The Snappy Coin Pouch – free tutorial from SewCanShe

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You can make a cute coin purse that snaps shut using pieces of a metal tape measure! I heard that it could be done, so I got out a pile of scraps and played around until I did it… a snappy pouch with a tape measure closure (yes, you’re gonna cut up a metal tape measure)! I love this cute little pouch because it keeps your coins in like a zipper pouch, but it doesn’t have a zipper. I now have ‘orders’ from all my kids to make them one – they don’t want my practice versions.

UPDATE: This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The blog post below is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The PDF download for $2 is totally optional.




Now a word about keeping your coins in…


Using the longest pieces of tape measure that I could make fit, my pouches are so tight that coins hardly ever come out. I hooked this pouch up to my keychain and carried it around all day filled with coins and nothing came out. So I’m convinced that it’s secure enough for my soda money. You can make one and decide for yourself. It’s super cute.




For this tutorial you will need:

  • four 5 1/2″ squares of fabric (two for lining and two for shell)

  • one 3″ x 4″ piece of fabric for the tab (two are shown, but you’ll only need one)

  • two 4.25″ pieces cut from a heavy-duty metal tape measure. Don’t use your good scissors to cut these. And be careful… the edges are sharp.

  • one swivel snap clip


First, make the tab. Fold the small rectangle of fabric with the short ends together and press. Open it up and fold the edges to the center, press. Fold along the center crease again and press. You should have a 1″ x 3″ folded strip.


Topstitch 1/8″ from each edge. Wrap the tab around the swivel snap clip and set aside.


Lay one shell piece on top of one lining piece and stitch together along the top edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Repeat with remaining squares.


Press seam open. Fold along seam with wrong sides together, press. Repeat with the other piece.


Topstitch 1/8″ from top edge on both pieces.


Open the pieces up, you’ll have a little ‘nub’ where you topstitched. Press this ‘nub’ toward the lining.


Place your tab with the clip on the shell piece, about 1/2″ from the topstitching and with the raw edges lined up. Yes, I left the clip out of the picture… but you must put it on now!


Lay the second piece on top, lining up the seams carefully.


Pin around the edges. Three pins are special: Place a ‘start pin’ on the lining side just next to the stitching. This is where you will start sewing. Place a ‘stop’ pin about 1 1/2″ away on the lining. Also make sure you pin down the tab with the clip so it doesn’t shift.


Start stitching right where your ‘start’ pin is. Backstitch, and then sew around all sides, pivoting at the corners.


When you get to your ‘stop’ pin, backstitch and then cut threads.


Now we’ll ‘box’ the corners. Flatten out one corner, aligning the seams on both sides. Draw a line (using a pencil or removable ink pen) one inch down from the corner point. Then pin the corner too, to hold it in place while you move to the sewing machine.


Sew along the line you drew. Trim off the corner about 1/4″ from the stitching. Repeat for the other three corners.


Finally, turn your pouch right side out through the 1 1/2″ opening in the lining. It’s tight, but it will fit.


Pull the lining out and flatten the little pouch. Using chalk or your removable – ink pen (I use Frixion pens, the ink is erased by your iron), draw a line on the shell exactly one inch away from the topstitching. Turn the pouch over and draw a line on the other side too.


Tuck the shell inside the lining. Neaten up the opening so the seam allowances don’t stick out. Since the pouch is so tiny, you will be sewing along the line while it is inside out. If you like, you may pin the layers together, placing your pins on the inside.


Get ready to stitch along your line, starting at the tab. Place your presser foot over the tab with your needle going down into the side seam. Backstitch and then sew around the pouch along the line. Stop and backstitch when you get to the tab again. Careful you don’t sew onto the tab.


What a cute little pouch… almost done!


Now you’ll want to round the corners of the metal measuring tape pieces so they will go in easier and not poke holes in your fabric. If you make very rounded corners, your snap pouch will close less tightly. So just round off about 1/8″. You’ll be able to tell from the markings on the ruler. And use junk scissors, not your fabric scissors!

Be careful with those shavings and the cut edges… they’re sharp!


Holding the pouch inside out, slide the measuring tape pieces into the casings made by your stitching. The writing on the tapes should face you. You can experiment both ways, but this is the way that made the tightest closure in my tests. The tapes are meant to fit snugly, but if they won’t fit, you may cut off 1/8″ from one end  of each tape. Be sure to round the corners again.


