Friday, January 29

Muslin gift bag tutorial

I was putting together some gift bags today & thought I'd try to make a tutorial for you. I warn you, I am NO Amy Butler & this is a marathon post.  You might need a snack!
This is certainly not a revolutionary idea, it is just my take on it. Hope you enjoy! 

Step 1 - Prepping muslin
Coffee stain or tea stain your muslin  however you like.  I use instant coffee crystals, whatever kind is on sale.  I like my muslin to look super old & stained. My trick is to sprinkle some crystals on top of the fabric while it's in the pot & let it just soak in.

Step 2 - Sewing the bag
Instead of cutting 2 pieces of muslin I like to fold mine from top to bottom, then fold the top edges over to make a drawstring pocket.  So figure out the size you want, double the height & add 2 1/2 inches, to the width add 1 inch for seam allowance.

Fold the piece in half top to bottom & iron. Fold top edge over 1/4 inch & iron. Stitch seam & repeat on the remaining edge. Fold each edge over 1 inch, iron & stitch seam.  These are the pockets for your drawstring.  Before sewing up the side seams you will add your image.

Step 3 - Image transfer
This is were your imagination can go wild. I like to use old pictures, especially those of women & children. Illustrations from books are great.  I love to borrow pics from The Graphics Fairy & GreenPaper.  Pick out a few images and lay them out on your printer. 
I have an ink jet printer so I use fabric sheets by June Taylor in cream.  I buy them at Micheal's or Jo-Ann Fabrics, where ever I have a 50% off coupon.  They are a little pricey, that's why I make sure I cover my whole printer with images to use for other projects.

After printing out your fabric sheet, snip and tear around each image. I think the torn edges look better than cut (your preference). Then pin onto the middle of the front side of the muslin piece. 
Stitch around all sides to secure, then continue stitching around the image 4 or 5 times. Get sloppy with it!

Step 4 - Keep on sewing!
Fold muslin right sides together and pin up to the drawstring pocket.
Stitch up sides but do not stitch over the pockets.

To make a gussett find one of the corners of the bottom of the bag and fold a triangle.  Match up the bottom seam to the side seam to form a triangle then pin and stitch straight across.  The gussett allows the bag to sit up nice. 

Turn inside out or is it right side out?? Anyway, your almost done. Just thread a piece of ribbon or seam binding through the pocket openings and Wa-La!

I love making these little bags because there is no limit to what you can do with them. I like to add stamping like I did here.

And here.

 I didn't do a drawstring on this bag, got lazy & just tied it up.
Wouldn't these be great shoe bags?  Just find some clip art of a cool shoe.  Like I said endless possibilities. 
I hope you liked it, I'd love to get your feedback.


melissadc76 said...

Oh my gosh I'm so excited for this tutorial. THANK YOU! LOVE IT!

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Wow Lisa, these are so great looking. Thanks for the how to.


Mona @ la la by mona said...

Awesome, awesome! Thanks for the great tutorial.

And, it is good to see someone else using the same kind of pins that I use. I was scolded by an experienced seamstress to only use glass head pins, but I just love the way those look! And, I love her, too. Different pins for different folks!

The Feathered Nest said...

WONDERFUL tutorial Lisa!!!! I just LOVE it...I'm thinking I need to make a few for my space...I hope you have a great weekend!! xxoo, Dawn

Nancy said...

I think this is so neat. I can't wait to try it. Thanks, for the tutorial. Nancy P.

Brynwood Needleworks said...

I made muslin drawstring bags as gift bags for all my handmade Christmas gifts this past year. Everyone loved them. They're pretty and recyclable!

Yours are lovely, and the tutorial is great.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Hi Lisa- thanks so much for sharing! I've never tried to do anything like this and it makes me want to try! Looks so fun! Thank you for the inspiration!

Laurie said...

Hi Lisa,
I just came across your blog and LOVE it! Thank you for sharing the tutorial. I am so excited to try the bags. I have all the ingredients, just didn't know the "how to." I usually have everything in a big pile and then think "now what?" It's talented, gifted people like yourself that share that are helping me become creative. THANKS!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Wayyyy cute Lisa !! I love them and need to make some soon ~

Barbara Jean said...

Lisa, Great job on your tutorial!!
Very clear and easy to understand.

OK, I'm off to find your shoe!


barbara jean


Lovely! Fabulous tutorial too, thanks for sharing. ~ Angela

Charlene said...

I LOVED your very first tutorial!!!
GOOD FOR YOU! Hope to come up for air next week. I miss all my friends. HUGS! Charlene

Karen Valentine said...

Lisa, thanks so much for this tutorial!! I have wanted to make some pillows with printed images but have never been able to get the transfer to look that good. I am going to go get some of that paper this weekend! Woo Hoo! New pillows here I come!

Lori said...

These bags are lovely! Thank you so much, Lisa, for this wonderful tutorial! I hope you don't mind that I posted a link to it on my blog... just had to pass the word along!

Have a wonderful weekend!

June said...

Lisa I could just kiss you for this! I actually think I could maybe do this. Your tutorial was so well written and you made every step of it so clear. Thank you so much!!!!

alice said...

Lisa, Great tutorial. Very easy to follow big thanks!
smiles, alice

Julia @ Vintage with Laces said...

Hi Lisa, Your tutorial is great and your bags are just beautiful! I love your stitching around the images!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

Really like your blog background with the music's very effective...did you desgin it ?

Thank you SO much for this tut...I have wanted to know about this process for a while now.


Pat @ My Tattered Elegance said...

Great tutorial!! Love the little bags. You did a great job, very clear and easy to understand. Hope you have a wonderful night.
Hugs, Pat

kjkljk;ljljgjgfuyhd said...

