DIY Mini Boxy Makeup Bag in 10 Minutes

I’m sharing a great DIY today for creating this boxy mini makeup bag. Compact enough for your stylish purse but big enough to fit all your touch up supplies you may need for a party, evening out, or special event like a wedding.

If you’ve never worked with a zipper before, this will be a great project to learn on. I promise, it’s really easy!

Keep reading to see the full tutorial…


Two coordinating fabric (one is preferably upholstery weight)
Coordinating thread
Sewing Machine

Step 1:

Cut two pieces of each fabric choice. Each piece should be 5 1/2 x 9 1/2

Step 2:

Lay one of the outer fabrics face up on your table, and set the zipper on top, face down so the top edge meets the top edge of the fabric. Then lay one of your lining pieces right side down to meet the top edge as well.

Step 3:

Pin along that top edge so all three pieces are attached.

Step 4:

Baste with needle and thread and then sew with your zipper foot along that top edge. Move your outer fabric so it’s on the outside, right side up.

Step 5:

Now place the second lining fabric right side up on your table, then sandwich the pieces you just sewed in between, and finishing with the second outer piece right side down on top.

Step 6:

Pin, baste and sew with the zipper foot on the top edge like you did for the other side.

Step 7:

After sewing, iron the outer pieces flat, and then fold them together so the outer pieces are right side together and lining pieces sandwiching them.

Step 8:

Pin at the opposite side of the zipper and sew along that bottom edge.

Step 9:

Move the zipper to the middle, unzip it halfway and sew along those two sides, through the zipper (pinch the zipper together when you’re sewing through it).

Step 10:

Pinch each edge in and measure with your ruler 2 1/2 inches across.

Step 11:

Mark with a pen that line and then pin next to the it. Sew along the line you drew and then snip off the triangle end. Do the same for all four sides.

Step 12:

Fold it inside out, so the outer pieces are on top and you’re done!

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Photography on this project by Liz Daly who is a fantastic San Francisco based photographer specializing in weddings and kids. See more about her work here.


I enjoyed your tutorial but your steps need to be more clear. Like what size zipper and stuff. I messed up on the very last step 10 trying to figure out what angle and messed it up. Unfortunately I cut in before realizing so the project is done for.

I just finished making this and I can’t believe how great it turned out! I’ve only been sewing for a few months but so happy I came across this tutorial and style of bag. The person I made it for is going to love it. Thanks for the clear directions and photos!

Great tutorial! These cute little bags come together very quickly and the look is quite sophisticated! Just a quick note – on Step #7 you may have omitted sewing the seam after pinning.

I love this so far and am super excited to see the finished product! However, I’m a little confused on step 9, with the step where I sew through the zipper! I assume I’m sewing the side pieces? However, do I have to lay it out flat on the seam that I sewed in step 9? Or do I sew it like I’m just holding it up with the zipper on top? I’m assuming I lay it out with the zipper in the middle and then sew up both sides? Just feeling a little confused with steps 9 and 10, so any clarification would be helpful πŸ™‚

Also, just as a side note.. as a beginner and new to zippers, I don’t have any experience with basting, so any direction on what that is and where to baste would be super helpful! Overall though it’s been a great tutorial! Thanks!

Basting is basically sewing by hand with a loose stitch. You can also hold it together using pins. Just be careful that the main fabric zipper, and lining are all even before you sew. A basting stitch holds it all together making sure your pieces don’t shift.

This was my second-ever sewing projectβ€”and it came out well! Thank you very much for this tutorial!

made this and the fold-over clutch today and love them both! Added a bright liner to the clutch and a snap to keep it folded- thanks so much for the excellent (and EASY!) tutorials!

Great tutorial! I just whipped one up and love the result. Do you have any hints on how to modify this so that all of the seams are finished? I was able to get the bottom seam reversed, but cannot figure out the sides πŸ™‚

This is a great tutorial! Probably the easiest makeup bag i’ve ever seen. That zipper looks like a piece of cake! Do you know the finished size on this bag? I am just trying to decide if I want to make it the same size or a little bigger/smaller! Thanks!

I am totally in love with this! What makes it so cute is your fabric choice. If only I could pay you to make me one! πŸ˜‰ love your cute blog- so happy I found it via pinterest. xo

great project I am adding to my ‘to-project’ list!!
btw – what length zipper did you use for the tutorial?
thanks again!

My zipper was really long (16 inches I think?), you can use a longer length than your bag, you just sew through the zipper to create the end.

I just made one of these and it came out rad! I used a grey material with yellow/white bike print for the outside and quilted one side with a few stripes on the diagonal (w silver thread for sassiness!!). The liner is black w irregular yellow dots. Like I said, rad. But seriously, this is my favorite sewing tutorial I’ve found for any bag (and I’ve collected LOTS of tuts). Thanks for giving me a great set of directions for making this bag!!

P.S. for super-direction-following-folk: the 9th step that closes the short side and sews through the zipper needs to be repeated on the opposite side as well. Obvious? -or- Helpful?


I’m so glad to hear you made one and it turned out! And thank you for the nice compliment on the tutorial. If you have a link to the one you made, I’d love to see it. It sounds lovely!

This bag is so cute! I cant sew but I’d buy it in a second!

Is there any trick to sewing through a zipper without breaking your needle?

I love it! Putting this on my list of projects, and I love the colors/fabrics you chose. Aand, Burt’s Bees pom is the best.

Liz! What a great project. I want to try it asap for my wedding coming up next month (eek!)

This isn’t something I’ll be able to do, since I am craft-impaired and don’t have a sewing machine, but I do love the project! And the fact that you paired stripes and florals πŸ™‚

I love this! I’ve been wanting to update my toiletry case but never thought of customizing it. I am not good at patterns but these pictures will definitely help. Thanks Liz!

Very cute! I could use one of these and great fabric choices.

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