Slipstitch the opening closed.






What will you put in yours? I’d love to see it – post a picture to Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe or #sewcanshe so I can take a look!

UPDATE: if you are looking for the new pleated Snappy Coin Pouch tutorial, click the photo to the right.

Happy Sewing!





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  1. Love this idea. I’m thinking you might be able to use the slats from metal blinds as well, as long as they are fairly narrow.

  2. Sandra :) says:

    Cute little pouch! You can get "dead" (broken) measuring tapes on construction sites – my husband and both kids are electricians, so I just have to ask and someone will bring me a new tape, lol. I’ve also heard you can get them at the dollar stores – I haven’t checked myself, though. These are great little bags to make as gifts, especially when you tuck a little goody inside 🙂

  3. Elizabeth Johnson says:

    I would love to pin this! Did you pin it?

  4. so cool a new recycle project for the girls – thanks so much

  5. Sheila Smith says:

    Really cute project! Now to hunt around for a broken measuring tape. I have a question about the Frixion pens. I noticed that you marked on dark fabric. When I did that, the ink actually took off some of the dye. (Of course, I didn’t see that until I ironed the Frixion marks off.) Did that happen on your dark fabric? Or do you think it was a fluke on the fabric that I used?

  6. Hi Sheila… that’s strange. I’ve been using frixion pens for over a year now on all kinds of fabric and I’ve never had that happen. You can see from the photos above that I used the red pen on my black and multi-color print and it ironed off with no problem. I’m sorry that happened to you.

  7. Katharine Orlando says:

    Just wanted to double check, did you use 1/2 inch seam allowance throughout? Thanks. I’m loving making this cute pouch from your kit.

  8. Crafty Diana says:

    Just finished putting my first one together. It’s the perfect size as my binky pouch for my baby girl. Love it.

  9. I needed some instant gratification today and this project was a perfect fix for me. I added a piece of ribbon at the top for a little extra bling. Now that I have the process down, I want to make them for everybody. Thank you for three tutorial. If I can get the young uns to show me how to use Flickr, I’ll try to post a picture.

  10. thank you for sharing this tutorial. it was easy to follow and very fun.
    i just finished making seven little pouches in an assembly line. they’ll be gifts for knitting friends (for notions).
    i was only able to find measuring tape from the dollar store; definitely not heavy duty. but it works just fine, especially since it won’t be for carrying money.

  11. Carmen Elwood says:

    I love your patterns. Can you tell me how to download them?

  12. help! no matter how is put in the tape my coins still fall out am I doing something wrong?

  13. Jeanette Pezet Marrs says:

    I’ve made some other bags with tape measures…my suggestion is to put duct tape over the cut ends…I have rounded the edges but after time it will wear a hole. Happy sewing!

  14. Going to make one right now!

  15. Love, love, this pattern, thanx so much !

  16. Just found the tutorial for this adorable bag. THANK YOU for sharing! I’m a grandma trying to keep gift costs down while being able to give useable and wanted gifts. This year, we’re all REALLY trying hard to give hand made items, but most books or magazines with gift ideas are "quick to make" aka "nothing anybody would be particularly glad to receive and not worth the time to make." THESE are not only cute, but worthy of the time it takes to make them. They will be perfect additions for my daughter and teenage granddaughters, and using "guy fabric" I think they’d be great for the guys on my list, too!

  17. Question: Can I recycle pieces of a venetian blind in place if the piece of a metal tape measure, do you now? Anyone tried it?

    1. I don’t think that the metal pieces will be sturdy enough. But it’s worth a try… let us know how it turns out!

  18. Pam Smith says:

    My husband got some liquid plastic goop he gets at the hardware store to dip edges of metal tape. It works great. That way the metal does not rip the fabric. Men use the goop to dip hammers and tools. I love the ideas my husband gives me to help with my projects. Pam Smith.

  19. Laura Ningen says:

    Would love a kit for the gnome fabric. Where can I find one?

  20. Evelyn Byrne says:

    thank you for the tutorial ,very nice

  21. Love these. Made a few. I put a couple of layers of duct tape over the sharp edges, about 1/4" in width to protect fabric from sharp edges. I rounded the corners to match the measuring tape. So far so good

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