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Sew Your Own Packing Cubes: DIY Pattern and Tips for Travel Organization (2024)

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how to sew packing cubesListen up, friends! What a happy coincidence that you stumbled upon this tutorial today. You’re in for a real treat, because I’m going to let you in on a little sewing secret: packing cubes are a total game-changer for keeping your suitcase organized on trips.

Now I know some of you may be skeptical at first. Cubes for my clothes? How’s that going to help? Trust me, once you sew up a set of these handy bags in different sizes and start using them, you’ll be hooked.

Not only will packing be a cinch, but finding what you need while traveling is so much easier when your clothes are neatly sorted.

So let’s get to the nitty gritty, shall we? For this easy DIY project you’ll need fabric, zippers, thread – you know, the usual suspects. I’ll walk you through the steps to make 3 different sized cubes with handy carrying handles.

They’re perfect for separating out outfits, keeping laundry contained, and organizing different family members’ clothes in shared luggage.

Key Takeaways

  • Use high quality zippers with metal sliders and learn repair tricks to ensure durability.
  • Match Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP thread color to fabric for a clean look. The polyester thread resists tangling.
  • Carefully install zippers by pinning, basting close to the teeth, folding away seam allowances, and topstitching the backside.
  • Choose tightly woven, medium-weight cotton or synthetic fabric that will hold its shape through repeated washings.

Why Sew Your Own Packing Cubes?

Why Sew Your Own Packing Cubes
You’ll cherish the memories of that dream vacation much more knowing your adorable handmade packing cubes kept everything tidy and organized. Creating your own custom packing cubes allows you to select durable, high-quality fabrics like cotton canvas that will withstand years of travel.

Having different prints and colors for each family member makes packing and identifying belongings effortless.

Stitching them yourself gives you flexibility to customize sizes to fit your needs. Smaller cubes for undergarments, larger ones for sweaters – you decide! Don’t forget a mesh top panel for visibility.

Use an all-purpose or denim needle and polyester thread for strength when sewing.

Take time installing the zipper using a zipper foot for straight, even stitches. Making these as gifts for friends adds a personal touch they’ll love.

You’ll breeze through travel prep and spend more time enjoying your destination.

Supplies Needed for DIY Packing Cubes

You’ve decided to get crafty and sew some custom packing cubes for your next big trip. For this easy DIY project, you’ll need fabrics like cotton canvas or polyester, zippers with two sliders, all-purpose thread, a rotary cutter, ruler, and a sewing machine to neatly stitch the cubes.

We’ll be covering the exact materials required, dimensions, and sewing steps to help you efficiently make these practical travel accessories.


Power Stretch Mesh White, FabricView On Amazon

  • Use cotton duck canvas for durability and strength. The tightly woven fibers can withstand years of packing and travel.
  • Prewash the fabric before sewing to allow for any shrinkage and ensure proper dimensions.
  • Opt for opaque fabrics if you plan to pack private garments, to conceal the contents.
  • Install high-quality zippers with metal teeth that are friendly to the fabric. Using a zipper foot on your sewing machine makes installation easier.
  • Well-constructed handmade cubes will keep your outfits neatly organized inside your luggage.


Meillia 6PCS 60 Inch #3View On Amazon
Opt for high-performing zippers with metal sliders for packing cubes that persistently and perfectly preserve your packed apparel. Seek out niche zipper uses like separating cubes or adding decorative zippers to clothing.

Learn handy zipper repair tricks, utilize a zipper size guide, and explore creative zippered pocket styles to make professional-looking cubes. Carefully attach the zipper to the medium base and zipper tab, threading the zipper sliders and pulls through the short end of the tab.

With quality zippers, your handmade packing cubes will withstand endless packing cycles.


4-PACK - Coats & ClarkView On Amazon
Choose Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP heavyweight thread color value pack for its smooth 4000-plus yards of durable polyester thread per spool that resists tangling while sewing heavy fabrics when making packing cubes.

The four versatile colors – black, white, slate, and natural – provide thread options for custom designs. Contrast stitching adds visual intrigue, so select machine feet to match thread colors. Follow an easy sewing tutorial, like making lightweight mesh bags with zippers using a medium stitch length.

