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DIY Projects

How to Make Eco-Friendly Fabric Gift Bags

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During the holidays, Americans use over 15% more paper than at any other time of year. Between greeting cards and piles of gifts under the tree, all wrapped up in shiny Santa-bedazzled paper, it is no wonder! It is with this in mind that we share these fabric bags as a wonderful alternative to traditional gift wrapping. It is an easy way to make a gift even more personalized. Complete with a pocket for a card or a smaller gift, these bags can be used again and again. The gift receiver will find all sorts of uses for the bag once the hustle of the season is over, as they are perfect for holding knitting projects, toys, shoes, toiletries, and even laundry.

Materials

  • Sewing machine
  • One cut of cotton fabric size 34 x 14 inches
  • One cut of coordinating cotton fabric 9 x 9 inches
  • Ribbon- 3 feet long
  • Scissors

Prepare the Bag

Place the body fabric face down onto your surface.

Fold and press all four edges to 1/2 inch.

Stitch a quarter inch seam down the short sides of the bag body. DO NOT seam the longer edges.

Fold over these seamed edges 2.5 inches on each short side of the bag body as shown.

Stitch each of the folded sides of the bag body as shown at the 1/2 mark and the 1 1/2 inch mark. This will make a drawstring casing.

The Pocket

For the pocket, fold the square of fabric over on the edges by 1/2 inch on each side. Stitch across one of the edges (this will be the top of the pocket and the opening.).

Center the pocket on one half of the bag. Make sure that the seamed opening of the pocket is facing in the same direction as the opening of the bag.

Stitch the three remaining sides of the pocket to the bag body.

Finish the Bag

Once the pocket is attached, it is time to finish making the body of the bag.

Fold the bag in half at the center with right sides facing each other.

Stitch as shown ( the white lines above). This makes the sides of the bag.

Make sure that you don’t stitch all the way from the top of the bag. Only stitch as shown. This allows for the casing for the ribbon.

Now you can turn the bag right side out.

To feed the ribbon into the casing, pin a safety pin to one end of the ribbon and insert it into the casing.

Feed it all the way across the front casing of the bag and into the back casing. There will be a gap in fabric where you will just see ribbon at this transition spot.

Feed the ribbon all the way across the back casing and pull it out, where it will meet the other end of the ribbon.

Voila! Your bag is done.

Now, all that is left to do is put a gift into it.

Cinch the ribbon by pulling on both ribbon ends and tie a big bow.

Insert a card into the pocket on the front of the bag as a greeting.

Put it in a special place where your gift receiver is sure to find it.

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