Amazingly Easy Make Up Bag…the Perfect Stash Buster!

Boxy Make Up Bag Pattern

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It’s Mother’s Day in the UK in 6 days…I know, 6 days time! I’m working with the lovely people at Tilda to show you how to make a really easy Make Up Bag, Wash Bag, or whatever-you-like zipped bag with just one fat quarter of fabric. This really is the perfect last minute, stash buster of a gift and the finished make is just beautiful!

Tilda’s Bumble Bee Collection of fabrics are just gorgeous, and as I was looking through their catalogue, I was spoilt for choice. Inspired by summer days, and featuring beautiful florals and bumble bees, they’ve hit the nail on the head with this range, and in 100% cotton, they feel beautiful. I chose a very vintage inspired floral for the outer, with a Japanese themed floral for my lining. The two were lined up together in the catalogue and it felt like fate to put them together for this make.

What I also love about this make up bag tutorial is it is perfect for relative beginners thanks to a couple of easy tricks. To make your own, you’ll need:

  • Two pieces of cotton fabric 25cm x 28cm in your outer fabric
  • Two pieces of cotton fabric 25cm x 28cm in your lining fabric
  • One 30cm (12″) zip
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine (ideally with a zipper foot)
  • Ruler
  • Tailors chalk or invisible marker


1 On your sewing table, lay your outer fabric face up.

2 On top, line up one edge of your (open) zip facing downward – trick one is to ensure you have some of your zip at either end of your fabric for ease of sewing – perfect for sewists who aren’t fans of sewing in zips!

3 Lay your lining piece on top of your zip facing downward also and pin the three layers in place

Tilda Bumblebee Collection

4  Sew along your zip line, close to the zipper teeth

5 Turn your fabric the right way and topstitch close to your zip to prevent your fabric from getting caught in the zip when you open and close it later on

Make Up Bag Tutorial

6 Repeat with your other two pieces of fabric and the other edge of the zip

7 Lay the fabric so that the right sides of the outer fabric are facing each other and pin in place, first making sure your zip is still open

8 Lay your lining fabrics so that the right sides of the fabric are facing and pin in place

9 Measure 5cm up each side and draw a line between your two marks with a pencil so that you have triangles drawn in each of your four corners

10 Cut off the triangles

Box Pouch Tutorial

11 Sew along both long edges (you’ll be sewing the sides of your pouch), across the shorter edge on your outer fabric and sew your shorter edge of your lining fabric leaving a 3-4″ gap to turn your bag (see pic – I’ve outlined the gap with my open scissors)

12 To box the edges, match your seams (bottom to side) to sew along each corner in a straight line

Make Up Bag Tutorial

13 Turn your bag the right way and hand stitch the hole in the lining (as an alternative, you could also use a little fabric glue or Wundaweb)

14 Give the bag one final press and you’re ready to go!

I really do love the mustard coloured base on the outer fabric – you’ll notice if you use a different outer fabric to your lining fabric, out of two fat quarters, you’ll get two make up bags…perfect for a little gift for yourself (well, you have the thread already threaded up so it would be a shame not to use it!)

Make Up Bag Pattern Boxed Corners

If you’re inspired to try using up your stash for other projects (and if you can do it, please send me a photo as I’ve yet to find anyone who doesn’t have a never ending box of fabric, no matter how hard we try to use it up!) why not take a look at my Passport Cover Tutorial?

For details of local stockists, please email

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