How to make Gift bags – Make them in recycled Fabric for the environment – DIY Tutorial


fabric gift bags diy

Plastic is a habit – a very convenient habit, though a very bad one. Everyday we use so many plastic things, from the time we wake up pressing down the alarm button of that plastic alarm clock to ending the day by brushing our teeth with that plastic brush – and there are close to 8 billion people in the world doing all these. Among all the plastic we use the most damaging is the single use plastic. All those plastic bags you mindlessly throw to the dumpster after one use is going to come back and haunt us and our future generations. Using cloth bags is a very positive alternative many are increasingly embracing.

Other than this cloth grocery bag tutorial and cloth shopping bag tutorial, here are some easy cloth bags you can make to give away with gifts. 


Step 1 Cut out the fabric piece for your bag – 20 inches by 10 inches.

DIY fabric gift bags

Step 2 Stitch the handles to both ends.

You can use webbing, fabric straps or lace as I have done.

make fabric gift bags

Turn under the edges enclosing the handle ends and stitch in place.

diy fabric gift bags

Step 3 Keep the fabric folded right sides out – this is done to make a neat french seam inside. Stitch the edges. Trim the seam allowance close to the stitching line.


Turn the bag right sides in.

how to make a gift bag

Stitch along the edge ,enclosing the seam and the seam allowance.

make gift bags

Turn the bag right side out and use.

tutorial for making gift bags


cloth gift bag

This is a very small cloth gift bag which measures about 4.5 inches in height and 4 inches in width. Perfect for those small gifts like jewellery that you intend to give your loved ones. You can change the dimensions and make it to suit the gift you have, ofcourse. Whatever it is that you are giving inside this bag will surely be used again.

Step 1 Cut the pattern pieces

For the bag piece

fabric gift bag

For the drawstring & 2 little stoppers

gift bag

Step 2

Fold the side edges of the bag piece ( 6″ sides) inside 1/4 inches and stitch

gift bag

Step 3

Turn under the upper edge about 1/2 inch and stitch along the fabric edge. You have the casing for the drawstring here. If it is a selvedge you donot have to finish the edge here. But if it is not you may want to do a zigzag stitch on the fabric edges.

make a gift bag made of cloth

Step 4

Fold the Bag fabric by half, with short edges together ( right sides together) stitch the side seams. Stop just short of the upper casing. Donot forget to backstitch.

fabric gift bag


Step 5

Stitch the bottom edge of the bag together. 

Turn the bag inside out.

how to make a small cloth bag

Step 6. Make drawstring

Cut a piece of fabric 14 inches long and 1 inch wide . Fold it lengthwise. Stitch along the fold, about 1/2 inch from the fold .Anchor a tapestry needle ( or a thick needle) with 4 strands of thread near one edge by making 2-3 back stitches. Insert the needle through the hole in one edge. Pull the cloth along with the needle so that when the tube is turned inside out it will look filled up and round . Checkout this tutorial to make a fabric tube for more details. You will get a string which is your drawstring.

fabric tubes

Insert the drawstring through the casing in your bag using a safety pin

Step 7 Make  a Drawstring stopper.

Cut out 2 squares of 3 inches. Cut the edges 1/4 inch from the corners. Fold the square diagonally first. Then by half. Hold the edges together. Stitch them together. trim the seam allowance close to the seam

Keep the string end inside the rectangle and stitch them together. Turn it inside out.

gift bag in fabric

fabric gift bag diy

A similar but slightly different pouch can be made with ribbons as drawstring – check out this post  on making drawstring pouches for more details.

drawstring gift pouch

Make a tall gift bag by following the tutorial to make a wine bag; This involves some folding and very little sewing.

wine bag diy

If you can’t be bothered about sewing you can simply wrap your gifts with fabric – check out this post on fabric gift wraps for details.



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