Mother Earth Living

Try This: Reusable Gift Bag

Cut back on holiday waste with this easy-to-make reusable gift sack.
By Ken Hoyt
November/December 2010
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Avoid the hefty pile of trash that follows holiday gift-giving with simple, easy-to-make reusable holiday gift sacks.
Photo By Thomas Gibson

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Avoid the hefty pile of trash that follows holiday gift-giving with simple, easy-to-make gift sacks made from secondhand and organic cotton fabric.

Supplies for 1 bag 

1 yard 44-inch-width fabric
1 spool matching thread
Optional Trims
2 1/2 yards blanket binding
1/4 yard faux fur or other trim fabric (optional)
1 small packet iron-on seam tape (about 10 yards)

Sewing Supplies 

Needle and thread or sewing machine
Fabric pins
Pinking shears

To make bag: 

1. Preshrink fabric and iron flat while damp. Let dry.

2. Fold fabric in half (with fabric face inside), lining up finished edges and pressing crease flat.

3. Open fabric flat, crease side up, and fold one unfinished edge back 1⁄2 inch and pin in place. Press resulting seam flat.

4. Remove pins and fold hem again to make a 6-inch hem. Pin and press as before. Sew the edge of this hem in place.

5. Fold fabric along crease again, so two original finished edges are together and hemmed edge forms top of bag.

6.  Stitch along length and unhemmed width, creating a sack. If you’d like to make the sack a little more durable, put a zigzag stitch along the raw cut edges.

7. Turn inside out and press. You have a decorative bag. Tuck in a gift, tie with ribbon, and your gift is ready to go!

Optional: To attach a faux fur trim to your bag, complete bag, then measure the open, hemmed edge. Add 2 inches to length and measure and cut fur. Use fusible tape (follow manufacturer’s instructions) to affix fur one side at a time. To improve adhesion, press through fabric side, not fur side. Overlap ends of fur and trim excess. Press into place.


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