Make a Waterproof Bag Tutorial

Waterproof bags are helpful to have around. They’re great for camping trips, pool or beach days, or for carrying wet clothes when you have potty training kiddos. My husband is headed out on a canoeing trip, so I decided to make a bag to keep his clothes dry. This tutorial is so simple and requires a very small amount of fabric!

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Materials to make a waterproof bag:

  • Waterproof fabric (PUL, oilcloth, or ripstop are great options) — I used this ripstop, available in multiple colors, which would not be waterproof for submerging in water, but will keep things dry
  • Non-separating Zipper (size will depend on how big you want your bag to be) — I recommend using a zipper with plastic teeth, since the bag is intended to get wet. Zippers with plastic teeth are also very easy to shorten.
  • Sewing machine – zipper foot recommended
  • Sewing notions (scissors, thread, etc.)

How to Sew a Waterproof Bag:

1.Cut a piece of fabric – the width of your fabric should be as long as your zipper. The length of your fabric should be TWICE as long as you want your bag to be. My fabric was about 30 inches long x 16 inches wide. Fold your fabric in half as shown below (right sides together)

2. Sew the zipper to the wrong side of the fabric, top side facing the fabric. Use your zipper foot when sewing to get close to the zipper. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of the zipper. *Some waterproof fabrics like PUL or ripstop can be really shifty when sewing. I highly recommend using clips like THESE instead of pins, to reduce the number of holes in the fabric.

When finished sewing, your zipper should look like this, attached to the WRONG side of the fabric:

3. Open the zipper halfway and repeat with the opposite fabric edge. Repeat step two on the other side of the zipper, again sewing onto the WRONG side of the fabric. Your fabric will make a large circle when you are done, attached by the zipper in the middle.

4. Keeping the zipper open, fold the raw edges together, flattening the zipper. Sew along the open sides, using a tight zig-zag stitch. Make sure to backstitch at the top and the bottom. Do this for both open sides.

It will look like this when you’re finished:

5. Finish the edges with a serger or pinking shears to prevent fraying.

Now turn your bag right side out through the open zipper, and enjoy your new bag!

I recommend testing your bag before using it to see just how waterproof/water resistant your fabric is. No one wants to put their phone in a bag at the pool and then discover the fabric is not actually waterproof!

Happy sewing!

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