How To Make a DIY Makeup Bag

Do you have leftover scraps of fabric lying around? Or even an old T-shirt you’ve outgrown but are hesitant to throw away? We have just the hack for you. Repurpose these old bits of cloth and transform them into a customisable and durable makeup bag!

Post written by Leanne Perilly

Not only is this an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to throwing away clothing, you’re also getting something new and fun out of it. Here’s a little project to keep you (and your family and friends) busy – it’s ‘sew’ easy, you might want to make more than one!

You will need:
  • One 21” x 12” piece of fabric (outer side of bag)
  • One 21” x 12” piece of fabric (inner lining of bag)
  • One 21” x 12” piece of interfacing
  • 14” zipper
  • Scissors or fabric shears
  • Paper, pencil and ruler
  • Sewing machine (or hand sewing skills, if you’re confident enough!)

These materials are suitable for creating a 10” x 5” makeup bag. If you would prefer a larger makeup bag and you’re slightly more advanced, feel free to expand these sizes accordingly.

1. Make your paper pattern

To create your pattern outline, you want to cut a piece of A4 paper into a 10.5” x 5.5” rectangle. Next, cut out a 2” x 2” square from both bottom corners of the paper.

2. Cut out your chosen fabric

Fold your chosen fabric for the outer lining in half, making sure that the sides you don’t want on show are sandwiched in the middle. Pin the paper pattern onto the fabric and cut it out. Repeat this process for all three fabrics (the outer side, inner lining and interface fabrics).

As you have folded each piece of fabric before cutting the pattern out, you should now be left with 2 x outer fabric, 2 x inner lining, and 2 x interfacing (6 pieces of fabric in total).

3. Fuse interfacing to outer lining pieces

Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of the 2 x outer side fabric pieces, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This should make the interfacing fuse/stick to the side of the outer fabric that you don’t want on show.

Line up the zipper

Place your 14” zipper wrong side down onto the top of the inner lining fabric. If you want one specific side on show and the other not, make sure your fabric is faced right side up. Next, line up the length of the zipper tape with the upper edge of the fabric piece – this is because the zipper is longer than the bag itself, and so will stay out of the way when sewing it onto the fabric.

4. Start stitching

Sew the inner lining fabric and outer fabric to the zipper using a 0.25” seam allowance. You can sew as close to the zipper itself as you like – this depends on how much of the zipper tape you want to see on your finished product. If you want only the zipper teeth on show, sew closer to the zip itself.

5. Iron the seams

Iron both the inner and outer layers away from the zipper – make sure to press the area surrounding the seam extremely flat. Stitch along the zipper seam through the outer lining, inner lining and zipper tape. This will stop your fabric from getting caught in the zipper, keeping it in place.

6. Time for the second side

Place the second piece of inner lining right side up. Lay the zipper on top, right side up. The 2 x pieces of inner lining should now be touching, situated on the inside of the fabric sandwich. The top edge of your inner lining fabric should be perfectly aligned with the top edge of the zipper tape. 

Lay the remaining outer lining on top of the other outer piece, correct sides touching. Again, the top edge should perfectly align with the top edge of the zipper tape. Pin these pieces in place. 

7. Stitch and iron again

Again, sew along the zipper tape using your desired seam allowance (smaller for less zipper tape on show). Iron the pieces together, making sure the fabric lies flat.

8. Stitch together

Topstitch the second side, keeping the same seam allowance as present on the first side. Then, lay the entire piece open, with both outer fabrics lying right side up. Open the zipper halfway, so you can turn the bag the right side round later. 

Flip the layers over. The right sides of the inner lining and correct outer side of the fabric should now be touching. Pin in place.

9. Sew, sew, sew!

Sew along the 2 sides of the bag, using a 0.25” seam allowance. Trim your zipper once you’ve sewn over it, as this is no longer needed. Sew the bottom of the bag to the outer fabric. On the bottom of the lining, make sure to only stitch a bit on each side, ensuring at least 3-4” are left open, so you can pull the bag right side out later.

10. Sew the corners

Fold the corners of the bag, so that the raw edges perfectly align. Fold one seam allowance to one side and the other side’s allowance to the opposite side – this should reduce the bulkiness. Then, pin in place. Sew these corners with a 0.25” seam allowance, and flip the bag right side out.

Pin the seam allowance at the bottom of the bag into place. Then, sew the opening close, fold the lining back inside the bag, and you’re all finished! 

Feel free to make these handmade, sustainable and reusable makeup bags for your family or friends – nothing says eco-friendly presents like this little DIY hack!

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