Makeup bags are ideal to give as gifts and they’re quite handy for stashing more than just cosmetics. They are surprisingly easy to make and customize just how you wish. Large or small, zipped or drawstring, inner pockets or simply plain…it’s all achievable even for beginner seamstresses.
Here’s a collection of a few dozen free patterns and tutorials to get you started. I took my time selecting this bunch to ensure there’s a nice mix of everything.
New Collection Update: September, 2022
You’ll find a few that are perfect to pack toiletries for travel (even full size shampoo bottles will fit), some wee pouches to hold essentials (that stash nicely in a purse for nights out)…and everything in between.
I did tuck a couple crochet patterns in the bunch but the bulk of them are sewing projects. For a treat I also included a few makeup brush rolls at the bottom, these are terrific organizers–especially when traveling.
Fabrics can be pretty much anything you like though I do recommend ensuring all textiles are washable due to daily usage and handling of the pouches.
Since so little material is needed, these are a great way to use up fat quarters and whatever’s been hiding too long in your remnants stash.
I’ve seen some made with rich upholstery materials, lined with silk and embellished with sumptuous trims but a quick, delicate handwash is all they can handle (with air drying). These are best suited for staying put atop dressing tables and vanities.
If you prefer a wipeable &/or water repelling inner liner, consider using vinyl tablecloth material, PUL or oilcloth/laminated fabrics.
Bottles of liquid foundation can sometimes leak, powder compacts have been known to pop open and even lipsticks can go rogue, resulting in quite the mess.
To protect against permanent staining and to contain spills, it’s not a bad idea to minimize damage with wipeable materials on the inside of the pouch.
Zipper Pull Ideas:
- Pom Poms
- Braided Yarn
How To Make A Makeup Bag
Most of these are suitable for beginner sewers with the only tricky part being a zipper install…but don’t let that put you off if you’ve never done this before! If a tutorial’s instructions aren’t clear enough, just do a search for directions on your favorite search engine and you’ll find plenty of free videos to help you out. Sew4Home has a comprehensive article (found here) if you prefer text instructions.
There are a few drawstring and snap options too if you’re not interested in fiddling with zippers or you could tweak a design to work with velcro instead, though I think that would be irritating to deal with on a daily basis.
Free Patterns & Tutorials
As always here on Tipnut, each of these projects are 100% hassle-free, meaning there’s no fee charged for instructions and no email addresses to submit or memberships required for access to templates or other required files. If that has changed since being added to this page, please let me know in the comments area below so I can remove it.
Directions: Click images to view project page, a new browser tab will open & save your spot here
Features a pretty pleat design and only requires a bit of fabric for the outer part, lined with a luscious charmeuse satin.
Fully lined & wedge shaped, has a gusseted bottom. Instructions via free pdf download.
Will hold a bunch of cosmetics but this is suitable as well for a traveling/toiletries bag since it’s large enough to hold shampoo bottles. I love the denim mixed with pops of colorful fabrics which gives it extra durability. Note the zipper pull with pretty beads.
This design has a pretty pleat in the center & features squared off bottom corners so it’s nice ‘n roomy.
Sweet & Simple
A basic pouch design that does the job beautifully, simple designs can still be so lovely when made with charming prints! Finished size measures 7.5″ x 5″.
Not only great for cosmetics, I find the clear case I use for journaling supplies ideal since you can quickly find what you need without having to rummage through the whole stash. Notice the back is fabric lined so you get the best of both worlds.
Finished size measures 4.5″ tall x 7″ wide x 1″ deep. Easy project – but be warned that the zipper on a slight curve could be a challenge for newbies.
Supplies required: 11″x18″ oilcloth, 9″ zipper, thread and a sewing machine. That’s it!
Easy & Roomy
This is just like a pencil case & has a central opening and is lined, sizing for this would be easy to customize for your needs.
A quick & easy project that transforms an ordinary potholder into a little zipped pocket to hold all your essentials. Beginner friendly.
So charming & one of my favs! A thrifted doily is covered with iron-on vinyl & transformed into a sweet little carrier.
Rainbow Pops – Crochet Clutch
Made with sport weight yarn (one in a solid color and the other variegated), a 3mm hook and lined w/material (optional).
Combines a crochet piece with a technique to assemble the toiletry bag, which we usually see in the field of sewing. This way of assembling will give us a three-dimensional cube-shaped product.
Mineral Springs Cosmetic Bag
Another crochet pattern, this has simple stitches that create a textured fabric (one skein project). Features a zipper closure. Skill level: Easy.
Create a roll-up cosmetics stash w/three interior pockets. The pockets & interior lining are constructed with vinyl so contents can be seen at a glance and spills are easily wiped away. Sample used KAM snaps. Tutorial via free pdf download.
Brush Cases & Organizers
Things didn’t used to be so complicated back in the day, we worked with a cosmetic brush or two and were done with it. Now, it seems just to apply eye makeup, 3 or 4 are required (or is it more?). How to keep them all sorted and ready to be put to work? A brush roll is an ideal organizer and they’re so easy to make too!
Here are several options to sew and a couple DIY ideas. Some are quite similar to others but I like them all so why not include them. Enjoy!
Sushi Mat DIY
How clever is this! A strip of elastic band is woven through a sushi mat (or bamboo placemat), hot glued in place on the ends then tied closed with yarn. Brush handles will slide through the elastic loops, keeping them organized & securely in place.
Scrap Wood Holder
Here’s something different and simple enough to do, made with a block of wood, stain & decorative brass ‘L’ brackets.
Super easy to make with elastic thread. Raw edges are trimmed with pinking shears. Instructions via an image tutorial.
A simple little carrier that is large enough to hold the essentials but small enough to tuck into a purse so you have access to it all day long. All that’s needed is a 1/2 yard of lightweight fabric.