A lot of waste is generated from wrapping paper each holiday season. After finding out that our recycling hauler was no longer accepting wrapping paper for recycling, I wanted to create something that could be reused each year. Fabric drawstring bags are so easy to make. They are a prefect use for leftover scraps, and they are great for those hard to wrap objects too!

Supplies Needed:
– Fabric cut to 22”x8”
– 2 pieces of ribbon cut to 20”
– Iron
– Safety pin

Step 1:
Cut fabric to measure 22”x8”.  You can use one continuous piece of fabric, or you can piece together leftover scraps.

Measure and cut out 1 piece of fabric measuring 8″ x 22″

Step 2:
Serge or use a zig zag stitch along the two long sides of the rectangle.

The zig zag stitch helps keep the edge of the fabric from fraying

Step 3:
Turn under the edges along the two short sides of the rectangle by ¼”.  Press these two sides with an iron.

Press the short edges

Step 4:
Use a straight stitch along the two short sides you just pressed.

Top stitch the short ends you just pressed

Step 5:
Fold the fabric in half with the right sides touching.  Starting at the folded end, straight stitch on both sides using a 3/8” seam allowance, stopping 2” from the pressed end you just pressed.

Fold the fabric in half

Stop top stitching 2″ from the pressed edge

Step 6:
Press the seams you just stitched open, pressing along the entire length of the side.

Press open the seams

Step 7:
Stitch around the opening of the side seams that are open.

Only top stitch the 2″ length you left open

Step 8:
Fold down the edge of the fabric toward the wrong side of the fabric.  Fold it down about 1”.  You are creating the pocket for the drawstring. 

Create the pocket for the drawstring

Step 9:
Stitch around the drawstring pocket with a ¼” seam allowance.    

Sew close to the edge (left side) of the pocket, if you sew too close to the middle, it will decrease the space you have to insert your drawstring

This is what your bag should look like after sewing the drawstring pocket

Step 10:
Thread the casing: Attach the safety pin to an edge of the ribbon, and thread it through the entire bag.  Both ends of the ribbon should be on one side of the bag.  Take the second ribbon, attach it to the safety pin, and thread it through the bag, but start at the opposite end from the first ribbon.  The ends of this ribbon should be on the other side of the bag, opposite the first ribbon.  Knot each end of the ribbons.  Your little bag is ready for gift giving!

Insert the second drawstring from the other side of the bag

Feel free to change up the dimensions of this project to suit any of your gift giving needs.  Your ribbon should be 3 times the length of the width of your bag.  Finished bag size measures around  7.5”w x 9.5”h. 

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Carolyn Wieland

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