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Boxy Cosmetic Bag Tutorial



Fully lined and with ribbons to make zipping easy, this boxy cosmetic bag is your go-to for makeup storage. The Boxy Cosmetic Bag Tutorial will help you create a cute, special bag you'll use everyday. Plus, it's super simple to make! Just click on the video tutorial at the bottom of this page to watch Maureen Wilson create this project from start to finish.

Boxy Cosmetic Bag Tutorial


  • 2 pieces of outer fabric (9 x 12 in)
  • 2 pieces of lining fabric (9 x 12 in)
  • 2 pieces of iron-on interfacing (9 x 12 in)
  • Ribbon, 8 in
  • Zipper, 12 in
  • Zipper foot
  • Sewing machine, thread, iron


  1. Start by ironing the interfacing to the outer fabric pieces.
  2. Then lay one of the lining pieces face up, and place the 12-inch zipper on top of it. (It’s also possible to use a longer zipper and trim it later.) The zipper should be face up. Line the outer edge of the zipper up with the top edge of the lining piece. Then, lay an outer fabric piece on top, sandwiching the zipper between the layers. Pin in place.
  3. Now we need to sew the zipper in place. You’ll need to switch to a zipper foot. It’s the one that looks like a ski. With my zipper foot, I need to change the orientation of the needle. I can move it to the left or the right, depending on which side of the zipper I’m sewing. Your machine may be different, so check your manual if you’ve never installed a zipper before.
  4. Sew alongside the zipper, stopping and starting 1/2 inch away from the top and bottom edges. Then press the layers together.
  5. Now we’ll add the fabric to the other side of the zipper. Lay the remaining lining piece face up. Lay the sewn zipper piece on top of it, with the lining pieces touching each other. Place the remaining outer piece face down on top. Pin the layers together.
  6. Change your needle’s position if necessary, to sew on the opposite side. Remember, start 1/2 inch in from the top, and stop sewing a 1/2 inch from the bottom.
  7. Separate the layers so you have one outer piece and one lining piece on each side of the zipper. Press.
  8. Change back to your standard sewing foot, and center your needle again if needed. Topstitch next to the zipper, beginning and ending 1/2 inch away from the top and bottom. Do this on both sides of the zipper.
  9. Now we’re going to sew the outer pieces together, followed by the lining pieces. Fold the fabric so that the two outer fabrics are right-sides together. Pin the long bottom edge opposite the zipper. Do the same for the lining pieces.
  10. Sew the outer piece along the pinned edge. Start at the top and sew all the way to the bottom.
  11. Now we’ll sew the lining pieces together, BUT you need to leave a hole open in the center for turning. So leave a 4-inch gap unsewn in the middle.
  12. Next we’ll form the sides of our bag. Center the seams over the zipper, and press in place.
  13. Lift the lining layer and pin out of the way on the short side with the bottom of the zipper. Cut a 4-inch segment of ribbon and fold it in half. Slide it between the outer fabric layers, with the loop pointing inward. The ribbon should be centered over the zipper. Pin in place.
  14. Sew the outer fabric layers together with a 1/2 inch seam, securing the ribbon as you sew. Backstitch over the ribbon for durability.
  15. Flip the bag around to work on the opposite end. Make sure the zipper is unzipped about halfway! If you don’t, you won’t be able to turn your bag right side out later. Pin the lining layers out of the way, then add the ribbon and sew as you did the other side.
  16. Now pin the outer fabric out of the way while you sew the lining fabric shut on each end with a 1/2 inch seam.
  17. Now it’s time to give our corners their boxy shape. To do this, lift one half of the lining piece, and separate the layers by pulling apart gently. Your fabric should have a pressed line in the middle, center this, then squash the fabric flat in the middle.
  18. Notice how this forms triangles at the top and bottom. Flatten out the triangle, and measure 1.25 inches down from the top point. Draw a line there, and pin the top of the triangle.
  19. Sew across the drawn line.You’ll need to keep the outer layers of fabric out of the way, as you should only be sewing the lining pieces together. Then, cut off the point a 1/4 inch above the seam.
  20. Repeat these steps for the remaining 3 corners of the lining, then do the same for the outer fabric corners.
  21. Turn the bag right-side out through the hole in the bottom of the lining. Then pinch the hole shut, and handstitch closed with a blind or ladder stitch. If you’d like, you can press your bag to give it sharper edges. Just be careful not to iron the ribbon, which could melt.




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Reviews More Reviews

Jul 6, 2014

You will get 5 stars if your explanation a bit slower and point up to the object when you are talking it must be easier to catch up your technic then only by words. But anyway you are good. Thank you


Jul 6, 2014

5 stars are ready if your explanation slowly and show by movement and point up to the object much better then only by words. But any way you are good


10 Ratings

Sep 29, 2013

What a GREAT tutorial!! So easy to follow - can't wait to make this - thanks!!!


Aug 11, 2013

Muy necesaria en nuestras bolsas. Me encanta.


Aug 6, 2013

I made this bag this morning in camo fabric. It came out great! I know I will use this pattern a lot! Thank you so much for sharing!


May 3, 2013

Great pattern and tutorial!! What weight interfacing did you use?


Apr 29, 2013



Apr 22, 2013

love it! great tutorial!


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