Oh how I love the 7 minute DIY zipper bag! So many awesome things:

#1 It’s a perfect project for beginning sewists of any age who might be scared of zippers.

#2 They’re fabulous for gifts for literally any occasion. They’re a staple of my own personal charity sewing efforts. And they can hold any little small thing you need them to!

#3 You can make them from almost no fabric. Better yet, this project can help you bust through your collection of weird scraps!

#4 My favorite, they are so so quick to make! Your first one might take longer than 7 minutes, but with very little practice, you’ll get there! So, let’s grab a couple of supplies, and let me show you how to make up your own 7 minute DIY Zipper Bag!

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7 Minute DIY Zipper Bag supplies

  • One 9″ zipper with nylon or metal teeth
  • 1/4 yard each of 2 coordinating cotton prints/solids or 2 fat eighths
  • zipper foot, sewing machine, thread, scissors, ruler, chalk, chopstick, iron
  • optional: 1/4 yard fusible interfacing, piece of ribbon or a charm

Cut your DIY zipper bag pieces

pieces cut for a DIY zipper bag
What to cutsizeHow many
outer fabric10″x7″2
lining fabric10″x7″2

If the fabric for your outer fabric feels a little thin, cut 2 more rectangles the same size of fusible interfacing.

pieces cut for a DIY zipper bag, showing fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric

I did that for both this cotton lawn and cotton voile. Both of these kinds of cottons are a little lighter weight than regular quilting cottons. The interfacing will help them hold up a little better as a bag.

Install your zipper foot

Switch out your sewing machine’s foot to your zipper foot. For my Janome, it snaps into place, but follow your machine’s instructions however it is that you need to change out your feet.

Make a zipper sandwich

zipper and fabric right sides together before being shown into a DIY zipper bag

Lay your zipper face up on your table. Next, lay one of the outer bag pieces on the zipper right sides together so that the top long edge of the fabric matches the long edge of the zipper.

zipper sandwiched between lining and fabric before being shown into a lined zippered pouch

Flip your fabric/zipper over and match the wrong side of 1 lining piece to the wrong side of the zipper. The edges of the outer fabric and the lining should be matching, with the zipper sandwiched between the fabric pieces.

Sew the zipper to the fabric

Stitch along the top edge of the fabric with a 3/8″ seam allowance. You won’t be able see where you’re stitching on the zipper, but you’ll be able to feel the edge of the foot moving along the right edge of the zipper teeth.

Your goal is to keep all of the edges even as you sew. Use your hands to pinch everything together. This is a really short seam, so you shouldn’t need pins. And yes, you really can sew without pins!

When you get to the zipper stop, lift the presser foot and your needle, and move the fabric just out of the way. Pull on the slider to move it out of the way of the zipper foot. Then, put your needle back down where you stopped and finish stitching to the end of the fabric.

Bring the wrong sides of the fabric together. See how the zipper is stitched nice and clean between the two pieces?!

one side of the zipper sewn between the lining and the outer fabric for a lined zipper bag

Sew the second side of the zipper

zipper sandwiched between lining and fabric before sewing the second side of a zipper in a DIY zipper bag

Repeat the zipper sandwich step and sew the second side of the zipper the same way. Now we get to sew the bag!

next page graphic with spool of thread
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2 Comments

    • Oops, that’s a not clear typing issue on my part. It calls for one 9″ zipper not a 19″ zipper. I’m updating that now so that it’s more clear! You can make these bags with really any size zipper, though I think 7″ and 9″ ones work the best. Hope that helps!

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