Cutting Tools

Stock up on a self-healing Zerro cutting mat, Fiskars rotary cutter, and acrylic ruler so you’re prepared to cut fabric pieces cleanly and accurately when making your own packing cubes. Use even, steady pressure with the rotary for uniform cuts as it glides smoothly across fabrics.

Change dull blades promptly and store properly to extend useful life. Consider specialty blades like pinking shears for finishing edges with a zigzag pattern.

Sewing Machine

Brother Sewing Machine, XM2701, LightweightView On Amazon
Grab the lightweight Brother sewing machine to zip through packing cube projects in a snap. Its jam-free operation and illuminated workspace will brighten your creative spirit like sunshine bursting through clouds.

The walking foot glides layers smoothly, while the buttonholer attachment effortlessly punches professional-looking corded buttonholes. For perfectly matched corners, utilize the quilting guide. With handy accessories and stitches galore, this versatile machine empowers your sewing dreams.

Packing Cube Pattern and Instructions

Packing Cube Pattern and Instructions
As an experienced seamstress, I am excited to provide you with a detailed packing cube pattern along with step-by-step photo instructions. This printable PDF will guide you through constructing your own custom-sized cubes for organized luggage.

My tutorial breaks down the process into simple steps, from cutting your fabric pieces to neatly boxing the corners.

Printable PDF Pattern

You’ll love having the printable PDF pattern. This guide walks you through sewing packing cubes step-by-step. It includes illustrations for constructing the cubes with double sided zippers, mesh panel options, and reinforced stitching.

It suggests durable fabrics like cotton canvas or polyester and zipper slider options to customize your set. With dimensions for small, medium, and large base pieces, you can sew a complete system matching a pair of men’s cargo shorts.

Follow each seam allowance precisely on the pattern. Before you know it, you’ll have custom-sized cubes ready for your next adventure.

Step-by-Step Photo Tutorial

Now get a lens that captures our goal taking form from the start.

Next, we’ll go through each sewing step with pics showing the process. You’ll see how to cut fabric precisely, put in zippers, reinforce corners. Extend suitcase straps so these cubes attach securely. Stitch a sturdy base with padding to protect electronics.

Add decorative topstitching or color block panels for a custom look. Whether making the small, medium or large sized base, follow along to sew multipurpose accessories. For perfectly mitered corners, carefully align the points when pinning. With this visual guide, you’ll gain the skills to sew packing cubes matching your needs.

Sewing Tips for Packing Cubes

Sewing Tips for Packing Cubes
Select a tightly woven, durable fabric like cotton canvas or polyester to withstand frequent packing and travel. Lengthen your straight stitch to three millimeters—this will reinforce seams under pressure without excessive perforating.

Take special care when installing the zipper using a zipper foot to ensure even, close contact between tape and fabric. With the right materials and attention to detail, you’ll have custom-made packing cubes that last trip after trip.

Fabric Type

When choosing fabric for your packing cubes, go with a tightly woven cotton or synthetic that can handle repeated washing. They should also have a bit of structure so the cubes hold their shape. Consider fabrics like cotton canvas, denim, twill, or ripstop nylon.

For interfacing, use a medium-weight woven or non-woven fusible. This will add body without making the cubes overly rigid.

With the right fabric choice, your custom packing cubes will last for years of happy travels!

Stitch Length

Lengthen stitches to maintain durability when sewing packing cubes. For heavy fabrics like canvas or nylon, a longer 3 mm stitch will prevent seam popping under the strain of packing. Match heavier thread like topstitching thread to avoid breakage. Finish seams with zigzag or serging since packing cubes see plenty of wear.

Before topstitching, press seams open using a tailor’s ham for rounded corners. Adjust tension so the bobbin thread doesn’t show on the right side. Hand stitch mesh bags to cube tops with small slip stitches. Durable construction means your custom packing cubes will contain clothes on countless adventures.

Zipper Installation

Don’t fight your zipper! Carefully pin and baste it in place before permanently stitching to ensure carefree access to your tightly packed cubes.

