Bag of Health

We’ve never had a bathroom that didn’t have drawer storage.  So, I’m working on a few ideas to make the main bathroom as functional as possible, sans drawers.  I’m still searching for the perfect baskets, but I decided to make a zippered bag to store first aid supplies.  To get started, I bought a yard of silver metallic ironing board cover (hey, it was cheap, durable, and shimmered) and a 12 inch blue zipper.

Knowing I want to fit all our first aid supplies in one bag, I cut two pieces of fabric 12 inches wide by 17 inches long.  Yes, this is going to be big.  Then, I placed my fabric on the table, right side up.  Lay the zipper over, face down, keeping the bottom edge of the zipper flush with the bottom edge of fabric.  Pin in place.

If you have a zipper foot for your sewing machine, now is the time to use it.  I thought I did, looked all over for it, and couldn’t find it.  Instead, I sewed the zipper on by hand.  Sew close to the zipper without running into it.

Once you’ve sewn one side on, add the second piece of fabric putting the right sides of the fabric together.  Sew along the zipper edge again.    When the fabric is folded over, right sides out, the zipper will have a nice clean edge.

Because I sewed this by hand, I went back over and added top stitching with my machine, following along the edge of the fabric for a straight line.

Now face right sides of the fabric together and pin along the bottom.

Sew along the edge, leaving a half-inch allowance.  Unzip your zipper few inches-this is crucial to turn it right sides out when you’re done.  Leave the fabric wrong side out.  Pin the edges and sew a straight line, a half-inch from the edge.  Do this to both sides.

If you were to turn it out right now, you’d have a flat bag.  To give it a boxy shape, pinch the corners together.

I found it easiest to put one finger in the corner of the bag, holding it upright, then flattening the point like this:

Your point will be perpendicular to the edge seam.  Pin the corners to hold in place.

For my first corner, I made a straight lone across and sewed along the line.

Then I measured my width and marked the three remaining corners at five inches, just like my first one.

After sewing all four corners, cut about a quarter-inch above.

Then fill your bag up with cosmetics, travel toiletries, or first aid supplies.

To make a different sized bag, keep this in mind:

  • The zipper length will determine how big the bag is from front to back.  I had a 12 inch zipper, so I cut my fabric 12 inches wide.  For an 8 inch zipper, cut your fabric 8 inches wide.
  • The length of the fabric will change how wide it is from side to side.  I cut my fabric at 17 inches, which is really wide.  For a size more like a regular cosmetic bag, cut the fabric between 8 and 12 inches.
  • For a boxier bag, widen your corners.  I pinned mine at 5 inches, which I think would be perfect for a cosmetic bag, but that can change.

5 thoughts on “Bag of Health

    1. Hi Michele!

      Honestly, it was easier than I thought it was going to be. Sewing along the zipper took a while because I did it by hand, but I made a second (smaller) bag yesterday and it went much quicker. I actually used my normal presser foot and sewed the zipper with it, running the side right along the zipper. Worked perfectly and quickly. If you can understand the steps of my tutorial, it shouldn’t be a problem to make our own. But if you have questions, I’m always willing to help!


  1. That is awesome Amanda!!! I do some sewing but haven’t attempted anything with zippers yet, although I have some things I do want to do. This is really cute – thanks!

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