pink makeup bag with pompoms and embroidered stars

Sew the joy of Christmas

As the Christmas season approaches, gift-giving becomes such a big part of spreading joy and celebrating traditions.

Yet, choosing the perfect present can often feel like a challenge, especially when considering the environmental impact of our choices.

I always believe that handmade gifts possess a unique and enchanting quality. Homemade presents radiate the warmth and affection you put into crafting them. Sewing your own presents allows you to add personal touches, tailoring each item to your loved one’s taste! Whether it's a personalised decoration, a vibrant makeup bag, or a stylish set of kitchen accessories, handmade gifts are a testament to the time, effort, and consideration you invest in your loved ones.

By sewing your own presents, you actively contribute to reducing waste and promoting sustainability. Instead of purchasing mass-produced items that may end up discarded by boxing day, why not choose to upcycle old fabrics, repurposing them into something enchanting.

This holiday season, even if it’s just one gift, why not try one of my favourite handmade presents? By embracing handmade gifting, you not only help preserve the planet but also captivate the hearts of your loved ones with thoughtful, one-of-a-kind creations. So, unleash your creativity, thread your needle, and sew the joy of Christmas! 

The makeup bag

scissors, measuring tape, pompom, pink fabric

Materials needed

  • Fabric (preferably a sturdy material like cotton or canvas) 
  • Sewing machine 
  • Scissors 
  • Matching thread 
  • Pins 
  • Ribbon or string for drawstring closure 
  • Measuring tape 
  • Iron 
  • A decorative trim or patch if you like 


How to 

Step 1: measure and cut the fabric

  • Determine the desired size of your wash bag. I suggest 30 x 35cm (12 x 14 inches).
  • Using a measuring tape, mark and measure the dimensions on your fabric. Add an extra 1cm each side for seam allowances.
  • Use scissors to carefully cut out the fabric piece.
close up scissors cutting pink striped fabric

Step 2: sew the sides and bottom 

  • Fold the fabric in half with the right sides together, creating a rectangle shape.
  • Pin along both sides of the fabric, leaving the side with the drawstring casing open. Trap the trim in here if you’re using one.
  • Sew along the pinned sides using a straight stitch, leaving a 1.5cm seam allowance. You can also overlock the sides for a neater finish.
  • At the bottom of the bag, sew a straight stitch line across, about 1.5cm from the edge. This will create a box corner to give the bag some depth and shape. Repeat this step on the other side of the bottom as well.
close up of hand sewing pink fabric on sewing machine

Step 3: prepare the drawstring casing

  • On one of the shorter sides of the fabric piece, fold the edge over by about 0.5cm and press with an iron (this will be the top opening of your bag). 
  • Fold the same edge over again, this time by about 2.5cm (1 inch), and iron to create a clean edge. 
  • Secure the folded edge in place with pins. 
  • Sew along the edge of the fold, leaving a small opening at one end to thread the drawstring later. The opening should be approximately 2.5cm (1 inch).

Tip: I have hand embroidered some stars onto the fabric to personalise it. You could hand embroider, sew some appliqué or add further personalisation.

Overlocked sides of pink makeup bag

Step 4: trimming

Trim the excess fabric close to the stitch lines, being careful not to cut the stitches themselves. This will reduce bulk and make it easier to turn the bag right side out.

Step 5: turning through

Turn the bag right side out.  

Tip: Use your fingers or a blunt object (like a pencil or chopstick) to gently push out the corners and edges for a crisp finish.

Step 6: thread the drawstring

  • Cut a piece of ribbon or string that is longer than the width of the bag. 
  • Attach a safety pin to one end of the ribbon and thread it through the drawstring casing opening. Keep pushing the safety pin through until it comes out the other end. 
  • Remove the safety pin and tie the ends of the ribbon together to secure it.

Step 7: finishing touches

Give the bag a final press with an iron to smooth out any wrinkles and give it a polished look. Trim any loose threads and check for any missed stitches or weak areas that may need reinforcing.

Your wash bag is now complete and ready to gift (or gift yourself ;P).

Congratulations! You’ve successfully sewn a Christmas gift! Whether you end up choosing to keep it for yourself, or do share with a good friend, please tag me on my Instagram and also Brother on Instagram and Facebook so we can admire your makes! Happy Sewing :)

If you’re looking for other sustainable Christmas presents, why not check out my eye mask and personalised decorations projects? 

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