It’s All in the Presentation
Any gift is more interesting with a nice presentation. These sweet little lined gift bags are a great way to present your Valentine’s Day gift to an adult or a child. They are great for holding candy, toys, flowers, jewelry, and even wine. And they are something that can be used even after Valentine’s Day.
They are easy to make if you have access to a sewing machine with a free arm and moderate sewing skills.
Put Your Own Spin On It
You can make the bag any size you want, embellish it however you want, with lace, buttons, faux flowers, faux fur. Or change up the color of the lining or use a patterned fabric. The variations are endless.
What You Will Need
- Red fabric (A heavier fabric works best. I used leftover upholstery fabric.)
- A lightweight lining fabric (I used white muslin but get creative if you wish!)
- Coordinating threads
- Coordinating webbing for the handles
- Construction paper
- Fabric pencil
- Access to a sewing machine with a free arm
What You Hopefully Won’t Need
- A seam ripper
Why the Lining?
Linings are an elegant finishing touch. Added to these bags, they just say “I love you enough to go this extra step.” But it’s an easy addition as you will see.
Cut the Fabric
Cut a heart template from heavy construction paper to use as a pattern. My heart was 11″ wide by 11″ long. To allow for the seams, cut the heart about an inch larger than you want it to be.
Using your pattern, cut two identical heart shapes with the red fabric and two with the lining fabric.
You will have a total of four raw fabric hearts, all the same size.
Stitching the Pieces
Put the “outside” (right sides) of the red fabric pieces together, facing each other, so that you have the “wrong side” out, and sew down along the right-hand side of the fabric, down to the bottom, then continue up the left side, leaving the top unstitched. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the stitching for extra support.
My lining did not have a right and wrong side, but if yours does, sew it the same way as described above except leave a small opening on the left hand side unstitched. This opening should be large enough for you to get your hand through later to pull the bag right-side out.
Adding the Handles
Turn the red fabric right-side-out so that the raw fabric edges are inside. Securely stitch the handles on either side about an inch from the top of the bag. The free arm feature on your sewing machine works best for this.
First I folded under the ends of each handle by about 3/4″ so the raw ends were not visible. My handles were 18″ each. You can scale yours to fit the size of your bag.
Now turn the bag inside-out and pin the handles down and out of the way, making sure the pin heads are on the “wrong” side of the fabric. Otherwise, you will have trouble taking the pins out later.
So now the bag is inside-out and your handles are pinned down inside the bag, but the pinheads are on the outside.
Bringing It All Together
Now take the lining, reverse it so that the raw edges are on the inside, and insert it into the red fabric part, which is still inside-out.
Push it in until it fits snugly and the seams line up. It can be a little difficult to work around the handles, but just take your time. If everything looks wrong and backwards at this point, you are probably doing it right.
Carefully pin the lining and the red fabric together at the top, raw edges up. Be sure to line up the seams. Stitch the red fabric to the lining following the heart contours. Work you way all around the top of the bag in this manner, backstitching at the seams.
You will need the free arm feature on the sewing machine for this. If your bag is too small to fit onto the free arm, you will have to stitch by hand.
Getting it Right-Side Out
Okay, if you’ve come this far it’s time for the magic. Remove the pins holding the handle down.
Then reach into the bag, put your hand through the little opening you left in the lining, and pull the red fabric through it until everything is right-side out.
After that, you can stitch up the hole in the lining.
Then tuck the lining down into the bag and carefully iron the top until everything is even. Be sure to test the iron with scrap pieces of all fabrics first to make sure the iron won’t damage anything.
It takes a little time to get everything pushed out, tucked in, and straightened out and for the heart shape to emerge.
The Finishing Touches
I played around with adding vintage buttons to my bag, but in the end I kept it simple. I just added a gift tag with a vintage button and used a piece of old linen instead of tissue paper inside.
There are so many things you can do to make your bag unique, so enjoy and have fun with your creation!
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Disclosure: Affiliate links used.
- Project sewn with my Brother CS6000i sewing machine
- Fabric cut with Fiskars Softgrip Scissors, which are very easy on the hands.
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