Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Make Your Own Holiday Gift Bags

This holiday I am trying to use less wrapping paper by using cloth drawstring bags. Using up some fabric scraps, I made my own.  Listed below are instructions on how to make a bag followed by pictures of other bags that I designed.  Also, don't forget to check out my post titled Resourceful Gift Wrapping from several years ago. 

1. I cut two pieces of red fabric 9x10 inches and two strips of green fabric 3x10 inches.  For each piece of red fabric, attach the green strip by putting right sides together and sew along the top edge.

2. Next I sewed three sides of the bag.  On one of the long sides I left an opening for the ribbon by sewing 1 3/4 inches from the top, stopping, and then starting again 1/4 inch from the bottom of the green and continuing down the length of the red.  For a drawstring bag with ribbon coming out of both sides, you can leave gaps on both sides of the long edges.  (Optional: If you want to keep the edges from fraying, serge.)

3. There are a few ways to sew the bottom corners and there are several youtube videos showing the process.  With the bag inside out, open up the corner and line up the bottom and side seams, fold it flat.

4. Sew across the bottom and side seam one inch from the corner.  Before sewing the other corner, make sure that you fold the bottom seam in the same direction as the opposite corner so that it lays flat and isn't twisted.

When the bag is inverted, this is what a bottom corner should look like, and if you are lucky, the bottom and side seam will line up.

5. With right sides facing out, fold down the green fabric below the side opening, leaving about a 1 1/4 inch fold.  Stitch on the green fabric right next to the red fabric all the way around, checking that the side seams are facing the same direction and not twisted.

This is what the top of the bag should look like with a hole on one side for the ribbon. 

6. For a finished look, sew along the top of the bag.

7. Using a safety pin, thread the ribbon through the opening.  Finished!

Pictured below are a few more bags I made with applique and printed fabric.

I add two layers of batting behind the applique designs.


About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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