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Zippered Pouches personalized with Iron-On Vinyl

I put my Silhouette craft cutter to work the other day.  
And had her help me create some vinyl iron-on cutouts for my little zippered pouches.  
And then, remember how I used freezer paper and fabric paint to make my Halloween costumes (here)?  Well, instead of cutting out my design with a razor blade, I used the Silhouette cutter to cut my freezer paper for the stencil………….and then used fabric paint to create the dress form shapes on the green pouch.   
SO much easier/faster than cutting by hand.
And now, I have 3 little zippered pouches, ready for gifts.
Can you just imagine, some jewelry, some great craft supplies, or even a few treats placed in one?
And of course, the lining can give these pouches a great pop of colorAhhhhhh.
But my Silhouette Cutter really allowed me to spice up that outer fabric.
The possibilities to personalize these pouches are endless.
I know zipper pouches are something that everyone may already know how to do.  But in case one of you may be curious…….all the steps will be shown.
Cutting Fabric:
For my pouches, I cut 2 outer pieces of fabric and 2 lining pieces that were all 9 inches x 6 inches.  
And for each pouch, I took one of the outer pieces of fabric for each pouch, and decorated it up a bit before sewing it all together.  

Using the iron-on vinyl:

For the first one, I purchased this dahlia shape from the Silhouette store, printed it out on heat-transfer vinyl (found here) and then removed all of the negative space from the backing.  
(Check out my other heat transfer projects here.)
Then, I cut a bit off the side and bottom, so the image would run off the front of the pouch.
The next one was done the same way.
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But then I added some blue stitching to the front.  Just for fun.
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And for the third one, I used some freezer paper, stuck it to the sticky mat (that comes with the Silhouette) with the smooth side face down, and cut out my images.  Then I peeled back the freezer paper and ironed it down to an extra piece of fabric, with the smooth side facing down.
Then, I painted inside those images with two coats of fabric paint.  
(More on freezer paper stenciling here.)
After the paint completely dried, I peeled back the freezer paper to reveal my images.  Then I heat sealed the paint by ironing on top of the images with a piece of fabric in between.
Then I trimmed down the fabric and attached it to the outer piece of fabric of the 3rd pouch.  (You can use double sided fusible web between the two layers to keep the fabric in place while sewing, but I skipped that part.)
Assembling the zipper pouches:
First, you’ll need a zipper that is 9 inches for the size pouches I made here.  I didn’t have any…….oops.  So I am using a 7 inch zipper below (which is really 8 inches long with the extra they give you at each end) and just took my sides in a bit more.  But if you’re using a zipper that is slightly longer, line up the top of the zipper along one end and let the extra at the other end hang off.
Place your zipper face down along the top, while the fabric is face up, and be sure that the top edges are even.
Then place one of your lining pieces on top, face down.  Line up all 3 top edges.
Sew along that top edge with a zipper foot.
Open it up and get the fabric out of the way while you do the same thing with the other side of the zipper….with the other 2 pieces of fabric.  If you open it all up, it will look like this:
Unzip the zipper halfway (important step) and then fold the two outer piece of fabric together with right sides together and the tow lining pieces together with right sides together.  Sew all the way around this big rectangle (with a 1/2 inch seam allowance….except I had to take mine in more at the sides because of my shorter zipper), leaving about a 3 inch hole along the bottom of the lining.  Then trim the corners and zig zag around all of the raw edges.
Then, turn the pouch right side out through that gap in the lining.  Poke out all of your corners so that they’re nice and crisp.  Then fold the raw edges of the opening towards the inside, and then hand-stitch or machine stitch the opening closed.
Shove the lining down inside the pouch and then press the pouch flat.
And while the pouch is open, you can see that great lining fabric peek out.
How’d the other others turn out?
The snowflake pouch turned out soft and sweet.
With a great blue lining…
And the charcoal pouch with the vivid yellow dahlia, screams hello.
And has such a happy polka dot lining.  Don’t those dots put a smile on your face?
And that’s it.  
A nice and easy project that can be used or gifted in so many ways.
Now, go on a personalize one…….and then gift it away.
Thank you Silhouette for making that so much easier!
Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. MKEgal says:

    I realize I’m really late to the party, but maybe this will help someone anyway…

    When you leave the opening in the lining, turn & sew from the edge to your seam line to start/stop.
    Think of making an L, with the short leg pointing to the edge of the fabric, and the long tall part being the sewing line that goes around the perimeter.
    When you turn it inside out, that will magically make the seam allowance turn in, no fighting.

