How to make Fabric Gift Bags

These easy and sustainable fabric gift bags will take you no more than 10 minutes to make. They look great underneath the Christmas tree!

In this post, I will show you how to make fabric gift bags. It is very easy. You can have a finished bag in under 10 minutes. You will only need some basic sewing knowledge. I like using homemade gift bags because it looks nice, and you can reuse them again and again.

What do you need:

  • Cotton Fabric of your choice. I used Christmas themed cotton fabric pieces. The size of the fabric pieces you need depends on how big you want your bags to be
  • fabric scissors. I like to use pinking shears for fabric.
  • sewing pins or clips.
  • Rope, string or ribbon
  • Sewing machine (basic sewing skills)

Getting Started

step 1

Cut out a piece of fabric for your gift bag. You will need to cut the front and back of your bag in one piece. So you will have one rectangle-shaped piece of fabric (that will be folded in half, to create front and back, later on).

The size need to cut depends on how big you want your bags to be. You have to cut the fabric at one time the width and two times the length you want your bag to have, plus some extra cm for sewing, about 8 cm extra in the length and 3 in the width.

So for example for this bag here, I cut a piece of fabric of 20 x 48 cm. Folded in half, this makes 20 x 24 cm. After sewing, the bag is about 17 x 20 cm.

I made relatively small bags in different sizes but you can make them as big as you like!

Step 2

Next, you need to hem your piece of fabric. I first sewed the long sides (about one cm) using a simple straight stitch.

And afterward, I hemmed the short sides (also about one cm), also using a simple straight stitch.

Step 3

Then you fold the short sides of the fabric to make a tunnel for your rope. See the following picture. Sew on the purple dotted line, again a simple straight stitch. The size of the tunnel you’ll want to make depends on the thickness of your string. Two pieces of strings need to fit through. I folded about 3 cm of fabric on each side and created a tunnel of 1,5/2 cm.

Step 4

Next, you fold your fabric in the middle. With the right sides touching. Like in the following picture.

Now, sew the sides, up to the tunnel you just made in the last step. Sew where the purple dotted line is in the following picture, at about half a cm from the edge. Make sure that you do not sew the tunnel shut.

Step 5

Turn your bag inside out (or rather outside out). It is time to thread the rope through the tunnel you made.

Cut two pieces of rope (or ribbon or string) like you see in the picture above, and thread them through the tunnel using a thick blunt needle.

Start on one side with one piece of string and thread all the way through until you end up where you started. See image below (different bag)

Now do the same with the second piece of string, starting at the other side.

Make a knot in the ends and cut at the desired length.

If you want to make your bags even quicker, you could skip step 2, where you hem your fabric. It will look less finished and will be less durable. But it will be even quicker to make.

I made 24 of these fabric gift bags so they could function as an Advent Calendar.

Good luck with your project!

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