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If you love gift giving but dislike spending money on packaging that will be thrown away, why not consider making simple fabric drawstring bags for packaging gifts? Not only are they simple to construct, they can easily be personalized by fabric choice and with simple embellishments like stamping. And because you can make them any size you want, they always fit your gift! Best of all, your gift recipient has a bag that they can use again and enjoy.
Cut two pieces of fabric to the desired size. To fit a specific item, measure the width of the item using a soft tape measure from one side to the other at its widest point, around one side of the item at its highest point. Add two inches to the measurement on each side and to the bottom. Add 3 inches to the top.
To embellish solid color fabrics, stamp the cut pieces with stamps using an archival or fabric ink pad. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for heat setting if needed.
Place the two stamped pieces of fabric so that the stamped images are facing each other. Pin the two pieces together along the side and bottom edges.
Sew the two fabric pieces together along the side and bottom edges using a 1/2” seam allowance. After sewing, use pinking shears to trim along the sewn edges.
Leave the bag inside out. Turn the top (unsewn) edge down 1/2”. Press the fold in place.
Fold the top edge down again, this time making the fold 1 inch. Press the fold into place.
Sew along the two folds about 1/8” from the folded edges to create a casing.
Turn the bag right side out. Use a seam ripper to remove the stitches and open the outside side seams in the casing between the two stitch lines. Only open the seam in the casing on the outside of the bag, leave the seam intact on the inside. Do this for both of the two outside side seams.
Cut two strips of ribbon to use as ties for the bag. To determine the width, lay the ribbon folded in half across the bag. Cut it so that it is long enough to be about 1-2” wider than the bag on each side.
Place a large safety pin in the end of one of the two ribbon strips. Insert the safety pin in one of the side seam openings in the casing. Feed the ribbon through the casing bringing it back out the same opening. The ribbon should go in and out the same opening and be fed through the entire casing.
Repeat the previous step with the second piece of ribbon, this time going in and out the other open side seam.
Trim the ribbon ends with pinking shears. Tie the two ends on each side together in a small knot to prevent the ribbon from fraying or from being pulled out of the casing. To close the bag, pull the two ribbon ties at the same time.