  2. Anna says:

    This was so helpful! Sewed my best looking zippered bag so far from this tutorial. Thanks!

  3. Emilie says:

    I made this with my grandma! It was my first time on the sewing machine! we made it with zebra print for the outside, and green for the inside.

  4. marie says:

    Hi,i was searching the net looking for some ideas for project’s to do with frabric! Came acrooss this zippered case,what a wonderfull idea.!

    Thank you so much

  5. Dona Keyton says:

    I love these ideas for gifts! I agree a machine would help with the designs, but why not have your children draw something and use their design instead!

  6. devonlynne says:

    Do you have any tips for working with zips this way? I’ve attempted to make pouches a couple of times and the zipper just doesn’t look right. I can install it to the fabric just fine, then when I sew around the whole thing the zipper gets screwed up. It works, it just doesn’t look good. I’ve tried facing the teeth toward the lining and toward the outer fabric and have come up with the same results.

  7. Carolyn says:

    Thanks for the detail of lining this zippered bag. Grandaughters want a fold-over clutch. This technique will make it so easy to make the purses. :)

  8. Andrea says:

    Just like to thank you Ashley for such creative projects. I made your tote and zip purse in matching fabrics…. they look georgous. Your instructions are so well written, with easy to follow photos too.

    Brilliant and thanks again.

  9. susan says:

    Thank you for the tutorial. I am a newbie and appreciate your lesson.

  10. Sylvia says:

    I always have a problem putting in a zip on pouches and getting the lining in place I always do it by hand . This tutorial helped …thank you

  11. Dee says:

    I love these zipper pouches! I had to share them on my CraftBliss Facebook page and link back to you. Thanks for creating and sharing! ~Dee

  12. Andy says:

    Hi, I’m totally new to sewing and would love to try one of these! Please could you advise me on what type of fabric(s) to use?

    1. Ashley says:

      Hi Andy,

      You can use just standard woven cotton. Or a thicker home decor fabric. Using thicker fabrics makes the project a little harder……so for your first one, try using cotton. (Like the type of cotton you use while making a quilt.)

      Hope that helps!

    2. Andy says:

      Thanks Ashley!

  13. Lindsay says:

    okay- great!! I didn’t want to buy one if I can’t use my freezer paper!


  14. Lindsay says:

    Ashley! Great tutorial.

    I love making shirts with freezer paper and fabric paint!

    I am thinking about buying a silhouette machine finally …. but wondering if I should bother with the heat transfer paper (seems pricy?) —- When you did your pouch with the freezer paper above, did you cut with an exacto knife? or can you put the freezer paper through the silhouette machine??

    1. Ashley says:

      I cut the image with my silhouette but I have also cut images with exacto knives (before my silhouette came). Just keep in mind that pulling the freezer paper off the silhouette sticky can sometimes be tricky…….so pull slowly. And if all of the pieces aren’t connected to the main piece, you have to pull them off the mat separately and place them down on your fabric to keep the shape of the image.

  15. Seamingly Smitten says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I'm going to try it out!

  16. chahrazad says:

    great job , for amateurs like me it's a "life made easy by you can make this' thanks so much

  17. Glenda says:

    Very nice. So many cool things you could make with the machine. I'd love to be able to afford one but cannot justify it right now.
    Your tutorial was great. Even a dummy could figure it out by reading your tutorial.

  18. Vem da Terra says:

    I found your tutorial really cool and put a link there on the blog. Make me a visit and see if it approves. Cheers!

  19. Cori says:

    thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial! i have wanted to do zippy pouches for a while but didn't think i could figure out the zipper and the lining–you made it incredibly easy! thanks again!

  20. Ashley says:


    I got the freezer paper at walmart in the grocery section…..right by the tin foil and saran wrap. Most regular grocery stores should carry it too. Good luck and I loved the totes you made for you and your girls. Adorable!! :)


  21. Alison says:

    OK, so first off, I love your blog and I'm using your tutorials all the time.
    I was just wondering where you buy the freezer paper. I think my girls would love their own little pouches to go with their totes I already made them. Love it!

