/ / / Christmas Mini-Tutorial: Reusable Bow Gift Bag

Christmas Mini-Tutorial: Reusable Bow Gift Bag

When it comes to wrapping Christmas presents in recent years, I’ve been trying to find more eco-friendly ways of gifting presents.

I absolutely love drawstring bags but sometimes, it doesn’t quite have the panache that I’m after – or is it just me that loves a big bow on a present?!

Bow Gift Bag Tutorial - a quick make for a reusable gift bag made using just two fat quarters

I’ve designed these quick-to-make little gift bags with this in mind (honestly, you can whip up a bag in about 20 minutes!) – you can even attach a tie-ribbon so that it will be easy to find next year!!!

Materials

  • 1 FQ for the exterior (outside of bag)
  • 1 FQ for the lining
  • c. 35″ of 2″ wide Ribbon / 1 FQ fabric (makes two!) for the bow

TIP: If you are using a particularly thin fabric, or would like more structure, you can use interfacing on the exterior fabric

Finished Size: 7″ wide x 12″ tall x 3″ deep

Bow Gift Bag Tutorial - a quick make for a reusable gift bag made using just two fat quarters

Cut your Fabrics

  • For a standard bag: Exterior and Lining Fabric;
    • Cut your FQ to 14″ high, and then
    • Sub-cut into two (2) 11″ wide x 14″ high
  • For a bag with contrast top;
    • Exterior Fabric: cut FQ to 10.5″ high, then sub-cut into two (2) 11″ wide x 10.5″ high
    • Lining Fabric: cut FQ to 18″ high, then sub-cut into two (2) 11″ wide x 18″ high

Make the Gift Bag

Place the Exterior Fabric and Lining Fabric Right Sides Together (if you are using directional fabrics, make sure that they are both going in the same direction!), matching along the Top Edge of the exterior fabric (if making the contrast top version, the lining fabric will be longer than the exterior).

Bow Gift Bag Tutorial - a quick make for a reusable gift bag made using just two fat quarters

Sew along the Top Edge. Repeat with the remaining Exterior and Lining Panels.

Open out and press the seam towards the Exterior Fabric.

Place the two panels Right Sides Together.

Starting at the bottom of the lining panels, place a pin c. 3 1/2” in from each bottom corner. (These pins show where you will begin and finish stitching, leaving a gap to turn the bag through to the right side later on).

Place pins around the remaining edges of the bag.

Starting at one of the pins on the lining edge, begin stitching and go around the outside of the bag until you reach the other pin on the lining edge. Secure stitches.

To shape the bag, we are going to box the corners – this is not as scary as it sounds!

There are a few different ways to do this, but I’m going to go with cutting out a square as I find it easier to nest the seams in a couple of steps time!

Using a ruler (these are perfect for this!), mark a square measuring 1.5″ in each corner.

Carefully cut each of these squares out (it’s best to use scissors at the stage as it’s tricky to cut a perfect corner with a rotary cutter!).

To sew the corners, align the seams with each other to create a straight line. Nest the seams by making sure that they are going in opposite directions to each other (middle picture). Pin in place and sew. 

Repeat this for each of the corners, making sure that when you nest the seams that the lining corners and bottom/top corners are going in the same directions for a smoother finish.

Pull the Exterior fabric through the hole in the lining fabric. It can be helpful at this point to use a chopstick to push out each of the corners from inside the bag.

To close up the hole in the lining pieces, fold the raw edges over and stitch the hole – this can be done by either hand or machine. 

To finish the bag, push the lining inside the outer fabric. For the contrast top bag, make sure you push the lining corners into the exterior corners before pressing.

Bow Gift Bag Tutorial - a quick make for a reusable gift bag made using just two fat quarters

Press around the top edge and, if you want to, edge-stitch to secure (this could be a great opportunity to try out some of the decorative stitches on your machine if you have them!!!)

Bow Gift Bag Tutorial - a quick make for a reusable gift bag made using just two fat quarters

Attach the Ribbon / Contrast Fabric Tie

To finish with a ribbon

Place a gift inside the bag. Take an approximately 35″ length of 2″ wide ribbon and tie it around the top of the bag (I found you get a nice gather if you lay the bag down whilst tying the bow!).

Bow Gift Bag Tutorial - a quick make for a reusable gift bag made using just two fat quarters

To make a fabric bow

  • Cut two (2) 4″ strips from a FQ.
  • Join the strips as you do for binding by sewing together at a 45* angle (tutorial here).
  • Fold the binding in half lengthwise, right sides together. Press.
  • Measure in 1/4″ along the top edge and 1 1/4″ along the bottom edge. Draw a diagonal line.
  • Repeat at the other end of the bow, this time marking 1 1/4″ along the top edge and 1/4″ along the bottom edge.
  • Starting at one end by the folded edge, sew along the diagonal line that you drew until a 1/4″ from the raw edge. Stop and turn the bow so that you can continue stitching along the edge of the bow for a few inches. Stop and secure stitches. Leave a gap of 3-4″ and start stitching again along the edge of the bow and the diagonal line.
Bow Gift Bag Tutorial - a quick make for a reusable gift bag made using just two fat quarters
Dotted line = seam line
  • Trim the excess fabric at each of the points (cut at a 45* angle so that the fabric won’t bunch up when turned through).
  • Use a chopstick – or an equivalent! – to push each end up through the hole to turn the bow through to the right side.
  • Press carefully. Fold in the ends of the turning hole and carefully top-stitch around the edge of the bow.
  • If you would like to attach the bow to the bag so that you always have a gift bag ready to go;
    • Fold the bow in half to find the centre.
    • Fold the bag in half to find the centre, and place a pin 3 3/4″ down from the top edge.
    • At the centre of the bow, fold each edge down until they meet in the middle.
    • Place the folded bow on to the bag, matching the bottom centre edge with the pin.
    • Sew in place, about 1/2″ either side of the centre line. I sewed an ‘X’ for added strength.
  • Place a present in the bag, tie a bow, and gift! Don’t forget to check out my Printable Gift Labels which also include a space to add care instructions.
Bow Gift Bag Tutorial - a quick make for a reusable gift bag made using just two fat quarters

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tutorial, and if you do make any #bowgiftbags using this tutorial then please do tag me!

S x

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Bow Gift Bag Tutorial - a quick make for a reusable gift bag made using just two fat quarters

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