  1. Line up the zipper teeth to the edge of the fabric.
  2. Use the zipper foot to stitch close to the teeth.
  3. Fold away the seam allowances.
  4. Topstitch the backside for a flat fit.
  5. Attach the zipper pulls last to complete the cubes.

Focus and patience lead to a smooth, functional zipper that glides along neatly to keep clothes contained. With the right techniques, you’ll breeze through zipper insertion for travel ready packing cubes.

Get Inspired With Packing Cube Ideas

Get Inspired With Packing Cube Ideas
You can really make packing cubes your own by playing with sizing, fabrics, and design details. Try sewing a set in different dimensions to accommodate various items or make a bold statement with lively custom prints.

Personalizing your cubes is a breeze when you add neat touches like labels, ribbons, or trims.

Size Variations

You’re in luck – packing cubes come in a variety of sizes to meet your unique travel needs.

Cube Size What Fits
Small 1-2 days of clothing
Medium 3-5 days of clothing
Large 1+ week of clothing

Sew a set of packing cubes in small, medium and large to accommodate everything from a weekend getaway to an extended vacation abroad. Customize dimensions to perfectly fit your wardrobe – craft a slimmer medium cube for efficient space usage and laundry on longer trips or size up the large to handle bulkier seasonal clothing like sweaters and ski pants.

Custom Prints

Customize your cubes with fun prints that reflect your personality! Express your fashionable flair by lining the interior with custom fabric featuring your favorite prints and patterns. Get creative with color blocking chunky stripes or polka dots, or try a bold ombre fade using gradient dye techniques.

Play with texture by mixing sheens, appliqués, or interesting zipper pulls. The options for adding custom details are endless! Don’t settle for basic – give your packing cubes a signature look that sparks joy whenever you unzip them to access those travel essentials.

With the right zipper technique and pressing those patterned pieces right sides together, you’ll create stylish cubes you can’t wait to show off.

Add Labels or Trim

My friend, glitz those mundane rectangles up by splattering them in rhinestones, or expertly embellish them with your handcrafted lettering to dazzle all who lay eyes on your legendary luggage! Add visual interest and customize your packing cubes by:

  1. Sewing on colorful braided ties or ribbons
  2. Inserting mesh windows
  3. Topstitching with contrasting thread

Reinforce the handles and use decorative stitches like pick stitch lettering to make them uniquely yours. With some creativity, you can transform basic rectangles into your favorite easy DIY accessory, no matter the base size.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What fabrics work best for sewing packing cubes?

Cotton canvas, denim, or twill are great sturdy fabric choices. Their tightly woven fibers prevent stretching and can withstand repeated laundering. For visibility, breathable mesh panels made from polyester or spandex nicely complement the solid fabrics.

How do I sew corners neatly when making packing cubes?

To sew corners neatly, first stitch across both bottom edges. This prevents bunching. Then sew the side seams and neatly align the bottom corners so they lie flat before stitching.

What’s the best way to press seams when making packing cubes?

When sewing packing cubes, press seams flat before topstitching them closed. This helps the fabric lay smoothly and evenly. Be sure to press from the wrong side first, then the right side. Use a medium-hot iron and press with the grain of the fabric.

Take care not to stretch or distort the pieces as you press. Pressing well makes topstitching much easier and more attractive.

Can I make packing cubes without a sewing machine?

You can make packing cubes by hand, but it will take more time than using a machine. I’d suggest hand-sewing only if you don’t have access to a sewing machine or want a lightweight travel project. Opt for thicker fabrics like canvas so the stitches will hold up. Carefully mark your fabric and take your time stitching for the best results.

Where can I find packing cube hardware like zippers and mesh?

I’d poke around the notions sections of fabric stores for packing cube zippers and mesh. Big box craft shops sometimes stock specialty items like that too. And there’s always the world wide web if your local shops don’t have what you need.

Just use good judgment when ordering online without seeing the items first – read reviews and check return policies, since quality can vary.


You’ve got this, friend! Making packing cubes is easier than you think. Follow the simple pattern, grab your supplies, and get sewing. Before you know it, you’ll have custom organizers to neatly pack your suitcase. A few straight seams, installing the zipper—piece of cake! And the best part? You can personalize the size, fabric and style to suit your travel needs.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.