15 Minute – One Fat Quarter Gift Bag

Gift Bags… I’m in a love/hate relationship with them! I LOVE how convenient and easy they are, but I hate how expensive and how easily damaged (and therefore not reusable) they can be!

I can’t remember where I learned this quick bag method or who the pattern came from (message me if you do and I’ll give the originator credit!). But, recently I needed a gift bag and I thought I’d share this super quick and easy project with you!

First of all, I almost exclusively use this little bag around Christmas time and usually use oil cloth (as it looks so cute and it gives it some structure and durability). I didn’t have any “non-Christmas” oil cloth for this little bag. “No problem!” Debbie says… “Use the iron-on Vinyl” “What??? Iron-on Vinyl??” –  Debbie walked right over to our interfacing section and pulled out this amazing product called HeatnBond Vinyl.  Just iron it on to any regular fabric and voila! – oil cloth!

So home I went with my fat quarter from Zen Chic’s Day in Paris line (I’m obsessed with this bright, fun and modern line of fabric!) and HEATnBOND Vinyl.

Here is what you’ll need to create this quick and easy gift bag:

  • 1 Fat Quarter (or yardage) Oil Cloth or Cotton
  • HEATnBOND Viny and Iron (if using a cotton print)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Rotary Cutter or Scissors
  • Ruler
  • 24 inches of ribbon or twill tape
  • Wonderclips (optional)

Prepare your fabric, if necessary (ironing flat for easy application of the HEATnBOND vinyl) then trim your fat quarter (or yardage), as well as your HEATnBOND Vinyl to 20″x 12″.

Remember! Your cutting mat isn’t how you should be measuring your cuts! In this case I used two rulers… one to measure the 20 inch cut and a second to cut my fabric 🙂

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply the vinyl coating to your cotton print. In this case you remove the paper from the vinyl (KEEP THE PAPER) then place it on top of your cotton, lining up the edges.  (TIP:  I peeled back a couple of inches of the vinyl first then lined up that small portion on the cotton to avoid any “flopping” of the vinyl and chancing of sticking it to itself)

Peel back small amount of the vinyl…

I folded the backing out of the way and placed it on the cotton print, sticky side to the right side of fabric….

Smooth it down and then peel the backing away… don’t worry, it’s not super sticky and it’s easy to reposition if it isn’t exactly placed where you want it the first time…

Smooth it out, then take your fabric AND THE BACKING PAPER THAT YOU REMOVED to your ironing table!

At this point I grabbed my appliqué pressing sheet (just in case I had any overlap on the edges, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry – you’ll be fine!) I placed the pressing sheet under my fabric and placed the backing from the vinyl (MATTE side with the grid on it up) on my fabric. With my iron set to medium heat I followed the instructions and pressed in sections for 8 seconds at a time, adhering the vinyl to my cotton print.

And BAM! Oil Cloth!! (this sounds time consuming, but honestly, it took me all of 5 minutes)

Now the easy part! Place your cotton/oil cloth right side down on your work area (20″ is the length and 12″ is your width) and fold back 4″ from the top  (so you’ll see 4″ of the right side of your fabric and sew it in place near the edge of the 4″ piece… (this overlap will be what you see when you look inside the bag and gives the bag a finished look).

You will now have a 16″ by 12″ piece of fabric… take your cloth and fold it in half lengthwise (making it 16″ x 6″) right sides together and fold your ribbon in half (here’s an IMPORTANT part) place the fold of your ribbon or twill tape INSIDE the fabric at about 5.5″ from the top (or an inch and a half below the turned down top) and lined up with the edge of your fabric so that it is attached in your seam.  Tuck the TAIL of the ribbon close to the inside fold so you don’t accidentally sew it into the seam – I use a couple of wonder clips to hold the fold down, that prevents holes in my oil cloth…  PLEASE NOTE: If you’re using ribbon or twill tape with a right and wrong side like mine, you’ll want your RIGHT sides of ribbon together inside your fabric.

Here’s a rough sketch of what I’m describing… (please keep in mind that I’m a GRAPHIC artist… and artistically challenged with a pen or pencil lol)

With a 1/4 seam allowance, stitch down the long edge and across the bottom of your bag! Remove your clips and check inside to make sure your ribbon was not sewn into your seams…

Again… sounds a bit confusing, but it’s super easy when you have it in front of you 🙂 You’re almost finished! Now flatten your bag with your sewn seam on top and centered in the middle…and fold the bottom of your bag as you see below bringing one of the points up the center of the front.

Take any ruler and measure 1.5″ from the tip of the bottom point and draw a line on the fabric for you to stitch on…

Stitch directly on that line and trim off the excess, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Repeat this step on the opposite point and turn your finished bag right side out – You’re finished! Just add a bottle of wine or cider and tie the ribbon into a bow… your gift is ready to give! I have to say that hostesses love these little bags and they never fail to impress! Using pre-made oil cloth I can whip up a bag in less than 10 minutes and for just a few dollars. Using the HEATnBOND vinyl adds just a bit of time, but is sooo wonderful in the freedom it gives me to choose fabric already in my stash or fabric I wouldn’t be able to find in oil cloth.

Please, stop into the Moose to see this little bag for yourself or to pick up the supplies you need to make your own!!

Until next week friends!