I grew up in a house where etiquette was part of the legacy—so I know a thing or two about gift bags.
Fabric Gift Bags
The holidays are right around the corner. Don't show up empty-handed to holiday parties! Need a gift? Look no further.
Bring a bottle of wine, cider, or fancy cooking oil, and deliver it in a homemade fabric gift bag. Here's how. Every host/hostess is unique, so find fabric that matches their personality! This gift is certain to leave a smile on the host's face.
- Fabric – at least 14” X 38” to make one bag (a larger bag would use a 20” X 38” piece)
- Approximately 14” of 1” wide ribbon
- Sewing machine
- Marker or fabric chalk
Material Doesn't Have to be Expensive
Making these fabric gift bags does not have to be expensive. Fabric can be pricey, so I suggest that you use what you have, or just use your imagination. The fabric I used in this demonstration was a table runner I purchased for $1 at a dollar store. I was able to create 5 bags out of that one piece of material. That certainly is cheaper than buying 5 wine bags - retail!
Idea: Go eco-friendly and reuse clothing that still has a lot left to it. Perhaps you have a shirt or a dress that doesn't fit anymore, yet the colors are fantastic - why not see if there is enough fabric in the back panel to make a gift bag? I made one out of one of my husband's plaid shirts that he wore maybe twice (if that) - it turned out great!
Gather materials and create a template that is 6” X 18” on a piece of heavy paper or cardboard (I used a grocery bag)
- Fold fabric – wrong sides facing – with fold intact – pin pattern to fabric and cut so that you have a 6" X 18" piece of folded fabric.
- With the fabric folded and the right sides together, measure (from the folded bottom edge) 10” and 11”, marking with a dot at each measurement on each side. (Note: the necks on bottles vary in length– so be sure to measure because you might have to adjust this to be 11” and 12” if the neck is shorter)
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch sides; however, leave the section between the dots un-stitched – make sure to back stitch where you start and stop so the seam is reinforced.
- Press the seams open – you can apply a seam finish to the seams' raw edges if you desire to prevent fraying
- Create a box-type bottom: on the bottom of the bag, fold the fabric to match the seam line with the bottom fold line, creating a triangle. (I place the bag on top of the bottle and use a ruler (see picture)). Measure 1 1/2" from the point at the seam allowance and draw a line and pin – the ends of the bag should now look like triangles. (Note: Adjust the math if you have a wider bottom – 1 ½” makes a 3” wide bottom)
- Stitch across the line you drew and repeat on another side. You can also finish the raw edge for a cleaner look using a zigzag stitch
- On the top of the bag, turn the fabric under 1/4", bringing the wrong sides of the fabric together. Iron well.
- Fold the top of the bag (wrong sides together) so that the turned under the top edge (the step you just did above) is just below the bottom of the opening (where your dots and slits are) in the side seam. Repeat for the other side.
- Press the top folded edge keeping the fold even across the top of the bag. (I put two pins in to keep it even)
- Stitch - on the top and bottom of the side seam opening to create a casing for the ribbon
- Thread ribbon through the casing on each side using a safety pin (remember: to have a drawstring pull you have to thread your ribbon through the casing and come out on the same side that you started. You will repeat on the other side by going in and making sure to end on the same side that you started.
Now that you have the instructions, use your imagination and create bags for all occasions:
- 4th of July
- Girls get together
- Holiday Parties
© 2011 bellartdesigns
bellartdesigns (author) from Fredericksburg, Virginia on December 22, 2011:
Thanks to all of you for your comments. Happy Holidays to all of you!
Liz Rayen from California on December 20, 2011:
This is a perfect gift when you aren't sure what to give. I would also tie around the neck 4 glass charms and/or a pretty bottle stopper. Thanks for the hub!
hotelmon from Barcelona on December 20, 2011:
Congratulations! it's beautiful! Elegant and sophisticated, a gem indeed! a greeting
P. Thorpe Christiansen from Pacific Northwest, USA on December 19, 2011:
Great Hub! Love the idea.
Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on December 18, 2011:
I meant to comment on your hub when I first saw it won the Hub of the Day. But, alas, I forgot. Silly me.
I have always though about making my own gift bags. And this may be the year that I do so. Thanks for the directions.
Monik@ on December 16, 2011:
creative n elegant
Cindy Murdoch from Texas on December 16, 2011:
This looks so wonderful. I like the alternatives that you have given for wine also. There really are lots of different things that these can be used for. The ribbons you chose to go with the fabrics were truly beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing this elegant yet simple idea. Congratulations on hub of the day!
