Welcome to 12 Days of  Handmade Christmas!


There’s no rest for the weary.  I just finished my 31 days to a heart of hospitality and here we go again!  But I have some awesome projects lined up for you to help us all embrace a more meaningful, less commercialized Christmas.  This is day 1 of 12 Days of {handmade} Christmas tutorials.  Bookmark the landing page for the whole 12 Days of {handmade} Christmas series and check daily for updates! I’m so excited that my adorable friend, Camera Jan, blogger at Just Imagine Heaven, and homeschooling MOTHER OF 6! is gonna start the series for us.  Here’s how it happened.  She and Heather both brought these AH-mazing large zippered make-up bags on our trip to Texas.  I instantly coveted them and made her promise to do a tutorial so I could make a few for Christmas presents and of course, one to keep for myself!  I have some perfect fabric for this occasion and can’t wait to find a little time to sneak up to the sewing room.  And make sure you check out the great projects from 2010!   Welcome dearie!  Thank you for being so willing to share your hard work and creativity with us!  Mwahhhhh:))))

My sweet friend, Edie (Long live Texas!) has asked me to do a little tutorial for my super versatile cosmetic bag. With Christmas just around the corner y’all better get started on these ASAP. They will make wonderful gifts!

Often times I have things in my head that I would love to make, but then I’m stuck without a pattern. I’ve been thinking of making an EXTRA large cosmetic case for awhile now. They’re fabulous for travel or even just to carry things in a diaper bag or even to keep in a glove box. You never know when it might come in handy. With a few friends’ birthdays coming I figured it would be the perfect time to get moving on this project. I began browsing Pinterest with no success, so after a little trial and error I came up with this pattern.

_MG_9340.jpgI have a friend that loves buntings, so when I saw this fabric I couldn’t passs it up. That fabric, on top, will be used for the outside of your bag. The bottom, green fabric, will be on the inside.

_MG_9341.jpgWhat makes this bag unique is that I’ve lined it with vinyl, so it’s easy to wipe clean or you can use it for wet things and the outside won’t get wet..

31woFGpfw-L._SY450_For the vinyl I just used this iron on stuff. Thermoweb Heat’n Bond Iron-On Vinyl -17″X5 Yards Gloss
It’s pretty dreamy and easy to use. Now I just want to iron this vinyl to everything because I have 6 kids and it would make cleaning a lot easier.
I love it!_MG_9342.jpgHere’s where things may get a little tricky, so hopefully I don’t lose you and I don’t confuse myself. First, you will want to iron heavyweight interfacing to the wrong side of your bunting fabric. It will give your bag more stability. (This step is not pictured.) Next, lay your outer fabric right side up and your zipper face down on top of it.

_MG_9346.jpgThen take your lining fabric and lay it face down on top of the zipper, which is also face down. Then you are going to sew along the edge of the zipper. This is where a zipper foot really comes in handy.

_MG_9349.jpgAfter you’ve sewn these pieces together, open it up and this is what it looks like.

_MG_9350.jpgIron your fabric along the zipper, but be careful not to get the hot iron on the vinyl. That could be detrimental to the project.

_MG_9352.jpgNow repeat the above steps with the other fabric pieces and other side of the zipper.

_MG_9354.jpgThis is what it looks like when both sides have been sewn. If you turn the bag over you will have the green pieces laying right side out. Got it?

_MG_9356.jpgCarefully edge stich along the zipper on both sides, making sure the vinyl undernath is not part of the edge stitiching.

_MG_9358.jpgOpen the zipper halfway. Don’t forget this step or you’ll be sorry later.

_MG_9359.jpgNow lay your bag so that the right sides of all fabric pieces are facing inward. It should be green on green and bunting on bunting. Pin the edges together. Then sew along the outside edge with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Be sure to leave about a 2 inch opening at the bottom center of the green fabric. That is where you will be turning the bag inside out.

_MG_9362.jpgClip all four corners.

Here’s another tricky part. This is how we make the bag stand on its own. At the corners of the bag, on all for sides, match the side seam with the bottom seam. It should form a triangle.

_MG_9364.jpgSmash it down and sew along the edge with a 2 inch seam allowance.

_MG_9366.jpg You are going to do this on all four sides.

_MG_9370.jpgThen trim the edges. It’s always hard for me to cut these corners off, but it’s got to be done. If they aren’t cut off things will be a little puffy later. And, we definitely don’t want that.

_MG_9372.jpgRemember that opening you left at the bottom of the bag? Now it’s time to utilize it. We’re going to turn this bag inside out now!

_MG_9374.jpgI like to stick one of the farthest corners through the hole first and then work the rest of the bag through the hole.

_MG_9377.jpgThere! Everything is now right side out.

_MG_9379.jpgNow we need to sew up that opening at the bottom of the bag. You can sew this by hand for a more polished finish or you can do it the lazy way, like me, by using the sewing machine.

_MG_9381.jpgOnce that is finished you can tuck the inside back into the bag and you’re finished!

_MG_9386.jpgSee? Pretty easy peasy, right? Now go and make a hundred more and give them to your friends for Christmas!

