Handy zipper pouch

Handy pouch for all sorts. As a change purse, key ring, cards wallet or a stash pouch.

zipper pouches

This zipper pouch makes a cool little gift for men and women. Not only it is handy, but also eco-friendly, as you can use some old jeans for this, or other fabric scraps.

I use mine as a car key ring keeping my driving license, car docs and petrol card in it, so whenever i go by car – all it’s docs are with me – simply can’t forget it at home!

Or in exactly the same manner a make up bag can be sewn. It is simply a larger size and lining can be added. See at the end for more details.

Make up bags with zipper made from old jeans

So here we have an easy old jeans sewing project, suitable for beginners and free step by step tutorial.

What you’ll need

When choosing fabric for this project, look at the thickness — medium weight is the best. Thin fabric will make the pouch floppy and thick denim will make it rather bulky. Do not use stretchy denim – as this will cause stretched corners.

You will need to cut a piece of denim 16x13cm (the seam allowance is included). Make sure you follow the grain (texture) of the denim.

A zipper – minimum of 18cm. The longer – the better, especially if you are a beginner, longer zipper will give you more freedom while sewing.

A piece of string 12cm, it can be a shoelace 😉

How to sew

Place the zipper in the position as on the picture, faces together, align with the top (narrow) edge of the denim. Make sure you have some end hanging on your right, but if your zipper is longer than mine, you can have both ends hanging.

Stitch along.

The top of the fabric here will also be the front of your pouch.
You can pull some thread out of the denim to have a tidier edge inside the pouch.

Once stitched, fold the zipper over to the right side, pull away from denim and press flat, creating a neat finish. Top stitch in a nice straight line at some distance. This will secure the fabric and zipper in place.

Zip the zipper up, lay it infront of you and fold the bottom edge over the zipper. Align the sides.

Flip over to have the zipper infront of you and stitch the other half of the zipper in place. Make sure the sides are level.

If your zipper is as short as mine (18cm), open it up as you get to the head to be able to finish the stitch. It can be unzipped without getting it all out from the sewing machine – just lift the foot up, keeping the needle in the lowest position.

Repeat the top-stitching as for the first half of the zipper.

You can see now – the hanging end is needed for some space to get that top-stitch started.

You should have a tube like this.

Turn inside out. Flatten the tube positioning the zipper at the top, but about 2-3mm lower. This is important to avoid bulk.

Stitch up the left side, leaving 1cm seam allowance. Cut the zipper excess off.

Sew two-three times, to strengthen it all, especially the zipper.

For the right side, unzip the zipper slightly. Cut the string 12cm and fold in half.

Place the string into the pouch, aiming to have it right at the top of the fold.

Pin or hold in place and stitch the same as the other side.

Go over 2-4 times, especially where the zipper and the string are.
Cut excess off.
Zigzag stitch or overlock the edes. If those metal stoppers on the zipper are a bother, you can carefully unfold and remove them prior to stitching.

Turn out to the right side. Poke the sides and the corners out carefully with a screwdriver or something like this.

You will notice that the pouch is not keeping it’s flat shape. All you need to do is iron it. Place a thin cloth over the pouch to iron to avoid streaks and zipper melting.


Done! I hope that was easy enough and you are now excited to make many more, adding different designs 😉

You can add some lace 🙂

If you are adding any design onto the pouch, sew the decor onto the cut rectangle first and only then proceed with the pouch.

Or you can make those pouches without a loop – then it will not be a key chain, but a coin purse.
Or try joining different fabrics and using some scraps!
Unfold the jeans bottom hem to add the character

A pencil case can be made in the same way. The size of the rectangle is 21x17cm (8 1/4″ x 6 3/4″). Slight variation of this measurements is ok. The zipper must go to the longer side!

Learn more about pencil cases here >>> and about this crazy patchwork here >>>

You can make a larger pouch for make up. The denim rectangle will be appx 20x25cm:

makeup bags
Try this idea too. It is made in a very similar way >>>

More recycling old jeans projects are here >>>

16 thoughts on “Handy zipper pouch

  1. Da hast Du eine tolle Tasche genäht. Ich würde sie für die immer noch benötigten Masken verwenden. Mit Karabiner dran überall einsetzbar.
    Vielen Dank für diese ausführliche Anleitung.
    LG Ute

    1. Thank you for the comment! I am very happy that you have found it useful 🙂 Happy sewing! Kat

  2. Thank you for sharing. Great project for my students to do during their textiles craft lessons.
    Easy instructions for them to follow

    1. Hi! I am happy if this will be useful! Send me some pics when your class is done 🙂 I might put it into Student’s Gallery to show the world!

  3. I’m anxious to try making some little bags and pencil bags. I like that the zipper is on the side, rather than the top. Your instructions are so easy to follow, I don’t think I’ll have any problem! Thank you for giving us so many ideas. So creative you are!! 😉

  4. My Dad passed away. He always had a seam sewn down the front of his Levi’s as a crease. I kept a pair and have been searching for the right project in order to give each of my siblings and the grandchildren something to remember him by. This is it! Thank you so much!

  5. I absolutely love this idea. Repurposed jeans is always so special. Thank you for sharing.

  6. love these..thanks for sharing the instructions and pictures..Will give them a go soon.thank you.

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