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#SewOrganized: DIY Diaper Bag Organizer from Swoodson Says

Organization Week 2016
For Day 3 of Organization Week 2016, we’ve got a guest post by Stephanie Woodson from Swoodson Says! She’s going to be showing us how to make this adorable diaper bag organizer to keep your life in order in 2016. This easy sewing project is perfect for the mom on the go (and makes a great gift for anyone with a new baby!)

diy diaper bag organizer#SewOrganized: DIY Diaper Bag Organizer from Swoodsonsays

Hi! Stephanie from Swoodsonsays.com here, sharing a unique zipper pouch tutorial to keep you organized. I’ve been keeping my son organized by giving him a super simple bag, the Little Collector Backpack, but the ‘less is more’ tactic doesn’t work when I’m toting around stuff for two kids.

We are always on the go, I take both kids out and about at least once a day and we all go out, or my husband takes them out, every weekend. Jumping back and forth between the backpack, my purse, and my big tote (the purse pictured is one I made, I’ll be sharing a review of the pattern on my blog soon!) can often leave us disorganized, with the sunscreen in one spot, the snacks in another, and the band-aid we really need left at home.

felt organizing tabs

A finished pouch measures 8 X 10.5″ – I added felt tabs to the top so I know what’s what. ‘Food’ is for snacks and bibs, ‘Meds’ is for band-aids, sunscreen, and hand sanitizer, ‘Etc.’ is for my wallet, my phone, chapstick, lotion. The extra long zipper tabs make it hard for stuff to fall out when you’re fishing around, and an added layer of plastic canvas makes them super stiff and easy to get into.

Now I can just grab all 3 pouches, our wet-bag of diapers, and the keys without double checking for everything! If you’d like to make one of your own, keep reading!

bag organizers

A finished pouch measures 8 X 10.5″.



  1. Iron the felt scrap in half length-wise, and open. Lay the vinyl scrap centered.
  2. Fold back in half, and sew each long side 1/8″ from the edge. Stamp or write on your cardstock, lay on top and carefully cut through the top layer of felt only, creating a rectangle window.
  3. Slide the paper inside and underneath the vinyl (using tweezers or hemostats to tug it tight will help). Sew along each short side of the window, securing the paper.

steps 1 - 3

  1. Lay the felt tag right sides together, along the short end of a main fabric piece. I made three bags and spaced their felt tags 1″, 2″ and then 3″ from the left edge so they all alternated. Baste into place.

step 4

  1. To make the zipper tabs, iron in half, open, fold each short end back to the middle, meeting the crease. Fold back into half again, press.

step 5

  1. Open the zipper tab back open, lay one zipper end inside, roughly 1 1/4″ away from the folded edge. You can pin, glue stick, or hand baste into place. Fold back in half, and sew along each short end, right along the edge, to secure.

step 6

  1. Repeat for the other side of the zipper and stop – the finished length should match the long side of your fabric main piece. You can trim the long, raw ends of the zipper stop to reduce bulk if desired.

step 7

  1. Layer the zipper right sides together with the main body piece, and then layer the lining piece right side down. Sew along the right side of the zipper with a zipper foot – if you get stuck around the zipper, put the needle down, presser foot up, pivot the fabric around, close or open the zipper more, pivot back, put the presser foot back down, and finish sewing.

step 8

  1. Double check that you’ve layered and sewn correctly – this is how it should look! Press with an iron, away from the zipper, being careful not to melt the zipper teeth.

step 9

  1. Layer the lining face up, and the other main body piece face down, sandwiching the other set in between. Sew along the right side of the zipper with a zipper foot, as before.  Open and press, again.

step 10

This is what it should all look like once you’re done!

after step 10

  1. Topstitch along each side of the zipper, making sure the lining layer stays flush with the main body piece. This keeps either side from getting stuck in the zipper while you’re opening and closing.

step 11

  1. Lay the lining & main body right sides together, (make sure your zipper is open!) and sew with 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a large gap at the bottom of the lining.

step 12

Push the zipper ends into the main body pieces, like below.

after step 12

  1. Clip the corner, turn right side out. Poke each corner out. Gently roll the plastic canvas and insert each piece into the main body, pressing one into each side.

step 13

  1. Fold the lining’s opening seam allowances inwards, press, and then sew. Push the lining into the main body piece, in between the plastic canvas pieces. You’re done!

bag organizers

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter our giveaway on the main Organization Week post – you have until January 22 to do so!

Getting in the Organization Week spirit? Share your decluttering, sewing projects, or craft spaces with us on social media using the hashtag #SewOrganized !

And let us know:

How are you getting organized in 2016?