How To Sew A Cosmetic Bag - Free Template

Use this free makeup bag pattern and to make a cosmetic bag. This is a beginner sewing project with a free template you can use to make a bag with 4 small internal slip pockets and a decently sized main compartment - an easy and simple design you can make fit any style. The bag opens wide so you'll always be able to clearly see what's in it. Very important for a mom with not too much time to search for her favorite eye-shade or mascara! Use the free template in the post, and my other tutorial on making a zipper tab, to make sewing even easier!

free makeup bag pattern

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Hi! Finally, I've had time to make me a decently sized cosmetic bag. I love my old makeup bag, but since we have children, the space for makeup in my cosmetic bag keeps shrinking, to accommodate more and more children toiletries. Someone make a stop to it and make mama a decent cosmetic bag for grownups - one she won't need to share!

So I made one, and created this free makeup bag pattern. Actually, it was a Friday afternoon and I had solid plans to clean the house... when I ran into this lovely piece of green faux leather! The rest of the story is obvious, isn't it? :)

how to sew a cosmetic bag - a beginner sewing project with a free template you can use to make a bag with 4 small internal slip pockets and a main compartment - an easy and simple design you can make fit any style.

This free makeup bag pattern and tutorial will make a wonderful quick sewing project. It's easy and quick to make, and just think of all the color combinations you can choose!


  • faux leather for outer, base.
  • upper part: microfiber upholstery fabric (face side feels and looks like soft suede)
  • lining: quilting cotton
  • matching thread
  • special sewing needle
  • the usual: sewing machine, scissors, rotary cutter or tailor scissors, cutting mat

free makeup bag pattern

The lined cosmetic bag I sew last time is easy to make, so I thought you'd like to try one too: here's your chance to tailor one totally to your likes - grab your favorite fabrics and make one! You can choose the size, the color, anything! But just in case you don't want to second-guess your dimension choices, I'm also giving you a free template to use, with all the dimensions you need. Scroll further down to get it.)

Here's Your Bag Template

Here's the template for you to copy my cosmetic bag:

free makeup bag pattern

Seam allowance included in the template: 1/2 inch.
Finished size is: 10 inch x 7 inch (zipper tab extension not included)

Cosmetic Bag TUTORIAL:

1) Follow the bag template (above) to cut out:

  • 1 piece: 1A (Bag Outer) - faux leather
  • 2 pieces 1B (Bag Outer) - microfibre
  • 2 pieces No 2 (Lining) - quilting cotton

2) Piece the outer shell together:
free makeup bag pattern

3) Stitch the pieces together, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance and a straight stitch:
how to sew a cosmetic bag

4) Topstitch to make the seams neat:
how to sew a cosmetic bag
Set aside for now, and grab your two lining pieces.

5) Making internal slip pockets:
Fold each of the 2 lining pieces to form slip pockets:
free makeup bag pattern

free makeup bag pattern

6) Optional: edgestitch each of the 2 pieces along the top pocket line to stengthen it. 
!!! Make sure NOT to catch all layers - you just want to make the top of the slip pocket stronger:

free makeup bag pattern

7) Then sew down at the middle of the pocket. This stitch will be the pocket divider.
This time, you are stitching through all 3 layers of lining:

free makeup bag pattern

8) BONUS TIP: Secure stitches on the top part of the pocket well due to high wear and tear. I often use a dense zigzag at the top of pocket seams, like here:

free makeup bag pattern

9) Attach the zipper.

Lay down the outer piece (face-up), then the zipper (face-down) and finally the lining piece (face-down!) as seen in the photo below: 
free makeup bag pattern

10) Pin along the zipper, making sure to follow these 2 tips:

A) Fold the ends of the zip tape and pin them to hold in place. Make sure you are folding them towards the BACK of the zipper tape, not towards the front.
free cosmetic bag pattern

B) The other end of the zipper. See the two green pins?
- One green pin marks the spot where the zipper tape makes a curve, approximately an inch before the end of the fabric.
- (The other green pin simply keeps the rest of the zipper out of the way)
makeup bag pattern

11) Sew through all three layers. (Use the zipper foot if you have one, it's easier!)

When you flip the lining over, you'll see the zipper nicely sandwiched between bag outer and bag lining. The ends of the zipper should look like this:

A) one end: the end of the zipper is tucked into the seam. (see arrow on the right) Niiice!

sewing for beginners

B) The other end of the zipper comes out from the seam,  allowing the cosmetic bag to open wide.
sewing for beginners

12) Press the fabric away from the zipper. Topstitch the fabric along the zipper to prevent getting it caught by zipper teeth. Some say this is optional, but I ALWAYS do that. It makes any bag soo much prettier!

