Introduction: No-Sew Duct Tape Zipper Pouch

Picture of No-Sew Duct Tape Zipper Pouch

Take your duct tape skills to the next level with this great zippered pouch.
The interior is water-proof, making this bag great for carrying, pens, make-up, whatever you can imagine.

Choose an outer fabric that suits your personality and function.
I knew when I saw this adorable Hello Kitty satin in my favorite color, I just couldn't resist.
In fact, I blame the fabric itself for the inception of this entire project. Sometimes it just calls to you!

This project is similar to another one you'll find in the awesome book Simply Sublime Bags by Jodi Kahn

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
  • Paper to make a pattern (opt)
  • Fabric - about 8"x11" or so (since I used US legal paper). Customize to suit your needs
  • (not pictured) 7" zipper
  • Duct tape in color of your choice
  • Stapler + staples
  • Scissors
  • Pen

Step 2: Make Pattern

Picture of Make Pattern
Using this simple sheet of paper, I was able to make a quick and accurate pattern.

  • Cut off one margin along the red line.
  • Fold paper in thirds to simuate where you want the zipper to be.
  • Lay pattern on top of fabric and mark line about 1/2" outside of the edge as your taping area.

Step 3: Tape Fabric

Picture of Tape Fabric
Prepare the back of your fabric with strips of slightly overlapping strips of duct tape

  • Cut strips of tape to extend slightly beyond marked lines
  • Overlap rows of tape a small amount
  • Re-trace pattern onto taped fabric
  • Trace 1/2" seam allowance around the outside of the perimeter
  • Cut fabric along outer line

Step 4: Apply Zipper

Picture of Apply Zipper
It's easier than it seems to add a zipper to this simple pouch.

  • Lay the zipper upside down on one of the short edges of your face-up fabric (see picture)
  • Staple to fabric next to zipper teeth, using the seam marked on the taped side as a guide
  • Fold the fabric in half, lining up the unstapled edge of the zipper with the opposite edge of the fabric.
  • Staple as above.

Step 5: Close Sides

Picture of Close Sides
Now we determine for once and all where we want that zipper to line up.

  • Use the paper pattern as your guide for where to fold the fabric
  • Staple along sides, using seam lines as a guide
  • Open the zipper before completing final edge (so you can turn it right side out when you're done!)

Step 6: Tape Down Raw Edges

Picture of Tape Down Raw Edges
All that's left is to tape up the raw edges!

  • Tape over exposed edges of zipper
  • Lay tape over staples on front side and fold SA to the back
  • Repeat on other side

Step 7: Finis!

Picture of Finis!

All that's left is to turn pouch right side out and fill it with your stuff!

I hope you've enjoyed this simple yet attractive 10-minute project. Good luck with all of your own designs, and please do post your results in the comments!


4getmenot (author)2012-10-13

I have made a few! What a great gift idea!

scoochmaroo (author)4getmenot2012-10-14


jamowa (author)2010-05-09

This is a great project. I'm going to send it to a friend who is a GS leader. I'm sure the kids will love it.  My pouch pix attached.  I found the corners were hard to turn, so I may cut the ends diagonally next time to make better corners.

I like the pouches with zippers at the top, however, I can't quite figure out how to tape the zipper edges and pouch sides. Thanks a bunch!

scoochmaroo (author)jamowa2012-08-08


Miss415 (author)jamowa2011-10-18

beautiful material! I love yours!

scoochmaroo (author)jamowa2010-05-10

Beautiful!  I hope you encourage the GS troupe to post their results as well!
Seriously, it looks like a designer make-up case.  Well done!

steffunny (author)2012-02-28

love it!!! just made mine in about 20 min :P

scoochmaroo (author)steffunny2012-08-08

I love them!

Miss415 (author)2011-10-18

I love this instructable so much because I never learned to sew and I love making things. I have a lot of colorful silky fabric scraps I've saved from clothes, linens etc and now I finally have a way to use them! I found colored duct tape and zippers at the dollar store.

