Introduction: First Aid Kit (with Instructions for Making a Lined Zipper Pouch)

This is a great gift idea for parents--a kid-friendly first aid kit for the car. In addition to ideas for the kit, this instructable explains how to sew a lined, zipper pouch with a triangle bottom.


Step 1: Supplies

For the pouch:
~ 1/3 yard (or largish scraps) of: a mid-weight wool (or corduroy) and a printed cotton (for the lining)
4x4" square of red felt (or cotton is fine)
a 12 inch zipper
sewing machine
red thread and thread to match your fabrics

For the first aid kit:
variety of first aid supplies, snacks and other "useful items" I included:
Diaper wipes
Hand sanitizer
Bandaids and gauze
Tweezers and nail clippers
Snacks and water
Cough drops
Shout wipe
Safety pins

You may also want to add:
Other OTC medicines
small scissors
duct tape (not for the children ;)
small pad of paper

Step 2: Sewing the Zipper Pouch--cutting Fabric

Fold each fabric in half (the gray exterior fabric and the lining cotton) and cut a 12x10 inch rectangle where the fold is the bottom of the rectangle and the rectangle is wider than it is tall (unfolded, your pieces will be 12x20"). I use my rotary cutter to do this but you can measure and use scissors.

From the red fabric, cut a 4 inch square. Then fold the square in quarters and cut out the edges (as shown in photos) to make a cross.

With the exterior (gray) fabric folded, position the cross in the center of what will be the front of the bag. Unfold and pin and then stitch the cross in place with the sewing machine using red thread (or hand stitch) (or glue it)

A note on fabric: I really like the look of the charcoal gray fabric on the outside with the red cross. You could use gray felt, corduroy, wool suiting or even scraps for outgrown wool pants (I did this for another pouch). This pouch is made with a wool knit that is washed and dried to felt it. For the lining, a 100% cotton quilting fabric is fine.

Step 3: Sewing the Zipper Pouch--putting in the Zipper--part 1

This is the trickiest part of the whole project but a technique you can apply to making any pouch.

Lay your zipper FACE DOWN along the 12" edge of your exterior (gray) fabric (your fabric should be face up). Position it so the edge of the fabric and the edge of the zipper line up with the zipper laying on the gray fabric (see photo).

Then put your lining fabric on top face down. You want the "good" sides of the fabric up against each other with the zipper in between and the zipper facing the good fabric.

Pin in place and then stitch using your machine's zipper foot.

One trick: when you are sewing past the pull of the zipper your machine will make a curved sewing line as you go by. Go ahead and curve around the zipper pull in your first pass. Then, open the zipper a few inches, and re-sew over the first few inches evening up the stitching (again, see photos).

Step 4: Sewing the Zipper Pouch--putting in the Zipper--part 2

Now, you're basically going to repeat what you did in step 3 but it feels a bit tricky.

Spread out your fabric (the zipper will be in between a rectangle of lining and a rectangle of exterior fabric). Fold the exterior fabric back toward the zipper so once again it is lined up with the edge and the good side of the zipper is facing the exterior. Fold up the lining and pin in place.

This will make more sense with the fabric in front of you!

Pin and sew as before.

Step 5: Sewing the Zipper Pouch--putting It Together

Now you have the exterior and lining fabric attached to the zipper but they are hanging like loops on either side.

First. OPEN THE ZIPPER about half way (you'll be glad you did).

Now, lay out the pouch as shown in the first image, pin and stitch all the way up both sides leaving an opening in one part of the lining. Use about a 3/8 inch seam allowance (whatever makes sense for where your zipper is positioned.

See notes on photos for clarification.

Step 6: Sewing the Pouch--making the Triangle Bottom

To go from a boring, flat pouch to a cool, triangle bottom pouch, here's what you do:

While your pouch is still inside out, fold each of the four corners so the side seam is laying on the center bottom (see photos--this is hard to describe).

Pin in place and draw a line across the corner that is perpendicular to your seam allowance and, from edge to edge, is 2 to 2.5 inches long. The 2 inches isn't important but it is important all four corners be even.

Sew along that line (back stitch at each end to secure) and then trim excess fabric.

Step 7: Sewing the Pouch--finishing It Up!

Now the fun part!

Through the hole you left in the lining, turn your pouch right side out.

Then, pin and stitch closed the hold in the lining and put the lining into the exterior. Amazingly, it should look like a bag.

To complete it, pin and top stitch around the upper edge so the lining and exterior fabric don't get jammed in the zipper. This can be hard to do at the ends where the zipper parts are in the way of the machine but just use a coordinating thread color and don't worry about it.

Step 8: Now, Make It a First Aid Kit!

My theme with these kits was car emergency kits for fathers so it was parent-emergency focused. Essentials include snacks, water, hand sanitizer, diaper wipes and ear plugs (I have a toddler, I know what a car "emergency" looks like but was too cheap to include a dvd player.)

I found most of my first aid supplies at Wal-Mart, many of them in the travel section. The best thing was these little, plastic pill cases for $0.50 each. Just PERFECT for asprin, ear plugs, cough drops and the like. I made little labels on the computer and printed them on sticky label paper. You could affix pieces of sticky label paper and write on it OR just write on each section with a sharpie. You do want any medicines well labeled and kept out of the reach of the children. The pill boxes are not child proof.

I also printed up a little card that could be kept in the glove box showing the contents so you know what you've got without rooting around in the trunk.

I would upload the cards and sticky labels as pdfs but I'm not sure how. Let me know if you'd like 'em.

I gave these to four men this Christmas and I think they were well received. Happy sewing and kit making!
Homemade Holidays: Holiday Gifts

Participated in the
Homemade Holidays: Holiday Gifts