I saw an advertisement the other day for little muslin bags for Valentine’s day in a craft magazine. I figured they had to be super easy to whip up since they were selling them for so little so I decided to try making some. They really are simple and quick to make and the fun thing about making them yourself is better quality bags that you can customize using fabrics you like and adding embellishments. I did use a sewing machine for this but you don’t need one. You could hand stitch these bags as well. You can find links for all the related supplies I used at the bottom of the blog post.

Getting Started

The first thing you want to do is to prepare your fabric. For this bag, my fabric measures 5-1/2 inches wide by 14 inches long. I’m using Kona Snow but you could use muslin or novelty fabrics or whatever you like. First, I like to go ahead a press approximately 1/4 inch in on each side to the wrong side of the fabric so I know where my seam is going and I know how much room I have to play around with applique, embroidery or whatever else I want to do.

Next, fold the top down 1/2 inch. Press and then fold down another 1/2 inch. Then fold in half, wrong sides together, and press your bottom seam.

Embellish Your Bag!

For this bag, I decided to do some applique. First, I cut out a 2-inch circle. I like to take just a tiny bit of invisible Elmer’s glue on my finger and apply it to a few spots on the back of the applique piece and then press with a hot iron. That way my shape stays in place while I stitch and I don’t have to mess with pins. Stitch around the edge. Note: Make sure your seam allowance is open and does not get caught in your stitching.

Next, I cut out a little heart and repeated the glue, pressing, and stitching.

I cut out strips to make an X. I did my glue and press with the first strip and then the second and then I stitched into place. Again, be sure your seam allowance is open and doesn’t get caught in your stitching!

Assemble Your Bag

Stitch up each side using 1/4″ seam allowance back stitching at the top and bottom. Stop approximately 1 inch below the bottom pressed seam line so your top tubes don’t get caught in your seam. Backstitch athe pressed top seam. Clip bottom corners.

Press side seams open. Press your top tube down again .

Finally, turn right side out. Stitch along the bottom edge of each top fold to create a tube in front and in back to place your ties.

Finish the Bag

Using a pin to secure the end of the ribbon or cord. Feed one end of your ribbon into the tube and out the other side and then into the second tube and out the other side so that your ends are both coming out of the same side of the bag. You are basically making a U with the ribbon, with both ends coming out on the same side.

Tie ends together. Repeat with cord or ribbon going the opposite direction.

Have Fun and Add Your Own Style

These are so great for party favors and valentines. You could use them in a table setting with personalized names and little gifts inside. You could also use them for Advent gifts and put numbers on the bags. Here is a fun little assortment using different fabrics and different ties (ribbon, cord, and twine).

Finally, I embroidered this bag with some cute hearts. This bag starting fabric measurement was 5 inches wide x 11 inches long. I used a water soluble marker to draw my hearts and 12 weight Sulky thread for the stitched hearts.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. They really are quick and fun to make! I’m working on a dozen of the stitched heart bags right now!

Have a great day!


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