ReStyle: Turn an Old Book into a Makeup Bag

I can’t believe it’s already the end of February. It feels like it was just Valentine’s Day although right now it feels like spring with wonderfully warm unseasonable temps here in Minnesota. I long to put away my winter boots and heavy coats and bring out cuter jackets, but it’s really not an option yet since you never know what the weather is going to do here.

With Valentine’s Day, New York Fashion Week, and the Oscars all happening in the month of February, I’ve been feeling like I need to work on my personal style. But I don’t want to shell out major money for a new wardrobe, I’d rather use what I have on hand and make something unique and very me.

I enjoy vintage looks, and I’m an avid reader. (I’ve been known to stay up till 3am to finish the book I started that evening. That’s why I don’t start a book on a weekday.) I also have a collection of vintage books that I just like the look of, and although they look great sitting on my coffee table I’m starting to get a surplus of vintage but not interesting books. The book purses that I’ve seen online are adorable, but I carry around too much to fit into one of those. I realized that everything doesn’t have to fit into one, but it can make a charming makeup bag.

It turned out so well I wanted to share it with you so that you can make one for yourself. Because smart is the new sexy. 😉

Here’s what you need for this Makeup Bag in a Book DIY:

Supplies for Makeup Bag in a Book

  • Hardcover book (vintage or not, it just needs to be a cover that you like)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Utility knife
  • Brush
  • Glue
  • Wax paper
  • Fabric
  • Elastic
  • Thin piece of cardboard
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Mirror (I was able to pick up a pack of small mirror tiles from my local home improvement store)
  • Heavy duty glue (like E6000®)
  • Sewing machine

This DIY is a bit more time consuming and requires more supplies than usual, but it is definitely worth it.

First you’ll start by marking out where to cut the pages.

Sizing cut out in book

I used my mirror as a guide for how large I wanted my opening. You could also just measure at least a half inch in from all sides with a ruler. It’s really up to you. You just need to make sure it’s not too thin otherwise that will be hard to cut out properly.

Next following your guidelines, cut out the pages from cover to cover.

Cutting out pages

This does take quite a while and it’s a good idea to keep extra blades nearby to keep it going smoothly. When you get close to the bottom pages, it helps to put a cutting mat in between the pages and the back cover so you don’t accidently cut right through the cover.

Now you need to glue all the pages together. Don’t worry, you don’t have to glue each individual page separately.

Glue the book pages together

What you need to do is place wax paper between the book covers and the pages. Keep the book closed and brush glue on the edges of all the pages on all three sides. (The book’s binding will keep the other side together.)

Then just grab a stack of heavy books from your bookshelf and pile them on top of the makeup book while the glue dries.

With the makeup bag in a book drying, it’s time to make the makeup keeper insert.

Cut a thin piece of cardboard a little smaller than the book pages and lay the cut out on the fabric you want for the background.

Fabric Book Backing

Don’t worry about cutting straight lines, you just need a piece that’s larger than your piece of cardboard. Apply some glue around the edges and press the fabric into the glue on all sides. Trim the excess fabric at the corners and set that aside to dry as well.

It’s time to tackle the makeup pouch.

You can make a quick template by measuring how long and wide you want the pouch. Then add the depth of the book pages, for my book it was about 5/8 of an inch so I made my pouch 1/2 inch deep to make it easier. Then add another 1/2 inch for a seam allowance for attaching the pouch to the fabric board you just made. Since the top is going to be open, all you need is a 1/2 inch seam allowance for the elastic edge. (See below for an example of the template I made.)

Cutting out Makeup Pouch

Place the template on the wrong side of the fabric and mark out where you need to cut the fabric and mark the darts as well.

Cutting Out the Makeup Pouch

Cut out the fabric as shown but don’t cut out the darts.

Sewing the Corners of Makeup Pouch

Pin the darts and sew, stopping about a 1/2 inch from the bottom.

Next comes the top of the pouch using a bit of elastic.

Sewing the Elastic in the Makeup Pouch

On the wrong side, mark a 1/2 inch from the top of the pouch. Place a thin piece of elastic on the marking and fold over the edge of fabric so the 1/2 inch mark becomes the top edge. Sew the hem with a zipper foot so you can get as close to the elastic without sewing the elastic itself. You want the elastic to slide freely so you can gather it when you are attaching it to the backing board.

Sewing Makeup Pouch to Backing

Place the pouch on the backing board and start sewing. Yep, you can sew quite easily through thin cardboard. I recommend you use a new needle to help it glide through the cardboard and fabric.

When sewing the elastic in place, sew back and forth to keep it secure. Start sewing at the elastic on one side, sew down, and go around until you reach the other elastic. Adjust the elastic so it’s tight enough to keep the makeup in but not so tight you can’t get anything out. .

If you want you can also sew a lipstick keeper with a thicker piece of elastic.

Adding Elastic Lipstick Keeper to Makeup Book

Center the piece of elastic on your board and mark an outline around it. Sew it down about 3/4 to 1 inch away from the top. Next use a tube of lip balm and mark how wide the loop needs to be. Sew on the marking line, trim the excess, and sew a zigzag stitch along the bottom to finish the edge.

Ok, so all of the elements are ready and it’s time to assemble the Makeup Bag in a Book.

Use heavy duty glue to attach the mirror tile onto the inside of the front cover of the book.

Glue Mirror into Book

I recommend using a heavy duty glue like E6000®. (That stuff works on nearly everything.) Add some weights on top and wait for it to dry. If you don’t wait long enough your mirror will slip out of place (like mine did 😛 ).

Once the glue is set and dry, line up the backing board with the pages of the book so that the pages overlap the board to hide the edges of the board.

Glue backing into Makeup Bag in a Book

Glue the backing board  to the back cover. Then glue the pages to the backing board and back cover of the book. Close the book and pile heavy books on top of it again and wait for it to dry.

When everything is dry, you will have your own Makeup Bag in a Book for your next night out on the town.

Finished Makeup Bag in a Book DIY

This makes a great DIY addition to my wardrobe, but I might still need a cute pair of shoes to go with it. 😉

If you are looking update your wardrobe, why don’t you check out Heartland America? It is always changing to provide you with a fresh selection of clothing and shoes, along with everything else they have to offer: all at great prices.

Please leave a comment about your DIY fashion adventures. I’d love to hear from you!

I hope your February has been full of love and DIY fun and remember whether you are looking for inspiration or just want to relax you are always welcome at Home with Heartland.


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