Packing Cubes Pattern with 3 Sizes – (Shower Curtain Upcycle) – Beginner Sewing Projects

Packing Cubes Sewing Pattern

A packing cube is a zippered mesh bag used to organize clothes within luggage. Sew your own packing cubes in three sizes with this easy pattern and photo tutorial.

A packing cube is a zippered mesh bag used to organize clothes within luggage. Sew your own packing cubes in three sizes with this easy pattern and photo tutorial.

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Why Use Packing Cubes

Packing cubes can be used in several ways. They can separate types of clothing. For example, one cube can hold pants, another shirts, etc.

You can also designate a cube to each family member. Then stack the cubes in one piece of luggage for traveling ease.

Another idea is to pack a complete day’s worth of outfits in each cube. Grab a cube for hiking clothes on Monday, a theme park on Tuesday, etc.

Packing Cubes Sewing Pattern

The packing cubes compress clothing, so you can fit more in your suitcase and keep everything neat and organized at the same time. Any way you pack them, these little mesh bags are sure to streamline your vacation needs.

Packing Cube Sewing Patterns

Three patterns are available in this post for small, medium and large packing cubes. The small is ideal for keeping single outfits together or holding undergarments.

A medium sized cube works well for holding all the clothes for one family member for a week-long vacation.

The large size holds quite a bit and can be used for long term storage, as well as longer trips. Its low profile is great for slipping under a bed or in the top of a closet.

You are sure to find a use for all the sizes. Grab a cheap shower curtain, which are typically 100% polyester, to make all three sizes. If you lay out your pattern pieces well, you can get up to six packing cubes out of a single shower curtain.

Let’s get started!

DIY Packing Cube Supplies

Packing Cubes Sewing Pattern Supplies

A lightweight, polyester shower curtain is perfect for packing cubes. They are much cheaper than buying rip stop vinyl by the yard (a similar material), and you can cut several cubes out of one curtain. Plus, it is water resistant!

Mesh fabric is great for the top so you can easily see the contents of each cube.

For zippers, grab a pack of 60″ zips with double sliders. They can be cut down to fit any size cube (or other projects).

You will also need the following basic sewing supplies.

How Do You Sew a Travel Cube?

Begin by cutting all your pieces to size using a rotary cutter and cutting mat.

Dimensions for a small, medium and large packing cube are listed below.

Small

Base: 10″ x 10″

Mesh: 10″ x 10″

Sides: 4″ x 41″

Zipper: 40″

Zipper Tab: 4″ x 4″

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 1

The photos shown in this tutorial make up a medium sized packing cube.

Medium

Base: 11″ x 14″

Mesh: 11″ x 14″

Sides: 5″ x 51″

Zipper: 50″

Zipper Tab: 4″ x 4″

A large packing cube fills the bottom of an average carry-on rolling bag. For reference, it can hold 4 pair of men’s jeans and 4 pair of men’s cargo shorts.

Large

Base: 13″ x 17″

Mesh: 13″ x 17″

Sides: 6″ x 61″

Zipper: 60″

Zipper Tab: 4″ x 4″

Now that you have all your pieces cut, let’s start assembling.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 2

Fold the sides piece in half with right sides together, and hold it in place with sewing clips.

Do not use straight pins for this project. They can damage the thin materials.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 3

Sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance. It is a good idea to use a zipper foot for this project.

TIP: When working with a thin material, it is a good idea to increase your stitch length. A setting of 3 on most sewing machines works well.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 4

Open the seam and finger press. (Do not iron! This fabric will melt.) Clip to hold.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 5

Then top stitch each side of the seam as close to the edge as possible.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 6

Now we are going to make the zipper tab. Fold the 4″ x 4″ square in half. Then open it up, and fold each side to meet in the middle.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 7

Next fold the top down to meet the center. Clip.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 8

Then fold the bottom up to meet in the center. Clip again.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 9

Now lay the zipper ends across the top of the zipper tab, kissing in the center.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 10

The zipper should form a loop when you do this. Make sure it is not twisted.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 11

Now fold the bottom of the zipper tab up and clip it in place. You should not be able to see the ends of the zipper at this point.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 12

Sew around the perimeter of the zipper tab using a zipper foot.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 13

If this is your first time sewing a zipper, don’t be afraid to sew right through it!

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 14

Next, lay the zipper on top of the sides. Both should form loops at this point. With right sides together, match the seam of the sides and center of the zipper tab at the top edge.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 15

Clip these two pieces together all the way around.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 16

Sew the top edge using the zipper foot as a guide.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 17

Move the zipper sliders past the presser foot as needed to sew as straight as possible. You may need to raise the presser foot to do so.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 18

Now open the seam you just made, and top stitch as close the edge of the vinyl as possible.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 19

To add the mesh top, find the center of one of the longer sides. Clip it to the center of the zipper tab. You can clip all the way around if you choose.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 20

Then sew the mesh on top of the zipper using the zipper foot.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 21

When you arrive at a corner of the mesh, raise your presser foot and turn the next side of the mesh to it is parallel to the zipper.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 22

Continue to sew. Because mesh fabric has a lot of stretch, you don’t have to worry about creating perfectly mitered corners.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 23

Next open up the seam, and top stitch the mesh as close to the edge as possible.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 24

Unzip the zipper. Then lay the base fabric piece on top of the sides. Match the center of the longest side to the center of the zipper pull, right sides together, just like you did with the mesh.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 25

Again, you can clip the pieces together before sewing if you’d like.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 26

Sew around the perimeter, raising the presser foot and turning the fabric at each corner.

Packing Cube Sewing Pattern Step 27

Turn the bag right side out, and carefully push out the corners with your fingers. A turning tool may damage the thin fabrics.

Packing Cubes Sewing Pattern 1

Your packing cube is complete!

Packing Cubes Sewing Pattern in 3 Sizes Upcycle

Don’t forget to pin this project for later, and check out some more fabulous sewing tutorials listed below.

Yield: 1 Small (10" x 10") Packing Cube

Packing Cubes Sewing Pattern (Shower Curtain Upcycle)

Packing Cubes Sewing Pattern

How to make a packing cube for organizing luggage and packs. These printable instructions are for a small packing cube measuring 10" x 10". Patterns for medium and large packing cubes can be found in the original post at beginnersewingprojects.com.

Active Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5.00

Notes

  • Do not use straight pins. They will leave holes in the vinyl.
  • Increase your stitch length (3 is recommended) to reduce the number of holes made in the vinyl.
  • A zipper foot is best for this project.

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