Free Standard Shipping on Web Orders over $75 (Lower 48 States only)

How To Sew a Snap Bag

Snap Bag Blog

An easy project you can finish in an evening! Use fabric you already have, or pick up some new Moda fabric . Use an old tape measure— you probably have one rusting in a toolbox somewhere— to provide the "snap" part. We're talking about those classic handyman tape measures, like this Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure . You will also need some interfacing and thread.

Once you have all your supplies ready, you can start creating!

Materials needed:

1/3 yd.each of 2 complimentary fabrics (one for the outside and one for the lining)

1/3 yd.mid weight sew in interfacing

thread to match

metal tape measure (minimum 1/2" wide)

Material for sewing blog

Step 1.Cut each piece of fabric and the interfacing 14" x 11".

Step 2. Place the interfacing on the wrong side of the lining fabric.

Step 3. Fold the main fabric in half (top to bottom, it should measure 7"high by 11" wide) and sew a 1/4" seam down each side. Repeat this step for the lining fabric making sure to sew the interfacing in at the same time. On one of the side seams of the lining you will want to leave a opening of about 2" starting 1/4" from the top. Make sure to sew a few stitches at the top before leaving the opening.

 sewing blog

Step 4. This step is optional. I like the bottom of my bags to sit flat and I create that by laying the side seam along the bottom seam or in this case the folded edge of the bag. For this size bag I am measuring in an inch from the corner and drawing a line. Sew on this line and trim the corner. Repeat this step on the other corner and again on the lining piece.

Sewing snap bag

Step 5. Turn the lining right side out and slide it into the main bag which is still inside out. (refer to photo) Pin the lining to the front matching the side seams and the top edges. Attach the fabrics with a 1/4" seam all the way around the top. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the side. Press if needed.

Snap bag in process 

Step 6. Pin fabrics in place to topstitch. I have 2 different thread colors in the machine so that the topstitching blends in with the fabric colors. The first row of topstitching should be very close to the outside edge. The second row of stitching (depending on the width of the tape measure) is 5/8" from the first row. Slip stitch the opening closed except for the casing.

Tape Measure

Step 7. Carefully cut 2 pieces of the metal tape 10 1/2" long (check the length of the bag and cut to fit) and round the edges. This is easily done with regular scissors but NOT your good fabric ones.

 Sewing Blog post

Step 8. Insert a strip into each side of the bag through the casing that was just created with the topstitching. Keep the rounded side of the tape facing the inside of your bag. This is a snug fit from end to end and you will have to bend the tape by rounding out the bag in order to slide it in all of the way. 

The bag is complete! This is a great technique for eyeglass cases.

Completed Bag

Click here to read more about Good's Store serving as a fabric store in Lancaster, PA.


  • Make a bit larger and it makes a great purse to carry your bible and s.s. quarterly. No zip sounds in church from bible cases!

    H. Eby
  • I use pre-quilted fabric and just fold the top over the tape measure. I stitch carefully along the edge avoiding the metal. I add a triangle tab beneath the fold for a pull tab. Or you can add a button to grasp and pull apart. Then finish side seams.

    Rosalee Bevard
  • Love your patterns. Do you have a pattern for a tabletop trash can it hangs on the side of your work place to put sewing scraps and threads in?

  • Thank you for sharing these sewing ideas. I think I will try and make one too. A great idea.

  • Great idea – I like those snap bags but never thought about how they could be made. I am saving this one!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published