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Christmas, Holiday Sewing Projects

Easy Fabric Gift Bags: How to Make Simple, Stylish and Sustainable Wrappings

Christmas fabric gift bags

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THIS YEAR, WE’RE GETTING AHEAD OF THE HOLIDAY GAME WITH MY VERY MERRY MAKE-AHEAD SERIES!  FIRST UP, LET’S MAKE SOME GORGEOUS GIFT BAGS!

These easy, fully lined fabric gift bags are the first project of the 2024 Very Merry Make-Ahead series!  They’re simple and stylish, and because they are reusable, they fit the sustainable category as well.

Plus, when you give a gift inside a handmade gift bag, you’re really giving two gifts in one, right?

 

 

Supplies for Fabric Gift Bags

As you might have guessed, these bags don’t require a lot of supplies.  Naturally, you’ll need fabric.  Depending on the size of the bags you want to make, you could use scraps, or you might need a yard or more!  The best plan is to make some standard-size bags, like about 8″ x 10″ or so, some smaller and some a bit larger.  These instructions will work for whatever size of bag you need!

I like to make my bags using cheerful Christmas prints, but you can make them using any of your favourite fabrics.  Be sure to visit your local quilt shop or the Fat Quarter Shop and see what they have in store!

For the instructions in this post, I will be starting with two fat quarters that coordinate.  One fabric is the outside of the bag, one is the lining.

 

 

You’ll also need ribbon for the drawstrings.  You can use any type of ribbon, but keep in mind that a satin finish may cause the ribbon and bag to slip open.

Here is a list of basic quilting supplies that you’ll need for this project:

 

Want to watch just how easy these bags are to make?  Check out my YouTube tutorial here:

 

 

And remember to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss any of my upcoming projects!

Continue reading below for the full instructions.

 

Fabric Gift Bags – Step-by-Step Tutorial

Start by determining what size of bag you need.  These instructions are relevant to any size bag, but for this post, we’ll be making a bag using two fat quarters.

A note about seam allowances:  I am using a ¼” seam in all my stitching with one exception.  Across the bottom of the lining, I like to use a ½” seam, so that there is no bulk in the bottom of the bag.

 

 

 

GET A PRINTABLE AD-FREE VERSION OF THIS BLOG POST HERE!  ONLY $2! 

When you purchase this FABRIC GIFT BAGS POST, you’ll receive all the instructions found in this post, PLUS  you won’t need to find this webpage every time you make this project!

*Please note – purchasing this printable blog post is optional.  You can still complete the Gift Bags using the instructions found in this post.*

 

  

 

Press your fabric

I also chose to starch my fabrics before I cut anything, to make sure that my seams would be nice and crisp.  Mary Ellen’s Best Press is my favourite fabric starch!

Cut your fabric

I cut each of my fat quarters in half so that my pieces measure 11 inches x 18 inches in size.  I’ve chosen the solid colour as the lining and the vibrant print as the outside of the bag.

Stitching

Place one lining piece and one outside piece together with right sides facing.  Stitch along the top (short edge) as shown below.  Press your seams open after stitching.  Repeat this step for the other two pieces of fabric.

 

Christmas fabric gift bags
Stitch the top of your outside piece to the top of your lining and press the seams open.

 

Once your top seams are pressed open, layer your two pieces with right sides together.  Line them up at the seam and make sure that they are facing the same direction.  The outside pieces should be together, and the lining pieces together.

Using a pin or fabric marker, make a mark on the long side of the outside piece, approximately 2 inches from the top seam.  Make a second mark 1 inch below the first and repeat on the other side.  The distance between marks will depend on the side of ribbon you are using as drawstrings.  My ribbon is approximately ½”, so a 1-inch gap is fine.  You can see the marks I have made in the image below.  These are the openings for the drawstring.  You do NOT need to make the same marks on the lining.

 

Christmas fabric gift bags
Mark the side openings with pins and don’t stitch between them. I’ve left a 1-inch opening for a ½” ribbon.

 

You will also mark the bottom of the lining to leave an opening of roughly three or four inches.  This opening will allow you to turn the bag right side out after stitching.

 

Christmas fabric gift bags
Be sure to leave an opening in the bottom of the lining to turn your gift bag right side out!

 

Stitch around the entire bag, leaving openings at the marks on the bottom and the sides.

 

Christmas fabric gift bags
Be sure to stitch all around the gift bag, but don’t sew between the pins!

 

Press your seams open and turn the bag right side out.  Stitch the opening in the lining closed and push the lining inside the outer portion of the bag.  Stitch along the top, if you wish.  This is optional.

 

Christmas fabric gift bags
Run a quick topstitch around the upper edge for a neat finished look.

 

Drawstrings

Using the openings in the side seams as guides, stitch two lines all the way around the bag, as shown below.  Be sure to use a reverse stitch over the side seams, as pulling the drawstrings in and out can create a little wear and tear on the bag.  Reinforcing the seams will help to prevent tears.

 

Christmas fabric gift bags
Reinforce the side seams with backstitching to prevent rips.

 

Once your seams are sewn, prepare your ribbon.  I like to use approximately three times the width of the bag as a measurement for my ribbon.  For example, if my bag is 10 inches wide, I will cut a 30-inch piece of ribbon.  You will need two pieces of ribbon the same length.

Using a safety pin or bodkin, feed your ribbon into the bag as follows:

One piece of ribbon will go into the left seam opening, wrap around the bag and exit the left seam opening. 

The second piece of ribbon will go into the right seam opening, wrap around the bag and exit the right seam opening.

Tie the ends of your ribbon to ensure they don’t escape the bag!

 

 

And just like that, your gift bag is done!  These gift bags are perfect for odd-shaped items, advent calendars or even under the tree!  

Remember that bags like these aren’t just for Christmas – Mother’s Day, birthdays or any other special day deserves a special bag.  After all, when you give a gift in a handmade wrap, you’re really giving two gifts in one!

 

 

 

GET A PRINTABLE AD-FREE VERSION OF THIS BLOG POST HERE!  ONLY $2! 

When you purchase this FABRIC GIFT BAGS POST, you’ll receive all the instructions found in this post, PLUS  you won’t need to find this webpage every time you make this project!

*Please note – purchasing this printable blog post is optional.  You can still complete the Gift Bags using the instructions found in this post.*

 

  

 


 

Want to remember this?  Save “Easy Fabric Gift Bags: How to Make Simple, Stylish and Sustainable Wrappings” to your favourite Pinterest boards!

 

Christmas fabric gift bags

 

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Hi! I'm Tanya

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