How to Make an Ostomy Bag Cover

Three ostomy bags for ileostomy patients with tape, scissors, and swabs

PapaBear / Getty Images

Project Overview
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Cost: $10

Wearing an ostomy bag sometimes brings about concerns of skin irritation and discretion. But a DIY ostomy bag cover can help to resolve both of these issues. This project uses soft fabric in the color of your choice. It requires intermediate sewing skills and about two hours of your time to make. A major benefit of sewing the cover yourself is you can make it fit precisely for your variety of ostomy bag. The instructions will guide you through making a custom ostomy bag cover pattern for any shape and size.


If you use a belt, add snaps to the back of the bag cover and the belt to hold the bag cover in place. Also, consider making a tube of fabric to cover the belt and attach the bag cover.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Marking tools
  • An ostomy bag to trace
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine


  • Paper or other pattern-making material
  • Soft, lightweight fabric, such as flannel or 100% cotton, preshrunk
  • Optional: Silky fabric for a second front layer
  • Double-fold bias tape
  • Matching thread


  1. Create a Pattern for the Ostomy Bag Cover

    Making the front pattern piece:

    If you are using a drainable pouch, close the bag. Keeping the bag flat, trace its edges onto your paper. Add 1/2 inch to the entire edge of the tracing. Also, trace the flange opening, and add 1/8 inch to the outer edge of the traced opening.

    Cut out the pattern piece around the outer edges only. Don't cut out the flange opening, as you will be using this marking to create the back pattern piece.

    Making the back pattern piece:

    Trace the outer edges of the front pattern piece. Measure 2 inches from the bottom edge, and draw a line across the pattern piece. Adjust this measurement if appropriate for your bag. You'll want enough fabric to support the bottom of the bag, along with an opening that's close enough to the drain so you can access it without removing the entire cover. The line should land just above the drain area of the bag. Cut the pattern piece on the line you just created.

    Trace both pieces onto the paper. Add 1 1/2 inches to the newly created line area of the pattern. Connect the new line to the pattern pieces, keeping the shape intact by tracing the edge of the original pattern piece to the new line.

    Trace the flange opening onto the upper back pattern piece. Cut out the opening.

    Fold the length of each pattern piece in half, aligning the edges. Draw a straight line on the fold. You'll use these fold lines as your grain lines to lay out the pattern pieces.

    The front and back patterns to make a custom ostomy pouch cover
    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove
  2. Cut the Pattern Pieces

    Spread the fabric out flat in a single layer. Press the fabric if necessary.

    Lay out the pattern pieces, using the marked grain lines to keep the fabric grain straight. Pin the pattern pieces in place, and then cut them out. Cut out the flange opening by tracing it or by using the pattern as a guide.

    Cutting out the fabric from the ostomy pouch cover pattern
    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove
  3. Sew the Flange Opening

    Stabilize the edges of the flange opening by stay stitching close to the edge or by zigzag stitching on the edge of the opening.

    Enclose the flange opening edge with the double-fold bias tape. Fold the end as you reach where you started sewing, and enclose the starting point with the folded end of the tape. You might want to hand baste the bias tape in place before machine sewing. The smaller the flange opening is, the more helpful it is to baste first.

    Using double fold bias tape to enclose the edge of the flange opening
    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove
  4. Create the Back Section

    Press under (to the wrong side of the fabric) 1/4 inch on the splitting line of the two back sections. If your fabric is prone to fraying, zigzag the raw edges of the pressed portion under the edge. Then, sew the turned-under edges to the body of the fabric, forming a hemmed edge on both back sections.

    Lay the full front section on a flat surface. Next, lay the larger top back pieces on the front piece, aligning the edges. And lay the smaller bottom back section on the upper section, aligning the lower edges.

    Pin the edges of the back sections, so the overlap is held in place. Baste the edges of the overlap to hold the two back pieces together.

    Hemming the back pieces and joining them to create one back section
    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove
  5. Join the Front and Back

    If you are using a silky fabric layer, baste the silky layer to the main fabric.

    Lay the front and back sections together with the right sides together, aligning the edges. Pin the layers together. Sew all of the edges, using the 1/2-inch seam that you previously allowed room for when cutting the pattern. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4 inch.

    Sew a second seam line on the seam allowance close to the first seam line. This will stop the fabric from fraying while not adding as much weight as zigzagging or most other seam finishes.

    Turn the bag right side out, and press.

    Sewing together the front and back sections, trimming and finishing the seam
    The Spruce / Debbie Colgrove