Saturday, November 22, 2008

Make Your Own Christmas Gift Tote

Fabric and homemade gift bags are becoming increasingly popular. Not only are they the greener option by saving wrapping paper and being reusable, but they give that added special touch to any gift.

I received a bag like this last year for Christmas (pictured below with a snowman on it). I turned it inside out, took measurements and made my own pattern from that. It is very different from the Fabric Gift Bag with Ties that I posted about in September, but I think you'll agree that it is just as cute. Its definately just as easy to make!


Felt or other fabric, less than one yard
Sewing machine (or a needle to sew by hand)
Thread to match your fabric
Marking pencil
Measuring tape
Applique, fabric paint or decorations (optional)


Step 1: Measure, mark and cut the following pieces from your fabric:
2 peices measuring 8 1/2 by 9 1/4 inches. These will make the front and back of the bag.
2 pieces measuring 12 by 1 1/2 inches. These will make your handles.
1 piece measuring 25 1/2 by 2 3/4 inches. This will make the sides and bottom.

NOTE: If you are adding embellishments that require sewing, you will want to add them to your front and back pieces before you assemble your bag to make it easier.

Step 2: Fold the long sides of the handles over so that the edges overlap. Pin and stitch (be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end) down the entire length of each handle. Set those pieces aside.

Step 3: Pin the side/bottom piece to the front/back piece as pictured at left. Stitch along the egde leaving 1/4 inch seam allowance. **When you come to the corner, sink the needle, lift the presser foot and turn 90 degrees. Fold the side/bottom piece to the side so that the long side lines up with the bottom edge of the front piece. Stitch down that side and repeat from **.

Step 4: Pin the other front/back piece to the side/bottom piece and stitch along the three sides in the same manner as above leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Step 5: Fold the top over about 1/2 to 3/4 inch and pin. Sew around entire top to make a nice finished edge.

Step 6: Pin handles in place and stitch them down by sewing forward over the entire handle, backstitching back over the handle and forward stitching over it again.

Step 7: Turn the bag right-side out. Finished!

At this point, you can decorate your bag with fabric paints or glued-on embellishments.

Heather is a wife, mom,
school cafeteria worker,
councilwoman and babysitter from Ohio.
She also blogs at Its All for the Best
and The Fat Bottomed Girl.


  1. Fun project! I've given you a little award over on my blog!

  2. Hmmm that green snowman bag looks familiar. I think I have a blue one just like it. :)

  3. A great idea! I'm embroidering little gift bags now but it would be so much cooler to make them functional and practical! And fleece is so easy to work with. Great, for all the larger gifts I'll definitely try this out.

  4. That ROCKS! I just bought a little bag from Avon, and this looks MUCH nicer. Probably less expensive. Now, if I only had a sewing machine...

  5. Your Christmas gift bag is so cute. What a wonderful project. Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Very sweet bag. Looks so soft and pretty. Great idea!

  7. I am writing to request permission to reprint this adorable project on We would of course give you full credit and will happily link back to your blog. Please let me know if this is acceptable. Thanks!

    Amanda Formaro
    Chief Editor -

  8. Hi Heather! This is a fantastic project! I just linked to it from my site. Hope that's okay!

    -Rachel @ AllFreeHolidayCrafts


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