Lined and Zippered Small Cosmetic Bag | i should be mopping the floor
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Lined and Zippered Small Cosmetic Bag

This Small Cosmetic Bag tutorial contains affiliate links. I make a small portion when these links are used, at no additional cost to you.

I love lots of little bags to compartmentalize everything when I travel. This small cosmetic bag is actually my new go-to for all of my supplements and first aid items. It's the perfect size to slide into a carry-on bag or purse. Find out how to make your own little cosmetic bag below.
Easy Bag Tutorial

Earlier this fall, I shared a tutorial for my Boxed Toiletry Bag. I love that bag, but it gravitated more to make-up use, rather than supplements and such. I realized I prefer a smaller cosmetic bag for organizing supplements, bandages, and other related items. I like to have these in my carry-on with me and the boxed bag was a bit large for that. This new lined and zippered small cosmetic bag fits the bill perfectly. It can slide right into my tote, so I can have easy access during a flight. This bag has more structure than a typical cosmetic bag, too, which is something I prefer. Check out its tutorial below.

Lined Bag for Make Up

Lined and Zippered Small Cosmetic Bag

I'm a strict ruler follower, y'all. When the airline says not to check on medicines or supplements (or car keys!), I listen. After a trip to Georgia last month, I realized that I prefer a small cosmetic bag for all of these necessities. They're easy to pack in tight spots where space is a premium. 

Cute Cosmetic Bags
As you can see from the above photo, I actually made a couple of these small cosmetic travel is coming and I want several to pack with me. I used coordinating fabrics (they even match my boxed bag, so it's a fun little set).

Cosmetic Bag Supplies

Small Cosmetic Bag Supplies

I made my cosmetic bag 5.5" tall by 6.5" wide (this is truly the perfect size!). For this size, you'll need the following items:

Sewing Zippers in Place

Sewing Your Small Cosmetic Bag

Before you begin, follow your package directions and iron on your fusible interfacing rectangles onto the wrong sides of the fabric rectangles that you want as your outer fabrics.

Then, make your "pile". Start with a piece of lining (right side up), lay the zipper on top of it. And then place your lined outer fabric (right side down) on top of that. Pin or clip these in place at the top.

Sewing Seams
Head to your sewing machine to sew this "pile" together. Since your zipper pull is at the end, start about two inches down (with a small backstitch) on your fabric and sew a basic stitch with a quarter inch seam allowance all the way down the top of your "pile".

Be sure to use your machine's zipper foot attachment to get as close to your zipper as possible. If you'd like to see a more detailed process of sewing the zipper into place, click here for this other bag tutorial (it's not a structured bag, but the process is the same).

You will sew the entire length of the top of the bag (backstitch at both ends). Since you started a couple of inches down, you'll go back and open your layers, unzip your zipper a few inches, close your layers, and sew that space you didn't previously sew at the top (again, using small backstitches at the beginning and end).

Bag Making
The above shows how it takes two separate stitch sections because of the zipper. 

coordinating fabrics
Once that first part is sewn together, we'll start "piling" again. You'll lay one lining piece down, then top with the sewn zippered part. Then on top of that lay one more outer layer (face down).

Again, sew this together on top with the same method as before (only this time, your zipper is at the bottom). You'll stop a couple of inches shy of the end, open your fabrics, unzip the zipper a few inches, close your fabrics, and then sew up the remaining part (don't forget backstitches at each start and stop).

Sewing Zippers
Open your fabrics up and press everything smooth. Then go back to your machine and add a small topstitch on either side of your zipper. While this may seem just decorative, it also prevents the fabrics from snagging on the zipper when the small cosmetic bag is in use. Once your top stitch is sewn in place, open that zipper up several inches...this is super important. Your bag won't work if you don't open your zipper before the next step.

Wonder clips
Now, open your fabrics again, but this time you want your right sides facing right sides. You'll line your linings up on one side and your outer fabrics on the other (see above). Lay your zipper carefully facing your outer fabrics (again, keep that zipper open in this process). Clip the entire perimeter. You can see on the lining side that I have pinned one portion. This is NOT going to be sewn in the next step: be sure to leave a small opening in the lining side (big enough to reach your hand through). I pinned mine to differentiate it from the clipped areas where I do want to sew.

Bag Tutorial
Sew the entire perimeter with a quarter inch seam allowance, except that area on the lining that needs to stay open (backstitch where you start and stop). I also went over and did an extra stitch in the zipper areas (see above) since that is an area that gets pulled and tugged a lot. Once you've sewn the perimeter, clip your corners so they point out nicely once you turn the whole thing right side out.

Lining a Cosmetic Bag
Reach your hand through the opening of the lining and pull the entire bag right side out. Use a sharp(ish) object to gently push out your corners into nice points. Tuck the area that you left open on the lining into itself (about a quarter of an inch) and press it closed. Then do a small basic stitch on your machine to close it completely (backstitching both ends). Push your lining into the bag. Give the entire thing a nice press and your bag is ready for its goodies. 

Striped Cosmetic Bag
I'm so happy with how these cute bags turned out. Everyone needs a small cosmetic bag in their life (or a dozen of them!). They make darling gifts, too. 

Packing a Cosmetic Bag
Since I try to limit myself to a carry-on (and sometimes one checked bag), I pack these with all of those necessities I may need to reach for during the flight in these small bags.

Boxed Bag
Above, you can see how well the small cosmetic bags coordinate with my boxed toiletry bag. The boxed toiletry bag is perfect for larger cosmetic containers and toiletries.

More Cosmetic Bag Tutorials:

Can't get enough of these adorable little bags? My friends have some great tutorials for them, too:
If you enjoy sewing tutorials like this cosmetic bag, be sure to also check out my complete video tutorial for a Key Fob Wristlet in the video below.

makeup bag


  1. How adorable and thank you for sharing my daughters will love

  2. These make SUCH great gifts - they are always useful!