Updated: Jan 7, 2022
Does your family pass the same gifts bags back and forth year after year? We try to reuse whenever we can! However, I have found that my holiday gift bag collection has dwindled! I figured this was a perfect opportunity to whip up some reusable fabric gift bags. They are quick and easy to make, and you can make them any size to fit whatever gift you need.
Fabric of your choice
½” wide ribbon
Thread to match
(Complete video tutorial included at the end!)
I am making my bag to fit a small stuffed animal for my son, so I want my finished product to be 8” x 11”.
1. Fold your fabric in half, right sides together. With the fold at the bottom, cut a rectangle 9” wide by 12” tall. (I highly recommend these markers for marking on fabric- they erase with heat!)
Cut with pinking shears so you don’t have to finish the inside seams. Most likely these bags won’t need washing!
2. Mark ¾” down from the top on both sides, and another ¾” from there. We are going to leave the second ¾” open for our casing.
I usually mark this with my erasable marker so I remember not to sew here!
3. Pin the long sides of your fabric, keeping right sides together.
How far apart your pins go depends on your comfort level with sewing. Keep them about 2” apart if you are just getting used to a sewing machine. 3”- 4” if you feel more comfortable with your skills.
4. Start sewing with a ½” seam allowance, backstitch at the beginning and when you get to your first ¾” mark. Then lift your machine foot and move your fabric past the second ¾” mark. Backstitch again and continue to the end of your fabric, then backstitch one more time. Repeat for the second side.
If you are going to wash the bag frequently, or you didn’t cut with pinking shears, you can finish this stitch with a serger or with a zigzag stitch on your machine, but be sure to leave your ¾” opening on each side.
5. Clip the bottom corners. Turn your bag right side out
Use a point turner or your closed marker tip to push out the corners of your bag
6. Measure ¾” from your top edge and fold down. Pin as needed and iron to form a crease.
7. Sew using a ⅝” seam allowance along the top edge of your bag.
8. Cut two pieces of ribbon 22” long.
If you are making your bag a different size, you will want to cut the ribbon double the width of your bag plus 5” (2w+5)
9. Put the safety pin through one end of your ribbon. Feed the safety pin through one side of your casing opening and push it through to come out the same opening. Tie the ends of your ribbon. Repeat with the other ribbon going through the opening on the other side.
10. Fill your bag with your gift and pull the ribbons on both sides to cinch your bag closed!
These bags are great at any size, from tiny jewelry bags to giant Santa bags. My mom made the Santa Bags pictured in the middle below out of blankets! You can embellish them with embroidery or iron on designs to customize them even more.