Easy Sew Drawstring Fabric Gift Bag

Easy Sew Drawstring Fabric Gift Bag

With this tutorial, you can easily use any fabric scraps you may have to make reusable fabric gift bags. Gone are the days of spending money on pricey gift bags that don’t fit correctly or aren’t the exact color or style that you want. Now with this Easy Sew Drawstring Fabric Gift Bag, you can not only spend less money but create custom gift bags that your friends and family can reuse over and over!

Drawstring Fabric Gift Bag Easy Sewing Project

This tutorial will walk you step-by-step through how to make custom gift bags that will not only fit the gift you are giving but add to the present! Using fabric you have on hand or find on sale, this is an inexpensive method to wrap presents in a fun and special way.

Supplies for Easy Sew Gift Bags

Materials for Easy sew gift bags

Easy Sew Drawstring Fabric Gift Bags

Wash, dry, and press fabric

Whenever I start a new sewing project I always like to wash, dry and press my fabric first. Especially when the fabric is cotton. This way if I need to wash it after it is finished there is less opportunity for shrinking. Please don’t skip this step as it is an important one for any sewing project.

Measure and cut fabric

Measure and cut a rectangle of fabric 13″ x 11″ (this measurement is for a 6″ square bag. – check out the Tips section for more bag measurements)

Measure and draw a line on the wrong side of the fabric

Now, be sure you are working on the “wrong” side of the fabric here. Using a ruler (I use a clear acrylic ruler meant for sewing), measure down 1/2″ from the raw edge along one 13″ edge. Mark a line all the way across with a marking utensil – you’ll want to use a disappearing type marker or a light-colored pencil or pen. (Mine is marked darkly so you can see it better!)

Fold and press raw edge

To make the next step easier, on the same edge, fold the raw edge of the fabric down to the line you just drew. Press well as you work across the fabric – you’re creating a 1/4″ fold.

Measure and press your hem

The next step in this tutorial will be done on the same side. Fold your folded edge down again 2.5″. Use a ruler or hem gauge to ensure the fold is equal all the way across. Press well along the new fold you’ve created. If you press this folded edge well, you shouldn’t need to pin the fold. However, you can if you’d like!

Sew close to your folded edge

With the newly folded edge on the right side, slide your fabric under the presser foot of your machine. Sew very close to the first folded edge – your seam allowance should be about 1/8″.

7 Measure and mark a line 3/4" away from hem

Next, pull the fabric out of the machine, snipping off the threads. From the line you’ve just stitched, measure and mark a line 3/4″ away on the folded section of fabric.

8 Stich on the line you marked

Back to the sewing machine! Stitch directly on top of the line you marked in the last step. This is creating the pocket for the drawstring ribbon.

9 Put right sides together and stitch along raw edge

You are half-way finished with your DIY Drawstring Fabric Gift Bag! Now, fold your fabric to put the right sides of the fabric together. The fold should be at the top, and your previously stitched lines should match up on one edge.

First, pin your fabric along the raw edges to hold it together.

9b Don't stitch over pocket you made

Now, you will stitch with 1/2″ seam allowance along the top raw edges down to the stitched line. Then skip the 3/4″ section (the pocket you made for the drawstring) and restart your sewing at the second line.

Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end of your sewing each time.

10 Trim corner

Trim off the corner to allow for easier turning. You can also trim off excess fabric along your stitched line if you’d prefer – just be sure not to cut through your stitches!

If you wish to have a box-style bottom (allows a little more space for the bag to open up) follow the following 3 steps. If not skip the next 3 steps and continue on with your Easy sew drawstring fabric bag.

10a Fold corner and mark a line 1 inch from bottom

Fold the bottom of the bag on one corner to create a triangle. Then about an inch from the corner, draw a straight line across.

10b Stitch on marked line

Stitch directly on top of your marked line.

10c Trim off excess corner

Trim off the excess corner. Now, repeat for the other corner of the bag.

11 Trim excess fabric off 3/4 inch pocket

Next, you will trim around the drawstring pocket. Inside the 3/4″ section, snip off a tiny amount of fabric to meet up with the sewn lines on the edge.

11b Trim close to the sewn lines

You should have a cut out where the edges are for the drawstring pocket.

11c Use clear nail polish to keep edges from fraying

Now, to avoid fraying of the raw edges, paint a bit of clear nail polish or Fray Check to the edges of the casing here. You can poke a safety pin or other object in the holes to keep the ends from sticking together while they dry.

12 Cut an 18 inch piece of ribbon

The next step in this easy-sew project will include the ribbon. Cut an 18″ piece of ribbon, making sure the ends are cut at an angle. (this will help when you feed the ribbon through the drawstring pocket) It helps to heat seal the ends with a lighter.

13 Insert safty pin into ribbon to work the ribbon through

Insert a safety pin into one end of the ribbon. Then insert the safety pin end into one opening of the 3/4″ casing. Work the ribbon through to the other end of the casing, then remove the safety pin.

14 Flip the bag right side out

Now, flip the bag right side out.

