Several years ago, I got some reusable fabric gift bags, and every holiday and birthday since then I’ve wished that I had more of them. I spend so much time – hours – every Christmas wrapping dozens (hundreds?) of presents for family and friends. I waste so much wrapping paper that ends up being ripped up and thrown out on Christmas morning. It’s a waste and an unnecessary cost.
This holiday season, I decided to bite the bullet and make myself a set of fabric gift bags. I’m not an accomplished seamstress (truthfully, sewing machines stress me out a little) but these gift bags are simple enough for even the novice sewer. Believe me – if I can handle them, anyone can. I would recommend this project to those who have at least a basic familiarity with a sewing machine.
How to make Fabric Gift Bags
I started out by buying 4 yards of fabric (1 yard each of 4 Christmasy fabrics) and lots and lots of coordinating ribbon (one 9-yard spool of ribbon makes 4-5 ribbon-ties). Then I whipped out my sewing machine and spent a Saturday hard at work.
1. CUT – Cut fabric for your bags. I tried a variety of sizes from each yard of material. I always started off with one large bag and then cut a set of smaller bags with the remaining fabric. TIP: use a rotary cutter and a fabric cutting mat to make this process easiest.
Sample sizes (in inches) using one yard of fabric –
15×20, 10×20 (2), 9×20 (2), 6 1/2 x22 (2)
15×30, 14×15, 9×14 (3), 12 1/2×22
16×22 (2), 12×22, 11×12 (2), 8 1/4×28, 8 1/4×16
15×22 (2), 10×21 (2), 12×18, 12/12×24
Note: the longer side is the side that will be folded and sewn together to make the bag, so a 15×20 inch piece of fabric will make a 15×10 inch bag (minus some space for the seams).
2. IRON – Decide which side of the fabric will be the top/open part of your bag. Fold over about 1/2 an inch and iron the seam down so that it’s easier to sew.
3. SEW – Sew the top seam down, then, with wrong side of fabric facing out, sew the remaining two sides together to form a bag. Turn right side out.
4. RIBBON – Cut length of ribbon (between 22 and 28 inches, depending on how long you like your bows), and tack one ribbon on to each bag. This can be done with a quick back and forth on the sewing machine or by hand with a few quick stitches.
That’s it! Each yard of fabric (which was under $5) yielded 6-7 gift bags. Not only are the a great “green” alternative to wrapping paper, but they are perfect for those awkwardly-shaped gifts that are hard to figure out how to wrap. Plus, the fabric makes for a very cute stand-out present under the tree.
Another tip: make reusable gift tags to attach to the ribbons to let people know who gifts are for and from. I’ll be adding a fun gift tag tutorial soon!
© 2014, Food Fun Family. All rights reserved.
Yes, I leave the majority of the ribbon hanging and just attach it right in the middle so it stays in place.
I want some of these! For attaching the ribbon, do you busy sew it on the bag for a few inches and leave the rest hanging?
What a great idea to make these in bulk to give away. The concept could be used for other holidays and occasions, too.
We featured you at The Project Stash! LOVE this! Be sure to stop by, grab your featured button and link up more creations for everyone to admire! :)
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day Thx for stopping by and sharing this at our #SayGdayParty Pinned
Please make sure to return if you haven’t already to G’day to the hosts and someone at the party! Cheers!
Joanne @ What’s On The List
These are so cute and handy to have on hand. I’d like to invite you to join the Saturday crafty showcase at Bowdbrablog.com. :-)
Fee Roberts says
These are adorable. I’d have to sew them by hand, I don’t have a sewing machine. I so wish I did!
Sarah L says
I’m lucky to have a friend who loves to sew and I think she’d be willing to make me some of these. Thanks.
Love this idea! I also like to use pieces of fabric to wrap a gift up with a knot.
What a great idea! I do save my paper bags but I like this idea even more!
Janet W. says
Those are the cutest gift bags! These would be great to re-use every year when giving my grandsons a smaller type gift instead of using wrapping paper!
Jennifer Sikora says
Those are absolutely adorable! I love how creative you are.
Karen Glatt says
This is amazing! I love it! Using reusable Fabric bags to wrap gifts for the Holiday season is such a good idea. I would love to make these. Thanks for sharing how to make these pretty gift bags!
Laura B. says
Oh my gosh, it seems so simple! WHy the heck didn’t I think of this sooner? This will save a ton of money on wrapping paper!
What a cute idea! (you are filled with them) :)
We featured you on our FB page today https://www.facebook.com/MormonMomsWhoBlog and…would love to have you do a guest post on our blog sometime. Here’s the info. for that. https://mormonmomswhoblog.blogspot.com/2014/12/now-accepting-guest-authors.html
Thanks for all the good you are doing and sharing! It’s wonderful to connect with such good women who are raising precious children and sharing messages that help others!