Use a wide ribbon to make small gift bags

small gift bags, gift bag

In this tutorial I’ll show you how you can easily make adorable small gift bags only with a wide ribbon. It is by far the quickest sewing project for small gift bags, since the side seams are already neat. You can make them as a drawstring version or without drawstring.

Use a themed pattern and send them out on Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas or as a give-a-way for all your wedding guests. You can create hundreds of them in a short amount of time. Or just make one lovely little bag for someone special.

**This post may contain affiliate links of brands I love. Please read my disclosure for details.**

 ribbon gift bagsPin For Later

Supplies you need for one “ribbon gift bag”:



Drawstring gift bags:

Cut two pieces from your wide ribbon. The ribbon I use is 2.5” / 6.3cm wide and I cut the pieces 5” / 13cm long. If you have a ribbon where the direction of the pattern doesn’t matter, you need to cut only one piece that is 9” / 24cm long. In this case, you can skip the next step.

Place the two pieces right sides together. The pattern on both pieces shows in the same direction. Pin or clip the bottom and sew along the bottom side with a seam allowance of 1/4“ (6mm).

Trim the corners and the seam allowance (with pinking shears if you have). Take care not to cut into the seam. You can also secure the seam with a zigzag stitch.

Fold the seam open (press if possible). To create the casing for the drawstring, place the ribbon wrong side facing up. Measure 2” / 5cm away from the edge of both short sides. Mark these points with your fabric marker.

Tip: If your ribbon is fraying at the short sides then you either can secure the short edges with a zigzag stitch or fold the short sides 1/4” (6mm) inwards to the left side before folding the casing. 1/4” (6mm) wide Wonder Tape can help creating a neat fold (for more information read this post about frabric gift bags). In this case, cut your ribbon pieces 1/4 (6mm) longer.  I use a very thick canvas ribbon here, which is not fraying at the cutting line, so I leave the edge as it is.

Fold the two short sides inwards to the left side of the ribbon. Align the edges with your marks. Secure both sides with pins or clips.

Topstitch with right side up over the casing 7/8” (2,2cm) away from the “new” short side. The seam is very close to the “old” edge. Try to feel the edge with your fingers while sewing to make sure that you sew right next to the “old” edge. Use a straight, zigzag or decorating stich, whatever you prefer. You can also experiment with a color contrasting thread. Repeat with the other side.

After you made the casing on both sides, fold the ribbon in the center (the seam that you made first) with wrong sides facing each other. Align the sides and pin or clip them in place. Sew the sides together with a straight stitch as close to the edge as you can. Start at the stitch line you made before down to the bottom of the bag. Repeat with the other side. Don’t stitch into the casing.

Use a safety pin at one end of your thin cord, robe or a ribbon and pull it through one of the two casings. When you reach the opening, pull it back through the other casing. Pull both ends to the same length.



Trim all ends of your thread and you are done. Fill your bag with some sweets, tie a bow and make someone happy!

small fabric gift USA, LLC


“Ribbon bag” without drawstring:

Skip the casing steps. Instead just fold the top edges (short sides) once or twice (depending on the thickness and frying of your ribbon) as it is described in the fabric bag version to give the top a nice finish.

Sew both top edges in place. When it comes to the top stitch of the long bag sides, sew the left and right side seams from the upper top edge along to the bottom seam. This option is by far the quickest bag-making version!

From the Blog
Free DIY Easter Bags Baskets Tutorials

Easter is around the corner. So let’s make some fun and colorful Easter bags and baskets. In this blog post you’ll find over twenty DIY tutorials for lovely Easter projects created by great pattern designers from around the world. Each tutorial is super cute, easy to make and[…]

With the end of August we slowly say Goodbye to the summer and Hello to BACK TO SCHOOL. Many kids start a new or their very first year of school. To make this exciting time a bit easier for our little ones we searched the web for some[…]

how to make a fabric applique

Would you sometimes like to personalize your sewing projects with a name, initials or a special shape, but you don’t have an embroidery machine at home? Don’t worry! In this tutorial, we are going to show you how you can easily jazz up your sewing work with appliqués[…]

passport wallet pattern

I was lucky to test the Passport Card Sleeve Pattern created by Elvira from ChezVies. It’s a really nice, fun and quick sewing project and perfect to use fabric and interfacing from your stash. The finished sleeve holds two passports (even bigger ones), comes with two card slots[…]

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

18 + twelve =

One comment on “Use a wide ribbon to make small gift bags

  1. Hey,
    I read your post on “How to make small gift bags out of ribbon” and i found it very helpful for me. I tried this at home. Keep sharing such post with us.