Jewelry Bag With Inside Compartments




About: Artist and soap maker.

This is my first Instructable and I'll show you how to make a sweet and handy jewelry bag with inside compartments using fabric and sewing supplies. Great for travel and gorgeous on your dresser at home.

Materials needed:
2 fabric pieces size 11" x 11"
2 fabric pieces size 8" x 8"
chord or ribbon, 2 pieces, 30" each

Tools needed:
sewing machine or needle and thread
pencil or pen
something to draw circles with (I'll be using a dinner plate and salad plate but will show alternate methods)
pencil compass or silver dollar

What would you stash in a little bag like this? Maybe sewing kit supplies with a little matching pin cushion in the center. What else?

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Step 1: Cut the Pieces

I'll be using different coordinating fabric scraps for each piece. The purple with swirly vines will be the outside of the bag.

Starting with the fabric for the outside of the bag, lay it on the table with wrong side up, place your dinner plate on it and trace around. My dinner plate is 10 5/8" across.

You could also use a pencil compass and make a circle approximately 10 1/2" across.

If you don't have a big enough plate, bowl, or a pencil compass, just cut a strip of cardboard 6 inches long, stick a push-pin in one end and punch a hole 5 1/4" from the pushpin. Anchor the pushpin in the center of your fabric, place a pen or pencil in the hole and, holding the pushpin steady, drag the pencil around in a circle.

Make a second circle the same size, this will be the liner (lime green for mine). Cut them out.

Now repeat to make 2 smaller circles. I used a salad plate that was 7 7/8" across. Or you can punch another hole in the cardboard strip 4" from the pushpin. My fabrics were a different purple and flowery green.

Step 2: Sew the Circles

With right sides together, sew the two larger circles together, going around 1/4" from the outside edge. Leave a 1 1/2" opening.

Cut small notches in the seam allowance, about 1 1/2" apart, all the way around, being careful not to cut the seam you just sewed.

Turn right side out through the opening. Make sure the edges open all the way out to the seam in a nice neat circle.

Using a needle and thread, blind-stitch the opening closed.

Repeat with the small circles.

Step 3: Attach the Circles

Find the center of the large piece by making a half fold and then a quarter fold and placing a pin through the corner. Open out the piece and mark a small X where the pin is.

Repeat with the small piece.

Using the pencil compass or a silver dollar (or any other circular object that size) draw a circle that is 1 1/2" across in the center of the smaller piece.

Lay your larger piece on the table with the outside color facing down. Place the smaller piece directly in the center of the larger one by matching up the X's. Make sure the circle you just drew is facing up.

Pin the pieces together. Sew the two pieces together along the circle you drew.

Step 4: Make the Compartments

Place a ruler down the center of the small piece and make a few marks along it, enough to identify the center line of the piece.

Use pins to divide each side into three pie sections (for a total of six pie sections all the way around). You can kind of eye-ball it to get them as close to the same size as possible. The pins marking each of my pie sections were 3 5/8" apart.

For each pie section, sew a line from the circle you made in the previous step to the edge of the small fabric piece. The last photo shows the seams paintshopped with black so you can see what it should look like. But make sure your bobbin thread is the color of the outside of your bag (purple for mine) and the spool thread is the color of the lining (green for mine).

Step 5: Add the Drawstring

Make a channel for the drawstring by sewing all the way around the large piece, just outside the edge of the small piece, being careful not to catch the edges of the small piece in the seam.

Sew a second seam around, 3/8" out from the first seam, being careful to keep this same distance all the way around. Now you have a channel for your drawstring. (The first picture in this step illustrates the two new seams in black but, again, use bobbin thread and spool thread the match the two sides of your bag).

Cut a small slit in the outside fabric only, between the two seams. Cut another slit in the outside fabric only, between the two seams, but on the opposite side of the large circle.

With needle and thread, reinforce the edges of the hole with a whip stitch. Repeat for other hole.

Catch one end of the ribbon or chord (drawstring) in a safety pin and insert into one of the holes. Use the safety pin to push the chord through the channel, all the way around (ignore the other hole when you get to it, just go right past it). Tie the ends together in a simple knot. Repeat with the other chord starting in the other hole.

