February 09, 2023

DIY Cork Project Bag

DIY Cork Project Bag

One of the most helpful things, when you have multiple projects in progress, is a way to contain your supplies in one space, so everything is always where you need it! It's handy for traveling or taking your projects to work on the go.   

I love using cork inside my project bags as it is more durable than cotton fabric and less likely to get pricked by scissors. Here is a tutorial for making a cork project bag with a vinyl front window. 


Supply List

  • Four Printed Cotton Fabrics
  • Batting
  • Cork Fabric
  • 12in or 14in Zipper
  • Vinyl 
  • Cotton Binding or Bias Tape
  • Rotary Cutter 
  • Scissors 
  • Non-Slip Vinyl Needles 
  • 80 Universal Needle
  • Quilting Ruler 
  • Wonder Clips
  • Sewing Pins
  • Iron 
  • Ironing Board
  • Sewing Machine
A photo of the supplies needed to make the cork project bag


Step One: 

Cut the fabric as follows

vinyl 8.5in x 10in
cork fabric 12in x 10in 
batting 12in x 10in 
front facing 2.25in x 10in 

From the four cotton prints cut 2.5 inch squares. If you have scraps, this is a great project to use them on!


Step Two:

Take the front-facing pieces and the zipper. Pin with right sides facing as shown. Sew with a zipper foot. 


A pink zipper pinned right sides together to the front facing fabric.


Repeat on the other side of the zipper. Press the fabric and the zipper with your iron to keep the seam neat.


A pink zipper stitched to the front facing fabric laying on a grey and white cutting mat.


Step Three:

Arrange your 2.5-inch squares as desired. I chose to lay mine out in a diagonal pattern. 

Piece the 2.5-inch squares together in rows so each row is 10 inches wide.

Press the seams open as shown. 


photo collage of the 2.5in squares being arranged, sewn together, and then the seams pressed open


Piece the rows together until you have a piece of fabric 12x10in pressing seams open. 


Close up view of the fabric made from 2.5in squares being trimmed to size


Step Four: 

Pin the cork fabric, batting, and cotton fabric together


The three layers of the back of the project bag shown pinned together. Top, right side out cotton fabric, middle warm and natural batting, bottom right side out cork fabric  The quilt sandwich pinned in the middle and wonder clips holding the edges together.


Step Five: 

Quilt the three layers together. I like to use a standard needle and a 3mm stitch length. You can use any quilt pattern you like, but here I went with a grid pattern quilting in the ditch. 


Quilted sandwich showing the cotton side where it was stitched in the ditch to make a grid pattern The cork side of the quilt sandwich showing the quilted grid pattern


I needed to trim my edges a bit to reach the size of 10x12-inch so I did that here. 


Step Six: 

Using clips, place the front facing on the 10in width edge of the vinyl. Be sure to switch to a non-stick vinyl needle for this step. DO NOT PRESS the vinyl. 


Using wonder clips secure vinyl and zipper facing together  The front zippered portion is now sewn onto the vinyl completing the front piece 

If your vinyl has a paper backing remove it now. 


Step Seven: 

Placing the wrong sides together, pin and clip the zippered front to the back quilted piece. Make sure that all edges match, and move the zipper to the middle. 


Using wonder clips the front panel is secured to the quilted backing, being sure to move the zipper to to the middle of the bag once it is secured.


Step Eight:

Stitch around the outside edge with a quarter-inch stitch. 


Step Nine: 

Cut the end of the zipper off as shown in your zipper instructions. 


The excess zipper has been clipped off and the pouch is ready for binding.


Step Ten: 

For the binding, you can use traditional single-fold binding or double-fold bias tape. I am using single-fold binding, so I clipped the binding to the back of the project bag. If you use a double-fold binding, clip the binding on both sides. 


*Tip - Make sure to stitch down the zipper, so it is flat against the binding.


Step Eleven: 

For the single-fold binding, stitch the binding onto the back of the pouch using mitered corners. I didn't have enough space to do an angled joining of the binding, so I did a straight one. 

For the double-fold binding, stitch the binding to both sides, making miters at the corners. 


Step Twelve *single fold binding only

For the single-fold binding, turn the binding over and clip it to the front of the bag. 


Step Thirteen *single fold binding only

Stitch the binding to the front of the bag making miters at the corners. 


Photo of completed cork project bag with a white binding attached and a spool of thread and pair of scissors in the bag


Now it's ready just in time for a Valentines Day Stitch Along! If you want to make your own bag, click here to see our metallic Dot Fabric. You should be able to make one full size and a smaller sized project bag from a fat quarter.