Reusable Fabric Gift Bags to Sew

 Get a head start on planning and sewing for Christmas.

For the past couple of years, I've cut down on my use of Christmas paper, by sewing re-usable fabric gift bags. Today I'll show you how I make some of those bags…


Super easy, next to no sewing bag:

  • Cut a rectangle twice the width you need (mine is 15″ x 8″, suitable for a small gift such as a pack of cards).
  • Fold in half, with the right sides together.
  • Sew down one side and across the bottom.
  • Use pinking shears on the seams and across the top. Don't worry if you don't have pinking shears… just leave the edges raw.
  • Raid your fabric scraps and tie.

Minimal sewing bag:

  • Cut 2 pieces of fabric the same size (mine are 11″ x 8″, but you can make them whatever size suits). Cut a piece of ribbon, long enough to tie a nice bow (mine is 36″).
  • Fold the ribbon in half, right sides together.
  • Place the 2 pieces of fabric, right sides together.
  • Place the folded edge of the ribbon in between the 2 pieces of fabric, lining up the folded edge of the ribbon with the side seam and 3″ from the top. (If making a larger bag, increase the distance from the top.)
  • Sew the side seam.
  • Sew the other side seam and across the bottom. Tuck the ribbon into the bag so it doesn't get caught in the other seams.
  • Neaten edges with a zig zag stitch or overlocker (serger).
  • Hem the top edge
  • Turn right side out and tie the bow.

Unlined Drawstring Bag:

This little, unlined bag is sewn with French seams to keep it neat and tidy on the inside. A pop of colour is added to the top of the inside, but stops at the casing. It's a very quick and easy make. Here's an overview as to how it's made…

  • cut front and back from main fabric and two smaller pieces for contrast
  • join contrast colour to main fabric
  • join front and back with French seams
  • attach casing
  • thread cords

The unlined Christmas drawstring bag is made using the Treasure Bag tutorial over on Threading My Way. Vary the measurements to make a larger bag. Last Christmas I made a set of robot finger puppets and popped them into a bag like this.


Lined Drawstring Bag:

Another small bag, but this time lined. It's the perfect size for gifting some pretty, homemade soap, or perhaps jewellery. It doesn't take long at all to make. Basically…

  • sew the lining leaving a gap
  • sew the exterior, leaving gaps in the side seams for the drawstring
  • join lining and exterior
  • turn and close the gap
  • sew stitching for the casing
  • thread cords

I have used the Small Lined Drawstring Bag tutorial several times now, as a means of wrapping some lovely, locally made soap.

Small Lined Tote Bag:

Another lined bag, this time for slightly larger presents. This is a simple tote bag, with a scrappy bow to jazz it up a little. Here's an overview…

  • sew the lining leaving a gap
  • sew the exterior and add handles
  • join lining and exterior
  • turn and close the gap

The Little Shopper Tote tutorial will show you how to make one. Obviously the scrappy bow would need to be taken off, if the bag is destined for a young child. Again, vary the measurements to make bags of different sizes. You'll find lots of tote bag tutorials online.


Medium Sized Lined Drawstring Bag:

And lastly another drawstring bag, but larger.


Use your imagination to embellish fabric bags and make them extra special. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. Drawstring cords can be made from ribbon, wool, fabric… lots of things already in your stash.

Over on Threading My Way, I host an ongoing Gift Wrapping link party. I'll be looking through the collection of projects, for ideas on how to make cute, little gift tags to accompany the Christmas bags.

Not only do fabric bags save on wrapping paper, the bags themselves can become part of the gift. Make them up in Christmas fabric, or use Christmassy colours without actually using Christmas fabric. If you make the minimal sewing bags, collect them up and re-use them next year. It's a win win all round.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the So Sew Easy Seasonal Sewing Series. I know there'll be lots of inspiration for gifts I can make.

