Becoming Kindred Blog

Re-usable Cloth Gift Bags

Now that I have shared many of my thoughts on gift giving, I thought that I would also share this super easy gift bag tutorial. There are lots of ways to make a gift bag, but I find this so quick and easy (seriously, the last one took me five minutes). I started making them for quiet bags for the girls, another post for another time perhaps, which is why they are numbered. My sister can wrap presents beautifully and so neatly whereas if I have a straight forward box, I will do okay. But, give me anything odd shaped and the creases and many strips of tapes are going to finish off a messy package. I like bags because I can have whatever size I want, decorate it with a ribbon or strip of cloth and we are good to go. Cloth bags are great because they are resuable, fold up very small, and can also be multi-purposed. AND, if you do a plain colored one, it becomes seasonal by adding a ribbon or decoration!

You will need:

  • Fabric enough for the size of bag you want
  • Scissors
  • something to measure with (I have my fancy quilters squares which are handy but not essential)
  • Sewing machine or good ol' needle and thread
  • Iron
  • tweezers or threading tool

How to:

[caption id="attachment_1879" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="Measure a strip that is double the length that you need and that is the width that you need. Add enough extra to the length that will allow you to turn over the ends and sew them. For these bags, I did a 8" width and a 17" length."]

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[caption id="attachment_1880" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="Fold the width ends over and iron a crease. I do about an inch, but there is no rule."]

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[caption id="attachment_1881" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="Sew the folds closed. Sew close enough to the raw edge that you allow for a ribbon to slide through (coming up)."]

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[caption id="attachment_1883" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="Now is a good time to applique a design on if you want (I cut out some numbers for quiet bags here)."]

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[caption id="attachment_1884" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="Turn the cloth so that the right sides (the part that you want to show) are facing each other and sew both sides closed (I use a 5/8 in seam but still no rules). Turn right side out, cut threads and you have your bag."]

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[caption id="attachment_1885" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="If you want to put a ribbon or drawstring, you will make four small cuts on the folded and sewn edge. One on close to and on each side of the seam."]

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[caption id="attachment_1886" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="Use tweezers or threading tool and draw your string or ribbon through the slits."]

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[caption id="attachment_1887" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="There will be a bit of ribbon showing on the one side.Draw the ribbon all the way through and tie knot if desired to keep it from going back through. You could also slide a ribbon or string through each side and then time them together on both sides."]

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[caption id="attachment_1922" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Finished bags!"]

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[caption id="attachment_1926" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="instead of a drawstring, I added handles to make a gift/book bag for Cecily's birthday."]

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[caption id="attachment_1924" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Some burlap love; a little gift bag with a simple tree gift tag."]

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[caption id="attachment_1925" align="alignright" width="300" caption="continuing the burlap love with a rustic gingerbread man."]

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I am hoping that this tutorial is as simple as it is to make these bags but please let me know if you have any questions.