Drawstring Gift Bag How-To

12 Days of Christmas Gift BagYou may recall me mentioning making “12 Days of Christmas” stockings to fill with goodies during the days leading up to the holiday.  (You can find the links to the actual cross-stitch patterns in my Let’s Get Festive post.)  I played around with the stocking shape, but just couldn’t get the embroidery to fill the space well.  I either had to much empty space at the top, and all my needlepoint at the toe, or an empty toe and too much happening up top.  I came up with a few ways to fill the negative space (maybe extending the embroidery, maybe layering some cute Christmas ribbons), but nothing really jumped out at me as a solution.  So, I came up with these cute little drawstring bags.  This way, I can either hang them by the mantle with care, or maybe adorn a special little Christmas tree with them, or maybe even hide them around the house and send everyone on a wild goose chase searching for them!


I found a drawstring bag tutorial posted earlier this year, but wanted to do a little tweaking to it.  First, I knew I needed to line my bag.  I knew I would have to change the dimensions.  Also, I knew I wanted more of a ruffle at the top.  Below you will find my version of the tutorial, with my usual pics and tips along the way.  If there are any questions, ask away.


Oh, and of course, my mind started to wonder…what else could I do with these bags?  Well, the easy answer is they would make adorable gift card holders for any occasion.  I actually found, in one of my Stitch by Stitch grab bags, a book containing a few different small Christmas patterns that I could easily embroider onto the fronts.  For those of you that have embroidery sewing machines, the possibilities are endless.  You could put a design on the front for any holiday or occasion…a baby shower, a birthday.  Then I thought…what if I had some antique lace or an old handkerchief?  Wouldn’t these be beautiful with a bride-to-be’s soon-to-be initials monogrammed on the front?




Nikki, In Stitches




IMG_3207Bag Front (In this case, embroidered linen):

  • Cut 1 square 6” x 6”


  • Cut 1 square 6” x 6”

Lining (Ivory Tonal Print):

  • Cut 2 squares 6” x 6”

Bag Back (Green Print):

  • Cut 1 square6” x 6”

Drawstring Band (Red Print):

  • Cut 2 rectangles 3 1/2” x 6”

Ribbon for Drawstring:

  • Cut 2 pieces 20”


IMG_32091.  Press under 1/2” on the short side edges of each Drawstring Band.  Turn under raw edge to meet crease for a 1/4” finished hem.  Stitch the hem in place by sewing close to the folded over edge.



IMG_32102.  Fold each Drawstring Band in half lengthwise.  Press.





IMG_32123.  3/4” down from folded edge, sew straight across each Drawstring Band.  (This will eventually create a separate pocket to hold your drawstring ribbon, and a ruffle at the top of the bag.)  Be sure to reinforce your stitches at the beginning and end of each piece.


IMG_32144.  Center a Drawstring Band on an edge of the back of the bag.  Sew, again reinforcing seams at beginning and end.  Press to the bottom of the bag.




IMG_32165.  Topstitch along the pressed edge.




6.  Repeat Steps 4 and 5, placing the remaining Drawstring Band along the top edge of the Embroidered Linen Front and Batting, layered together.


IMG_32177.  With right sides together, sew front and back together by stitching along the 3 unfinished sides, reinforcing stitches at beginning and end.  Clip corners.  Turn right side out and press.



IMG_32188.  Press under 1/2” on one side of each Lining square.  Turn under raw edge to meet crease for a 1/4” finished hem.  Stitch the hem in place by sewing close to the folded over edge.



IMG_32199.  With right sides together, sew two Lining squares together by stitching along the 3 unfinished sides.  Clip corners.



10.  Place lining inside bag and hand sew finished edge of lining along the inside top edge of the bag.


IMG_322011.  Insert one Drawstring Ribbon through the left side of the Drawstring Band.  Feed it all the way around the bag and out the left side.  Insert the remaining Drawstring ribbon through the right side of the Drawstring Band.  Feed it all the way around the bag and out the right side.  Pull ends of Drawstring Ribbon to cinch bag closed.

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3 Responses to Drawstring Gift Bag How-To

  1. Very cute! Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. Chris says:

    Nice job! I love that this is lined – too many little gift pouches are not lined – but when they are lined, they can be used for jewelry too! Who does not want a cute little bag with some sparkle in it…?

    Thanks for the tutorial……

  3. Alex says:


    Always like to read your blog.
    Please update more.


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