Learn how to sew the best zipper pouches using ribbon and vinyl with my free zipper pouch pattern below. I can never sew enough zipper pouches! They are such a fun gift to give and receive. And they are so quick and easy to make. This year used this zipper pouch pattern to make some with pretty ribbon and clear vinyl for back-to-school teacher gifts.
If you are worried about sewing on the vinyl… don’t be! The tutorial below contains a great technique for using tissue paper so the vinyl will move smoothly across your sewing machine bed. I share more Tips for Sewing on Vinyl here.
This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The blog post below contains everything you will need to make the Ribbon and Vinyl Zipper Pouches, including the free pattern template and it is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The PDF download for $3 is totally optional.
With three different sizes, this free zipper pouch pattern will help you sew a pouch for everything!
On some of the pouches, I added a swivel snap clip to the ribbon tab.
To make a Ribbon & Vinyl Zipper Pouch, you’ll need:
a sharp needle
a sharpie marker
vinyl (discussed below)
15”-30” of pretty ribbon
a matching zipper
Fray-check sealant (absolutely necessary)
I drafted a pattern for you in three different sizes. The largest is like a clutch, the medium sized is great for pencils,and the small one is a cute size for paper clips and coins.
I’ll discuss the vinyl next, but here’s the dimensions and zipper requirements. Tip: You can always use a larger zipper because we’re going to shorten it anyway.
The Large pouch measures approximately 11” x 6” and requires a 12” or longer zipper
The Medium pouch measures approximately 9” x 4” and requires a 10” or longer zipper
The Small pouch measures approximately 5” x 3” and requires a 6” or longer zipper.
The first zipper pouch I made was from recycled vinyl (a bedspread bag), and that worked, but then I bought new vinyl and hello!
It costs less than fabric and it looks awesome. So I recommend it if you can find it. This 16 Gauge vinyl was at Joann’s for about $7/yd before coupon. 14 or 12 Gauge vinyl will work great too
Vinyl rolls are usually very wide so 1 yard was enough for all these pouches with plenty left over.
You can see my first zipper pouch in this blog post to compare.
So let’s get started! Print out the pattern piece and tape it together. The three sizes are nested, but you don’t have to cut them out.. Use a sharpie marker to trace two pieces of vinyl for each size of pouch you want to make.
Tip: trace around the outside of the pattern line, and then cut on the inside of the line so your pouch wont’ have any marker lines on it.
Cut 2 pieces of ribbon the width of your pouch. Use Wonder Clips or paper clips to hold it in place.
If you bought your vinyl new, it probably came wrapped on the roll with tissue paper, so you got some of that too. Guess what??? That tissue paper is just what you need to make sewing the vinyl easy. Cut yourself a bunch of 2”-3” strips. You can also use any other tissue paper if your vinyl didn’t come with it.
For this entire project, lengthen your stitch to about 3-4. You will be punching holes in the plastic, so you don’t want to perforate it too much. I also found it helpful to increase thread tension by one number.
Every time there is vinyl on the bottom (next to the feed dogs) place a piece of tissue paper under it. This will make sewing vinyl easy, I promise.
Using these techniques, sew ribbon to the first vinyl piece. Stitch both the top and bottom of the ribbon to secure it.
To make sure that the other side of your pouch has ribbon in the same place, place the first piece right side down. Then place the other unsewn piece of vinyl on top. And then use the ribbon on the bottom piece of vinyl as a guide for securing ribbon to the top piece of vinyl.
Stitch the second ribbon on.
Open the zipper and secure one side to the top of one pouch piece, right sides together.
Tip: Don’t worry about the bottom end of the zipper, but make sure that the stopper at the top of the zipper (the beginning) is at least 3/8” from the edge. You don’t want to hit that with your needle.
Using a zipper foot, stitch one side of the zipper to the vinyl with a 1/4” seam allowance. Sew all the way across. Note: I forgot to use tissue paper here and I regretted it. When in doubt, just put it under the vinyl. 🙂
Attach the second zipper tape to the other piece of vinyl, right sides together. Make sure the other zipper stop is also 3/8” from the edge. Stitch.
Now let’s shorten the bottom end of the zipper to make it the right length. Switch to your regular sewing machine foot. Set your sewing machine to the widest zig zag with a stitch length of near 0. Close the zipper. About 3/8” from the edge of the pouch zig zag over the zipper teeth to create a new stop.
Finger press the seam where the vinyl is sewn to the zipper flat. Then topstitch this seam close to the edge. Don’t skip this step. It makes a big difference in how easily the pouch opens.
Cut about a 5” piece of ribbon and fold it in half, wrong sides facing. Place it on one side of the pouch with the raw ends sticking over the edge.
Clip the other side of the pouch over it, right sides togetther.
Clip the two pouch pieces right sides together, making sure that the ribbon pieces are lined up.
Stitch all the way around the pouch with a 3/16” to 1/4” seam allowance. If you are comfortable sewing a 3/16 seam allowance, it makes the pouch easier to turn. Or you can sew a 1/4” SA and trim it down a little later.
Trim away the extra ribbon and zipper tape. Then apply a generous amount of Fray Check to prevent fraying. I love that stuff.
Clip notches around the curved edges or use pinking shears to trim them.
After the Fray Check has dried, turn the pouch right side out. If you used heavy vinyl like I did, this might be the trickiest part. I found it helpful to use my capped sharpie marker to push the bottom and edges of the pouch out.
Then put them to good use!
I must admit that my kids’ elementary school teachers were pretty enthusiastic about the zipper pouches that I made with this pattern. It made me feel really good. 🙂
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