Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial, 4 Bags, 15 min

fat quarter gift bags - all you need is 15 minutes

I love making cute little favor bags for special occasions instead of using cheap-o plastic ones. It used to always seemed like way too much work.  Not anymore!  This is my special method to take you from an adorable fat quarter to four even cuter gift bags in only fifteen minutes! I’m not kidding – just don’t worry about being accurate–don’t iron, don’t clip, don’t measure – I promise, they’ll still look beautiful.

fat quarter gift bags-8691

I made this little gift bag set for some of Allie’s friends. Allie and I stuffed them each with an embroidery kit for my hand-embroidered note cards. You can find the tutorial for these over here on Design*Sponge. I love them!  They make a wonderful beginning needlework project.

fat quarter gift bags - all you need is 15 minutes

The kits seemed the perfect treasure for such an adorable little mini-bag.

fat quarter gift bags - all you need is 15 minutes

Alternatively, make a set of gift bags for you! Use them to organize that crazy purse of yours – you know what I’m talking about. What will you fill them with?

fat quarter gift bags - all you need is 15 minutes

This tutorial was originally published on Petite Purls in 2012. Sadly, that magazine closed its front doors and all of its content is gone. I have republished the tutorial here, because its just too awesome of a tute not too!

Fat Quarter Gift Bag Tutorial, 4 Bags, 15 Minutes

Sewn on the long side they will be approximately 7.5″ x 5.5″
Sewn on the short side, approximately 9.5″ x 4″.

One Fat Quarter
Pinking scissors
Darning Needle
Sewing Machine
Complimentary thread
Find a fat quarter in an adorable pattern. With right side of fabric facing down, fold one end of fat quarter over by about 1”, pin in a couple of spots.


Repeat on the other side.


Sew a 5/8” hem on each end, using your foot as a guide against the cut edge of the fabric.  These will be the sleeves for the drawstrings.


Fold the fat quarter the other way such that the ends without drawstring sleeves, the raw edges, meet in the middle.  The drawstring sleeves will be at the top and the bottom.


Beginning at the stitched line of the drawstring sleeve (sleeve needs to stay open for the drawstring),  sew a seam the length of the fat quarter about 5/8” in from the raw edge, stopping at the stitched line of the drawstring sleeve at the bottom.  Backstitch at the beginning and the end of the seam.


Repeat on the other side.


Cut down the middle of the fat quarter with pinking shears, trimming each seam allowance to about ¼”


You will have two identical pieces with a hem on each end and a ¼” pinked seam allowance along the length of the piece.  Repeat the next steps for each piece.

Fold the piece in half such that the hems from both ends are lined up. Place a pin at each end of the fold, in the halfway spot, then unfold.


Using the pins and your presser foot as a guide, stitch a line from just to the right of the pin to just to the right of the pin at the bottom.  This doesn’t have to be exact, and it’s a short distance, just go for it!


Repeat just to the left of the pins.


It should look like this.  Do it with the other piece now.


Cut in between two sewn lines with pinking shears on both pieces.


You should have four little bags now! You’re almost done!


Turn your bags right side out. Thread a 1/4” ribbon through the drawstring sleeve with a darning needle for each of the bags.


Knot the ends of the ribbon together.


You’re done!


  1. Cindy G.

    What a brilliant method! Now, I want to whip out my sewing machine and give it a try (even though I don’t own pinking shears)! But, I have other tasks to do today, so I’m putting it on the list for tomorrow! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Enjoy! Thanks for your comment Cindy!

  2. Anne

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  3. Cheryl

    My visual self loved your tutorial. Going to try and do this but for bigger bags. Thank you for taking the time to do this post with all the pics and explanations of each step.

    • Great! Come back and let me know how it goes. I haven’t tried this method with a larger piece of fabric, but there’s no reason it wouldn’t work. Yay!

  4. Lovely and PERFECT timing! My girls are looking to make favor bags for their birthday party this weekend and these will be great! Thanks, oh so clever Anne!

  5. These are so pretty Anne, I love gifts like this that take a little bit of time – but give so much reward 🙂

    • Thanks so much Jess! Agreed – I was so happy to land on this technique to speed the process up!

  6. Jean

    Thanks so much for reposting. I love this pattern. One question – which side of the fat quarter gets the drawstring? The long or the short side. I can’t seem to figure it out. I’m a match-challenged quilter.

  7. Jean

    Nevermind 🙂 I figured it out. You can do either! Turns out I wasn’t math challenged as much as a poor reader. Thanks again for a wonderful tutorial.

    • Yay Jean- I’m glad you’re making them!

  8. Giuditta

    I’ve read dozens of tutorials on draw string bags, and do you know what I did when I read this one?
    I immediately Pinned it to my “Sew Love Bags” board, then I signed up for your newsletter. I’m reading all your back posts now, and you’re a wonderful teacher. You have a new fan (and reader!) on Cape Cod.

    • Hi! Thank you for this lovely, lovely comment! Yay! Thanks so much for your affirming words. I’m happy to have new fans, especially like you! xo anne

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  10. Paparazzi

    I just made my first four, using baseball print and longer so colored pencils etc. fit, as requested by my daughter and DIL. Both teachers, and also for gifts for Operation Christmas Child. Thanks for sharing!

    • Oh wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing!!

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