In this post, I share with you how to sew simple holiday gift bags in a flash! With the holiday’s approaching, it’s the perfect time to sew up some pretty gift bags to give your gifts in! Using reusable gift bags will also mean that you’re consuming less by skipping on the one-time-use paper gift wrap or gift bags. People can pass these bags onto each other over and over again. Or you can keep them as part of your holiday decor and use them year after year.

You can purchase new fabric from a fabric store for this project. Or, if you’re like me and like the thrill of the hunt, you can find some amazing vintage items that can be repurposed into gift bags! I found this amazing vintage table cloth that was too small for my table and had a hole in it. As soon as I saw it I knew what I could use it for!

If you want to make more than one bag you’ll want to make sure that your fabric is a good size so that you can get a few bags from one piece of fabric.

How can you sew a gift bag yourself?


  • fabric
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • measuring tape
  • ribbons

Step One

If you want to be able to wash your bags after sewing them you’ll need to prewash your fabric. To do this, you can wash your fabric on cold and dry on full heat. Repeat twice. If you’ve scored an amazing thrift store find for this project I’m sure pre-washing is already on your mind!

Step Two

Once your fabric is pre-washed, give it a good iron. Ironing fabric for projects is the ONLY time my iron gets used. I doubt it’s seen a dress shirt since my husband and I got married! Irons are for crafting not clothes! Haha!

Step Three

Lay out your fabric on a desk or the floor and measure out the size of bag you’d like to make. Keep in mind that some gifts are quite large and oddly shaped and some are small. Sewing a few different sizes is a good idea! Cut two identical rectangles or squares.

Step Four

Putting right sides of your fabric together pin your fabric to mark where to begin and stop sewing around the edges. Place the pins 1.5″ down from the top of the bag. This will allow room to turn down the top of the bag later to create a casing for your ribbon to close the bag.

Step Five

Sew all around the edge of your fabric beginning at one of the pins and ending at the other. I put the pins the wrong way out to mark the beginning and end. Make sure you backstitch at the beginning and the end to lock in your stitches.

If your fabric is slippery, or you’re a beginner sewist, it’s a good idea to pin your fabric along the edges ahead of time.

Step Six

At the top of your bag fold over a small amount of fabric and crease it with your fingernail or press it with your iron. Do this on all four top corners. Then stitch along this edge to create a finished edge. Make sure you sew each of the four corners separately and don’t sew them together by accident.

Step Seven

Turn the top edge of your bag down and pin. Then press the folded edge to make it nice and neat. Next, sew along the edge to create the casing for your ribbon making sure to leave a wide enough opening for the ribbon you’ve chosen.

Step Eight

Thread the ribbon you’ve chosen into your casing. There are many ways to do this but the easiest is to get a large safety pin and pin it to the end of your ribbon and then start shimmying your ribbon through the casing.

To get the right length of ribbon for your bag you’ll want to cut a piece that is four times the width of your bag when it’s laid flat on a tabletop.


All finished!

Now you know how to sew gift bags that can be used over and over again! They make excellent bags to give gifts to friends and family, too, since they love having beautiful homemade things.