I love this! It's on my eventual to-do list: A list so long I'll need to retire to finish it all.
Great tutorial!
Have a great weekend :+D

Dorthe said...

Lisa dear,
your bags are wonderfull, I so love your style, and what you are doing, and your tutorial are great, with beautifull photoes,and easy to understand text...thanks so much dear friend.`

hugs for a happy satturday.

Minna Perälä said...

Your bags look L-O-V-E-L-Y!!!! Thank you so much for the idea and the tutorial!!! You are very kind and generous person :))

Hugs, Minnamarika said...

Your hint about sprinkling the coffee crystals on is a good one!!

Michelle Palmer said...

Lisa, these are GORGEOUS! Your blog is fantastic...
Wishing you all the best~

Rebecca said...

Hi Lisa
This tutorial was so well thought out and the pictures were so well done. Your bags are great! I make smaller ones to put my jewelry in when I sell them at the shop. I use old drapery linings (because I have so much old fabric and usually the lining I tear out and keep-a nice biproduct)

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful!!! Coffee staining just makes these soooo pretty! The perfect touch! I just found you by clicking on your post on The Feathered Nest blog. I'm so glad I did!!! I'd love to add you to my favorites!

Happy sewing and coffee messing! Me too! I just dyed a bunch of tags with instant coffee the other day! investigate the rest of your adorable blog!!


Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Lisa, these bags are adorable! Love your music background, but I can't read your tutorial and could barely find the comment spot with the music background. Maybe the music could just be on the sides and a solid color in the middle? laurie

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Hi Lisa- scrolling through this again, I just can't wait to try the printer fabric- this is such a creative project and so different than anything I have done! Thank you so much for your kind comments for my project on Junkmarket Style! The reactions to it have been very encouraging for me! I sell a lot of supplies for altered art, etc, so I tend to have a lot of old games and such- I actually have three intact cages on etsy, plus I collect them as well- so that's why I happened to have the broken cage! Thanks again! Linda

Kim from The Sheep's Nest said...

Thanks for posting about this Lisa. I have been wanting to make up some bags like these for a while now. I no longer have any excuses not to do so! Yours came our just lovely! Kim

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial. Thanks for taking the time to put it together. Your gifts bags look wonderful!...I also am inspired by many of the other items on your blog!

chicroses said...

Thankyou so much for sharing your project. I have bought some of the fabric to run through my printer but scared to do it..Love your bags...Sally

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Great tutorial....thanks so much.


Nancy-Rose said...

Very neat!

miette said...

Merci pour ce magnifique tuto!
Tout comme vous, j'utilise beaucoup la teinture au café, ainsi que les papiers anciens.
A très bientôt, bisous de France!

luverlie said...

Great tutorial. I've tea stained but not coffee stained. Just found several prim blogs that added vanilla scent to the coffee mixture snd then baked on low in the oven after staining. Gonna try it. (sorry, can't remember the blog, just wrote the technique down) For images, try ironing muslin to freezer paper (shiny side) and then trim to 8 1/2 x 11 and run that thru your printer. I heat set with an iron after printing. I love gift bags and use them often. Great tutorial.
Great blog. Enjoy visiting often.

Anonymous said...

LISA!!! These are so beautiful, and thankyou, thankyou for the tutorial. I haven't had my sewing machine out in ummmmm, 5 years, but I'd really like to try this. I'm bookmarking your tutorial for when I can gather all ther materials together. YAY!

Andy's Attic said...

WOW! This is something that I can actually do. Thank you so very much for the tutorial. Love the bags---so many ideas---

Sonja @ Craft-Werk said...

So many beautiful things to see on your blog. Great tutorial - makes me see the old things I find in my very old house with new interest.

teddy bears Marin to Venice said...

Your blog is among the most beautiful that have seen!

do I like a lot I break down him/it with musical paper, do you want to give me suggestion from who can buy this Background?

Rosarita said...

Love it, Love it, Love it!


vintage tickled pink said...

i will definately make these too cute. thanks for the info. please visit my new blog.thanks diane from vintage-tickled-pink

Mimi Sue said...

I really love these. So many uses and so cute. Your collages in the last post are adorable too. Mimi

Miss Gracie's House said...

I love anything with stained muslin...haven't tried printing images, *YET* make it look so good! THANKS for joining my giveaway and the kind words.

Linda said...

These are so pretty and would make a beautiful gift in themselves! Thank you for the tutorial.

Mitzi Curi said...

Wow, I just discovered your blog today via The Feathered Nest, and just love this project! I have wanted to try this technique for a long time, and your tutorial makes it seem quite simple. Your finished project is just lovely! Thanks!

Mary said...

I love these! I can't wait to share with my primitive chat group. I added you to the blogs I follow. :o)

Deb Plapp said...

I think you did an excellent job! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your creation, and how to make one for ourselves. Deb Plapp

Debby said...

WOW Lisa, this is totally amazing, love what you have created and thanks for sharing with us.






Lovey said...

Great job!!!! I love your tutorial!

Unknown said...

Hello Lisa,
I love your very beautiful and romantik tutorial.

Linda M. said...


Thanks for the gift bag tutorial. I greatly appreciate your tip about the printable fabric sheets.

I'm interested in your tutorial for the mother's tribute (not sure of your title), the price for the tutorial is not posted.

I'm taking some time this morning to visit your blog. There is so much so see. Your blog is beautiful and inspiring.

Zafran ali said...

I really impress of ur great work,So beautiful tutorial,You are so talented.
Send gifts to pakistan from usa

Lisa said...

Thank you Lisa for the great tutorial! I love the vintage look of these gift bags and found that your tutorial was very easy to follow. I put a link on my blog to your tutorial. I hope you don't mind.
Thanks again! :)

Unknown said...

Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things. Thanks for sharing useful information.....
Santa's Magic Bags

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