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DIY Fabric Drawstring Bags Using Towels

20 Minute DIY Fabric Bags or Spring Gifts Bags

These particular DIY fabric drawstring bags require no cutting, or measuring and take about 20 minutes per bag.  So easy.  I am making these fabric gift bags to use for Easter gift bags to save on cost for Easter. I wish I could splurge at Lundt like I use to when I was working corporate. But our family is larger and the last year it cost a couple hundred in Lindt Easter Chocolate for everyone.  This year I have a different plan, starting with these adorable Easter gift bags, or Toy bags.

Pretty DIY Easter Bag or DIY fabric drawstring bag, An easy tutorial for sewing.

Supplies for each DIY Fabric Drawstring Bag

For each bag you will need to purchase:

Two matching large tea towels in a childlike pattern, mine are 18″ by 28″

Ruler and chalk

Coordinating ribbon at least 1/2″ wide. About a yard for each DIY toy bag.

Preparing the Tea Towels

These Easter gift bags or toy bags are made using seasonal towels from Easter or Spring. Easter and Spring decor is the most childlike with baby animals, soft pastel colours etc, so its the best time of year to whip some of these little bags together.  These towels feature bicycles, which are great for children in elementary school.

Two very pretty Spring motifs and patterns on DIY Easter Gift bags or DIY fabric drawstring bag, perfect easy sew project for beginning sewers.

Starting with one towel, lay it good side down, and iron it well to get out any packing creases.

Make sure the pattern points towards the top of the towel, then fold over the top of the towel 4 inches.

Iron well to form a crease.

Next, draw two horizontal lines.  At both ends of your tea towel measure 2″ from the top crease.  Line up the marks with a ruler and make a horizontal line with chalk.

Measure 3 1/2 inches from the top crease and repeat the process to make the second line.  I hope you can see the lightly drawn horizontal lines at the base of the arrows.

Where to sew seams on a DIY fabric bag. A very easy tutorial for beginning sewers.

Using a straight stitch sew along both lines.

Set the first towel aside and do the same thing with the second towel.

Lining Up the Towels

The great thing about using towels is they are inexpensive, come with motifs that look like applique, the fabric is precut to size, and the seams all have rolled seam edges. Yeah. But commercially made towels may not be exactly the same size. Before continuing line up your two towels to make sure they are the same size. If they are identical perfection is yours, if not don’t worry it won’t matter on the finished bags.  I just want you to be aware.

Lay the towels good side facing. If one towel is a bit larger than the other, you need to use the smaller towel as your guide.  The extra little bit of fabric from the larger towel will be part of your seam allowance. My towels were the exact same height but the width was a bit different.  You will just sew your 3/4″ seam from the edge of the smaller of the two towels.

Sewing allowance on DIY fabric drawstring bag. A very easy to make tutorial on sewing a toy bag.

Okay, let’s get putting these toy bags together.

Starting at the top, line up the crease edges of your towel and pin in place. Then line up both sides and finally the bottom. Again if one towel is a bit longer than the other it will be in the seam allowance.

Sew down each side. Starting at the top sew two inches to where the first horizontal seam is, then stop. Restart sewing from where the second seam is to the bottom. This will leave gaps for inserting the ribbon.

Placement of stitches on a DIY fabric drawstring bag for Easter or a DIY toy bag for organizing. An easy tutorial for sewing.

Do the same thing for the other long seam.

Sew the last seam straight across the bottom.

Handmade DIY fabric drawstring bag for Easter or Toys. A very easy tutorial on how to sew a toy bag or Easter gift bag.

Adding the Ribbon to your DIY Fabric Drawstring Bag

Attach a pin or very large needle to the end of your ribbon. Starting from the inside open seam insert the ribbon in the open end between the two seams.  Pull out the other end. If you want two ties, like in the rabbit motif bag. You can stop here, cut the ribbon. Then repeat on the other side.

If you want a single bow closure like on the bicycle patterned bag. After you insert the ribbon on one side, reinsert it into the second open end and pull through.

Now you have to pull the ribbons through to the outside of the bag.    Pull the ribbons through the little slots you left open in the side seams.

Instructions on how to insert ribbon in a DIY fabric drawstring bag. An easy tutorial for sewing.

Tie the ribbons in pretty bows.

A pretty Spring motif on a towel for an easy sewing project. A very easy to make sewing craft project.

The Toy Bag Saga

At the beginning of this post I explain how this year instead of giving out baskets full of Lindt chocolates, I will fill DIY Easter bags with a small toy, a book, a little cash, one small Lindt chocolate and maybe some homemade goodies.  This little DIY fabric drawstring bag filled with goodies will cost much less than a basket full of Lindt chocolates.

If you follow my blog you may know I recently cleaned out our largest pantry. Besides discovering I had forgotten to paint the pantry or finish repairing the walls, I also found mouse crap in the bottom of the pantry.  Bleck foo eek, and oh my good gawd. Thankfully we caught the mouse, and even better it was when Hubs was home.  The little grey mouse was actually kind of cute and I felt sorry for the little guy.  Best part we haven’t seen any new evidence of mice for the last couple of weeks.

DIY fabric drawstring bag a very easy sewing project. A handmade toy basket for kids.

The worst part was I had a large open laundry basket in that pantry with my 30 year old collection of Brio trains. The little ones haven’t visited since Christmas so they hadn’t been near the Brio. The basket the Brio was in was uncovered so I am not 100% sure if the mouse had been in the basket or not, so gross.

To be sure I tossed the basket, soaked each piece of Brio in Dawn and bleach, scrubbed each piece with a toothbrush, rinsed and let them dry. It took two days as I wanted the wood to soak in the bleach. A new lidded basket is upwards of 50 bucks, so I took the two DIY Easter gift bags, tossed them full of the clean Brio, and bing bang boom, they turned into  DIY toy bags.  I love that the handmade toy bags close tightly and are washable.  Soaking wood in bleach cannot be good for it, but healthy little ones come first.

Pretty DIY Drawstring bag with a pink bunny on a bicycle embroidery stamp and floral string.

I made these little aprons for my granddaughters at Christmas, but they are perfect for Easter as well.  Spring patterns are available now and perfect for kid’s aprons.

An easy to sew child's apron, perfect for Easter gift giving.

Handmade Child’s Apron for Gift Giving

These giant carrots were very well received, and they loved using them to watch TV on the floor.

Easter gift ideas for children.

Easy Sew Giant Carrot Cushion for Easter Gift Giving


    1. Thank you Debra. I love the Spring patterns, everything looks so happy and bright.

  1. These are so adorable Leanna. I love the idea of having Easter bags and fill them with treats. Also the fabric you chose is so cute!

    1. I love tea towels, they are always so clean and fresh looking in the store. Every season I buy some so this is a great way to enjoy them.

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