31 January 2014

DIY: Convert A Cosmetics Case Into A Sewing Box

Make a strip of pockets to turn any case or bag into a sewing box. 
Tape measure
Fabric (print and plain)
Iron and ironing board
Sewing machine and matching thread
Hot glue gun and glue

1. Use your tape measure to measure the around the inside of your cosmetics case and note down.
Now measure the depth of your cosmetics case and double this number.
So, my measurements were 113 cm long and 20 cm wide. 
Use a pencil and ruler to mark these measurements onto your plain fabric.

2. Do not cut fabric out on the line. Measure 2 cm outside your line and cut out there (this will be your seam allowance).

3. Starting on the bottom edge of your long rectangle, fold the edge up to meet the drawn line. Iron.

4. Fold edge over again. Iron.

5. Repeat for the top edge of your long rectangle and pin along the edges. Sew a straight stitch on your sewing machine. 
Turn the short edges over in the same manner and sew. 
Set aside.

6. Your printed cotton rectangle needs to be slightly shorter and twice as long as your plain rectangle. 
So, my measurements were 226 cm long and 19 cm wide. 
Mark your measurements onto your fabric with a pencil and ruler and cut out on the line.

7. My printed fabric was fat quarter sized, so I joined pieces together and pressed the seams open to create one long rectangle.

8. With right sides together, fold one long edge to meet the other long edge and pin.

9. Sew a straight stitch using your sewing machine. Turn right side out. 

10. Position the seam along the middle of the rectangle. Iron.

11. Turn over.

12. Leaving your work on your ironing board, begin pleating to make the pockets. Start at the right end and work towards the left end.

13. Continue pleating and ironing as you go.

14. Make the pockets different sizes for different odds and ends.

15. When you get to the end of your printed fabric, it should be longer than your plain fabric.
Trim so it is 3 cm longer than your plain fabric.
Fold under 1.5 cm of the short end of your printed rectangle. Iron.
Go to the other short end of your printed rectangle. Fold under 1.5 cm and iron.

16. Place your plain fabric down (with seams facing down), place your printed fabric along the bottom edge.
Pin along the bottom edge in preparation for sewing.
Also pin in a straight line between the pockets.

17. Sew a straight stitch with your machine along the bottom edge.
Next, sew between the pockets, as seen in the image.

18. Position the completed pocket strip inside your cosmetics case. It should overlap slightly.
Preheat hot glue gun.
Begin gluing on the reverse side along the bottom edge, working left to right. When the bottom edge is adhered, begin gluing the top edge from left to right. All done!

Feel like doing the lid? Check out Part 2.


  1. Beautiful!! How about adding some elastic edged pockets (top toward the handle side) to keep matching colored boxes and tins for pins, buttons, bobbins, etc. I love organizers like this carry case!!

  2. I use a more modern makeup case that sits upright on its own, and has a try in the top. Works great until you outgrow it.