How to Make Purse-size Sewing Kits (a gift everyone will love!)

Small sewing kits comes in handy more times than you think. How many times have you been out in public, and the hem of your dress came out?  Or the seam of a blouse came unraveled? 

purse-size sewing kits - drawstring, matchbook, or in a plastic case

Having a purse-sized sewing kit would really come in handy during a sewing emergency.  But, sadly, these aren’t carried with us as much as they used to.

You can change that easily. With a few simple supplies, you can make sewing kits for yourself and others. Better yet, you can make several, and tuck them into a stocking. 

Do you have to fill a boy’s or man’s stocking?  Add one to theirs, too.  You can create a male version of the sewing kits just by using a more masculine or camouflage color.

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Sewing kits can be made in two sizes.  The first one resembles a matchbook, and has fewer options, yet still contains the basic necessities.

The second version is slightly larger, and holds a wider color range of thread, a thimble, and possibly a small pair of scissors.

And sewing kits aren’t just for your purse.  Put one in the glove compartment of your car, a desk drawer at the office, and even one in the supply closet in your classroom or at church!

Just so you know: This post contains affiliate links; if you click on a link and make a purchase I might make a small commission, but it does not affect the price you pay!

matchbook-style sewing kit made with bright blue cardstock and a multi color ribbon

Sewing Kits – Matchbook

cardstock in blue, purple and bright green cut into squares and strips; package of buttons; assorted spools of thread, package of needles and other supplies to make purse-size sewing kits



Cut the cardstock into two sizes. 

  • Size 1: 2” x 6”   – outside of the sewing kit
  • Size 2: 1” x 1/2″ – thread holder

glue stick, bright green cardstock multicolored striped ribbon used to make a matchbook-style sewing kit

Cut a strip of ribbon 6” long. Glue the ribbon to the center of the 2” x 6” strip.

image showing how to fold a matchbook size sewing kit made from bright green cardstock with multi-colored ribbon in the center

Fold the bottom end of the card approximately 1/2″.

bl;ue cardstock cut with wedges for wrapping thread

In the thread holder, cut 3 notches along each side.  Cut small, short slits on three of the extruding pieces (this is to keep the thread from unraveling.)

Wrap a length of thread in each notched section – approximately 4’ of thread

plastic bag filled with buttons, a needle, safety pins; a piece of cardstock wrapped with thread

Place one needle, buttons, thread card, and 3 small safety pins in the zip-top bag.  Close the bag. Tap the bag so all of the sewing supplies are at the top, leaving an air space at the bottom.

matchbook-style sewing kit made with bright green cardstock and a multi color ribbon

Insert the bag into the folded card.  Staple through the card and air space of the bag.  Fold the top portion of the kit over, tuck into the bottom tab, and crease.

Your kit is ready!

(Don’t forget to order your copy of Have a Merry, Simple Christmas! You can print out a downloadable version of these directions, and add it to your notebook!)

drawstring sewing bags in green, yellow daisy, and purple stripe fabrics

Sewing Kits – Drawstring Bag

Let’s face it.  Some days you just need a few more supplies in your sewing kit.  This one is a small drawstring bag that can be made with fabric that fits any personality.  There is enough room in it to store the type of sewing kit that comes in a small plastic box. 

There is also enough room in the bag to store another small item or two, or emergency cash.  If you have all your supplies together, it takes less than 30 minutes to make one.

But why stop at one?  Go ahead and make several drawstring sewing kits at the same time.  And don’t forget the men.  They may not have a purse, but it can be stored in the glove compartment of his truck, or in his hunting bag. You really never know when or where sewing kits will come in handy!

supplies for a drawstring purse-size sewing kit including yellow daisy fabric, ruler, rotary cutter, yellow thread, straight pins


(for easy online shopping for these supplies, check out the Have a Merry, Simple Christmas Resource Page!)

  • Fabric – any cotton fabric will work.  If you want to give it a vintage feel, make them out of old feed sacks.  And for the men, consider camouflage, or a more masculine print!
  • Scissors or a Self-healing cutting board and a Rotary cutter
  • Matching Thread
  • Cording – thick yarn, jute and small gauge rope works well
  • Sewing Kit in a Plastic Box
  • Small Embroidery Scissors
  • Medium to Large Safety Pin


strips of yellow daisy fabric being cut for purse-size sewing kits

Cut fabric into a 5-1/2” x 13” rectangle.

backside of yellow daisy fabric with pins along the side

Fold fabric in half, right side together.   Pin together, if desired.  Sew a 1/2″ seam along both sides, leaving the top open. 

a thumg holding fabric to match the seams

Press the seams open.  Considering this is a small bag, this may get tricky.  I open the seams on both sides, then line them up.  Holding them together, I iron both of them at the same time.

To save yourself some grief later on in the project, it is a good idea to sew the sides of the seams down approximately 1”.  (You will thank me later for this tip!)

yellow daisy fabric being turned for a seam

Fold the top of the bag over 1/2″ to 3/4″.  Iron in place.

Again, you are working with a very small bag.  Being very careful to sew only the folded side, sew along the bottom of the fold all the way around the bag.

Turn the bag right side out.  Push the corners out so they are smooth.  I find a crochet hook works well for this and won’t poke a hole in the fabric like the pointed end of scissors have a tendency to do.

Next, find the center of your bag.  Using the thumb and forefinger of each hand, separate the channel so you can grasp just the front portion of the fabric.  Using embroidery scissors, cut a small slit in the fabric. Be careful not to cut through both sides.

Cut a length of your preferred cording 18” long.  To keep it from unraveling and give you a firm place to insert a safety pin, tape the ends.

yellow daisy fabric drawstring sewing kit showing how to insert string into channel with a safety pin

Insert the pointed end of the Safety Pin into the tape, and close.  Insert the head of the pin into the slot.  Gently ease the pin through the channel, pulling the cording with it.  To do this, hold the head of the pin and push the fabric along the shaft.

Then holding the head of the pin, straighten the fabric towards the end of the pin.  This should pull the cording through.  When you have made it completely around the bag, exit the channel through the hole – opposite of where you started.  Pull enough cord through to be able to tie it.

Remember that tip for sewing the seams in place?  This is where it comes in handy.  Since you are working ‘blind’, it can be difficult to know where to insert the pin to guide it between the seams, and not into the back of the seam.  By sewing it in place, the pin should move easily through those seams.

Once the cording is through, remove the pin and pull your cording ends even.  Tie a knot at the end of each one, and trim off the taped end.

All that’s left is to give your sewing kit bag a quick press, and you are ready to add your box of supplies!

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Sewing Kits are Perfect Stocking Stuffers!

In a single afternoon, you can have quite a few sewing kits handy.  These are perfect for stocking stuffers, or even party favors when you have a Circle of Friends gathering.

Be sure to get a copy of Have a Merry, Simple Christmas e-book. Then grab this FREE printable and add it to your notebook in the DIY chapter! (It’s still free for everyone, even if you haven’t gotten your e-book yet!)

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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