… Pam


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Introducing Pam from Threading my Way
Pam spends most of her time sewing and blogging about sewing, over at Threading My Way. She has been sewing since she was a young girl and loves to share the varied projects and tutorials she creates. On her blog, Pam hosts ongoing, themed sewing link parties, where readers are invited to add their own sewing projects. When not sewing, Pam can be found out in her garden. You can find her at FacebookGoogle+Pinterest and Twitter.

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90 Responses to Reusable Fabric Gift Bags to Sew

  1. Sallie Kocher says:

    Just wondering what the seam allowance is for Super easy, next to no sewing bag? Thank you

  2. Victoria says:

    I just made some gift bags for soap. I hand sewed them. I used fabric with a pineapple print as I am in Brazil right now. I like the results. Thank you!

  3. Pingback: 5 Ethical and Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas - Chic Vegan

  4. Terry says:

    I’m thrilled to be the lucky winner of Chris’ purse patterns and look forward to creating some great gifts with them. Thanks so much!

  5. Buddy Garrett says:

    My wife hopes Santa brings her more fabric and patterns and a Mr. Goodbar-huge.

  6. Debra Sauvageau says:

    I hope Santa brings me some new glasses…so I can see to make these lol

  7. molli vandehey says:

    my daughter wants a messenger bag project

  8. I would love to get a pleater for Christmas.

  9. Heather Feather says:

    Oh these are great! Sometimes I have extra holiday fabric that I don’t know what to do with; this would be perfect!

  10. Diane says:

    I love the idea of using fabric bags for gifts. Thanks for the tutorials. I’m hoping for a new serger or a nice cabinet for my sewing machine which probably won’t fit in a fabric bag :-).

  11. MPaula says:

    I have made a collection of fabric gift bags over the years. None big enough for the vacuum cleaner I am hoping for.

  12. Laney says:

    Thanks for sharing this nice idea!

  13. Serena Powell says:

    I’m hoping for a new sewing machine

  14. Barb Marshall says:

    A fantastic way to ‘go green’ at Christmas or any gift giving occasion. Lovely. Visiting via ‘FromtheFarm” link up

  15. eleanor says:

    I wishing for toys and clothes for my baby

  16. Barbara Lima says:

    I want to learn to make purses.

  17. Anke says:

    Hopefully he brings a lots of patterns to sew!

  18. Alicia says:

    Wow! What a great idea for wrapping gifts. I like the idea that you can reuse these each year if you keep it within your family 🙂 A few of my friends and I are hosting a Christmas-themed link-up party starting November 22nd. It will take place each Friday leading up to Christmas. I hope you’ll come by each week and share all your Christmassy posts!

  19. kim J says:

    These purses look washable and there is no more hunting for replacements when I can make as many as I want in any color/pattern!

  20. Wanda Bergman says:

    I hope he brings me books!

  21. Sharon Gerstman says:

    Would LOVE for Santa to bring some patterns and fabrics to this old crafty gran! Love to sew and craft!

  22. Connie says:

    What great tutorials and love the fabrics! Thanks for sharing.

  23. Kokopelli says:

    Great tuts! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Bobbie (@avisiontorememb) says:

    Cute! Thanks for linking up to check me out saturday!

  25. passionetcouture says:

    I love your ideas Pam!!! Thank you for the tutorials 🙂 …and thank you to Deby for hostimg the giveaway, I love ChrisW Designs !!!

  26. Malin Kinberg says:

    I would love some sewing notions wrapped in such a bag.

  27. Claire says:

    Great bags, love the fabric 🙂

  28. I think I would love some perfume! Great giveaway!

  29. I think those are great ideas!!
    I would love if you link this posts to my Monday party tomorrow! XO

  30. Mimi O says:

    Love your fabric bags. Last year my husband and I built a beautiful wooden box with a lift out tray to hold a set of sushi dishes, plates bowls and spoons for our daughter and fiance for Christmas; knowing that paper wrapping would not work on this project I went and bought several yards of Christmas fabric and made a bag to wrap it up in! As for Christmas this year…I would love to see a new serger/cover-lock machine wrapped in a fabric bag…how wonderful that would be!

  31. Leslie says:

    I hope Santa brings me a cricut!

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