TUTORIAL: Hand Sanitizer Jacket

Always have sanitizer at hand perfectly coordinated with your accessories when you sew up this Hand Sanitizer Jacket.

It's that time of the year, when the Halloween decorations are still up but the seasonal music station is already playing the Christmas tunes. That time of the year when you realize the gift list is longer than you thought (how many teacher's does The Peanut have?!) and your grand plans of going all hand-made are already slipping away before the turkey has even been purchased. I'm here to help with a simple, seriously quick little project that is perfect for teachers, new moms, workplace grab bags, and stockings everywhere. Pull some indoor/outdoor home dec out of the remnant bin, grab a few metal buttons and coordinating elastic, then pull up a chair and follow along step by step to sew a custom jacket for your travel hand sanitizer. You'll have a dozen presents checked off your list before the last leaf falls.

TUTORIAL: Hand Sanitizer Jacket | This custom Hand SaTUTORIAL: Hand Sanitizer Jacket | This custom Hand Sanitizer Jacket makes a great gift for teachers, new moms, or the workplace grab-bag. Quickly sew up a bunch for the upcoming holiday season with this step by step tutorial. | The Inspired Wren #stockingstuffer nitizer Jacket makes a great gift for teachers, new moms, or the workplace grab-bag. Quickly sew up a bunch for the upcoming holiday season with this step by step tutorial. | The Inspired Wren

If you're like me and prefer to print out the tutorials you use, you can download the four-page PDF file here for just $1.99! Otherwise read on for a full tutorial how to sew a Hand Sanitizer Jacket -- always have sanitizer at hand perfectly coordinated with your accessories.
Download the printable PDF pattern today! | Hand Sanitizer Jacket | The Inspired Wren


TUTORIAL: Hand Sanitizer Jacket | The Inspired Wren
  • One travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer, or lotion, or whatever you’d like to carry in a custom jacket! 
  • Two coordinating fabrics,* each cut 2½" wide by 10" long 
  • Medium-weight iron-on interfacing, 2½" wide by 10" long 
  • ¾"–1" wide elastic, 8" long in a coordinating color, it will be visible in the finished project 
  • One coordinating button, ½"–¾" wide, preferably with a shank, but not necessary 

The dimensions here will fit a 2 fl. oz. bottle, 1 ¾" wide by 2 ¾" tall shoulder to bottom. 

I created this project to use scraps of indoor/outdoor canvas I had on hand. The canvas holds up beautifully attached to a tote/diaper bag that sees a lot of use. I will assume this project can be made of other tough fabrics (corduroy and denim come to mind) without alteration. However, if you choose to use quilt-weight cotton I would add a medium–heavy-weight iron-on interfacing to each piece, or insert a medium–heavy-weight sew-in stabilizer between Steps 8 & 9 for durability. I’ve only made this with canvas so I’d love to hear about & see your results with other materials! 

Don’t forget to use the correct needle for your chosen fabric on your sewing machine. If you are working with canvas fabric as seen here use a non-dull, Universal- or Sharp-Point needle, size 18. When sewing on just the elastic (Steps 2 & 3), a Ball-Point, size 14 needle helps the stitching go smoother, but isn’t necessary. Just remember to change back to the appropriate needle for your fabric weight for the remainder of the project. [ASIDE: This project comes out horribly with a dull needle (guess how I know). How used and dull are your needles?] 

TUTORIAL: Hand Sanitizer Jacket | This custom Hand Sanitizer Jacket makes a great gift for teachers, new moms, or the workplace grab-bag. Quickly sew up a bunch for the upcoming holiday season with this step by step tutorial. | The Inspired Wren #stockingstuffer
I've made this jacket in the past with 3/4" braided elastic; here I've used 1" fold-over-elastic.


a.         Cut your coordinating fabrics to size (each 2 ½" x 10"). Decide which will be the outer Shell fabric and which will be the inner Lining fabric. 

b.         Working right side up, mark the midline across the width of both the Shell and Lining fabrics. Set the Shell fabric aside. 

c.         Mark the Elastic Belt position 1 5/8" up from the marked midline. 

d.         On the same end/side as the Elastic Belt markings, mark the short end with two dots—this will be the handle end left open for turning. 

TUTORIAL: Hand Sanitizer Jacket | The Inspired Wren
Cut and mark the fabric accurately.