Here's my first one ~ I messed up by stapling too close to the zipper teeth though so the tape doesn't completely cover staples so next time I'll adjust that. I added a charm to the zipper~ it came from an old necklace.

scoochmaroo (author)Miss4152011-10-18

Awesome! This looks fantastic!! (I stapled too close to the zipper on my first one too!)

chibimaddy (author)2010-05-13

I've been holding on to this for a couple of weeks. What a great project! I just made one today. I didn't have a zipper so I had to use velcro. Thanks so much for the instructable! :o)

notuboc (author)2010-05-02

that is cute~ i decided to make mine open at the top, which complicated the zipper, since it ended up folding back in on iteself, rather than into the back, as it would have it if i'd left the zipper on the front somewhere, but it still came out cute. thanks for the 'ible~

piccolo1979 (author)2010-03-28

This is the first thing I've ever made after checking out an Instructable & I totally love the way mine turned out! Very easy to follow, so don't be afraid to try it if your a newbie like me. 
Here's a couple pics of my finished pouch. I can't wait to make more of these! :)

scoochmaroo (author)piccolo19792010-03-29


Warlrosity (author)scoochmaroo2010-04-25

Well, I'll keep this in mind

aneka (author)2009-07-05

I used denim from one of my old jeans for the cloth. A bit plain but it leaves a lot of space for personal designing. Still thinking of what to put up on the "empty canvas." :) Decided to put the zipper on top since I'll be using this as a pencil case. Your tutorial was very helpful. Here are some photos!

scoochmaroo (author)aneka2009-07-05

Awesome!! You could cover it in patches. Or use the part of the jeans with the pockets to make another one!

eetzel (author)2009-06-25

I messed up the zipper. Oh well. I just won't close it. I will do better next time.

scoochmaroo (author)eetzel2009-06-25

Oh no! Well, it looks v. cute. Good luck with the next one!

brighter (author)2009-05-18

here's the pouch i made. i had a little trouble understanding step six... the part about folding the seam allowance to the back as you're taping over the rough edges. i figured it out after i turned it inside out and it was a little uneven. overall it was pretty easy. i'll probably make a few more. thanks for the post! love & brightness!

scoochmaroo (author)brighter2009-05-18

Hooray! It's beautiful, I love it! Amazing!!!!

4getmenot made it! (author)2017-06-17

I give them as free gifts for hosting LipSense parties. They are a HIT!

domoaregato made it! (author)2016-11-02

After some deep thinking, I took another route and designed a different pattern (adjusting as I went). The fabric came from a skirt that didn't fit and the duct tape was an owl print of sorts. It took a lot longer than expected, but the next one will be even better.

AdilM made it! (author)2014-09-03

Really enjoyed doing this project. I had to improvise and used super glue to hold the zipper-to-fabric seam because I wanted the zipper to be on top for volume :) Thank you scoochmaroo.

fifer_in_the_rye (author)2014-08-23

I wish I'd seen this before I sewed my new shoulder rest pouch for my fiddle case strap.I'll have to use this for another project soon; it looks like fun.

SeraphicD (author)2013-02-15

Hey Scoochmaroo,

So I have been eyeing this in-flight bag

but 28 bucks seems like a lot. Do you think your instructable would work with multiple zippered pouches a maybe duct tape/stapling the loop? I'd love to see you do a no sew version of that.

seriouslyhappy (author)2012-08-09

I just tried this and I jacked it up! LoL I can still see the staples along the bottom and I have gaps on both sides of my zipper. I put tape over them but when I turned the pouch inside out, those sticky parts were exposed. Back to the drawing board. I think I know what I did wrong. Oh, and it's crooked! LoL

amk1 (author)2012-08-08

My first attempt at a duct tape pouch. I had a little trouble getting the corners out though. Not bad for a first attempt.

jessyho862013 (author)2012-07-26

that is so cute lolzzzzzz

chihuahualover112 (author)2011-07-23

This is a GREAT instructable! Planning on making one soon. Would sewing instead of stapling be a possibility, though? I've been looking for small, useful projects to practice my newly-acquired sewing skills on. Do you happen to know if the average machine could handle the thickness of duct tape and a zipper? Thanks (:

The duct tape actually jams sewing machines and causes tons of problems- stapling is the best way to go. Even hand sewing becomes difficult as the needle acquires tackiness from pushing through duct tape.

emocutelemon (author)2011-07-17

i love this ill have to try to make it some time thnx 4 the ible =P

runawaygirl (author)2011-07-08

just awesome! i made one which is exactly right to hold a phone :D boyfriend absolutely loved it!

zanne101 (author)2011-05-22

Great project. Thanks for posting this.

