Fabric Gift Bag Tutorial - The Happy Housewife™ :: Home Management

Fabric Gift Bag Tutorial

Did you know that most wrapping paper cannot be recycled? Because of tape, dyes, and the poor quality of the paper most recycling plants do not accept wrapping paper. Fabric gift bags are a wonderful alternative.

Fabric gift bags are so easy to make. They are also inexpensive and can be used over and over again. Here is a quick tutorial on how to make one yourself. If you have basic sewing skills this will be a snap.

Choose your fabric, wash and iron it. Decide how large you want your bag to be. I wanted a bag that was 12 inches wide and about 15 inches tall. I folded my fabric in half and then cut, adding an extra 1/2 inch for seams.



Putting right sides together sew up your sides.



If you want to finish your bag serge or zig zag along the edge of the seam. This will keep the bag from fraying if it is washed. You could also use pinking shears and cut along the edge.


Fold the top of the bag down 1 inch. The bag should still be inside out. Press, so it stays in place and you don’t have to pin anything. You can also fold it once and then again which will give you a nice finished edge as well. I was lazy so I used the overlock machine.


Stitch around the fold.


Turn your bag inside out, actually I guess it is right side out and press one more time.


Put your gift in the finished bag and fold over the top.


Tie a ribbon around the bag.


This project took me about 15 minutes and that included taking the pictures. It is truly a beginner project. Remember you don’t have to use this tutorial for Christmas, you can wrap gifts in fabric bags all year round.

See more frugal gift wrap ideas here.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. This is a great idea.

  2. This really is a great idea and a very nice tutorial! Also, if you’re giving a gift to someone who enjoys sewing, the gift can be wrapped in fabric that has not been made into a bag. Then, the seamstress recipient can use the fabric for sewing her own creation. 😀

  3. That is a wonderful idea, and what a great tutorial, I will have to try these myself.

  4. OH MY! I just can’t take it! The machine, the mat, the rotary cutter. I HAVE TO QUILT. I am going through withdraws.

    Sure idea for the fabric bag. Quick, simple and this type fabric is easy to get cheap.

    Thanks for the idea.

  5. Love this idea. I’m going to try that.

  6. I plan on doing the same for next year! I am going to pick through the left over Christmas fabric next weekend to make them for next year. Thanks for the tutorial. Cute fabric.

  7. Very cute.. I love new ways to wrap gifts since most of the paper I buy is actually so cheap that it rips just picking it up.. I will try this for the future for sure! Thanks for sharing!

  8. What a great way to present instructions! Love the idea of serging the edges. Thanks

  9. It is good information!

  10. You can also make fabric gift bags that your friends can use as alternative to plastic shopping bags. These reusable shopping bags will be great in carrying grocery items. They can tell the grocery store baggers to cut on using all these wasteful plastic bags and instead put all their items inside the bags you made especially for them.

  11. S. McAllister says:

    I make sets of these for gifts(saves so much time for Mom for all that last minute wrapping). I use raffia, ribbon, pipe cleaners and stripes of cloth to tie at the top of the bag. Make them in a variety of sizes from really small (for CD’s and jewelry) to very large for hard to wrap odd shaped things.

  12. In about the year 2000 I got the idea of wrapping in fabric, and the kids just laughed at me. But they knew it would be there again next year, I had bought a bolt of Christmas fabric to do that.

  13. These are great, especially for those awkward shaped gifts like balls, art sets, dolls or boxes that are just too big for paper rolls. I love fabric bags and also using lots of fabric bows as well.

  14. I love this idea! Learning to sew and using a sewing machine is on my list…I didn’t pay attention much to that in my home economics class in middle school…I can do just about anything…except sew…but, it’s an important skill I need to learn not only for myself, but also to show my kids! (Don’t hate on me lol)

  15. Linda Dietz says:

    I want you to know you have even inspired me…who is quite a crafty klutz…to try this project. How would one add a simple drawstring?


  1. […] bags instead of wrapping paper; they can be reused for years! – make fabric gift bags; here’s an easy tutorial from The Happy Housewife – use plastic grocery store bags to pack and protect breakables instead of […]

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