1.         Prep the elastic.* Working just over 3" from the end of the elastic, stitch the entire width of the elastic with a satin stitch (a wide, short (0–1) stitch); tie off your threads. Now cut the elastic very close to the stitching, being careful not to cut the stitched threads, so that you have one 3" piece of elastic with no stitching (the Elastic Belt) and one 5" piece of elastic with one satin-stitched finished edge and one raw edge (the Elastic Handle). Set aside the 3" piece.

*ALTERNATE FINISHING: If you’re not comfortable with the satin stitch edge, you can fold the elastic over ¼" two times and stitch with a straight seam. Your goal is two pieces of elastic: one 3" piece (the Elastic Belt) with both edges raw and one approximately 5" piece (the Handle) with one finished edge and one raw edge

2.         On the 5" Elastic Handle, at the same end as the finished edge, insert a button hole to fit your button. It should be parallel to the long edge of the elastic and the end should touch the satin stitching/finished edge. Set all the elastic aside and remember to change your needle if you used a Ball-Point for the elastic.

TUTORIAL: Hand Sanitizer Jacket | The Inspired Wren
Steps 1-2: Prepare the elastic.

3.         Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the Shell fabric. Set aside.

4.         Matching the raw edges, pin the 3" Elastic Belt to the right side of the Lining fabric aligning the bottom of the elastic with the marked Elastic Belt position. Pin down the extra bulk of elastic in the middle so it stays out of the seam allowance.

TUTORIAL: Hand Sanitizer Jacket | The Inspired Wren
Step 4: Pin the Elastic Belt in place.

5.         Align the Shell fabric and the Lining fabric. Pin with right sides together, sandwiching the 3" pinned-in-place Elastic Belt in between the two. With a ¼" seam allowance, sew three sides of the pinned fabric leaving the short edge with the marked double dots open. You should catch the edges of the Elastic Belt in the seam as you sew.

6.         Clip the sewn corners and turn the fabric right side out; use a dull point tool (like a chopstick or dull pencil) to push the corners out. Press the entire piece flat.

TUTORIAL: Hand Sanitizer Jacket | The Inspired Wren
Step 6: Turn the jack right side out and press.

7.         Fold the raw edges at the open end of the fabric into itself approximately ¼"–½" (but no more than ½")*; press in place. Insert the unfinished/raw end of the Elastic Handle approximately ½" in and center it along the short edge. Pin the seam closed with the elastic in place.

*NOTE: If you’re paying attention this now means after precise cutting & marking, your mid-line may no longer be a true mid-line. I know, but it works so go with it!

8.         Beginning at marked mid-line, top stitch* ⅛" from the edge around the entire piece (I prefer to use a longer stitch (3–3.25) when topstitching); as you stitch you will again catch the edges of the 3" Elastic Belt (see picture) and you will close the open short-end seam also catching the one end of the Elastic Handle (the finished/button hole end of the Elastic Handle will still be free). You should finish stitching where you started; pull the threads through to the Lining-side and tie off.

*NOTE: Normally I prefer to top-stitch from the outer side of a piece or garment (outer/Shell-side up), however because of the Elastic Belt, I find it is easier to stitch this piece with the inner/Lining-side up.

TUTORIAL: Hand Sanitizer Jacket | The Inspired Wren
Step 8: Top-stitch all four sides of the jacket, closing the opening and catching the Elastic Handle in place.

9.         At the marked mid-line, insert a 1½" button hole centered across the 2" width of the fabric—basically from top-stitching to top-stitching. Be sure to orient the button hole across the width of the piece (not parallel along the length). Yes, it will feel like it’s practically the entire width of the piece.

10.      Working on the opposite end from your Elastic Handle and down ¾" from the end, insert a button hole to fit your button. This will most likely be smaller but should also be inserted across the width (not the length) of the piece.

TUTORIAL: Hand Sanitizer Jacket | The Inspired Wren
Steps 9-10: Insert the button holes.

11.      Fold the entire piece in half at the mid-line button hole and mark the button placement on the inner Lining. Sew your button in place. If you’re using a button with a shank, just sew it on nice and tight. If you’ve chosen a button without a shank, insert a wooden matchstick (or similar width object: a single tine of a fork, maybe) between your fabric and your button, pull it out when you’re done stitching the button in place; before tying it off, wrap the thread a couple of times around the stitches in the space between the button and the fabric where you removed the matchstick—the matchstick will help you leave enough height in the thread-wrap shank to accommodate the bulk of the elastic and layers fabric when you button it all together.

TUTORIAL: Hand Sanitizer Jacket | The Inspired Wren
Step 11: Add the button.