13) Repeat on the other side of the zipper: sandwich the zipper between the 2nd end of the outer piece and the 2nd lining piece:
free makeup bag pattern

Treat (and fold) the zipper ends the same way you did before.

IMPORTANT: the top of the zipper should be facing the right side of the outer fabric. Is it? Good, go on!

14) Now stitch the stack together, just like you did the first time (sewing through all 3 layers). Topstitch along the zipper, just like you did the first time.

What you get is this (zipper open here):
free makeup bag pattern
Zipper done!

15) Now unzip the zipper at least half of the way and pull the outer fabric piece together, right-sides facing. Pull the lining pieces together, right sides facing, too. Pin in place like this:
cosmetic bag pattern

Want Your Cosmetic Bag to Double as A Date-Night Clutch?

Totally easy! Insert a tab to the side of the bag. This is optional, but you need to decide at this point.

If you add a wristlet strap to the tab and your cosmetic bag, it can double as a date-night clutch. What you get is a two-bags-in-one! How awesome is that? 

Go to the wristlet strap tutorial HERE (click) - you'll also see how to make the tab for the bag. Beginner friendly, easy and quick (with a professional look!)

wristlet strap

Now, with or without an additional tab, let's go on with the tutorial:

16) So... your bag layers are right-sides together. Now you need to sew around the entire bag together. Start on one side of the outer shell and stop at the lining bottom, leaving a few inches open for turning. Same on the other side.

free template for makeup bag

17) Clip the corners to give your bag a more professional look. See here how:

how to clip corners
You'll never go back to a simple diagonal corner clipping once you start trimming your seam allowance this way! Check it out.)

18) Once you've clipped the corners, turn the bag right sides out:
how to sew a cosmetic bag
This is the time to iron any creases or wrinkles if you like.

19) Close the opening that was left in the lining for turning.
zipper bag free sewing pattern

20) Last thing to do: TAB the zipper.
Make a nice TAB on the exposed zipper end. I specifically wanted to make a narrower one this time, for a change. Usually, I make square ones. totally your choice.
zipper sewing tip
I do understand many of you are used to making nice zipper tabs, but those who aren't, might want a little help. It's here, no worries!

21) Feel free to follow this easy zipper-tabs tutorial to make your zipper tab

22) This is how my zipper tab turned out. Love it.
makeup bag pattern

23) Voilà! Here it is, your brand new zippered cosmetic bag!
free makeup bag pattern

Now when you've finished your first cute zipper bag, you can sew a few more at any time! They will make a great gift. They will be a perfect match to a home made sleep mask, or a large good looking tote bag!

zipper bag free pattern

makeup bag

Now grab the free template and sew one beautiful cosmetic bag just for yourself!

Pin for Later:

how to sew a cosmetic bag

Pin this tutorial or bookmark the link now, so you can grab it any time you feel like sewing.

Want More Free Patterns+Tutorials?

Get email updates and never miss out on new patterns, printables and tutorials. If you sign up at THIS link, you'll also get the Fabric Hanging Basket Template for FREE, right now. A cute and easy-sew!

free pattern for a fabric hanging basket
You also get access to my entire FREEBIES Library.

If you like the cosmetic bag tutorial, you'll love this pattern, too! Or check out one of my latest patterns, the Sophia Fold-Over Clutch And Crossbody Bag pattern in my pattern shop, HERE:


  1. This bag is so cute! It does not look like a beginner bag, but your illustrations and explanation is so clear, by golly, I do believe a beginner could make one just like it.
    While I am not a beginner, and I've made a lot of bags, I'm not a pro with the lining. Your illustrations clear up any confusion about how it works.
    Great job! Can't wait to make one of my own. Thanks!

  2. this is so cute and i just know the girls will love it and can be used for so much...thank you very much for this great pattern...

    1. Thank you Robert & Madeline, I'm happy you like the tutorial.

  3. As always, a great tutorial Damjana. I've showcased your fab cosmetic bag today.

  4. Thank you Damjana. This is such a very thoughtful tutorial.


  5. Me encantó tu bolsa posibilita muchas opciones de uso. muchas gracias. Saludos desde Buenos Aires, Argentina