15 Use a point object to pull the ribbons through to the right side

Carefully use a straight, pointy object (I used my “Purple Thing” tool from Amazon) to lift the two ends of the ribbon through the hole to the right side of the fabric.

16 Finished bag

Now you are finished with your Easy Sew Fabric Gift Bag! It is ready for a present!

16 Finished bag

These bags are not only cute but functional and environmentally friendly. Your friends and family are not only going to love the present in the bag but the gift of the bag as well. These DIY Gift Bags are not only reusable but can be functional for many different things! And because they are made of fabric they can be reused time and time again. I hope you enjoy making these as much as I did!

Wrap a present using your fabric gift bag

Here are the measurements for a large bag (10″x10″) – Cut your fabric 21″ x 15″ and the ribbon 26″

Drawstring Gift Bag

If you enjoyed this Easy Sew Fabric Gift Bag tutorial take a few seconds and pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to make the gift bags take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing the fabrics and color choices others make.

Yield: 1

Easy Sew Drawstring Fabric Gift Bag

Easy Sew Drawstring Fabric Gift Bag

In this tutorial, you will get a step-by-step guide to making your own personalized gift bags. Gone are the days of buying expensive bags that don't fit correctly, here are cute bags that can be reused again and again for all kinds of things!

Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $3.00

Materials

  • Fabric (I used cotton fabric quarters, but a variety of fabrics would work for these!)
  • Ribbon (1/2” satin) or drawstring material of your choice
  • Thread
  • ​Pins or clips
  • Safety pin

Tools

Instructions

    1. ​Wash, dry and iron the fabric.
    2. ​ ​Measure and cut a rectangle of fabric 13” x 11” (see notes about different sizes for bags – this
      measurement is for a 6” square bag).
    3. Be sure you are working on the “wrong” side of the fabric here. Using a ruler (I use a clear acrylic ruler meant for sewing), measure down 1⁄2” from the raw edge along one 13” edge. Mark a line all the way across with a marking utensil – you’ll want to use a disappearing type marker or a light-colored pencil or pen. Mine is marked darkly so you can see it better!
    4. ​On the same edge, fold the raw edge of the fabric down to the line you just drew. Press well as you work across the fabric – you’re creating a 1⁄4” fold.
    5. Fold your folded edge down again 2.5”. Use a ruler or hem gauge to ensure the fold is equal all the way across. Press well along the new fold you’ve created. If you press this folded edge well, you shouldn’t need to pin the fold. However, you can if you’d like!
    6. ​With the newly folded edge on the right side, slide your fabric under the presser foot of your machine. Sew very close to the first folded edge – your seam allowance should be about 1/8”.
    7. Pull the fabric out of the machine, snipping off the threads. From this line, you’ve just stitched, measure and mark a line 3/4” away on the folded section of fabric.
    8. Back to the sewing machine! Stitch directly on top of the line you marked in the last step.
    9. ​Now, fold your fabric to put the right sides of the fabric together. The fold should be at the top,
      and your previously stitched lines should match up on one edge.
      a.​ ​First, pin your fabric along the raw edges to hold it together.
      b.​ ​Stitch with 1⁄2” seam allowance along the top raw edges down to the stitched line. Then skip
      the 3⁄4” section and restart your sewing at the second line. **See photo for details on how to stitch here!
      c.​ ​Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your sewing each time.
    10. Trim off the corner to allow for easier turning. You can also trim off excess fabric along your stitched line if you’d prefer – just be sure not to cut through your stitches!
      a.​ ​If you wish to have a box-style bottom (allows a little more space for the bag to open up), follow this step. If not, continue on!
      For a box-style bottom:
      ​i.​ ​Fold the bottom of the bag on one corner to create a triangle
      ​ii.​ ​About an inch in from the corner, draw a straight line across
      ​iii.​ ​Stitch directly on top of your marked line.
      ​iv.​ ​Trim off the excess corner.
      ​v.​ ​Repeat for the other corner of the bag.
    11. ​Inside the 3⁄4” section, snip off a tiny amount of fabric to meet up with the sewn lines on the edges.
      To avoid fraying of the raw edges, paint a bit of clear nail polish or Fray Check to the edges of the casing here. You can poke a safety pin or other object in the holes to keep the ends from sticking together while they dry. **See photos here!
    12. Cut an 18” piece of ribbon, making sure the ends are cut at an angle. Heat seal the ends with a lighter.
    13. Insert a safety pin into one end of the ribbon. Then insert the safety pin end into one opening of the 3⁄4” casing. Work the ribbon through to the other end of the casing, then remove the safety pin.
    14. ​Flip the bag right side out.
    15. Carefully use a straight, pointy object (I used my “Purple Thing” tool from Amazon) to lift the two ends of the ribbon through the hole to the right side of the fabric.
    16. ​Now wrap a present in your new bag, tie a bow, and give away!

Notes

Measurements for different sized bags:
​Large bag (10” x 10”) - Cut fabric 21” x 15” and cut a 26” piece of ribbon

Small bag (6” x 6”) - Cut fabric 13” x 11” and cut an 18" piece of ribbon

Easy Sew Projects:

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