Now put it all together:

a.         Insert your hand sanitizer bottle through the Elastic Belt (you can go ahead and unpin that now if you haven’t already) with the bottle cap aiming for the mid-line button hole.

b.         Push the top through the button hole—you can worry it in as I did the first time, or just be smart about it and remove the cap (being careful not to spill the sanitizer), push the neck completely through the button hole making sure all the fabric is below the bottle’s screw-threads entirely, and then replace the cap tightly.

c.         Wrap the Elastic Handle around your object of choice—bag handle, stroller handle, handle on your desk at work—then button the elastic in place.

d.         Now button the front of the Jacket closed on the same button as the elastic.

When the bottle empties you can replace it with a new one or just re-fill your original bottle. And you can always remove the bottle and throw the Jacket in the washing machine to keep it disinfected like your sanitized hands.

This Hand Sanitizer Jacket is an excellent scrap buster. Once you get the hang of it, you can bang out half a dozen or more in one afternoon. Pair it with a Pocket Tissue Cover and throw both into a Lined Canvas Tote and you'll have a lovely coordinated gift set in one afternoon.

If you sew one of these Jackets in any variation I'd love to see it. Come share your projects on The Inspired Wren Share page. There you can link up images of your work from a blog, Flickr, Pinterest, or Instagram.

TUTORIAL: Hand Sanitizer Jacket | This custom Hand Sanitizer Jacket makes a great gift for teachers, new moms, or the workplace grab-bag. Quickly sew up a bunch for the upcoming holiday season with this step by step tutorial. | The Inspired Wren #stockingstuffer

PS  -- Thanks for reading to the end. Of course, now you need a bag to hang your new Hand Sanitizer Jacket on! Try the 3-10 Tote or the Lined Canvas Tote sewn in coordinating fabric for a perfect set.  ~Ren

3-10 Tote Tutorial | The Inspired Wren Lined Canvas Tote Tutorial | The Inspired Wren

Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.

You should really see all that goes into each project!
From my marathon sewing sessions, to all that I do when I #shouldhavebeensewing, catch daily updates on Instagram (and Flickr) of works-in-progress. Get that behind the scenes view you’re looking for, and sneak peeks of First Tuesday Tutorials, too.

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  1. That's so cool! I want these for backpacks!

    1. Thanks, Amy. These would be perfect for backpacks!

    2. perfect for lunch boxes as well.

  2. Such a clever idea. I have a couple of friends who are never seen without their hand sanitiser, these would be great little Christmas gifts for them.

  3. Great idea, thanks for sharing.

  4. Clever idea, Ren. These would make fabulous gifts.

  5. Hi Renee
    I have just started sewing and I found your blog through the Threading My Way linky party.
    I love this idea! This would be so handy when out about with my boys.
    Michelle :o)

  6. What a great idea! Thanks for providing a wonderful tutorial.

    1. I started blogging so I could share my ideas -- it's wonderful to know they're appreciated. Thanks, Vicki.

  7. Brilliant idea..Great tutorial.I am going to make the tote and hand sanitizer for my sick girlfriend. I saw your tote tutorial I must say it is the best tutorial I have seen. Thanks so much..I love the tissue holder as well. I didn't realuse that they changed the openings and had made the normal centre opening only to find this out the hard way....how dare they lol

  8. Thanks for sharing this brilliant and beautiful creation Ren :) I'm planning to make them and sell them, and if I do, I'll sure do credit you :) God bless

  9. i just finished making these. i used some light-weight cotton and used ribbons for the strap and it turned out great. thanks for the tutorial ^v^

  10. Adorei a ideia. Não tinha visto ainda, porta alcool gel. Amei. Obrigada. Bjussss

  11. Compulsive sterilization of skin is abusive, and dangerous, leaving the strongest and often most virulent bacteria and viruses alive and with no competition to keep their numbers in check... and to support the practice with 'arty creations' is really something I can't quite describe nicely...

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. I used fusible fleece and quilting fabric

  14. Its an incredible joy perusing your post.Its brimming with data I am searching for and I want to post a remark that "The substance of your post is marvelous" Great work.for information regarding toilet seat sanitizer please visit to the link.
    Why you must pack Hyge spray if you are a frequent Traveler

  15. Hi
    The link to the PDF doesn't work?

  16. Thank for the review and sharing it over here,
    Buy Zuci Hand Sanitizer This is special formulation makes ones hands soft & smooth.