11 FREE Gift Bag Patterns to Sew for Greener Gift Giving

I hate when I can’t recycle something and this happens with papers that wrap gifts too: what’s better than a reusable gift bag or, even better, what if the gift bag IS part of the gift?

If you think about it, is a way to make a special gift to someone, without spending too much money, while adding extra value from a handmade and long-lasting gift bag: you make both your friend AND Mother Earth happy, in one time!

Let’s browse the list of free patterns and tutorials I spotted for you: no more gifts wrapped in paper, this year (and please use this as a scrap buster occasion, instead of an alibi to say “I NEED more fabric!”).

Photo via of Cucicucicoo

1. Furoshiki Wrapping Fabric Technique

For this one, you only need to hem your fabric squares, even better if you use your serger to add the frill of a lettuce hem!

The Furoshiki wrapping technique is an ancient Japanese folding technique and has the bonus that the recipient will be able to reuse the fabric, essentially in three ways: 

1) To wrap another gift

2) As a foulard

3) As fabric, just cut out the hem!

Follow the link and you’ll find a printable cheat sheet for different ways to fold: any shape is covered!

2. 30-Minute Drawstring Bag

This is the perfect last-minute bag, including an easy drawstring technique (featuring enclosed raw edges) and French seams on sides, for a neat inside finish look!

Instructions are given with measurements for a fat-quarter-sized small bag, but you can customize sizes to your own tastes (and gift size!)

3. Knitting Needle Wrap

For the knitting friend who has everything, toss in colored knitting needles in assorted sizes, put a bow on it and you’re all set to go. 

4. Padded Bottle Bag

Keep your wine cold and protected, inside its precious handmade insulated bottle bag, sewn using this awesome tutorial and free pattern.

If you’re a visual learner like me, you will undoubtedly appreciate the video tutorial!

5. Roll-up Necklace Case

If you are thinking of giving a necklace or a bracelet, what’s better than a custom made necklace case? Wrap a ribbon around it when it is rolled up, and it will be more than perfect!

While I’m here, I think I will sew one for myself, to be used as a travel set, but also to keep those hyper-long necklaces untangled when they’re inside my custom-jewelry drawer.

6. Trim Tied Gift Bag

One of my favorite, indeed!

It looks so festive and storebought (in a positive way), but the instructions are easy to follow and straightforward, perfect for any beginner.

The tutorial includes a lined gift bag option and a wine bag option too… Stunning!

7. Fold & Stitch Wallet

Do you remember when your old aunt was putting money in a paper envelope, as a gift?

Sometimes, it’s the only way to make the perfect gift to a tween, when anything you buy and gift him/her is not what he/she wanted. 

Solve the problem and sew this cute (and cleverly constructed) micro wallet, including money pocket (Hint: fill it with real money), two card slots and a coin pocket.

8. Wine Totes

This wine tote is designed so you can either gift two bottles of wine or one bottle and the glasses to drink it with your friend. It includes instructions for the outside pockets (perfect for a wine opener, to be intended like a smart and soft way to say:”Let’s drink it together, now!”) and for a padded divider (so bottles won’t crash together).

All seams are French seams, so the inside is durable and looks handmade (not homemade).

This is a great gift they will re-use, maybe next time that you’re inviting them for dinner, at your’s (if you’re lucky).

9. Receipt Holder (Two-pocket case)

Here’s another unconventional gift bag: think about putting inside this adorable receipt holder a gift card.

For a less demanding gift (like a teacher present), put a handwritten note inside to tell the recipient you appreciate her/him.

… and don’t forget to add felt tags!

two flavors to choose between: poinsettia pots or gingerbread man… which one is your favorite?

10. Poinsettia Gift Tag Ornaments

Aren’t they adorable?

You can embroider the name of the one who receive the gift on the back, or write it with a small point marker if you’re in a rush!

11. Gingerbread Man Felt Gift Tag

Easy enough to be made with your children, this could be a way to make them start to hand-sew! It will melt grandma’s heart when her nephew will tell her “I have sewn it for you”, granted!

It doubles as a Christmas Tree ornament so, if you start sewing one of them and you can’t stop, at least, you have an excuse!

That’s it for today.

Now it’s your turn: share this list of free gift bag patterns with your friends so they know you love handmade gift wrappers and you prefer them to disposable gift bags for this year’s Christmas gifts under your tree!

You might also enjoy our tutorial on how to sew a gift bag step by step.