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Tame Your Budget With a Lined Zippered Pouch Tutorial

Even in our digital age many people still use cash for certain things, like groceries, gasoline and clothes. It’s a great way to stay on budget, but there are challenges too. Keep track of your cash with this lined zippered pouch tutorial.

photo of budget zippered pouches

Our family has used the envelope system since before Dave Ramsey made it popular. I was a waitress during college and my husband was a waiter during graduate school, so we had to have a way to divide up our cash or else it would just get spent. So, we used envelopes.

But paper envelopes wear out and don’t hold coins very well, so we needed to come up with something different. Lined zippered pouches were the answer!

I made zippered pouches for each budget category that used cash – so not our mortgage or car insurance. They worked great! I could easily keep receipts, paper bills and coins in the pouches. And they looked much better than paper envelopes.

You can use this lined zippered pouch tutorial to make cash envelopes, make up bags, pencil bags, and many other things. Just adjust the size of the fabric.

How to Make Lined Zippered Pouches

Today I’m going to show you how to make your own budget zippered pouches. You can use this same idea and make pouches in all different sizes to use as pencil pouches, a makeup bag, coin purse, etc.

Feel free to make these plain, but I like to add a little muslin fabric to the front and stamp it with the category. You can also use fabric markers if you don’t have stamps.


photo of putting zipper in lined pouch

When you cut your fabric make sure the fabric length is the same as the entire length of the zipper, which will be a little longer than the size listed on the package. Two pieces will be the outer pieces and two will be the lining.

photo of Handmade Zippered Pouches

Cut the muslin fabric and pin it to the right side of one of the outer pieces of fabric. Zig zag stitch the muslin to the fabric.

photo of sewing zippered pouch

Now make a sandwich by placing one lining piece right side up, then the zipper, then one outside piece wrong side up. Line up the top edges and make sure the fabric is the entire length of the zipper and pin. Using a zipper foot, sew across the top, close to the zipper teeth.

photo of making zippered pouch with label

Now fold back the fabric pieces so that you can see the other side of the zipper.

photo of pinned fabric for zippered pouch

And make another zipper sandwich by putting the liner right side up, then the zipper, then the outer piece wrong side up. Pin and sew with a zipper foot.

photo of making lined zippered pouch with label

Flip the outer piece over and your pouch should look like this. I like to top-stitch around the zipper. You can do that now or choose not to. I think it looks tidier and doesn’t take any time at all.

photo of making lined zippered pouch

Now, unzip the zipper at least half way and lay the outer pieces right side together and the liner pieces right side together. Pin all around the edges. The zipper should be pinned towards the lining – this is important if you want you pouch to look nice.

photo of lined zippered pouch construction

Sew around the outside using a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 2″ opening in the bottom of the lining.

photo of making lined zippered pouches

Clip the corners.

photo of straight pins in making zippered pouches

Pull the pouch through the opening to turn it right side out. Tuck the raw edges of the opening into the pouch and sew shut. I just use the machine, but you could also hand stitch it shut.

photo of Handmade Zippered Pouches

Push the lining inside and zip shut. Stamp or write the category name onto the muslin piece and that’s it. You’ve made a zippered pouch!

Making lined zippered pouches is just one way to keep your budget in check, reducing food waste, using what you have, and growing your own food are also great ways to save money.

How do you keep your budget organized?

photo of lined zippered  pouches for budgeting



Thanks for sharing!


Tuesday 7th of February 2017

I love making these zipper pouches - a quick and fun sewing project! I hadn't thought of using them as Ramsey's "envelope system" what a great idea - thanks of the inspiration!

Angi Schneider

Tuesday 7th of February 2017

You're so welcome! There was time when I was slightly addicted to making these and made them in different sizes. They're so great because you can just read the label of what's inside. Enjoy!