Feb 05

Embellishing Burlap Gift Bags

bannerBurlap is the latest hot trend in weddings and home decor and we’ve been discovering that burlap is the perfect canvas for embellishing in a wide variety of styles.  Featured in this post are some of the drawstring burlap bags that we’ve been playing with here in the studio this month.

These are super easy projects that can be completed very quickly with our blank burlap bags and some are even “no sew” projects.  We used fabrics and notions that we had lying around and left over from previous projects.

So if you like these bags, just take a look around your own crafting space and see what elements you have already that could be applied to a blank burlap bag.  Let your imagination loose and you will surely create your own unique burlap bags for display or for gift giving.

Below I’ve included some photos of our bags with a brief comment for each.  Click on each bag image to view it up close and see the details.  We also have a full tutorial for creating a personalized monogram gift bag which is a bit more complicated than the others but SO worth the effort!  So browse our bags and be inspired!

patchwork yoyoThis bag is SO easy!  All you need is our small 8″ x 12″ blank burlap bag, some fabric scraps and a glue gun.  Put a piece of scrap paper inside the bag so that the glue won’t leak through to the back side.  Cut three different size squares from three different fabrics and arrange them on the bag in a random design. Glue into place.  Make three fabric yoyos using different fabrics or use our premade homespun fabric yoyos as I did in this example.  If you don’t know how to make a yoyo, here’s a great tutorial I found online.  Glue your yoyos into place and you’re done!  You could also add bits of lace or buttons or many other sewing elements to this design.

bridesmaid-green Many brides today are using burlap in their wedding decor.  This adorable bridesmaid design serves as an adorable gift bag and a keepsake for the attendants as well.  The iron-on rhinestone transfer is available from Jubilee Rhinestones.  The “bridesmaid” word was iron onto a strip of solid fabric and then glued to the burlap bag.  Be sure to insert some paper into the bag first so that the glue won’t leak through to the back side.  Trim the side edges evenly and add some lace to cover the long edges.  We glued some ruffled 2″ lace to the back of one of our burlap flowers and then glued the flower to the bag.  Ta da!  The perfect combo of bling, lace and burlap!

love-blue This design was constructed similar to the bridesmaid design.  We used a thinner fabric strip and put some homespun fabric with raw torn edges behind the burlap flower this time.  The iron on rhinestone letters that spell “LOVE” are available at Jubilee Rhinestones.  Of course, that could be customized to your preference and you could spell a name or Happy Birthday or whatever was appropriate.



This little heart design would make a perfect bag for Valentine’s Day or it could be used as decor in a country style theme.  We cut out a heart design on the diagonal using our Red Delicious 6 homespun fabric and glued that to the burlap bag.  Insert paper into the bag before gluing so that the glue won’t leak through to the back side.  Then we made a 1″ ruffle with raw torn edges from our Red Delicious 5 homespun fabric.  We glued the ruffle to the bag, covering the raw edges of the heart and starting/ending at the top of the heart.  We finished this off with a skinny burlap strip tied into a bow and one of our heart shaped wood buttons.

ginger-blue-stripe If you ever make rag style throws as gifts, you will LOVE this bag idea!  I recently made this chevron style throw for a friend and I simply used my leftover quilt pieces to embellish a matching gift bag.  I used the large size burlap bag and the throw fit perfectly inside.  A matching gift bag really made the entire gift presentation unique and crafty.  To create the frayed edges on the bag embellishment, I first stitched the pieces together, then stitched them very loosely on a piece of heavy canvas fabric.  Then I clipped the edges just like I did for the rag style throw and washed it in a washing machine to create the “fray”.  After drying, I used a seam ripper to separate the frayed fabric from the cotton canvas.  Then I glued the frayed fabric onto the burlap bag.  Be sure to place a piece of paper inside the bag first so that the glue doesn’t lead through to the back.  This project only works with homespun fabric.  Regular cottons just do not fray as well.


701-008-001How easy is this??!!  Just tear a strip of homespun fabric about 2.5 inches wide and tie it around the filled bag.  I did that this year for several Christmas gifts and the recipients were almost as excited about the bag as they were the gifts!  If you don’t have any homespun on hand to tear into strips, we have some pre-cut 2.5 inch homespun in a few color options.


VanillaBagsThis year for Christmas, I also made my own “homemade vanilla” as office gifts for my husband to give to his co-workers.  Everyone was so pleased to receive their vanilla bottle bagged in this fun and easy burlap project.  I used our 5″ wide burlap and cut it in strips that were 4 times longer than the height of the bottle.  I folded it in half and stitched the long sides with a tight stitch.  Then I dropped the bottle inside and tied it with two torn homespun fabric bows in Christmas colors.  The results were SO cute that I’m planning another set done in everyday colors to use as hostess gifts and such.


baby-showerThis precious bag was done for a recent baby shower gift.  Needless to say, there were plenty of oohs and aahs over the bag as well as the gift inside.  In this case, I didn’t have time to make something handmade for the baby but the gift was still personal due to the handmade bag.  If you are interested in trying one of these, we have a full tutorial about how to make this personalized burlap gift bag.

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