Art & Design DIY

DIY: Travel Makeup or Toiletry Bag

Make your own DIY travel makeup/toiletry bag. Line it with a cute fabric. It even has a strap to make carrying it around easier. There’s nothing like a new project to spark creativity. Keep reading for the tutorial. Check out my other DIY projects here.


  • fabric – two 10.5 x 14.5″ (26.67 x 36.83 cm) rectangles for bag and lining
  • fabric – one 7.25 x 4.25″ (18.415 x 10.795 cm) rectangle for the strap
  • zipper- 10.5″ (26.67 cm) [I prefer the exposed metal ones, but any will do]
  • sewing machine
  • sewing pins
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • chalk or white marking pencil

Sewing Machine Used

Singer Heavy Duty 4423


Step 1: Make the Strap

The first step in making your DIY travel makeup bag is constructing the strap. Start with the 7.25 x 4.25″ (18.415 x 10.795 cm) rectangle. Fold down 1/2″ (1.27 cm) of the top and bottom (bottom, left image). Then fold both of those sides together (bottom, right image).

Now you want to stitch about 1/4″ (0.635 cm) on both the top and bottom (below). Set it aside.

Step 2: Attaching the zipper

Place the two larger rectangles together evenly. Face the dull sides together (This is the opposite of what we normally do.) Then line up the zipper with the fabric at the short end of the rectangle. The zipper should be facing upside down.

Sew the zipper onto the the short end of the fabric (below). It gets a little tricky with the zipper if you have a metal zipper like this. You may have to move the zipper around a little to keep it out the way.

Now it’s time to do it on the opposite side. Make sure the top side of the zipper faces the outside fabric of the bag. In this case it’s the grey side.

When it’s done it should look like this (below).


Open the zipper all the way up and add a top stitch over the fabric that is touching the zipper (below). It will add a nice professional touch to the finished bag.


Step 3: Sew the Ends Together

The bag should be inside out at this point. Lay it flat. Use the ruler to make sure that each side of the zipper is even.

Then sew across where the closed end of the zipper is. Sew right behind the metal block at the end of the zipper. Otherwise you’ll have a big gap at the end of the zipper once the bag is finished.

I had to sew this one twice because I was going to have a gap (bottom, left image).

Leave the zipper open when you sew the other end. Or you’ll have a bag that is sewed and zippered shut. It will be funny, but not really funny.

Step 4: Creating the Box Shape

Start where the bag has the closed end of the zipper. Make a triangle at each corner of the bag. It’s easier to see the actual triangle shape in the bottom middle and left images because the ruler is not in the way. Use chalk or a white pencil to mark about 1″ (2.54 cm) from that peak of the triangle. After that, go to where you marked and sew straight across from that point.

Do that to the the other side. Remember to only do the two corners near the closed end of the zipper.

Step 5: Attaching the Strap

Now you’ll work on the end that has the open zipper. Poke out the corner with your finger (bottom, left image). You’re not going to make a little triangle just yet. Take the fabric that you sewed in the very beginning for the strap.

Place that about 1″ (2.54 cm) down from the triangle peak. Once you position it correctly, slide it so that the seam is directly in the middle of that strip (bottom, right image).

Use your thumb to keep the strip in that position as you fold the bag inside out to form the triangle (bottom left and middle images). Again, measure 1″ (2.54 cm) down from the triangle. This time use a pin to position the strap in place (bottom, right image).

Do the same thing with the other side, making sure that the strap is not twisted. Also make sure it’s facing the way you want it. Make the triangle again and add your pin (bottom, right image).

Don’t head right back to the sewing machine just yet. While everything is pinned turn your bag the right side out. Are the straps even? Do you like the way they look? Is one strap a lot higher than the other one? Keep readjusting it. This may be the hardest part in making the whole bag. But you’re almost finished!

Once you are happy with the strap, sew across just like you did for the other end. You may still have to rip out the stitches and do the strap over. But that’s fine.


Once you are completely satisfied, cut the corners off of each triangle so that the bag is not bulky inside.

And now you are done with your diy travel makeup bag! 

diy travel makeup

Leave a Reply