  • 1-12 inch zipper
  • 2-14×10 inch pieces of heavyweight fusible interfacing
  • 2-14×10 inch pieces of outer fabric
  • 2-14×10 inch pieces of inner fabric
  • 2-14×10 inch pieces iron on vinyl
  1. Fuse interfacing to outer fabric pieces and iron vinyl to inner fabric pieces.
  2. Lay outer fabric right side up. Place zipper face down on top of outer fabric. Place inner fabric wrong side up on top of zipper. Sew along the edge of the zipper with a zipper foot.
  3. Repeat on step 2 on other side of zipper.
  4. Iron outer fabric along the zipper. Then edge stitch along the zipper, careful not to sew the green fabric.
  5. Turn bag inside out, so right sides of outer fabric are facing each other and right sides of inner fabric are facing each other. Unzip zipper halfway.
  6. Pin edges and sew along the outside of the bag with 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving a 2 inch opening at the bottom center of the inner fabric for turning, later. Trim all 4 corners.
  7. Match side seams with bottom seam creating a triangle. Sew the triangle with a 2 inch seam allowance. Trim the excess seam allowance.
  8. Turn bag inside out through opening at the bottom of the bag. Sew opening closed.
  9. Tuck inside of bag into bag. Finished!


_MG_9647.jpgDo you want an idea how ginormous this bag really is? That’s my 4 year old, holding the bag, filled to the gills with awesomeness.

_MG_9637.jpgWhen I travel, I don’t travel light when it comes to toiletries and cosmetics. I want to have as much of of things with me as a I can. You never know when you might need for different occasions. It’s best to be prepared. (On a side note, the pink Beauty Blender is awesome. Get one. Once you have one you’ll wonder how you lived without one for so long.)

_MG_9633.jpgYes! It all fits into the cosmetic bag. It also zips. Now you’ll notice that it isn’t completely full. There’s room for more. Perhaps I’ll add a toothbrush and some toothpaste since it seems I forgot to add them to the photo.

_MG_9641.jpgNow you’re thinking, “Toiletries and cosmetics. Big deal.” Right? How about 6 swimming suits? That’s right.

_MG_9646.jpgThis bag is great for wet bathing suits. I fit all 6 of my children’s swim wear into that bag. It’s perfect if you’re at a hotel or somewhere that makes it difficult to store wet items.

_MG_9648.jpgElizabeth can hardly contain the excitement over the versatility of this ginormous bag! Now you really need to make a few for yourself and your friends.

46 comments on “12 Days of {handmade} Christmas ::Day 1 Large Zippered Make-up Bag”

  1. I love these. They are a great size. I cannot wait to make some for gifts. I already know who would love them. Thanks for the awesome tutorial.
    Now Miss Edie-is this sewing room, one you have not shared with us. Are you holding out on us?? We must see it all. Just kidding. Don’t want to scare you away with my stalker like behavior.

  2. Pefect occasion for me to finally LEARN to use the BRAND NEW sewing maching I bought 3 YEARS ago with such good intentions! ha! I would love to give these as gifts and of course, keep one for myself and the babe too 😉

  3. Going to have to bust out the sewing machine. Thanks for the great gift idea! (and I might have to also buy the iron on vinyl in bulk to help with messy boys!!). 🙂
    – Claire

  4. That’s my bag and I love it! I am just going to have Jan make all mine. That seems much easier. I can’t wait to see yours Edie 😉

  5. Excellent tutorial. I have wanted to make one of these forever and never found good instructions.

    Btw, this iron on vinyl has just made my day. How did I never know it existed? My mind is reeling with possibilities.

  6. Yes–I was so jealous of your bag on our Texas trip! I MUST make one. Love the laminated fabric for the inside, that’s a nice touch. You should see the inside of my current makeup bag, it needs to be put to rest.

    Great tutorial!

  7. This is wonderful! I have a baby shower coming soon and I think these would be perfect for used burp cloths or a dirty outfit when out with little ones

  8. I have always had a zipper phobia but now I think I’ll brave sewing one in. Thank you!
    I thought about a zippered bag for my son’s legos. He can pick out the fabric and will have a safe place to put them as he carts them everywhere (yes we have a giant bucket but he likes to work in smaller lots).

  9. Ladies, thanks for this tutorial! I just made 3 (smaller) bags for my girlfriends for christmas. They’re going to love them and it was so easy!

  10. The directions don’t specify, so I wanted to ask. Did you preach your fabric. I know most patterned projects say to wash and iron beforehand but I have friends who don’t and its no problem. Should I be a purist and wash first? Thanks!

  11. Silly autocorrect! I meant “pre-wash” not preach! (Although I’ve definitely considered pep talks with my fabrics before I begin a project!) Do you ladies pre-wash your fabrics?!

  12. I love the fabrics you chose! I’ve been on the lookout for a little makeup brush holder, where did you get your little black one?

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  16. Hi,

    I just finished making one of these bags. I have made many bags of this type over time, but never lined. I simply overcast the edges in the inside for a more “finished” look. Having one totally lined was very appealing to me, so I began. I used lightly quilted fabric that I quilted myself , thus, in various locations, I shortened my stitch length so that when I turned the case right side out again, I had a very secure stitch. I also made the case larger than your demo. That was my personal choice. Overall, my case turned out wonderfully but due to my small changes, I had to “wing it” a bit and learned how to do things for the next time. Thanks for the overall assist. My 81 year oldneighbor will love this for her birthday next week!

    Diane (Dee)

  17. I just found this tutorial and I am going to try to make your lovely cosmetic bag. I’m wondering if you think it would be possible to add that vinyl to the outside as we’ll. Do you think it would make it tough to sew? I have never used it but t sounds great. If you think it would be too strong for the needle to get through or too bulky, then I would just do it on the inside as you did. Thanks (belated!) for the lovely tutorial.

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  22. Great bag Flossie. Loved the idea of the covered zip but have to confess to mine not looking as good as yours!! I couldn t get it to lie flat no matter how hard I tried. Anyway, I shall persevere.

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