Step 6: Cinch It Up and You're Done!

Pull the strings to cinch up the bag. Notice how the pie shapes make little compartments inside the bag and there's a larger compartment in the middle.

It's ready to give to your Mom and now that you've made one, it's a quick, easy task to make another for your Granny, your sister, your aunt... (and yourself).

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26 Discussions


3 years ago

You ROCK! A friend of mine showed me this style of bag and I fell in love it with (for a dice bag). I think I'm going to reorder my steps though and attach the small circle with pouches to the large liner circle. Then I'll skip to Step 2 to sew the large circles together and jump to Step 5 for the drawstrings. Done that way you won't see the pie seams from the inside circles. Now all I have to do it pick out material.

4 replies

Reply 4 months ago

How many dice does this hold? I’m wondering if I should adjust to make it bigger or if it is a good size


Reply 2 years ago

I'm trying to figure out the changes you made. Can you be more specific? Or pictures.



Reply 1 year ago

I am so sorry Aniversary20 - apparently there's no notification system, and I'm just now seeing this.
FWIW I've now made 4-5 of these, though only the first was the above size. They make great dice bags for gamers.

So cut your circles as usual, but on step 2, only sew the small circles
together, then turn them right side and finish your remaining seam.

Skip to steps 3 & 4, sewing your finished small circle to the right side
of ONE of the large circles, using whichever fabric you want to be on
the inside.
Now go back to step 2 and sew your larger circles, right
sides together and your small, already attached circle will be on the
inside. You might need to leave your hole for turning a little larger,
or be prepared to work it out patiently. Once turned, finish the
remaining seam.
Continue on with steps 5 & 6 above.


Reply 2 years ago

That's a great modification, sunridersky. I bet it will look nice.


Tip 4 months ago

Using a blanket stitch on the edges of the drawstring holes works better at a small scale over the whip stitch which can get messy pretty quickly (I learned this the hard way! ^^;) so I would recommend that instead. Hope this helps someone.


Question 1 year ago on Step 3

Are there printable instructions for this drawstring jewelry bag?
Ethel Coffman

1 answer

Answer 1 year ago

The Instructables folks have that as a “premium feature” (paid). It’s the PDF download link. I suppose a person could take screenshots and print those but it wouldn’t look as neat and would use up more paper.


Reply 2 years ago

Eh, I wasn't the first one to make one of these either. Just wanted to show how since I couldn't find free instructions on it when I wanted one.


Reply 2 years ago

Oh, i thought its your idea... A pretty useful thingie anyway. :) And not only for jewelery.


3 years ago

I will post photos later but I am quite excited to do these bags as party favours for my daughters 9 birthday.

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

I'm a year late to the party, how did it go?

Is there any way to print this pattern? I don't usually leave my computer on when I'm sewing so I can look at the pics. and instructions. Thanks for your help, Bev

1 reply

Hi Bev. Well, good question. It looks like "pro members" can download a pdf of any instructable for easy printing. I'm not a pro member so I clicked "view all steps" (the grid next to where it says 6 Steps) and that put everything on one long page, but when I right-clicked and clicked print, it looked like several things were overlapped and might not print perfectly. So we might be out of luck there. If you're a real problem-solver (and I tend to see this sort of thing as a challenge), you could copy and paste the instructions and photos into a word document and print. Let me know if you figure anything out.


9 years ago on Step 6

I am also a novice and I've found your project inspiring. Thanx so much!!


9 years ago on Introduction

Please tell me how the ribbon works on the jewelry bag. The instructions don't say if you are supposed to sew the ribbon together or what.

1 reply

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

It's in Step 5. I just knotted the ends of each ribbon (or chord). But you don't tie the two different ribbons to each other. It's basically a drawstring purse (or bag). The two strings work to cinch the bag closed when you pull them and let the opening back out when you pull the bag open. (That seems like a lot of explanation for how a drawstring works, I hope you're not more confused at this point).