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#10 – gift bags + tutorial {52 Projects}

March 24, 2012

52 projectsI promised a gift bag tutorial at Christmas time, but didn’t get a chance to write it at the time. My brother asked for gift bags for his birthday, so since I’m sharing those for my project for the week I’ll share the tutorial too. 🙂

Every year, I give Christmas gifts in drawstring bags sewn from holiday fabric.   After this past Christmas, my brother mentioned that he’d like to have his own set.   I picked fabric that I haven’t used for the gifts I give, and sewed him a set of a dozen bags to use.  🙂   He loved them!

Gift bags

Gift bags


So, as promised, here’s the tutorial.  It’s not exact, as I prefer to not measure when I’m making these bags.   Easy-peasy is the way I chose to go.

1.  Decide on the size bag you want.  Cut the fabric to twice the size (as it will be folded in half to create the bag).    Turn your iron on to the highest setting that will work with your fabric.  I prefer to use steam to get a nice good crease for the following steps.

Gift bag

2. Fold down a little bit on each side – you do this to make a nice edge for the drawstring part.   Use the iron to make the edge nice and crisp.

Gift bag

3. After the sides are done, then fold down about 1/2″ of the top fabric to make your drawstring enclosure.

Gift bag

4.  With thread to match your fabric, sew a seam down the drawstring enclosure, staying as close as you can to the edge of the fabric, allowing room for different size strings/ribbon.
Gift bag

5. Admire your handiwork so far 🙂

Gift bag

6. Fold the bag together, good sides of the fabric facing each other, and sew a seam down the side and bottom of the fabric, connecting them together to make your bag.

Gift bag

7.  This is how it should look at this point.

Gift bag

8. Use a safety pin to thread your ribbon through the drawstring entry and exit holes.

Gift bag

9.  You’re done!

Gift bag

11.  I like to recycle past years’ Christmas cards to use as gift tags to give the gifts.

Gift bag

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Terri permalink
    October 5, 2012 4:28 pm

    I make similar gift bags for Halloween to send to my grandchildren, as they are all out of state. I have quite a stash of Halloween fabric I’ve picked up over the past several years–their favorites are bags made of what we call “slinky fabric”—I don’t know what the fabric is called, but you’ll know it when you see/feel it at the fabric store—it’s shiny, cool to the touch, doesn’t wrinkle, and is well…slinky! This year, however, I need to use some of the regular cotton prints I have a lot of—there’s an amazing number of cute ones available, and I’m overstocked!

    I fill them mostly with doo-dads from Dollar Tree and a little candy, and they are always a big hit, no matter how old the “children” get—my daughter said the bags are as popular as what’s inside them, and the kids save them.

    • coolmama72 permalink*
      October 6, 2012 12:04 am

      Oh, I love that you do Halloween bags! I do birthday bags, and I have fabric specific to each of my four kids. I reuse them every year. But I love the idea of the Halloween bags, so clever!

      • Terri permalink
        October 6, 2012 1:10 am

        Well, thanks! I’ll tell you, I have to give Jo-Ann’s credit for with my coming up with the idea of H’ween bags—several years ago, I saw so much awesome Halloween fabric that I decided I HAD TO HAVE (!), so I had to come up with something to make with it!
        I like your birthday bag idea a lot–how many bags do you have on hand for each kidlet?

  2. coolmama72 permalink*
    October 6, 2012 9:23 pm

    Jo-Ann’s gives me some good ideas too sometimes. I can spend hours in that store! As far as how many bags, I don’t actually have a set number. If I don’t have enough for the birthday gifts that year (or don’t have enough in a given size), I’ll just make more. My 9 year old LOVES peace signs, so I have a couple of yards of peace monkey fabric that I need to make into bags for her. I think I’ll do that for her 10th birthday. She only got a couple gifts for her 9th birthday from us (one gift was an expensive one), so I didn’t need many bags. I probably have about 5 bags for each kid, because I need different sizes on hand. I’ve made some bags with bottoms so I have more room for wider items. I should do an add-on tutorial to show how I do the bottoms, but I don’t have any photos of the process on hand. Maybe I’ll photograph the steps the next time I make one like that.

  3. Terri permalink
    October 6, 2012 10:46 pm

    Great idea—I look forward to it!


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