I don’t use paper gift wrap anymore. It’s expensive. It’s a pain to store. And the pile of it left after opening gifts always feels more than a little wasteful.
A couple of years ago I started making fabric bags for gifts. I love them! They’re so crazy easy to make – and they take no room at all to store when they’re not in use. Nice! Oh – and the ribbons are attached. No separate bows and no tape needed.
I make two different kinds. Ones that gather and tie at the top, like this one. . .
And ones that wrap around the gift and then tie, like this one. . .
Want to know how to make them? Be prepared for simplicity.
Cut two rectangles of fabric. Any size. I have a huge variety.
Sew them together around three sides (watch this video showing how to sew a straight line and turn corners if you’re a beginner). If you’re making the first kind of bag – the one that gathers and ties at the top – cut 1 yard of ribbon, fold it in half, and embed the fold in the side seam (video here), a few inches from the top of the bag. When you turn it right side out it will look like this. . .
Hem the top opening. (Video here.)
If you’re making the second kind of bag, cut a ribbon 2 times the length of the bag plus an additional yard. Fold it in half and sew the fold at top of the bag in the center of one side. It should look like this. . .
Wrapping is easy. Pop in the gift. Fold the top of the bag over. Tie the ribbon. Here’s what it looks like from the back. . .
And here it is from the front. . .
I don’t stick to holiday-ish fabric – we use these for birthdays and other occasions too.
A lot of mine use grosgrain ribbon because I have a lot of it on hand from some aprons I used to make and sell. But sometimes I use pretty gauzy ribbon.
Any fabric. Any ribbon. It all works well, looks pretty and folds up to store easily. Love!
Update – I got a lot of questions about how we tag them. I started using easy reusable felt tags, and there’s a tutorial here showing how to make them.
oooooh — where did that police phonebox/tardis print fabric come from? 😀
Spoonflower! Go there and search for TARDIS or Doctor Who and you’ll get a TON of fun options. 🙂
Thinking the same thing right meow. My brother now thinks i’m insane for randomly shouting about “omg thats the best fabric ever!”
They also sell it at Hobby Lobby and JoAnns. I saw it and bought myself 2 yards. I’m a #Whovian #DiehardFan #MattSmithISmyDoctor
That’s exactly how I make all my bags!!! I love to use them for all occasions, but I do have a Christmas stash to make the tree look more festive. I like grosgrain because there’s no “right side” to the ribbon and tying the bow is so much easier. A stack of fun bags in various sizes is also a great gift.
Ohhh I love this idea. They would also make good Christmas gifts. Give a bag full of reusable bags.
how are you able to “keep” the bags…. don’t friends/family want to carry them off? especially if used for gifts not opened in your own home?
Most of our gifts are opened in our own home – but I’m happy to give some away too. The best is when I get a gift the next year from that person and they’ve made their own bags using the one they got as a model. 🙂
I know this seems really silly but could you make a video of this (if you haven’t already)? I can’t seem to visualize the placement of the ribbons. Thanks!
I’ll add it to the list! I’ve got a run of Quilt As You Go Videos I’m working on, but it will come after that. 🙂
What about a tag to tell who the present is for? Just tie something to the ribbon?
That’s exactly what we do. I keep thinking I’ll embroider some reusable tags on felt, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet. 🙂
We have started using printed pictures of the recipient and write who from on the back of the picture or not if not needed. fabric bags is great idea will get some made for next year.
I made some felt gift tags this year that worked great, but I didn’t have a chance to post about them. I’ll get a tutorial together for next year. 🙂
Pingback: Reusable Fabric Gift Bags - Tutorial - Shiny Happy World
I made bags like the gathered ones a few years ago and use them for most of my gifts. I told my husband’s family that they were welcome to keep them and reuse them but if they weren’t going to I’d take them back. They opted to give them back so I get to keep using them year after year.
Thank you so much!!! I have seen this idea posted by others but not as simple as your bags! Love that the bows are attached! I am going to try to make a couple each month next year and be ready for Christmas 2016. Thanks again and I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas! PS- your emails and website always make me smile 🙂
Thanks so much! 🙂
I planned to make white bags with red ribbons this year – didn’t get to it so …. next year it is!