Hey y’all – today I’m going to show you how to sew a DIY gift bag. These are so easy, even a kid can sew them – and in fact, the black and pink ones in the picture were sewn by my kids.
To start, you’ll need to determine how tall, how wide, and how deep the final gift bag to be. Then you’ll need to do a little math, and cut two rectangles of fabric.
1/2 of the depth + height + 1 inch = the height of the fabric rectangle.
width of bag + depth of bag + 1 inch = the width of the fabric rectangle
So for example, you might want a finished bag that is 8 inches high x 5 inches wide x 3 inches deep. This is a common size for a small gift bag. Here’s the math
1.5 inches (1/2 of depth) + 8 inches + 1 inch = 10.5 inches high
5 inches (width) + 3 inches (depth) + 1 inch = 9 inches wide
Cut your two pieces of fabric. If you really want your bag to stand on its own, also cut two rectangles of heavy fusible interfacing (affiliate link) and fuse these to the wrong sides of the fabric.
Now I made a video tutorial for you that you can watch below. If the video doesn’t load for some reason, you can also watch on YouTube here. If you prefer a written tutorial, I also grabbed some frames from the video and put them below the video, so just scroll past to see those.
Use 1/2″ seams while sewing these bags.
Place the two fabric pieces right sides together and sew down the side seams. Remember, the side seams are the ones that equal 1/2 of the depth + height + 1 inch.
Finish the seam allowances with pinking shears (affiliate link) then press the seams open.
Decide which edge is the top edge. Press the top edge 1/4″ to the wrong side twice to form a narrow hem. Stitch hem in place.
Stitch across the bottom of the bag, then pink that seam allowance with the shears to finish.
Flatten a corner of the bag, matching the bottom seam to the side seam. The best way to do this is to put a pin or two through the seam on both sides. Next, mark a straight line across the corner the length of the bag depth, with 1/2 of the depth to each side of the seam. Repeat with the other corner.
Stitch straight across the corners, then press and fold them toward each other. Turn the bag right side out.
If desired, you can stitch ribbon handles to the top of the bag, and you can cut out cardboard to put in the bottom of the bag.
I love this idea!
Melly, what a super cool bag! I make bags for going to the market, and mine are much more intensed. I was reading your instructions waiting for the “hard part” but there wasn’t one. Now I know that I can always whip up a gift bag when I need one and there isn’t one in my stash–or when I want to do something really special for someone. This is a great post! A wonderful idea. Thanx for sharing.
What a neat idea!! I’m always running to the dollar store for a gift bag right before the event I’m intending to bring a gift to. But this would totally save me from making that trip & spending that dollar plus it will give the gift an extra personal touch that a colored paper bag just can not!! Thank you for sharing this!!
LOVE IT!!!!! And such perfect timing for the holidays!!!!!
Great alternative to piles of ripped up paper! I’ve featured your tutorial on Craft Gossip here: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-sew-reusable-fabric-gift-bags/2015/11/05/ –Anne
You are brilliant!!! Thank you for sharing this – now I can make bags the size that I need. x
Melissa, thank you so much for this tutorial and pattern, I hate the waste (not to mention the expense) of wrapping paper so this makes much more sense to me, why didn’t I think of it before? 🙂
I have some Christmas fabric leftover from making some stockings & have been wondering what I could use it for & now I have the perfect project, thank you once again.
Happy sewing x
Trying it tonight. Making a bag for a bridal shower in a color featured in the wedding. Got fabric on sale. I like the sustainability of a reusable bag. I might still make coffee filter peonies to dress it up. 😉