How to Make Quilted Gift Bags

Make an art out of gift-giving by turning fabric scraps into beautiful bags.

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Large Gift Bag

Materials and Tools:

various scraps and random blocks of fabric
measuring tape
2 feet of 3/8-inch ribbon
large 4-hole button
sewing machine or sewing needle
thread
scissors
safety pin

Steps:

1. Assemble strips, blocks and leftover pieces of fabric to create two panels that measure 8½ by 16½ inches. These panels will be the front and back of your gift bag.

2. From a complementary fabric, cut two 8½-by-5-1/2-inch rectangles. Attach a rectangle to each panel with right sides together. This will be the lining of your gift bag.

3. Lay the completed panels right sides together and sew around three sides of the bag. Leave the top open. Clip the corners on the diagonal so your bag will have sharp corners after it's turned.

4. Turn the bag inside out. Tuck the lining inside the bag and press the bag flat.

5. Create a channel for the drawstring to travel through. Draw two lines on both sides of the bag. The first line should be 3½ inches down from the top, and the second line should be 4 inches down. Using a straight stitch, sew on these two lines. Sew completely around the bag.

6. Cut four slits through the top layer of the channel fabric to allow the ribbon to weave through. Make the slits about 2 inches apart. Be sure to not cut through the second layer of fabric or your stitching lines.

7. To lace the ribbon through the bag, attach a safety pin to one end of the ribbon. This will give you something of substance to hold on to as you weave the ribbon in and out of the holes. Decide which side of the panel is going to be the front. Start the weaving from the far left hole on the front. Weave the ribbon around the bag. You'll end up in the same position as you started in, but on the back. Remove the safety pin.

8. Lace the ribbon tails through the buttonholes in a vertical manner. Cut the end of the ribbon on an angle to help get it through the holes. If the ribbon slides through the hole too easily, the button is too big or the ribbon is too small. There needs to be a certain amount of tension in the ribbon to keep the bag closed. Once the button has been laced, tie a knot in the end of each ribbon tail.

Small Gift Bag

Materials and Tools:

various scraps and random blocks of fabric
measuring tape
2 feet of ¼-inch ribbon
large 4-hole button
sewing machine or sewing needle
thread
awl or scissors
safety pin

Steps:

1. Assemble strips, blocks and leftover pieces of fabric to create a block that measures 14½ by 14½ inches. This block will be folded in half to create the front and back of your gift bag.

2. For the bag lining, cut a 4½-by-14½-inch rectangle. Attach this rectangle to the top of your block with right sides facing.

3. Fold the block in half vertically. Run a straight stitch along the open side and the bottom ¼-inch in from edge. Turn the bag inside out. Tuck the lining inside the bag and press the bag flat.

4. Create a channel for the drawstring to travel through. Draw two lines on both sides of the bag. The first line should be 2½ inches down from the top, and the second line should be 3 inches down. Using a straight stitch, sew on these two lines. Sew completely around the bag.

5. Using an awl or a small pair of scissors, cut two holes on each side of the bag, close to the outside edge. Be sure to not cut through the second layer of fabric or the stitching lines.

6. To lace the ribbon through the bag, attach a safety pin to one end of the ribbon. This will give you something of substance to hold on to as you weave the ribbon in and out of the holes. Decide which side of the panel is going to be the front. Start the weaving from the far left hole on the front. Weave the ribbon around the bag. You'll end up in the same position as you started in, but on the back. Remove the safety pin.

7. Lace the ribbon tails through the buttonholes in a vertical manner. Cut the end of the ribbon on an angle to help thread it through the holes. If the ribbon slides through the hole too easily, the button is too big or the ribbon is too small. There needs to be a certain amount of tension in the ribbon to keep the bag closed. Once the button has been laced, tie a knot in the end of each ribbon tail.

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