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.