Sew a Reusable Fabric Gift Bag

fabric gift bag 20Love the idea of reusable gift wrap? Me too! That’s why I started making these fabric gift bags. Each year I make a few more to add to my collection. Eventually, I’m hoping I’ll have enough fabric gift bags to replace the paper wrappings that we’ve been using. I’m pretty excited about that. 🙂 A fabric gift bag is super pretty, re-usable, easy to customize, and not too difficult to make. If you can find Christmas (or Birthday or Valentine’s – oh the possibilities!) fabric on sale, it’s a pretty frugal choice too.

Materials Needed

For a small size bag (size in pictures):

  • 2 pieces of fabric, 20″x10″
  • 2 pieces of ribbon or tulle, 40″ long

For a large size bag:

  • 2 pieces of fabric 36″x 21″ (one yard of 42″ fabric, cut in half)
  • 2 pieces of ribbon or tulle, 60″ long

Optional, but really nice to have:

  • Pinking/Zig Zag Shears
  • Fray Check

fabric gift bag 1

You can change up the dimensions to make the fabric gift bag any size you want – the construction process is the same regardless of size. I find these two sizes are most useful. The large bag holds a big shirt box easily and is made from 1 yard piece of fabric, which is pretty convenient. You could ask for 1 yard increments when you get the fabric cut at the store and that would save time too.

Instructions – Fabric Gift Bag

Start by trimming the fabric all around with pinking shears. This keeps the edges from fraying and saves time in construction. The fabric bag in the pictures is the small bag and the 20 inch side is the vertical sides, the 10 inch sides go across the top and bottom. This will make it easier to visualize as we go through the instructions.

Fold the top edge down about 5 inches and pin in place.

fabric gift bag 2

We are going to make two rows of stitching – see where the pins are marked in the picture below. We’ll make two straight rows of stitching in line with the pins to form the drawstring pocket. The stitching lines are about 1 1/2 inches apart. This just has to be wide enough for the ribbon to slide through easily. Don’t get stuck on making this an exact measurement – anywhere from 1-2 inches will work just fine.

fabric gift bag 3

Sew the two straight lines. Do this for each piece of fabric.

fabric gift bag 4

Next, line up both pieces of fabric, right sides together and pin around the bottom and sides.fabric gift bag 5

Starting on one side, below the two lines of stitching, stitch around the bag. In the picture above, it would be from yellow pin to yellow pin.

fabric gift bag 6

Be careful not to stitch through the drawstring pocket.fabric gift bag 7

Next, turn the bag right side out.

fabric gift bag 8

Thread the ribbon or tulle through the pocket. I like to use a safety pin to push the fabric through the pocket.

fabric gift bag 9

Start on one side and just scooch it all the way around until the ribbon comes out the other side. You should have both tails on one side like photo below. If you need help with the drawstring portion, check out my post and video how to replace a drawstring.fabric gift bag 11

Repeat with the second ribbon, starting on the opposite side.

fabric gift bag 12

Tie the two ends together on each side. There are now two loops of ribbon that we will use to pull and tie a bow.

fabric gift bag 13

Add a dab of fray check on the end of the ribbons to keep them from fraying.

fabric gift bag 15

Your bag is ready for gifting! 🙂 Fill, pull the drawstrings tight, and tie a bow. To give you an idea how much this size bag holds, I placed two quart jars in the bag for the photo below.

fabric gift bag 20

Love to sew? Check out our other great Holiday sewing projects.

Sew a custom Hot/Cold Pack. These make great gifts for just about anyone!

hot or cold pack

Make a cute T-shirt Scarf.

t-shirt scarf child

Create a custom Christmas Stocking.

recyled shirts christmas stocking