Holiday Gift Bags

Give your gifts in homemade style with these holiday gift bags. Using your own fabric and some cardboard, these are definitely not bags to be re-gifted!



  • OESD's Happy Holidays 1 by Nancy Halvorsen #47821
  • OESD Fusible Polymesh Stabilizer
  • Isacord Embroidery Thread
  • OESD Bobbin Thread
  • 2 cones woolly nylon serger thread & 1 cone regular serger thread for rolled hemming
  • 4 cones regular serger thread
  • Regular thread for stitching on conventional machine
  • Two decorative buttons from the “Art to Heart” button collection by Just Another Button Company
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam sealant
  • Fabric
    From the “Happy Holidays by Nancy Halvorsen” fabric collection by Benartex
    • Small Bag:
      • 10” x 16 ½” piece of fabric
      • Four 1” x 16” strips of fabric for handles
      • Two 10” x 16 ½” pieces of OESD Fusible Polymesh Stabilizer or iron-on interfacing. (For added stiffness, use more layers of Polymesh or interfacing.)
      • 2” x 6” piece of tag board weight cardboard
    • Large Bag:
      • 12½” x 22½” piece of fabric
      • Four 1” x 16” strips of fabric for handles
      • Two 11” x 22½” pieces of OESD Fusible Polymesh Stabilizer or iron-on interfacing (For additional stiffness, use more layers of Polymesh.)
      • 3” x 8” piece of tag board weight cardboard



    Fold the fabric in half crosswise (10” x 8¼” for small bag or 12½” x 11¼” for large bag) and mark a vertical line with chalk or a water-soluble marking pen.

    Draw a horizontal line 4” down for the small bag or 4½” down for the large bag. The intersection of the horizontal and vertical lines will be the center placement of the design. (Double check placement for the design you will be using by placing the center of the design template provided over the center mark on the fabric.)

    Press each piece of OESD Fusible Polymesh to the entire wrong side of the bag fabric. Use three layers of Polymesh to add stiffness to the bag.

    Use the hoop’s template to center the marked fabric in the hoop.

    Attach the hoop to the machine and select the design desired.

    Use the layout feature on the machine to center the needle at the center of the design.

    Embroider the design.

    Remove the hoop from the machine, and the fabric from the hoop.

    Clip thread tails as needed. Do not remove stabilizer from the back of the project.


    Construct the Bag

    With right sides together, serge the two short sides (the 8” side for the small bag or the 11” side for the large bag) together using a balanced 4-thread stitch and regular serger thread. If using a conventional sewing machine, stitch the two short sides together with a ¼” seam allowance.

    Press the seam to one side.

    Re-fold the bag with right sides together. Center the design in the front and the seam in the back.

    Serge (or stitch with ¼” seam on a conventional machine) along the bottom seam.

    Re-fold the bag so a point is formed at the bottom of the bag. Mark a dot 1½” on each side of the point for the small bag (2” for the large bag).

    Connect the two dots with chalk or a water-soluble marking pen.

    Align the drawn line with the needle of the serger. (Some sergers will have a dot on the serger to use as a guide for this.)

    Serge along the drawn line, trimming off the excess. (If using a conventional machine, stitch across the drawn line. Then trim seam allowance to ¼”.)


    Roll Hem the Top Edge

    Refer to your serger’s manual and set the serger up for a 3-thread rolled hem stitch. Place regular serger thread in the needle and place wooly nylon in both the upper and lower loopers.

    Roll hem the top edge of the bag.

    Fold the bag into a “bag shape.”

    Press the bag flat.

    Place the appropriate size cardboard into the bottom of the bag.


    Make the Handles

    Place the wrong sides of two 1” x 16” strips together.

    Use the conventional machine to stitch a straight stitch down the middle of the piece.

    Make clips ½” apart on each side of the stitching, clipping close to (but not through) the stitching.

    Stitch the handles on the front of the bag, placing each end 1½” from the folded edge.

    Repeat for the back side of the bag.

    Stitch decorative buttons over the ends of the bag handles on the front.

    Your gift bag is complete!

    This material is © OESD, LLC and may not be reproduced or published without permission.