Fabric Gift Bags–Tutorial

Here’s the perfect excuse to hit the quilt shops this weekend! Go forth, ye fabric addicts, and find heavily discounted holiday fabric. You can turn it into wonderful fabric gift bags that will last for years. Save the environment, save yourself gift wrapping time, and satisfy your need for new fabric. What could be better?

Supplies:
Fabric rectangles in various sizes (choose fabric that you can’t see through!)
matching thread and bobbin
pinking shears
straight pins
safety pin
ribbon
beads for embellishment (optional)

The beauty of this project is that accuracy is not very important. There are no points to match! Everyone will be so excited to get to the gift inside, they won’t have time to measure your seam allowances. Except your cranky old grandma. That’s why she gets a fruit basket.

I like to do several at once so I can chain piece. I can whip these out much faster than I can wrap a gift.

Step one:

Lay out your rectangle of fabric and decide how you want to fold it to make the best gift bag. Find the sides that will be the two tops of your bag and trim the ends with pinking shears. At this point you will have a rectangle of fabric with two opposite ends pinked.

Step two:

Fold down the pinked ends about 1″. Pin. This should give you adequate room for a seam allowance and plenty of room to send a beribboned safety pin through your drawstring pouch.

Pink two edges and fold down for drawstring

Note: you can click on any picture to go to much bigger

Step three:

Sew down your drawstring pouch. I keep my presser foot along the pinked edge to keep more room for the drawstring.

Sew Drawstring lip

Step Four:

Fold rectangles so the right sides are together and the drawstring pouches are at the top. Pin both sides.

Step Five:

Sew the sides of the bag with 1/2″ seam. Start sewing where the drawstring pouch seam starts. DO NOT SEW ALL THE WAY UP TO THE TOP! If you sew to the stop, you won’t be able to put in your drawstring!

Sew sides with right sides together starting at drawstring seam

Step Six:

Use the pinking shears to trim the seams you just sewed. This will prevent fraying and make your bags last a lot longer.

Pink seams

Step Seven:

Turn bag right side out. Attach a safety pin to a length of ribbon and run it through the drawstring pouches. Tie the two ends together in a secure knot. OPTION: Add beads to the ribbon to spruce it up.

Use a safety pin to thread with ribbon

Step Eight:

Add a gift, then tie in a pretty bow.

Insert gift and tie a bow!

Step Nine:

When Christmas is over, put the bags somewhere safe so you can find them next year. I think this will be the hardest part!

We used the bags this year and it was fantastic! We were able to take all the toys out of their impossible packaging and pop them in the bags. We didn’t have to spend Christmas morning fighting with twist-tie packaging while our son begged for his toys. My husband was also very grateful to get out of traditional wrapping. My only concern is what happens when the kids get old enough to be sneaky and open the bags while they are alone in the house prior to Christmas. I guess at that point maybe I won’t even care. I was a very bad girl and always opened and re-wrapped my Christmas gifts while my mom was at work.

2 Responses to “Fabric Gift Bags–Tutorial


  • Plavixo
    April 15th, 2009 10:46
    1

    Hi, just stumbled onto this post from a google search.

    If you are serious about keeping prying fingers out, why not sew in a few loops that you could thread a cable tie through? Do it up tight then the only way to get it off is to snip the cable tie – no more prying :)

    Nice tutorial :)

  • Tammy
    January 6th, 2010 16:17
    2

    Hi,

    Thanks for these pictures & directions. They are the best I’ve found to help me understand how to sew a drawstring bag.
    I’m sewing a bag up right now.

    Keep up the good work.