Drawstring Bag Tutorial

18 Dec


It is that time of year again….mistletoe toe, gingerbread lattes and gift giving. We at Spool of Thread encourage you to give handmade gifts because it is fun to share your creative talents, scour fabric and patterns for projects and see your loved ones using the gifts you made for them.

And what better way to give your presents than in handmade gift bags. We just received a bunch of new ribbons and trims, and we new this project would be perfect to show them off. Plus, they are a quick sew, about 30 minutes once the fabric has been cut out, which gives you more time to spend on the goodie tucked inside the bag! 


1/3 yard of fabric (this will give you 2 bags – 11” x 8.5” and 8” x 8”)
30” of ribbon per bag

1. For these instructions, we’ll be making a bag that will measure 11″ x 8.5″ when finished. First, cut out 2 pieces of fabric that are 12.5” x 9.5” each.


2. Starting at the top of the fabric, the 9.5” side, fold over the edge 1/4” toward the wrong side of the fabric. Then along the 12.5” side of your fabric measure 2” from the top edge. Fold this 2 inches twice toward the wrong side so that raw edge is tucked under. Press with an iron and pin into place. Then sew down the folded edges.


3. With the wrong side facing up take the top edge and fold it down so that the top edge is 1” from the fold you have just created. I use a seam gauge to help me to measure. Then, sew in place leaving a generous 3/4” passage way for the drawstring.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the other piece of fabric.



5. Line up the two pieces of fabric with the right sides together and the top edges aligned. Pin the two pieces together along the three raw edges. Sew these sides with a 3/8” seam allowance, leaving the top of the bag open.



6. Finish the raw edges with a zig-zag stitch (just over the edge) to stop the fabric from fraying.

7. Turn the bag right side out.

Take your 30” piece of ribbon and attach a safety pin to one end, so that it will be easier to thread through the passage way. Thread the ribbon through the opening at the top, around the top of the bag and out the same side you started at.


8. Tie a the ends of the ribbon in a knot and cut the two edges on a diagonal to stop the ribbon from fraying.


Repeat this tutorial for everyone on your holiday gift list! This bag is easily customizable by changing the size, using different fabrics, appliqueing initials on to the bags, etc. And they are re-usable, useful and eco-friendly making them a great gift anytime of year.

One Response to “Drawstring Bag Tutorial”

  1. Weezy February 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    Brilliant tutorial, makes the whole issue of having a neat top so simple!

Leave a Reply