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DIY Fabric Gift Bags for the Holidays

Christmas Crafts | Free Sewing Patterns | Sewing | Winter

Create DIY fabric gift bags this holiday season! These reusable gift bags are perfect for small gifts and make cute fabric tote bags that can be used all year long! Grab the free fabric gift bag pattern to get started!

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12 Days of Holiday Crafts by Crafting CheerfullyReusable DIY Fabric Gift Bag lays on a table with wooden snowflakes.

It’s the first day of my series “12 Days of Holiday Crafts” and I am so excited to get started sharing new holiday crafts for the season! Today I’m sharing these cute DIY fabric gift bags! If you are looking for ways to make your holiday more earth-friendly and sustainable, these reusable gift bags are a great place to start. 

For my gift bags, I chose to use a flannel fabric in a cute holiday print I found at Joann Fabrics. You could make these bags out of quilting cotton as well. I like flannel because of the added thickness, it helps the tote bag keep its shape more than a thin cotton would.

Two fabric tote bag lay on a table.

These fabric bags for gifts can be made with holiday fabric and used year after year, either by the recipient of the gifts or by yourself if you can take the bags back. I already save gift boxes and bows from the gifts we give to our kids and our immediate family, so I plan to start saving these as well!

If you choose to use non-holiday fabric, these bags make cute fabric tote bags that can be used all year long! They are a small-sized tote bag, so I think they are perfect for kids. Pick a fun fabric in a print they would love and the gift wrap will become a gift in itself!

Below you can see a few pictures of gifts that would fit in these gift bags. The bags measure 10.25″ wide by almost 11″ tall. The bottom expands to about 3.5″ wide. They are on the small side, perfect for card games, a piece or two of clothing, small puzzles etc.

Reusable DIY Fabric Gift Bag lays on a table with two games lays next to it.

A pair of holiday flannel pajamas lays next to a fabric tote bag on a wooden table.

Two Christmas gifts in fabric gift bags sit on a table.

Below is the tutorial for creating your own reusable fabric gift bag! They are fun to make and go fairly quickly – especially after you make the first one. I am sharing a free pattern in my Resource Library so you can make as many fabric gifts bag this season as you want!

DIY Fabric Gift Bags for the Holidays

Choosing Fabric

You will need two fabrics for each tote bag – fabric for the bag and fabric for the bag handles. I chose to use flannel for each. Flannel at my Joann Fabric’s store is always on sale, comes in huge selection of prints to choose from, and is a great weight for these bags. One yard of fabric will fit three tote bags using my printable pattern. A half-yard of fabric will fit handles for four bags. 

If your fabric has a directional print, like my cute woodland fabric, you will need to cut the tote bag in two pieces. If you use a solid fabric or a print without a direction, you can cut the tote bag as one piece. Both versions of the pattern are included in the printable packet.

Supplies Needed

  • Fabric Gift Bag Pattern – Grab the free file by filling out the purple form at the end of this post.
  • Fabric for the tote bag and handles (I used Snuggle Flannel from Joann Fabrics) 
    • 1 yard for the body of the bag – 1 yard makes 3 tote bags
    • 1/2 yard for the handles – 1/2 yard makes handles for 4 bags
  • Matching thread
  • Fabric turning tool
  • Fabric scissors
  • Ruler
  • Sewing Pins

Step by Step Tutorial

Step One: Cut the fabric. After printing the pattern, cut out the pieces and tape them together. Use the pattern to cut out the tote bag fabric. For the handles, cut four pieces from your handle fabric that measure 2″ x 20″. 

The fabric needed to make the fabric gift bag is laying on a white table. There are six pieces total - two for the bag and four for the handles.

Step Two: Finish the top edges of the bag pieces. Start by folding the top edges of the tote bag down 1/4″ and press with an iron, then fold 1.75″ under and press again.

The top edge of the fabric tote bag pieces are folded down 1/4".

A piece of fabric lays on a table with the top edge folded down.

Stitch the folded edges down 1/8″ away from the top and bottom edges.

The top edge of the fabric bag is stitched with a sewing machine and matching thread.

The top edges of both parts of the tote bag have been stitched along the top edges.

Step Three: Create the handles. There are four pieces of fabric to make the handles. Stitch two together, right sides together with a 1/4″ seam allowance, to create long tubes. 

Two green fabric handles for the bag lay on a white table.

Flip the tubes right side out.

Two green fabric handles lay on a white table. One is partially turned inside-out using a purple tube and wooden dowel.

Once the tubes are turned right side out, press the tubes open. At the same time, press the ends under 1/2″. *Tip: Press the tubes along the seam line first to open the seams. Then press the tubes with the seam lines on the edges. After the handles have been pressed, top stitch along 1/8″ from the edge.

Two green fabric handles are pressed with the seam lines on the top.

Two green fabric tote bag handles lay on a white table. One shows an end folded under.

Step Four: Attach the handles to the tote bag. Place the handles so they are 2″ from the side edges of the tote. The edges of the handles should line up with the stitched lines from folding over the top of the tote bag.

A green fabric handle are pinned to the top of the tote bag with pins. A 2" ruler is used to help placement.

Stitch the handles following the 1/8″ stitch lines. I used green thread with a white bobbin so my thread would match the handles on the inside and the tote bag on the outside.

The green fabric handles are attached to the fabric tote bag.

Step Five: Stitch the bag closed. If you cut two pieces for the tote bag, stitch them together along the bottom using 1/2″ seam allowance. Press the seam open.

The tote bag, partially assembled, lays on a white table. Pink lines show where to stitch.

The tote bag, partially assembled, lays on a white table. The bottom edge is sewn.

Fabric tote bag is opened showing the bottom seam is pressed open.

Next it’s time to sew the bottom of the bag closed. You are closing up the two “V” shapes. Start with one “V” and stitch both sides of the tote using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

The tote bag, partially assembled, lays on a white table. Pink lines show where to stitch.

For the second “V”, stitch again with a 3/8″ seam allowance. You won’t be able to sew all the way across like you did the first “V”. Instead, start at the previous stitch line and sew out to the edge of the fabric.

The tote bag, partially assembled, lays on a white table. Pink lines show where to stitch.

Once the bottom of the tote is closed up, sew the sides of the tote bag with 1/2″ seam allowance. 

The tote bag, partially assembled, lays on a white table. Pink lines show where to stitch.

Turn the tote bag right side out and press the side seams open. Stitch the of the seam allowance down.

The fabric tote bag's seam allowance is ironed on a sleeve board.

The seam allowance is stitched down on either side of the tote bag.

The bag is finished!!

Two fabric gift bags lay on a white table.

These tote bags are so cute once finished! I think they are perfect for small gifts and especially great for holding gifts for kids. Cheers to a more sustainable holiday season! 

Looking for more DIY holiday crafts! Check out my Christmas crafts page!

Happy Crafting! -Kim

Get the Free Fabric Gift Bag Pattern!

Fill out the purple form below with your first name and email address! The free file will be sent straight to your inbox! If you have already filled out the form below, don’t worry – you won’t be added to my list twice! This freebie is for personal use only. I hope you enjoy crafting something special. Please let me know if you have any questions :)

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