I have a huge stash of zippers from an awesome garage sale, and I love using them to make small pouches for gifts. My latest favorite zipper pouch is this cute boxy design. I love that it stands up on its own and that finishing the ends of the zipper in a tidy way is super easy!
I’ve made three of these recently, for a Christmas present, a crafty online swap, and for me 🙂
Start by cutting two pieces of fabric to the same size. I’ve been using scraps of different sizes, but a good size (what I used for the blue/purple one) is 8″x10″. Make sure you have a zipper that fits along the end you want it on (mine was for the 8″ side, so I used a 9″ zipper).
Stack the fabrics right side together, and put the zipper in-between the two layers, with the top of the zipper facing towards your outside fabric. Sew the zipper in on this side, making sure the zipper is sewn in, but that there is enough room for the zipper pull to slide open. I did roughly 1/4″.
To make the second seam, follow the pictures below. 1) Lay out your fabrics + zipper so that the right sides are facing up. 2) Fold both fabrics in to meet the unsewn zipper edge. 3) Pick up your stack by the three raw edges (both fabrics and the zipper), align the edges, and sew together. Make sure that the ends of the fabric meet the zipper at the same points as your first seam.
Turn the bag right-side-out by pulling the zipper through the loop of outside fabric. The lining fabric should be on the inside of your tube, and wrong sides of the fabric should be together. At this point, I like to top-stitch along the zipper to keep the seams neat.
To sew the ends, turn the pouch inside out by pulling the zipper through the tube created by both layers of fabric. Make sure the zipper is about half-way open. Fold both ends in as shown below. To do this, fold the loop in half so the zipper is at one edge, and crease the other end to find the middle of your loop. Bring this crease up so that it is directly under the zipper. Then fold in each side so that the tucks are right under the center of the zipper and the flaps on top and bottom are of even lengths.
Once you have an end folded, sew about 1/4″ – 1/2″ from the edge. I like to overlock or zig-zag stitch the edges so they don’t fray on the inside, but that’s not necessary. Again, make sure the zipper is about half-way open before you sew the second end shut, or you won’t be able to turn it right-side out!
Then just fold the pouch right-side out and poke out the corners. On one of the bags I hand-stitched little knots at the corners of the side creases, but even if you don’t, the pouches will keep their shape pretty well as long as they’ve got stuff inside (when giving them as gifts, I’ve stuffed them with some tissue paper so the shape fills out nicely).
These could be customized in lots of ways! Obviously you can use whatever fabrics and zippers you like (I even printed my sister’s name in periodic table elements directly onto one of them with my home printer!). You could also make them really special by using an outer fabric with embroidery, applique, or patchwork!