I have some transparent duct tape made by Scotch ("Scotch Tough" duct tape) that I've used on outdoor repairs. Its 2" wide and I think it also comes in colors. It is the stickiest, strongest stuff I have ever used. You could probably use this to secure the seams and zipper without the staples. I think I bought it at Walmart (maybe automotive section?), but it's probably sold in a hardware store also.

I'm going to give this project a try with this tape - I'll let you know how it goes.

instructable477 (author)2011-02-26

Thanks for sharing this! It was super fun and easy! A perfect way to use up fabric scraps

RaNDoMLeiGH (author)2011-02-21

Hey, what a clever way to waterproof a bag! I want to make a little one for my bento to hold a washcloth, but don't like the limited selection of waterproof "diaper" fabrics.

I'll sew mine, not a fan of staples, but many thanks for mentioning "waterproof". *smooch*

pinky252525 (author)2011-02-09

girls are important on valentines day

donteatsoap7 (author)2010-11-21

This is a great gift for my friend and sister, thank you!

crangirl (author)2010-08-17

That's a great idea (and from a while ago, but I just saw it). I think you could also use old (worn-out) clothes for this. And if you have some old pants lying around (of bought at a thrift/second hand shop) with pockets at the side with zippers (if you know what I mean).. you can just cut these out and have a pouch! (And of course you can add tape if you like).

dimplasm (author)2010-06-13

Your instructable is my new favorite. I took it a step further and made it into a waist bag/fanny pack. I bought a lashing strap from Wal Mart, the kind with the quick release buckle (camping section). Measure your straps and decide which side goes where(left and right). Before you staple up the side seams, place your straps, from the fabric side, between and through the seam, leaving the buckle inside within the wrong side out pouch against the fabric. Staple it into place while you staple the seam, finish as above. You may want it a bit bigger, but you can match one for whatever outfit you are wearing.

b1russell (author)2010-03-12

Wow!  Duct tape is SO not my thing, but I'm in rather desperate need of a zippered pouch - or 2 - so I thought I'd just take a quick look.  I'm hooked!  Running out right now to find some duct tape that's not colored battleship gray!  Thanks!!!

If you haven't found any yet, bot JoAnn and Michaels carry colored duck tape as well as some new stuff with patterns.

Suzanne in Orting, WA

bigbrosrule (author)2010-01-11

Wow! I usually only like duct tape 'ibles if they are 100% duct tape (with the exception of zippers, cardboard and other sometimes nesecary parts), but this one is helpful enough that I still like it. Good job! XD
I was wondering, how strong would that duct tape+zipper combo be if you didn't staple? As a "100% duct tape" kinda guy, I want to make sure the staples are nessesary before I use them.

dulciquilt (author)bigbrosrule2010-05-02

If you don't want to mess with the zipper, may the pouch like an envelope pillow case.. Make flap for top that overlaps the bottom flap and seal the sides. It isn't as secure, but the overlap will keep in most your stuff . Wish I could draw on here.. would be much easier to explain. Maybe someone who is more alert this morning can explain for me.

scoochmaroo (author)bigbrosrule2010-01-11

I'm not sure.  Since I'm a fabric person, I'm always interested in new ways to make seams.  I don't know if I would trust duct tape as my only strength here. . .
BUT since this is such a simple project, I think it would be entirely worth the experimentation.
So I say go for it, and make sure to post your results!

Warlrosity (author)2010-04-23

Could one make a larger bag? 'cos this gives me an idea

scoochmaroo (author)Warlrosity2010-04-25


colorslam (author)2009-12-21

I have a zillion uses for little pouches like this, but they are always just a LITTLE too much work to sew. I gotta go get pretty duct tape and try this.

memiley (author)2009-12-20

Amazing! well done & utilitarian as well as aesthetically pleasing.

cali_mrtnz (author)2009-09-25

i love hello kitty, and i love duct tape, and i love making things. could you have appealed to me on any more levels?
this puts a new spin on duct tape; i've made duct tape messenger bags bfore, but now i have a new way to use fabric with it!
if you think about it, it makes the whole thing SO much sturdier, and so cute at the same time. thanks!

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