Tutorial: Emergency Zippered Pouch

Thanks for all the lovely comments on our Emergency Zippered Pouch. We had a number of requests for a tutorial so you can make your own. They really are a handy size and perfect to put a few first aid supplies in your handbag.

Best of all, they only take an hour to make! They would make a nice gift with a gift card, cash or some other emergency supply inside!

Finished pouch is: 2 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches (7 x 11.5 cm)


  • 4 charm squares (5 x 5 inches), two each for pouch outer and lining
  • small piece of flannel for wadding
  • scrap of white linen
  • scrap of red homespun
  • scrap of ribbon
  • split ring
  • 4 inch zipper

Cut fabrics:

White Linen – cut four squares, 1 x 1 inch
Red Homespun – cut 2 squares, 1 x 1 inch; cut rectangle 1 x 2 inch.
Outer fabric – cut 2 rectangles, 5 x 3 inches.
Lining fabric – cut 2 rectangles, 5 x 3 inches
Flannel – cut 2 rectangles, 5 x 3 inches
Ribbon – cut one piece, 2 inches in length.

Sew Red Cross Patch:

Red Cross Patch Pieces

Referring to the photograph for placement, stitch a white square onto opposite sides of a red square. Press seams towards the red square.

Stitch a red/white unit to either side of the red rectangle. Press.

Cut a piece of cardboard that is 1 1/2 inches square. Lightly spray the red cross patch with spray starch. Place the patch wrong side up on your ironing board. Centre the cardboard square on the patch. Using the cardboard as a guide, press the seams inwards. Allow to cool, and them remove the piece of cardboard. Your patch is now ready to stitch onto the pouch.
Press under seams

Install Zipper

Layer a piece of the outside fabric onto a piece of flannel. Layer the zip on top with the right sides together and the long edge aligned, and stitch in place. Press, and then top stitch. Repeat for other side of the zip.
Pin the red cross to the middle of the pouch front and stitch in place. Fold the ribbon over the split ring and baste in place – referring to the photograph for placement.

I wanted a rounded bottom to my pouch so marked in some curved corners with a water erasable pen (I used a cotton reel as a template). With the zip open, and the wrong side of the pouch facing, pin in half. Stitch along sides and bottom of the pouch. Trim and clip corners.

With the right sides of the lining piece facing, pin together and mark the rounded corners. Stitch the lining sides and bottom together. Trim and clip corners. Press under 1/4 inch along the top edge.

Turn the pouch out the right way and press. Position the lining inside the pouch and attach in place by hand using a slip stitch. (For smaller pouches, I find hand stitching the lining gives a better result).

For more photographs of the Emergency Pouch – check out What’s Your Emergency?

You can find more of our free tutorials here, and we also have a range of  pdf sewing and quilting patterns in our etsy store.

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  1. says

    Great tutorial, actually the best I’ve seen in a long time very well set out!! I’ve avoided zips for a long time now but you make them look soo easy. Thanks ladies.

  2. says

    Thanks for the great tute. I think I will make one of these for a little something extra to put in a friend’s birthday card next month.

  3. Yvette Klepinger says

    Thank you s muchh for creaing this tutorial!! I love itandIm definitely goin to make some of these for myself and my daughter too! YAY! I cant wait! 🙂

  4. says

    You are always so generous with your tutorials! This is really an adorable pouch, and such a great idea for organizing first aid supplies. Thanks for sharing such a cute project with your fans!

  5. says

    You must have read my mind. I was just imaging this very thing but with a special little tweak. I will definitely need to use this tutorial when I create my emergency pouch because I haven’t even sewn a zipper yet. I will surely link to this wonderful post. I’m so glad I found this! Great job!

  6. says

    Thank-you for this tutorial it will be handy for many different items.I am glad i saw your site on sew can she tutorials.You definitely {?} have a new follower.Thank-you again. Becky

  7. says

    I love this tutorial…the little emergency bag couldn’t be cuter. I found you from sew mama sew I’m excited to see all of your great projects

  8. Mike says

    This is great. I always get frustrated because the boxes that come with bandits break so easily and are hard to open and close. This is both cute and easily assessable.

  9. says

    Thank you so much for this tutorial!! I’m making this for a friend; it’s almost finished and it looks adorbs! Will post photos on my blog after her birthday. 🙂

  10. says

    Cute, cute, cute! I never can figure out how to make what’s in my head. You did that! Need this for my cell phone and stadium manual to hook onto my belt at work for the Texas Ranger Baseball Club. With a slight shape and size adjustment, stiffer fabric in team colors with a sleeve on the back for my belt it will be perfect!

  11. AC says

    This is SO cute, and being a nursing student I absolutely have to make this! One question: how did you make the pouch lining? I would have assumed you’d made it the same way you made the outside of the pouch, but in the picture they are different shapes so I’m confused. I’m a total beginner so bear with me if this is obvious!

    • A Spoonful of Sugar says

      Hi AC – the lining is made the same way. Then you fold down 1/4 inch around the top opening of the lining, then place it inside the pouch and hand stitch it close to the inside of the zipper. Hope this helps to clarify it for you! Good luck with you nursing studies!

  12. Kate says

    I’m allergic to bees and carry an Allerject for emergencies but it’s in a sort of nondescript sort of pouch. This worries me because if I can’t inject myself it won’t stand out as something to use in an emergency. This tutorial gave me an idea. I’m going to have to tweek the dimensions a bit but it’ll work. Thanks so much!!!!

    • A Spoonful of Sugar says

      Thanks Kate – a couple of other readers have enlarged the pattern to store epi-pens of allergic emergencies. Happy sewing!

  13. Renee says

    Hi, I just found this tutorial and i love it! Can you please confirm that you are using 1/4 in seam allowance for everything, including the charm square? Thank you.

    • A Spoonful of Sugar says

      Hi Renee – Glad you found us! Yes, I use 1/4 inch seam allowances until stated. Happy New year!

  14. Judy says


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