Debby Bruck on December 16, 2011:
Dear Bell ~ You make it look "sew" easy! My machine has been put away. I'm sure all your friends will adore these hand-made bags. Blessings, Debby
Support Med. from Michigan on December 16, 2011:
Congrats on being nominated for Hubpages award!! And for sharing this cool idea! v/r
Jill Spencer from United States on December 16, 2011:
Your bags are gorgeous. I only wish that I could sew! ANYWAY-- it's a lovely hub. Congrats on HOTD!
arusho on December 16, 2011:
great hub and beautiful bags!
Yvonne Spence from UK on December 16, 2011:
Congratulations on getting Hub of the Day, and for something so useful.
I’ve been making gift bags for a few years now, not just for wine bottles, but any gift. People do love to get them, and they can be reused many times over, so are good for the environment. Well done for making a hub about it. (I must admit yours look much neater and more carefully made than mine.)
moonlake from America on December 16, 2011:
Nice idea. Not to hard. Enjoyed your hub. Voted up
RTalloni on December 16, 2011:
A really nice and elegant gift bag that has many potential uses. Nice job on the tutorial--congrats on your Hub of the Day award! :)
Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on December 16, 2011:
Great ideas for very easy project that's practical, unique and pretty. Thanks.
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 16, 2011:
Awesome idea for gift giving! I love to use cheap wrapping materials or materials that I already have on hand for gifts. Thanks for the great tutorial.
Congrats on getting Hub of the Day!
gogogo on December 16, 2011:
great idea, I am going to try making some, voted up
Claudia Tello from Mexico on December 16, 2011:
This is a good use for left over pieces of fabric that have no use, which can be handy for any time of the year. Very good of you to have added the video, visual imaging is very important in this type of handy work.
Mary from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet. on December 16, 2011:
That seems like a pretty neat idea.
Mary Hyatt from Florida on December 16, 2011:
Congrats on The Hub of the Day. I love your idea as a seamstress, I'm always looking for new ideas, and this is a good Hub on making bottle covers out of fabric. Thanks.
Flightkeeper from The East Coast on December 16, 2011:
This is such a great idea and so simple! Thank you.
SanneL from Sweden on December 16, 2011:
Congratulation on your hub of the day.
I love this idea! A great way to go green this year, with your hand-made gift bags.
Bookmarking! Now I just have to find myself some pretty fabric. . .
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 16, 2011:
Congratulations on hub of the day... I would love to receive one of these!! And, it definitely would not be 'regifted'...Thanks for the explicit directions and the video; I am a visual learner. Great hub.
Elaina Grinias on December 16, 2011:
Great hub idea. I know a lot of people that love wine so this is great for me. The only downfall is I don't have a sewing machine.
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on December 16, 2011:
Congratulations on Hub of the Day!
This was a very well-done hub, and the award is very much deserved!
The slideshow was helpful, as well.
Voted up across the board.
Lilly May Rose from Australia on December 16, 2011:
This is a beautiful idea. We love giving a nice bottle of wine at Christmas. These would make that special bottle so much more special.
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on December 07, 2011:
What a cool guide!! I would totally love to make some of these- and what's great is that they WON'T be thrown away like all the other gift bags out there. Love the video, too. So useful!!
2uesday on December 05, 2011:
Nice idea as it adds value to the gift , well explained too.
Bronterae from Nor Cal on December 04, 2011:
Helpful Hub. I can see I have some tough competition! Good luck!
nikashi_designs on December 04, 2011:
Simple and elegant...Congratulations on your nomination.
bellartdesigns (author) from Fredericksburg, Virginia on December 03, 2011:
Millionaire Tips - what an honor to have you leave a comment. I have been reading your hubs and have learned an enormous amount about HubPages and making money in general. About the fabric and buying after a sale - well, let's just say that I need to add an addition on to the house to accommodate all of the fabric. I also use outgrown clothing - it is great for recycling!
Shasta Matova from USA on December 03, 2011:
Congrats on being nominated for the HubPages award. I really like making fabric bags of all sizes - saves money on having to buy them every year. I buy the fabric when it is on clearance after the holidays. You can buy fabric or tablecloths and other big pieces really cheap then.
bellartdesigns (author) from Fredericksburg, Virginia on November 12, 2011:
Thank you. I make them for a lot of occasions. They are great to give when they are personalized - not to mention - easy to make!
Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on November 12, 2011:
What a lovely way to decorate bottles of wine etc. But this would also be great fun making the bags yourself, as there is no limit on how creative you can be. Very lovely and useful idea! Voted up!!