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Drawstring Gift Bag Tutorial

Welcome back to another 15 Minute DIY Gift Ideas! We’re on Day 3 and the gifts just keep comin’!

Sometimes the perfect present isn’t actually the gift itself. It’s how the gift is packaged. These quick and easy drawstring bags can be made to any size you want and can be filled with sweets, coffee or simply used instead of gift wrap. Best of all, the bag can be used long after the gift has been opened (and consumed!)


  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Safety pin
  • Ribbon or cord
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron (and ironing board)
  • Ruler


Cut out a 16″ x 12″ fabric rectangle (or larger per your gift needs.)

Fold over the top 1/4″ and fold again 1/2″. Iron it down.

Open up one top fold and fold in the sides approximately 1/4″.

Stitch this fold at the top to tack it in place.

Refold the top 1/2″ and stitch along the fold to create a pocket for the drawstring.

Your bag should look like this (ignore the seam in the middle of the fabric. I had to piece two pieces together.)

Fold the 16″ side in half with the right sides together. Your fabric should now be 8″ x 11.25″.

Stitch from just below the drawstring pocket down the side and across the bottom to close the gift bag.

Pinch the center of the front and back of the gift bag and pull it apart.

Tuck the center of the bottom to create triangle points on the left and right sides as shown below:

Pin about 2 inches up from the point of the triangle.

Stitch across both the left and right side triangles where you had pinned.

Reach into the gift bag and pull the bag right sides out.

You should now have a cute little box pleat bottom bag. Cut a piece of ribbon 6″ (or more) than the drawstring pocket. Pin a safety pin to the end and thread it through the drawstring pocket.

Tuck your gift inside and cinch it closed. Tie a bow and you are ready to thrill your gift recipient!

The first bag may take you a little longer than 15 minutes if you’ve never sewn a box pleat before. But, after the first one, you should be able to whip more out in less than 15 minutes.

See you tomorrow for another 15 Minute DIY Gift Idea! Stick around all this week and next for 10 days of quick gift ideas. Don’t forget to join the link party on Friday, December 14th and share your own 15 minute gift idea or just browse the other ideas.

5 replies
  1. Brie
    Brie says:

    THANK YOU for sharing this pattern! I am getting married in September and have been searching for cute drawstring bags for my bridesmaids to put their heels in at the reception. I enjoy crafting and am very excited to make them! Any suggestions on how much fabric to use for a 12 x 16 bag?

    • Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl)
      Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl) says:

      Brie, that sounds like a great gift. It depends on the open side and how big your box pleat bottom is. But, my guess is that if you have the 12″ side as your opening, you’d need about 25-26″ for the 12″ side. And 22″ for the 16″ side. That’s allowing for 1″ seam allowances, and 3″ box pleat and then a 2″ fold over for the drawstring.


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