  22. Teela says:

    These are so adorable! Love 'em all, but especially the charcoal with the kickin' yellow flower! HOW HAPPY that would make someone!

  23. Rachelle Ferris says:

    I really like all the things you've made with yours. The zipper bags are adorable@

  24. Grazing The Hurds says:

    I like the custom ideas. I've been wanting a new shower curtain. We are in the process of re-doing both bathrooms so this would be perfect to jazz things up a bit.

  25. Eunice says:

    wow! nice touch to use the vinyl. It really brighten up the cute pouches. Found your blog recently and enjoy reading your posts on refashion projects. Hope I can be like you someday : )

  26. Monte and Brittany says:

    the question is What WOULDNT i use it for!! i have soooooo many ideas!! i would love LOVE LOOVEEE this!!

  27. Dan and Sharon says:

    I love this pouch. Just made one, way easy and fast.

  28. k-e-household says:

    Thank you for this tutorial. I want to make a lined bag for precious trains for a special little boy. I wasn't sure how to make the lining inside out and right sides together, etc, and make it look good!! Perfect timing for me.

  29. Jillian and Claire says:

    I love the dress form pouch! Would be great for storing extra sewing supplies!

  30. jguglia says:

    I would use a silouette to make beautiful scrapbooking pages! Please enter me into the drawing! Email

  31. A. says:

    I love the simplicity of the system! no cartridges is a big plus! I would totally use it for the vinyl.

  32. Becky says:

    I'm sure I would use it for everything, but I love the idea of putting vinyl on my door's glass windows for the holidays. So I think I would use it for vinyl decor to begin with – then move on to everything else. Very fun ideas!

  33. MatthewandHeather says:

    I love the zippered pouches!! I need a few of those.

  34. Julie says:

    Love the pouches! I would love to win one! thanks much! jhales_finance at yahoo dot com

  35. Anonymous says:

    I am getting a Silhouette for Christmas and your tutorials are the best. Would you do any silhouette related tutorials? Do you buy all you images from the slihouette store? I really love the dressform one.
    Keep up the great work!!!

  36. Delsa says:

    These are adorable! I love all of your fun projects. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Jac says:

    Oooo, I've wanted one of these forever! I've been etching glass, and the current priority is making an etched family tree for my grandmother for the holidays.

  38. gini says:

    Gosh there are so many things to do! :) I love the etched glass though!

  39. sunmoon04 says:

    I would use it for the etching, wall letterings and for Christmas Gifts.
    I love your snowflakes !!!

  40. Hollie says:

    I would use it to do vinyl wall art and the glass etching for christmas gifts, it would be so wonderful!

  41. AZito says:

    Oh, I would use it for everything! I am a teacher, so I can think of lots of things we could use it for in the classroom, like our poetry scrapbooks. It would sure save a lot of moolah I spend on stickers! I would also use it for shirts for my two kids, and I am picturing an awesome stencil on a messenger bag I'm making for my bestest friend.

  42. Terry Lind says:

    This little box could either revolutionize my home decor or become a very expensive little crafting habit, either way, I LOVE IT!!

  43. Lynie says:

    These are the cutest wallets….and I love making wallets. I loved everything you could do with the Silhouette. I would use it for embellishing bags that I currently make and of course vinyl projects! Your site is great with so much creativity…how do you find the time?


  44. stephanie says:

    I love the machine that makes this possible! As I saw all that it was capable of the ideas were flowing. From scrapebooks to school projects. I love it! What a great item. Thanks for sharing it!

  45. danny.des.jack says:

    Super cute! I love the stensiling idea on these.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Would love, love, love to win this cutter. Hope I win.

  47. Kelly D says:

    I would use it to make great gifts for my daughter's teachers, coaches, teammates, etc! What fun!!!

  48. thepeasanthousewife says:

    So stinking cute! I love them!

  49. Amanda says:

    Whenever I get a new craft toy, I use it on EVERYTHING for a while, so I'm sure I would be etching glass, making some vinyl transfers, and creating wall decals for quite a while if I won. :)

  50. SherriC. says:

    Wow I love these pouches!!!! TFS!!!!

  51. StrawberryBlond says:

    This is so spooky. I swear we are on the same wavelength or something. I was just thinking I'd like to make a zippered case for my sister's laptop, but wasn't sure how to do it and here's your tutorial! This is not the first time you have posted something I've needed/wanted, right when I've needed/wanted it! Thank you.

