Hand Sanitizer Holder: Tutorial

san 3This would make a wonderful gift—especially teacher gifts!  Attach it to your purse, diaper bag, loop over a door handle, hang it in the kitchen or bathroom—there are many uses for it, and the fact that the cap is always exposed means you can quickly use it when you need to.  Attaching it to your purse also means you won’t be digging for it anymore:).  san 7

It uses just a few small scraps of fabric, so you likely have everything you need already.  (And sorry—it has been so dark and grey these last few days, so the lighting is a bit horrible for the pictures!)
sanitizer 2

While I was shopping on Black Friday with some family, we stopped at Bath and Body Works and bought some yummy lotions.  They had the cute little hand sanitizers with these rubber-like holders that you just put around your purse strap or whatever you want it to be.  As soon as I saw it I thought, “I’m totally going to make one of those with fabric!” And they are not expensive in the last—they were only .50 cents!   I don’t think they’ll last that long (at least not the way my kids are pulling on them), and although glitter is in and all that, I don’t love that it is glittery—it doesn’t really go with any of my purses or bags and I kind of feel like I’m five :).  DSCF3831

Anyways, the tutorial I have will show you how to make the size that I am pointing at.  I originally had the middle one and actually made the whole tutorial using the measurements from that one, but when I bought some more at Wal-mart, they were bigger.  It’s easy to adjust the size—I’ll show you how in the tutorial.  I can let you know how to make any of these sizes you might have pictured.DSCF3830

So the one I used that will have more specific measurements is a tad over 4” tall, and about 2” wide.  DSCF3832

It looks like a lengthy tutorial, but it comes together rather quickly.  I just have two different options at one point in the tutorial.
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You’ll need:
-two 2” x 18” strips fabric—you could totally use a couple different fabrics that match, which would be really cute.
-at least one button—doesn’t matter what size, and you can also have more than one button
-either two strips 7” x 1.5”, 1” piece velcro, a rolled flower (or a ruffle for this part) OR ribbon, however long you’d like it to be to tie around the sanitizer

-UPDATE:  you should definitely iron on some fusible interfacing to strengthen the button holes.  You can just iron a 2″ x 18″ piece of interfacing  onto one of the same size strips you cut.  This way, your button hole won’t rip, causing the bottle to fall out over time as it gets stretched more and more.  Also, the tighter the fit, the better off you will be!

**to adjust the sizes for the smaller bottles, take off an inch of the long strips, and a 1/2” of the shorter ones.  EXAMPLE: for the smallest Bath and Body Works size of bottle, the strips are 2” x 16”, then the shorter ones are 6” x 1.5” (unless using ribbon).  You will need to adjust the button hole size for the Bath and Body Works size only.**

Start with the two long strips.  Pin them right sides together, and sew with a 1/4” seam, leaving one of the ends open for turning. DSCF3839

Clip corners, turn, fold in the opening, iron, and top-stich around the entire thing.DSCF3840

Place the long strip around the sides of the bottle you are using, turn over, and mark in the middle of the lid portion onto the fabric.DSCF3841DSCF3842

This is your middle of the buttonhole for the cap of the sanitizer bottle to fit into.  So mark a 1.5” line with the marking you already made in the center of it.DSCF3843

Now sew a button-hole that is 1.5” long.  My buttonhole foot does NOT go that big, so I used Grosgrain’s awesome tutorial here on how to do a buttonhole without the button-hole foot.  If you are uncomfortable doing a button-hole, practice a couple times with Kathleen’s great tutorial.  I watched it again before making this, just so that I would have it down.  Because sometimes buttonholes just stink. Mine isn’t perfect, but it will do.  DSCF3844

And just in case you have the same size bottle as me, my buttonhole measured down as follows on my long strip:DSCF3845

Um, nice camera strap!

Use your seam ripper and cut the buttonhole.  See how your bottle cap just slips nicely into that?DSCF3847

Now at this point you could just center your ribbon onto the strap and sew onto the back side of what you see here, then tie a knot/bow and skip the next few steps.DSCF3848DSCF3849DSCF3850

OR, you could take these pieces you have and make a velcro strap.  It’s probably a little more secure and guaranteed that the bottle won’t fall out this way, but the ribbon is an easy option if time is a factor.DSCF3851

Take the two 7” x 1.5” pieces, pin right sides together and sew 1/4” seam, leaving one end open for turning.  Clip corners and turn.DSCF3853

Tuck in the end, iron, and topstitch.DSCF3854

Sew the velcro onto opposites sides of the strap.  You can sew a ruffle onto the strap at this point if you’d like to.DSCF3855

Find out where you want the strap to fall on your bottle, then sew onto the strap with one line of stitches.DSCF3856DSCF3857

At this point you can sew or glue a rolled flower where desired.DSCF3858

OK, so now this is where you’ll come back in if you used the ribbon.  Put the bottle into the holder and measure where you want to sew the top part together as pictured in the next 4 pictures.DSCF3859DSCF3860DSCF3861

Sew a button-hole onto the piece that extends from the bottle.  You can use your buttonhole foot this time, depending on the size of button you use.DSCF3862

Sew the button on where you would like it, making sure that the loop you create can fit around a purse strap or whatever you will be securing it around.  You can add another button for an adjustable loop if you want.  I hid my threads between the two layers of fabric so you can’t see it on the other side, but just in case I went through, I used matching thread.DSCF3863
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another san

Shop for the holidays!  Sewing machine or camera pendants available in my shop!


