've added your tutorial to my directory of free patterns and tutorials for Purses, Totes & Handbags at http://www.linda-matthews.com/free-purse-patterns-and-tutorials/
    Thanks for sharing!
  32. Shelley
    Monday, July 26th, 2010
    I am LOVING this series~ I'm looking after 5 children this summer and your projects have been great for them AND for me.
    This one though....I teach a clothing and textiles class for High Schoolers and I've just decided to make this our first project. So simple but it really teaches a lot of the basics and you still end up with something useful, relevant to them, and it can easily be individualized! Thank you Thank you Thank you!
  33. Suzanne
    Monday, July 26th, 2010
    Great tutorial.

    Instead of buying oil cloth, you could also use Heat'n Bond Iron-On Vinyl to create a waterproof fabric to match the exterior fabric.
  34. Monday, July 26th, 2010
    Yay! I have been waiting for a good boxy bag tutorial! Thank you!!
  35. jillmarie
    Sunday, July 25th, 2010
    this is awesome! i'd love to make this w/ a matching beach/tote bag for trips. love it
  36. Sunday, July 25th, 2010
    What a wonderful tutorial and great finished product! Thank you!