/ / Tiny Zipper Bags – free tutorial using 5” Charm Squares!

Tiny Zipper Bags – free tutorial using 5” Charm Squares!

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I’m so excited to share with you my latest tiny obsession… tiny zipper bags! These little zipper pouches are so fast and easy to make, and so much fun! And as you can guess from the title of this post… they are made with 5 “ charm squares. Lucky for us, it’s easy to by pre-cut fabrics that are just the right size

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The blog post below contains everything and 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.


For a long time, I’ve wondered what a zipper pouch would look like if it was sewn with only 5’’ squares (and a few other pieces to make it look professional). So finally I grabbed some leftover pieces from a little bundle of Tula Pink Homemade charm squares and I stitched some up. They are a wonderful size!


Perfect for cards, coins, a small sewing kit or first aid kit, Wonderclips, personal items, and more.

What would you put in a 4’’ x 4’’ zipper pouch?


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You’ll need 5 charm squares for each Tiny Zipper Bag. You can have two squares of the same fabric for the exterior or use different fabrics for an alternate look on the other side. The same is true of the lining fabric – if you have to use two different fabrics on the inside, that only makes it more interesting!


When I picked fabric pieces from my charm bundle, I decided to match my zippers to the square that I cut up for the zipper ends and zipper pull tie.

To make a Tiny Zipper Bag, you will need:

  • 2 charm squares (5’’ squares) of fabric for the zipper pouch exterior

  • 2 charm squares (5’’ squares) of fabric for the zipper pouch lining

  • 1 charm square (or about 3’’ x 5’’) of fabric for the zipper ends and pull tie

  • 4’’ zipper with a pull*

* About my zippers: I love using handbag zippers for pouches. They are wider than regular zippers and have a nice big zipper pull with a wide eye perfect for a little embellishment. You can find these zippers by searching for YKK size 4.5 zippers. Zippers by the Yard from ByAnnie are also size 4.5 YKK zippers, but they are 4 yards long and come with 16 zipper pulls. They come in a ton of beautiful colors and are my absolute favorite.

For this project you need a 4’’ piece of zipper with a pull. You can cut the zipper stoppers off of a 4’’ or longer zipper and trim it to 4’’, or simply cut 4’’ pieces of Zipper By the Yard and add matching pulls (that’s what I did).

These sewing tools will be helpful:


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Cutting

1. The 5’’ square pieces for the tiny zipper bag exterior and lining are already the right size. You don’t need to cut them.

2. From the remaining piece of fabric, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 2’’ x 2 1/4’’ for binding the zipper ends

  • 1 strip 1’’ x 5’’ for the zipper pull tie


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Bind the Zipper Ends

1. Fold a 2’’ x 2 1/4’’ binding piece in half with the 2’’ ends together. Clip it to the back of the zipper piece with the raw edges aligned.

2. Stitch across the end with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.


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3. Flip the folded edge of the binding over to the front of the zipper. Stitch it in place close to the fold.

Tip: a sewing stiletto helps when sewing small pieces like this.


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Repeat to bind the other end of the zipper. Trim off the extra binding flush with the sides of the zipper.



Make the Zipper Pull Tie

You probably have the right color of thread in your sewing machine right now to make the pull tie, so let’s do that now! If not, you can save this step until the end.

1. Fold the 1’’ x 5’’ strip of fabric in half lengthwise and press. Open and fold the long edges to the center and press. Then fold it in half again and press to make a strip about 1/4’’ x 5’’.

2. Topstitch along the strip lengthwise.

Tip: if your sewing machine allows you to move the needle to the left or the right, move it over all the way to one side. Now you can place the little tie right over one of the feed dogs so it will move smoothly as you stitch.

Set the zipper pull tie aside until your pouch is almost done.



Attach the Zipper

Now is a great time to attach the zipper foot for your sewing machine. We are going to use it for more than just sewing the zipper!

1. Center the zipper face down against the top edge of one of the 5’’ squares that you chose for the pouch exterior. Pin or clip the zipper in place.

2. Baste the zipper in place by sewing a scant 1/4’’ away from the top edge.


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3. Place one of the lining pieces on top (right side down) and pin or clip the top edges together.

Stitch across the top edge with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.


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4. Carefully press the exterior and lining pieces away from the zipper. Don’t touch the zipper teeth with a hot iron!

Then topstitch on the fabric along the fold.


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5. Place the remaining exterior square right side up on your workspace and then center the remaining edge of the zipper on top with the zipper face down on the new piece. Pin or clip along the top edge.

Baste the top edges together, sewing with a scant 1/4’’ seam allowance.



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6. Then place the remaining lining fabric square on top right side down and pin or clip along the top edge. Sew the top edges together with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

7. Fold back and press the fabrics away from the zipper and topstitch as before.


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Sew the Zipper Pouch Side Seams

1. Fold the zipper bag so that the exterior fabrics are right sides together and the lining fabrics are right sides together.

Flatten the zipper in the middle and pin it down so it won’t shift while you sew. Pin around all of the edges.

Prepare to sew all the way around the pouch, leaving an opening approximately 2’’ long for turning it right side out.

Tip: Leave your zipper foot on for sewing around the pouch – see why below.


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2. Stitch around the pouch as shown in the diagram using a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

The ends of the zipper should not be sewn in the sides of the pouch, so as you sew over the seams between the lining and exterior, you want to ‘sneak’ by without sewing over the end of the zipper.

That’s why it is helpful to use your zipper foot (and sewing stiletto) for this step. It will help you sew next to the zipper ends without going over them.


Box the Corners

1. Use scissors to clip all 4 corners.

This is not to reduce bulk (as you would normally think), but to help you nest the corner seams and measure an accurate distance from the tip.


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2. Pull the fabrics for the bag exterior apart slightly and flatten the corner so that the side seam and the bottom seam nest together. Take some time to work with the fabric until the corner is flat and the seams are nested and then pin the corner together.

Use the fabric marking pen to draw a line 1/2’’ away from the point as seen above.


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3. Stitch across the flattened corner, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of the short seam.

Repeat this process to box all 4 corners.

Tip: If you feel confident enough, you don’t have to draw a line 1/2’’ away from the corner. Use the markings on your sewing machine and hold the pouch straight as you sew with the tip on the 1/2’’ line.


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4. Trim away each corner 1/4’’ past the sewn line.


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Finishing

1. Turn the tiny zipper bag right side out, stuffing the lining inside to make sure that everything looks right.


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2. Pull the lining out of the bag again and press the edges at the opening to the inside by 1/4’’. Sew the opening closed by hand or with your sewing machine.


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Sew the zipper pull tie, if you haven’t already.

3. Trim the ends of the zipper pull tie at an angle. Fold the tie in half and push the ends through the hole in the zipper pull.


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Push the ends through the loop formed at the other side of the zipper pull, and then pull the knot tight.


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And you are done! How many tiny zipper bags will you sew? One fabric charm pack and package of Zipper By the Yard will make 14!

As always, I love to see the things you make with my free sewing patterns and tutorials. Post a picture on Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe or #sewcanshe so I can take a look!

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Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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One Comment

  1. Cute pattern. I like to make tassels with embroidery floss or small trims, sometimes mixed with the floss. All those bits and bobs we have from other projects.

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