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  • Writer's pictureamyk73

Fit For Me – Making Up My Makeup Bag

From all the travel I’ve done the past couple years for work, my makeup bag has taken a real beating. It was a tri-fold brush bag I purchased from Mary Kay that of course held my Mary Kay makeup brushes. It was ideal for travel because it had a couple pockets to store my makeup, disposable contacts and some odd things I need when I traveled.

This makeup bag lasted longer than a couple suitcases in this time period but it was clearly now time for a replacement. The slots for the brushes had holes so the brushes would poke out the bottom. The zipper compartment had torn so my items would slide out everywhere. The bag had seen a lot of miles, hotel rooms and served me well. Go in peace good solider.

Since I’m with a little more free time these days, I recently organized my fabric stash and have been on a quest to find ways to use up remnants and leftover pieces. Of course I have at least two Pinterest boards full of cute nifty ideas to help in this area!

One of my favorite things to make with scraps, remnants and smaller pieces are bags. Tote bags, trick or treat bags, shopping bags, library book bags and in this case makeup bags!

This is the pattern I followed, and modified: 

DIY makeup brush case. Found via:

My Modifications

  1. First, I made my bag slightly longer. The pattern makes a 19 by 9 inches bag and as you can see it was made just for brushes. My bag measures 22 by 9 inches so I could include room for 8 brushes and 2 decent sized pockets. This way I could get all my makeup in one bag along with my brushes for traveling. Keeping things together and compact is key to packing in this day of expensive luggage fees and carry-on restrictions. Plus let’s face it, I’m much less likely to lose something this way.

  2. I checked with a couple friends and asked how many makeup brushes they have and what they use to travel.  Most were anywhere between 4 and 8. I settled on 8 slots because I have 8 brushes and if I make these as gifts it gives my friends opportunity to adequately fit for their needs.

  3. I followed the pattern including rounding the corners using the template. Next time I make these I’ll use a square corner instead. The rounded corners just seemed to make the binding a little more challenging to fit and I like the look of a sharp mitered corner better.

  4. I did not use the wax paper steps and instead used my chalk pencil to draw the lines for the slots. This was simpler and saved a couple steps. If you can measure, mark and sew straight lines I didn’t see any advantage to marking it on wax paper first.

  5. For the batting, I used scrap pieces. This is the perfect project to use up some scrap small pieces of batting. I tend to keep the batting scraps set aside in a Ziploc bag for little projects like this one. It does mean I work with several different pieces to complete the inside but it sure beats opening a brand new batting package for a small project. Little savings where I can find it.

  6. I adhered the batting to the interior fabric using Spray Bond.  This saved having pins everywhere and made it easier to align the outer piece – which I also applied with Spray Bond.

  7. For my bags I did not use a laminate for the interior fabric. The instructions used this because they said it could be wiped clean periodically. That makes sense but I personally like to run my bag through the wash usually at the same time I clean my makeup brushes so that I can be assured it is actually clean. For that reason I used 100% cotton fabric with a print so makeup wouldn’t show if it did get on the fabric in between cleanings.

  8. If you want to quilt the outer piece with some pretty design do it before you attach to the interior fabric. I would in this case attach the batting to the outer piece, quilt it in your preferred design and then attach to the interior after you’ve sewn the slots and pockets. I think I’m going to do this next time for some extra durability and special touch to the bag. With something this small you can really experiment with some cute quilting designs.

  9. I also want to redesign the tie straps. I followed the instructions but this is probably my least favorite thing about the bag. I think this bag would work well with a snap on the front, a loop and button or even just a basic buttonhole and button.

Overall I’m happy with how it turned out. I did make two of them because one was a gift for a dear friend who had kept our son for the weekend. While I missed him a lot it was nice to have some quiet time and get to finish these super cute makeup bags.

I have a few other leftover pieces that I want to try this again with the modifications noted above. If I find any other suggestions I’ll update this blog for others that want to try this pattern.

If you try this pattern and find other suggestions to improve it please let me know!

Other Uses

In looking at this bag I think it could be easily modified to a smaller bag to hold small drams of essential oils! When I travel I always take oils with me and I like to pack a few extra so I can share with others as I meet people along the way.  This bag done on a smaller scale would be perfect for that use and the pockets could be sized perfect for a business card.

In fact I believe I have just enough of this orange print fabric to give that a try.

Interested in more?

Check out our website at 

Interested in essential oils? Reach out to me at

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