  52. lilsamples says:

    I would use this for EVERYTHING! love the vinyl wall art, I could use it for scrapbooking, baby onesies…I drool everytime I see one of these!

  53. Chelsea says:

    I have always wondered the secret to great sillouettes. Beautiful!

  54. mindy says:

    I can't even imagine where to begin!! What to make first! So many ideas coming to mind just looking at the web site! I have 4 daughters…clothes, bedrooms, hats, computers…and on and on and on..!!

  55. Heather says:

    I would use it to make gifts. I would make the wall stickers, as well as customized shirts for my son and nieces and nephews. Actually, I think I would use it for EVERYTHING!!!

  56. rockinn says:

    What a great machine – I make handmade cards and stationery for my own use and this would be perfect to make them totally unique. I also put together baskets (filled with goodies) for not for profit organizations having auctions. I could use this in so many ways to make the baskets very appealing to bidders. So much fun!!

  57. lisa says:

    I love all of your projects! Thanks for all of the inspiration. I would use the Silhouette for appliques and craft projects. Happy Thanksgiving!

  58. Rachel H. says:

    I have just begun to do some t-shirt repurposing and this would work so much better at cutting appliques than my handiwork!

  59. Louise G. says:

    WONDERFUL pouches!! Let's see … how many days to Christmas?? Checked out the Silhouette site … would LOVE to use it for glass etching, card making, decorated clothing (couldn't list just one use!!)

  60. Jenna says:

    Love Love Love the zipper pouches!! So cute! Do you sell your creations? Just wondering as my sewing machine has died:(

  61. kathyhm says:

    I want a Silhoutte so badly! But we are on a mission to be debt free so I need to win one rather than use debt repayment money to buy one! I know I would use it to etch glass – I am so tired of cutting out contact paper stencils!!! And, I would love to label my pantry storage. And I did not realize you could create stencils to paint on fabric! And, and and – did you say ONE thing we would do with it!!! Love it – pick me little random winner generator! Oh, and love your blog and these cute pouches. Thanks

  62. Mik says:

    I just made my first pouch and it doesn't look nearly as polished as these. I never thought of using the cutouts to design the fabric. Love it!

  63. Complete Kitchens Colorado says:

    I am a newbie to sewing and very obsessed (like, have to try every cute tutorial I see…). I would use it to jazz up bags and pouches, tees, etc. Love it!!

  64. Christie @ A Lemon Squeezy Home says:

    Adorable. LOVE LOVE LOVE that one with the big flower. So pretty–you areally are amazing, Ashley!

  65. Mami Made It says:

    Lovely! Love the one with snowflakes!

  66. Teresa says:

    I would use it for glass etching and making wall art. I live in an apartment and so painting is out of the question…and my eggshell walls make me crazy!

  67. Kristin says:

    I would use it to do some glass etching, and for card making!

  68. Emilee says:

    You are simply amazing! I swear you should have your own decorating show. I would definitely watch it. You should sell those cute pouches. So cute!

  69. EH says:

    My first project would be Christmas cards. And then I'll move on to everything else!! Love the idea of vinyl decor.

  70. Very Verdant says:

    These are so cute. I love them all but I think I like the green one with the dress forms best.

  71. Ange says:

    I would use it for scrapbooking and well, everything!!! Loved it all.

  72. Helen says:

    I love these pouches, Ashley! I think I might have to get my Silhouette out and try out some of these before Christmas. They DO make great gifts! I haven't tried any of the iron-on vinyl, yet. Do they work well? Thanks for the inspiration! Love the colors, by the way!

  73. Jessica says:

    These pouches are so much fun! I love how you made each one so unique and personal. I've never sewn on a zipper before and this just might be the project to try it out. Thanks!

  74. Jenny! says:

    Thats amazing….im so used to hand cutting things..what a novel idea…i wanna make these to add on to some xmas gifts!!! and you gave me even more inspiration!! I jut realized if you shorten them up and add a little wristlet cord they would be reallycute accessories!

  75. Mrs. B says:

    I'm a sucker for snowflakes and simplicity! I love them all, though! Beautiful!

  76. Jeana says:

    Your zippered pouches are so cute I love the one with the dress forms.

  77. The Chambs says:

    I love the charcoal one with the yellow flower. So pretty! Love the contrast :)

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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