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Tutorial // How to Make a Drawstring Fabric Gift Bag

How to make a fabric draw string gift bag // Megan Nielsen patterns FREE tutorial

I really truly hate wrapping paper – so SO much waste. Where i can possibly avoid it I like to wrap presents in fabric, or use fabric bags or totes that are reusable. For the last few years we have used only fabric bags and large pieces of fabric + ribbons to wrap our presents, and its been a huge success. When my kids go to a party i like to make a personalized drawstring bag for their friend, that can be used again. And It’s my favourite way to wrap up baby gifts (like handmade swaddles). My kids are so well trained that when a birthday comes along they go running into my workroom to choose fabric and trims hehe.

How to make a fabric draw string gift bag // Megan Nielsen patterns FREE tutorial

Here’s how easy they are to make:

SUPPLIES

You’ll need fabric and ribbons. How large you make your drawstring bag is up to you, and the size of your gift. The drawstring bag I’ll share in this tutorial is a small bag that i made for a friends baby gift, the finished bag measures 11″ x 9″.How to make a fabric draw string gift bag // Megan Nielsen patterns FREE tutorial

Cut your fabric into either two rectangles, or one very long long rectangle that you’ll fold in half. For the bag i’m showing you, i cut a piece of fabric that was 24″ x 10″ – i could also have cut two rectangles that were 24 1/4″ x 10″ with the same effect. I’m going to assume you’re using two rectangles for the rest of this tutorial.

METHOD

How to make a fabric draw string gift bag // Megan Nielsen patterns FREE tutorial

Place your two rectangle right sides right sides together and sew down one long edge, along the short edge, and back up the other long edge. Make sure that you leave a gap of 1 1/4″ at the top as you’ll need to use this fabric to make the ribbon casing. I use a seam allowance of 1/4″ so there isn’t too much bulk. In this picture i serged the raw edges, but honestly most of the time i just leave the edges raw.

How to make a fabric draw string gift bag // Megan Nielsen patterns FREE tutorial

Fold in the edges of the ribbon casing. You may stitch these down as i have done.

How to make a fabric draw string gift bag // Megan Nielsen patterns FREE tutorialHow to make a fabric draw string gift bag // Megan Nielsen patterns FREE tutorial

Now fold down each top edge by 3/4″ and sew just over 1/2″ from the folded edges. Make sure you don’t sew the two top edges together or your bag will be permanently closed hehe.How to make a fabric draw string gift bag // Megan Nielsen patterns FREE tutorial

Now you can thread your ribbon through the two ribbon casings by attaching a safety pin to one end and thread through. For this bag i used two ribbons going in opposite directions. Most of the time i only use one ribbon, or rope as with the first bag I showed at the top of this post.

How to make a fabric draw string gift bag // Megan Nielsen patterns FREE tutorial

Add your present and you’re done!!

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Nadja
Nadja
6 years ago

Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I’m known for always wrapping my gifts in old newspapers, but fabric bags are much prettier.

Sarah
6 years ago

Thanks for the tutorial. I know I need to make some small ones as jewelry bags for Christmas presents.

Lisa Poblenz (patternandbranch)

Perfect! I wanted to make some of these for my husband to store things in, but needed a good tutorial. Thanks so much!

Flavia
Flavia
6 years ago

Love this, thank you for this clear tutorial, exactly what I need.

Rebecca
Rebecca
6 years ago

I’ve started doing this in the last year too. I’ve even got my 17 year old daughter making them under strict supervision with my sewing machine.

Laura
Laura
6 years ago

After reading about your fabric wrapping last year you’ve inspired me to do the same this year! I’ve got my fabric ready to go :). I’m even thinking of doing reusable ‘crackers’ next year with felt crowns. Not sure how to pull off the banger bit yet though!!!

Cristal
6 years ago

Such a great idea! Great way to make use of scrap fabrics too. I think I’ll be trying this one for a few of my holiday gifts.

Gail
Gail
3 years ago

I am a bit late to this party but this popped up in my Pinterest feed today. I needed a quick drawstring pattern to make some reusable produce bags. This was perfect. Thank you so much for sharing it. I love the idea of making these for gift wrap. The only thing I noticed was a small error in the measurements. If using two pieces you would want them to be 12 1/4 instead of 24 1/4.

Kayla manning
Kayla manning
2 years ago

Wish there was a video showing step by step