  1. says

    Love this idea! How creative and fun. I’ll also be trying to do this with the small travel lotions from Bath & Body. Thanks a bunch!

  2. says

    I love this! I use one of those gooby glittery ones & it’s getting pretty stretched out. I need this! Can’t I just send you $5 for one so I don’t have to muddle through it on my machine!!?? LOL Great little gift idea!

  3. says

    That’s a really great idea! I’m always worried the cap will open while it’s in my purse, so I don’t carry one in there. But I do keep them in the car, but even then it gets passed around and then lost or stepped on. I like one ladies idea… can’t I just send you some $$ so you can make me one?

  4. says

    I LOVE these! I have one of those rubber ones on my diaper bag and you’re right they are not that attractive but I like having my hand sanitizer with me always…I am making one of these tonight!!!

  5. says

    This is awesome! I have been racking my brain for something to make the girls in my church group that is useful but wouldn’t break the bank. I’ve got it now! Thanks for the tutorial.

  6. says

    Great idea!!!!! I’m SO doing this – I’m such a freak when it comes to germs especially with have two little girls under 3. Definitely genius!!


  7. says

    OH MY GOODNESS! I was JUST literally trying to figure out how to make something like this-because I had just gotten the rubbery one from Bath and Body Works and thought how cute and functional they’d be made of fabric.
    You just saved me lots of time and frustration!
    :) THANK YOU!
    P.S. {I love your blog!}

  8. says

    This is the BEST idea. I have the perfect person in mind for one of these and I was already planning a bag for a Christmas gift. One of these will make a great addition to the bag. This person is NEVER without her small bottle of sanitizer…can’t wait to try it out. Thanks,

  9. says

    That is just about awesome. If I weren’t up to my eyeballs in Christmas present sewing I would totally put this on my list for this year…so next year it is!!!

  10. says

    Christie, you saved me a lot of work! I was just thinking that it would be cool to do something with hand sanitizer for my kids’ teachers’ upcoming birthday and you beat me to it! I’m glad you did though, it’s way better than what I could have come up with. Thanks, I hope it’s ok that I’ve posted my version on my blog https://thewoodhen.blogspot.com with a ridiculous amount of links to yours! Thanks again Christie, you have some mad skills going on!

  11. says

    What a great idea! These are so adorable and practical. Everytime I need hand sanitizer I can never find it. Love the fun ruffles and flowers you added to them as well. Very cute!


  12. says

    Wow! These are fabulous and would make excellent Christmas gifts! I’m going to try and make some and will let you know what I come up with. Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. says

    You are brilliant my friend. This is ingenius and so handy. Yes…the glitter does seem a little pre-teen glamourish. I love the ones you came up with.

  14. says

    This is so great! I love that it’s pretty and practical at the same time. Mine is always getting lost at the bottom of my purse. Thank you!

    Leslie S. in MN
    esclante at comcast dot net

  15. says

    Thanks for the fantastic idea! I am glad I didn’t buy the rubber ones with all the hand sanitizers I bought people for Christmas :) One down, two more to go! I will be sure to link to your site when I post my pictures of them on my blog.

  16. says

    The Hand Sanitizer is just too darn cute! How brilliant you are. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to show my grandaughter this so she can make them for her little friends at Christmas. She’s 11 and just learning how to sew. Finally after having 7 girls I have one that takes after me and loves to sew! Thanks again.

  17. says

    I can’t figure out how the hand sanitizer fluid comes out into the hands. Do you have to remove the cap each time you use it?

  18. says

    Hi!! I just came across your Blog…I LOVE these holders!!! I would love to try that adorable little flower on one of them….Do you have a tutorial for that??? I looked around but didn’t see one. I’d love to know how to make one. I’ll be checking back often to what you are doing next!! Thanks!!

  19. says

    Do you know what size button hole I would make for the cap if I was using the B&B Works sanitizer? The caps seem smaller. Would you still use 1.5 inches?

  20. says

    Thanks for the great idea. I was looking for something quick and easy to make the ladies I work with for Christmas this year and this totally fits the bill. I work in a laboratory in a hospital and these will be great on our phlebotomy trays we carry to draw patients blood.

  21. says

    I just finished making thirty of these for the teachers and staff at my school. Thank you for a great project.

  22. says

    I love this! Such a clever idea. Thanks for sharing!

    My oldest niece and her 2 boys ride bicycles a lot and for miles and miles! This will be a perfect little gift for them all to hang from the handlebars!

  23. says

    Just made the first of what I’m sure will be many of these! How awesome for backpacks, teacher gifts, purses, car, geocaching…perfect! Thanks for a wonderful tutorial!

  24. says

    I’m so glad this came up again as it is a perfect gift to say thank you. I love making little things with bits of fabric leftovers. This is perfect. Mahalo.

  25. says

    This is really wonderful. I am making a bunch of these for gifts and I am going to find some manly fabric for my husband to have one too. Four years and your idea is still inspiring the internet world!!