Does Christmas Eve find you surrounded by a pile of presents to wrap and not enough energy (or wrapping paper) to get through the pile?
Sure, it would be great to do a little wrapping each day, but with all the busy-ness of the Christmas season, this is one task that I’ve never managed to do in advance.
A couple years ago I decided I didn’t want to spend the late hours of Christmas Eve wrapping presents. Once the presents were opened the next day, there was nothing to show for my hard work!
I’m all about making the best use of my time and this was not efficient at all. So I spent an afternoon sewing these easy fabric gift bags.
Why make fabric gift bags for Christmas?
- They are so colorful and festive – the fabric is much thicker and sturdier than wrapping paper and easily covers odd-shaped presents.
- Save money – make them once and use them for years. (Have a Christmas budget yet? Use my interactive Christmas budget calculator to create a simple budget and saving plan.)
- Wrapping goes super fast. It takes seconds to drop a present into a gift bag; wrapping with paper is much fussier.
- Little ones can’t poke their fingers through the wrapping (although they might untie the ribbon if they get a chance!)
This sewing project is so forgiving!
I am the first to admit that I’m no seamstress. But it doesn’t matter! This project does not require any fancy sewing techniques. If you can cut and sew a (relatively) straight line, you’re good to go.
Fabric in Christmas colors
Grosgrain or sateen ribbon 10-14” per bag (frugal tip: ribbon is so much cheaper purchased in bulk)
- Decide what size bag you’re going to make (see below for suggestions). Cut the fabric to size.
- Decide which way you want to fold it and where you want the opening for the top of the bag.
- Sew a 1/4” hem on the edge that will be open.
- Fold your fabric in half with the hemmed edge at the top, with the printed (or “right”) sides together.
- Fold the ribbon in half and pin it about 3-4 inches down from the hemmed edge. You’ll want about a half an inch of the ribbon to be sewn into the seam.
- 1 side of the bag is made from the fold in the fabric. Sew around the remaining 2 sides, leaving the 4th side open for the top.
- Turn the bag right side out.
That’s it! It couldn’t be any easier.
Wrapping a present with a fabric gift bag takes just seconds and usually looks nicer than one wrapped with wrapping paper! And just like with most DIY and organizing projects, the hardest part here is just getting started.
Time to make
It took me about 5 minutes to make this medium-size bag including “help” from an eager preschooler! If I had waited until quiet time, I could probably have whipped up about 10-15 of these in an hour.
Recommended sizes for fabric gift bags
Cut your fabric to:
Small gift bag – 14” x 8”
Medium – 18” x 13”
Large – 30” x 20”
Extra large 40” x 30” (great for over-sized presents!)
How many bags should you make?
Of course it all depends on how many presents you’re giving. I started with a selection of 2 small, 2 medium, and 1 large for each person. Of course you can always wrap a small present in a large bag.
I’ll admit, I still wait until Christmas Eve to wrap most of our gifts.
It’s become something of a tradition for me. But now it’s easy and enjoyable. My husband doesn’t mind helping me and there’s no more ripped paper, messy tape or trying to get the paper to lie “just so”.
I just drop the gifts into the bags and tie them closed with the ribbon. Every package looks beautiful and there’s no mess to clean up after the presents are opened. Super easy!
What are you going to put in those easy fabric gift bags?
How about something from my list of best gifts for boys who already have enough toys?