How to make small gift bags
These cute bags are great gifts for your loved ones for Valentine’s, Mother’s or birthday. Use a themed fabric to send them out for Easter or Christmas. You can make hundreds of them as a give-a-way for all your wedding guests. Or just make one lovely bag for someone special.
This project is perfect for beginners. The bags are very quick and easy to sew since they come without a lining. Nevertheless, they get a nice finish at the top edge. The size of the gift bag is about 3″ x 5″ (7.5cm x 13cm). At the end of this post you’ll find information on how you can adjust the bag size to your needs.
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Click here if you want to make your gift bags out of a wide ribbon.
Plan your fabric and your work!
With a fabric size 7” x 6” for one gift bag you are able to make:
9 bags from 1 Fat-Quarter (21” x 18” / 53cm x 46cm) or
36 bags from 1 yard of fabric (42” x 36” / 106,7cm x 91,5cm)
If you plan to make more bags, you are much faster when you finish one step for all your bags before moving on to the next step.
Supplies you need for one fabric gift bag:
- cotton fabric: 7″ W x 6″ H (18cm W x 15.5cm H)
- fabric scissors
- some pins or Wonder Clips
- color matching thread
- 15” / 38cm long color matching thin ribbon or cord/rope
- iron / ironing board
- fabric marker pen
- rotary cutter and cutting mat (especially if you make more)
- ¼” (6mm) Wonder Tape (to make a neat hem)
- pinking shears (to prevent raw edges from frying)
- coin for round bottom edges
Cut one piece of your fabric 7″ wide x 6″ high (18cm x 15.5cm). Make sure that the pattern is in the correct direction, the longer sides are the bottom and top of your fabric piece, the shorter sides are left and right when you place the fabric piece in front of you.
Turn your fabric piece wrong side up and fold the top edge ¼“ (6mm) inwards to the wrong side and press. Use this crease and fold again ¼” (6mm) inwards over the first crease.
TIP: Use a ¼ “ (6mm) wide double-sided transparent wonder tape for this step. Glue the sticky side of the tape to the top edge of the wrong side of your fabric. The upper side of the tape is fusible and comes with a paper layer. Cut the tape exactly or a little bit less than your fabric is wide to avoid glue on your iron. Please don’t remove the paper yet!
Use the tape with the paper to fold the fabric exactly ¼” / 6mm inwards, press over the fold. The paper is still on the tape.
Fold the edge backwards. Now remove the paper and fold the edge inwards again using the crease that you made before with the paper.
Press over the folded fabric (not directly on the fusible surface). Fold a second time ¼” (6mm) inwards using the first crease, press and secure this double folded edge with pins or clips.
Sew close to the lower fold line. You can use a straight, zigzag or decorating stitch. If you make more bags, you can play with different contrast thread colors and stitches.
Fold the fabric lengthwise in half, right side facing each other. Pin or clip both fabric layers at the side and at the bottom.
Sew the raw long and short side with ½“ (1cm) seam allowance. Start at the upper top edge. Stop ½“ (1cm) away from the bottom, leave the needle down in the fabric, raise the presser foot and turn the fabric by 90 degrees to the right (= ‘pivot stitch’). Stitch up to the end of the other side where the fabric is folded.
Trim the corners and seam allowance. I recommend using pinking shears to avoid the raw edges from fraying. It also gives the seam a nice finish. Take care not to cut into the seam. If you don’t have pinking shears, you can also secure the edge with a zigzag stitch.
Trim the ends of your thread, turn your bag inside out and press.
Optional: If you like to have round corners at the bottom, place a coin or another small round object in the bottom corner on the wrong side of the fabric. Align the edge of the coin with your seam line and trace a curve with a fabric marker from one seam line to the other. Repeat with the other side. Sew along the traced line. Start and end in the “old” seam line. If you feel comfortable with sewing round corners, you can sew the side, the curve and the bottom seam all at once. Don’t wonder. The bag below is made out of two fabric pieces, so there are two long side seams.
Fill your bag) with sweets, a lovely note or another lovely thing. Use a thin cord, rope or ribbon to tie a bow around it and make someone happy!
Adjust the size of fabric to your needs:
Do you want the finished gift bag in another size? No problem. The sketch below shows you how you can create your own template for the fabric gift bag. For example, if you wish a bag with a finished size 5” x 7”, then keep the following in mind (I use only inch in the sketch for a better reading):
Transfer these numbers to every finished size you want and cut your fabric as follows:
Width = wished width of your finished bag x 2 + 1”
Height = wished height of your finished bag + 1”
Width = wished width of your finished bag x 2 + 2cm
Height = wished height of your finished bag + 2cm
You can make gift bags even faster out of a wide ribbon, where the side seams are already neat.
Click here for the drawstring bag version made out of a wide ribbon.
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