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Gifts in fabric bags

These fabric gift bags are fun and easy to make – and using them makes Christmas presents look extra special

Reusable paper gift bags are better for the environment than single-use wrapping paper that can't be recycled.

But paper doesn't last that long, and reusable bags can start to look a bit jaded once they've been passed on a few times.

Fabric gift bags, though, will last for years and should continue to look good – they can even be washed if they get a bit grubby.

And they're really simple to make – even if, like me, you're not that great with a sewing machine.

There are lots of lovely fabrics to choose from, including many festive designs. Look out for 'fat quarters' (large squares of fabric traditionally used for making patchwork quilts) in local needlework shops or at Hobbycraft.

Buying fat quarters is a good way to get a variety of different fabric designs for a reasonable price.

Or, to be even more environmentally friendly, you could search in charity shops for suitable fabrics and second hand clothes to upcycle.

Here's how to do it. Happy sewing!


How to make fabric gift bags

Cutting out fabric, with cat

For a medium-sized gift bag you will need:

Rectangle of fabric, approximately 56cm x 23cm


White sewing thread

Two 64cm lengths of ribbon

Tapestry needle

Sewing machine

Cat (optional)

First remove cat (if using) from fabric. With the wrong side of the fabric facing you, turn over a 2cm seam along one of the short edges, pin and sew. Repeat with the other short edge.

Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, bringing the seamed short edges together and making sure they are neatly aligned. Pin and stitch along each side seam, stopping just before you reach the short edge seam.

Turn the bag inside out so that the right side of the fabric is now on the outside.

Thread a tapestry needle with one of the ribbons and thread it through the seam of the short edge that's facing you (the front seam), working from right to left. Then thread it through the other short edge seam (the back seam), from left to right. Tie the ends of the ribbon together securely.

How to make fabric gift bags instructions 3
How to make fabric gift bags instructions 2
How to make fabric gift bags instructions 1

Repeat with the other ribbon, this time threading it through both short edge seams in the opposite direction – so threading it from left to right through the front seam, and from right to left through the back seam. Tie the ends together.

How to make fabric gift bags instructions 4
How to make fabric gift bags instructions 5

That's it! To fasten the bag, simply pull on the ribbons.

Finished fabric gift bags

You can use this method to make a bag in any size you like – just use larger or smaller rectangles of fabric and longer or shorter ribbons.

Little Green Space November 2018