Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Scrappy giftbag tutorial

What do you do with your fabric scraps? I have to be honest, sometimes I just throw them away in an effort to keep down the clutter. However, there are lots of things I can use them for. Check out these great ideas here and here. Sew Mama Sew is having their scrap buster month and here's my idea. You know those cute little gift bags they pack your purchases in at the store? I've always tried to come up with a way to reuse them, but I don't want to give a gift in a bag that says "Whole Foods" or "Victoria Secret" (unless of course the gift came from those stores). So, let's cover them with scraps of fabric! This is quite a special little bag. I think I'll give it to my Mama with her birthday present tucked neatly inside.

First, fold your bag flat and measure the width. Add an inch to this measurement for the seam allowance. Then fold it again flat lengthwise and measure. Double this measurement and add an inch. When I did this I came up with 13 1/2" by 25 1/2".

Next, you want to combine lots of your scraps in order to make this size of piece. You can make even squares, or I love the method used here. I also cut out some flowers and sewed them on since it looked like there was grass growing at the bottom.

When all is pieced together, fold your fabric in half lengthwise and make sure that the sides are nice and straight.

Using a 1/2" seam, sew down each side. Press the seams open.

Cut off the bottom corners at an angle.

Now this part gets a little tricky. Measure the bottom of your gift bag on the side. This is how wide your cover is going to be also. I got a measurement of 4 1/2".

Now fold the side of the cover flat against the bottom of the cover and you will see a triangle. Making sure that the side seam goes directly down the center, move your ruler down until it measures the width of the bottom of your gift bag. Draw a line across the top of your ruler and this is where you will make a line of stitching.

Now you are done sewing the cover and it's time to assemble. Make sure that the corners of your cover are poked out nicely. Fold your bag and insert it into the cover, making sure that the corners of the bag are matching up perfectly with the corners of the cover. It should fit quite tightly because you don't want your fabric to look loose and sloppy.

Line up the tops of each bag and pin. You might need to trim the fabric a bit. Sew a zig zag around the top. You'll have to bend the handles down into the bag in order to get around them. Also make sure to use a denim weight needle in your sewing machine so that it can handle sewing through such thickness.

Add ribbon to the top and fold it over. You can piece this too, it just makes it that much cuter.

You're finished! Fold your bag and press well using limited steam so that the paper bag doesn't get wet.

And it's ready for Mom's birthday gift!

I would love for you to use this tutorial to your heart's content. If you publish your finished product on your blog, please link back to my blog!


  1. hey! I really liked your tutorial... =) Great idea for christmas. I've added a link to this in my blog (I have there a list of tuts I loved from other blogs)... love* Magda

  2. hola me parecio genial lo subi a mi blog con el enlace ... te felicito!!! me gusto mucho!! un beso!! POR ..:)

  3. Hola.
    Felicitaciones por el tutorial.
    Que Dios te bendiga siempre y un fuerte abrazo desde Venezuela.

  4. Great way to dress up a not-so-pretty (or not-so-perfect) bag! I linked to this on my roundup of favorite scrap buster projects - thanks so much!

  5. What a wonderful idea!
    Thanks for sharing it.