DIY: How To Make Easy Fabric Gift Bags

This was the year I finally did it. I made fabric gift bags for Christmas! And it was easy. I searched high and low for an online tutorial that was easy enough for me to follow. My sewing skills are so basic that I could not understand any of them, so I decided to make one up myself. If you can use a sewing machine to sew a straight line, you can make these easy fabric gift bags. Just follow the pictures.

A fabric gift bag is really similar to a pillow case. You can make big ones or little ones, just depending on what you need to put inside. Since I plan to reuse my fabric gift bags year after year, I made a variety of sizes and hope that things will fit in them. If not, I can always make a custom bag to fit a particular gift. Now that I have conquered holiday gift bags, I think I’ll do birthday gift bags next!

You can do it, too. It’s such an eco-friendly way to give gifts. Even though I had to make an initial time and money investment, I can reuse these bags year after year and never need to buy wrapping paper or spend hours wrapping gifts ever again.

What You’ll Need:

  • Sewing Machine and Thread
  • Fabric
  • Ribbon
  • Tape Measure or Ruler
  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter & Cutting Mat
  • Iron and ironing board

Getting Started:

The gift bag in this tutorial is a good “One Size Fits Most” gifts size, which means that I cut my yard of fabric every 15 inches so the material measures 15 inches by 44 inches. Step One is to cut your fabric. Mine measures 15″x44″.

Next, you will fold town the top edge of the fabric down about half an inch and press a crease into it with your iron. Do the same thing with the bottom edge of your fabric. This really helps out in the next step, which is to sew a straight line down the edges of the fabric.

Fold top edge of fabric down about half an inch and press with iron. Repeat this step with the bottom edge of the fabric.

Next, hem the top and the bottom edges of the fabric by sewing a straight line down them with your sewing machine. My seam allowance is pretty generous – at least half an inch. Yours can be smaller if you want.

Sew a seam down the top and the bottom edges of the fabric.

Cut a length of ribbon, I used 36 inches with this gift bag. Place the ribbon about 4 inches from the top seam of your fabric. Stitch the ribbon into place at the middle of the “right side” (printed side) of the fabric. Do not sew the ribbon into place all the way across – just a couple inches in the very middle. I sewed my ribbon with a stitch about 3 inches long to hold it in place. (You need most of the ribbon to be free so you can use it to tie up your gift bag.) Note: You don’t have to sew the ribbon on to the bag. You could just tie the bag with a loose ribbon. I am choosing to sew my ribbon onto the bag so it doesn’t get lost from year to year.

Attach a length of ribbon to the gift bag with your sewing machine.

It will look something like this when you are finished:

The ribbon won’t get lost since you have sewed it onto the gift bag!

This next part is important: Fold your fabric in half from top to bottom with the right side of the fabric facing in. Then, sew the seams on both sides all the way from top to bottom. I use a generous 1/2 inch seam allowance, but you can go smaller. Once you have sewed both sides of the fabric comes the fun part! Turn your fabric gift bag inside out and admire your work!

The right sides of the fabric are facing in, and I sew a seam down both sides of the fabric. Turn it right side out, and voila! It’s done!

To Use: Put your gift inside the bag and use the ribbon to close it with a bow at the top.

Good luck making your fabric gift bags. I hope I have explained things correctly. If you have any questions or have any helpful tips to share, please feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Fee (Phyllis) Roberts says:

    These are so cute! Thanks for the idea. I have fabric every where and never thought to do this =D

  2. Angela Killingsworth says:

    Thank you! I LOVE this idea!

  3. Thank you for this post on how -to’s. I am so tired of manually gift wrapping everything.

  4. CassandraD says:

    So FESTIVE! Adorable and you inspired me to create some!

  5. Wanda McHenry says:

    I love that idea, it really personalizes the gift more. Thanks for the instructions, I will make these year round.

  6. These are really nice. They look so easy to make . The pattern for your gift bags are endlest with all the different patterns of cloth you can buy. They can be reused to which is nice too.

  7. Hannah C says:

    Thank you for this!! These are adorable and I’d love to make them myself! I’ve been wanting to learn to sew and gift bags are a great idea.

Speak Your Mind