At the last minute I found a fantastic video intended for owners of the Cricut Maker that instructs crafters how to use a photo as a pattern fill to make a pouch. Of all the Cricuts I have, a Maker is not one of them, but you don't actually need a Maker (or any die cutter) to make a pouch! Anyone can cut rectangles with a ruler and a rotary cutter and maybe even faster than a Maker. But using the free Cricut Design Space software to draw a pattern piece, fill it in with a photo, edit it for size or even to repeat it, that was a FABULOUS find! Once all the design work is done, you simply click the button to send it to your printer and print on inkjet printable fabric. Then, you have your pattern piece that you can cut anyway you want, including with your Cricut...or like me, with a rotary cutter.
This is the video for using Design Space to create a pattern piece and import a photo to create a pattern fill: https://youtu.be/K5Ntg-8WYqI
This is the printable inkjet fabric I used:
I have made tons of pouches, even some with my embroidery machine, but I love a tutorial I found that makes fabric ends on the zipper and that has to be done on a sewing machine.
This is tutorial for sewing a lined zipper pouch with fabric zipper ends: http://jedicraftgirl.blogspot.com/2013/06/my-favorite-zipper-pouch-tutorial.html
These two tutorials were great inspiration for my gift card holder project that I did for my sister-in-law. I used a photo I found on her Facebook page. I sized mine to hold the packaging for the gift card too. For that, my cut shape was 6" high and 8" wide. The bottom cut out squares are 1.25" but I cut those manually instead of including them in the design work. Once the bag is sewn, the finished dimensions are 6" for the zipper top; the base is 5" x 2.25"; the height is 4.25" and it stands up on its own.
For the front, I chose to edit a single photo image. For the back, I edited to repeat the image.
Unlike the sewing tutorial, I do machine quilt my outer fabrics. I use cotton batting.
And to know what I would do differently next time: You can see that the faces look off center both vertically and horizontally. One problem is that the child on the left as her foot up and it throws the centering off as the fabric raps around due to the bottom gusset seams. That same issue turns the lower part of the photo under the bag. For a pouch without that gusset, the centering would work. But I like a pouch that stands on its own so for the future, I would take note of where the image is placed as a result of the sewing and nudge the image in the editing in Design Space. There are controls for altering the vertical and horizontal placement. This is the front.
I wasn't sure how I would like the repeating pattern but I loved it on the finished bag. This is the back.
I took better care to think of the pattern placement on my next experiment.