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How-Tuesday: Favor Bags with Brooklyn Bride

Feb 24, 2009

by bklynpillow

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While a drawstring favor bag is a simple project, the idea behind it is big: fabric is an excellent way to add a personal touch to your special event! Whether you’re planning a wedding, birthday party, or baby shower, think fabric for a unique — and inexpensive! — splash of color. The wrapping becomes part of the gift: a reusable bag is an eco-friendly alternative to wrapping paper. Your guests would never chuck your cute handmade bag into the trash, right?

Vane Broussard of Brooklyn Bride Blog (and bklynpillow right here on Etsy) joins us to share this design she developed while planning her own wedding. Her frustration at the lack of modern and affordable wedding decor options led her to become very creative — and got her started blogging! She’s been going full speed ever since.

Drawstring Favor Bag

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Fabric
  • Ribbon
  • Sewing machine with thread to complement fabric
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Pins
  • Safety pin
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Embroidery thread, needle and hoop
  • Pencil or fabric marker
  • Ruler

Making a Favor Bag:

  1. Measure and cut a piece of fabric that is 15″ x 6 1/2″. (You can really make this any size, I just like them petite.)
  2. With the wrong side of the fabric facing up, at each of the shorter sides, fold and iron the fabric a 1/2″, then again by 1″. These sizes can be adjusted depending on the width of your ribbon.
  3. Sew along the very bottom of that inch to make a pocket or channel for the ribbon on both ends.
  4. Plan where you’d like to place an embroidered design. (Remember, you’ll be losing at least a 1/4″ on either side of the bag for seam allowance.)
  5. Use a pencil or fabric marker to lightly sketch your design on the fabric; with an embroidery needle and four strands of floss, follow the path with a backstitch. (Keep stitches small so that the curves of any letters don’t look choppy.) If you want to get fancy, you can try other stitches, like French knots!
  6. Bring right sides of the fabric together and pin the sides, leaving the top of the bag open.
  7. Sew using a 1/4″ seam allowance along the sides, stopping once you reach the channels for the ribbon.
  8. Turn the bag right-side out. To thread the ribbon for the drawstring, use a safety pin to catch one side of the ribbon to help you feed it through the channel created. Tie the ends together and trim the excess to finish.

Start with some fun favor bags, then try your hand at wrapped vases and a ring pillow… The possibilities are endless! What handmade touches did you add to your wedding? Tell us in the comments below!

If you’re feeling crafty, check out the Stamping Metal Tutorial on Tuesday, February 24th at 3PM EST in the Virtual Labs. Catch more Etsy how-to videos and more wedding posts right here:

How Tuesday Videos | Handmade Wedding Series | Fabric Supplies Tagged “Organic”


  • LaireMarie

    LaireMarie said 8 years ago

    SO CUTE! My friend is getting married in August. I will have to pass this along to her (even though I am sure she will have me make them for her! :) )

  • dogties

    dogties said 8 years ago

    Great items & fun Bags. Everyone needs some of those.

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen said 8 years ago

    lovely! and great fabrics! don't forget to have an original Arabella Art-Accessory Bag AT your wedding!!

  • MagicalPonyFarm

    MagicalPonyFarm said 8 years ago

    Cute! I love to make little drawstring bags!!

  • SASessories

    SASessories said 8 years ago

    cute, cute, cute!!!

  • lalala08

    lalala08 said 8 years ago

    Just another reason why Etsy is my number one go-to for my wedding planning! Thanks for the info!

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 8 years ago

    You all are so creative~ cute and practical fun lil bags~ love the colors so spring looking~ can ya tell I'm tired of winter. Always enjoy reading your articles and seeing what ya find~!

  • BululuStudio

    BululuStudio said 8 years ago

    Lovely project, thanks so much Etsy.

  • GetReadySetGO

    GetReadySetGO said 8 years ago

    this is a hot little article- i love the colors and the whole idea behind it. thanks for drumming this one up for us:)!!!

  • dawnperry

    dawnperry said 8 years ago

    This was very cool and informative!! Thank you so much.

  • EpicBones

    EpicBones said 8 years ago

    nice!!!!!! love the way the video was put together!!

  • KutuuJewellery

    KutuuJewellery said 8 years ago

    Can't wait to try making some of these! :)

  • horshid

    horshid said 8 years ago

    so nice;)

  • TheDizzyPixie

    TheDizzyPixie said 8 years ago

    What a cute idea! I cant wait to make some of these. :-)

  • VintagePaperParade

    VintagePaperParade said 8 years ago

    I love these bags! I've made them for birthday parties and they are always a hit.

  • PookThy

    PookThy said 8 years ago

    very pretty, i love the retro feel.

  • Lirola

    Lirola said 8 years ago


  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 8 years ago

    I luv this idea, it can b so unique per persons personality or occasion! Thanks!

  • laurebelle

    laurebelle said 8 years ago

    What a superb idea!!! I will use this for many uses!!! And, someone has a great flair for fashion - love the collection! Thanks!

  • zannesart

    zannesart said 8 years ago


  • PeppermintDaydreams

    PeppermintDaydreams said 8 years ago

    fancy! i'll keep that project in mind when i have a special event ;)

  • SydneyAndZoeDesigns

    SydneyAndZoeDesigns said 8 years ago

    Great packaging idea to give that extra special touch!

  • worksofwhimsy

    worksofwhimsy said 8 years ago

    I package some of my products in a similar pouch. Easy way to add a special touch.

  • fernfiddlehead

    fernfiddlehead said 8 years ago

    yay for how-to tuesday. I love these!

  • weirdwolf Admin

    weirdwolf said 8 years ago

    Super cute!

  • amyrwyatt

    amyrwyatt said 8 years ago

    What a cute idea, I think its a lovely touch to have something personal. Its also a great way to keep a colour theme.

  • FancifulForm

    FancifulForm said 8 years ago

    Such a cute Idea! I love them!

  • maiziedesigns

    maiziedesigns said 8 years ago

    I LOVE how to Tuesday! Thanks Etsy for hosting such a great community!

  • JeweledAmbrosia

    JeweledAmbrosia said 8 years ago

    cute idea, love it!

  • CwButcher

    CwButcher said 8 years ago

    love the wedding cake toppers how-to tuesdays rock!!!

  • nakedpeggies

    nakedpeggies said 8 years ago

    Very cool!! Thanks SO much for sharing this! What a great tutorial! Suzy

  • squareware

    squareware said 8 years ago

    gorgeous. Getting married in july so this is inspiring. Now I just have to figure out what to put in the bag.

  • BabbidgePatch

    BabbidgePatch said 8 years ago

    Sweet favor bags ~ it's a great idea! Thanks for sharing all the fun activites in this series!

  • ladaworks

    ladaworks said 8 years ago

    Cute. Thank you for sharing.

  • kachingdesign

    kachingdesign said 8 years ago

    What great idea! I love it.

  • voleurdebijoux

    voleurdebijoux said 8 years ago

    Splendid! Pretty colors and very lovely idea! :)

  • lelephantrose

    lelephantrose said 8 years ago

    It's ridiculous how awesome this one is!! THANK YOU! :) Something to use for my wedding & beyond! Yippie! :)

  • polkadotsoup

    polkadotsoup said 8 years ago

    another great how tuesday! i love the beautiful spring-y colours! :) a very cute idea.

  • barelymeasured

    barelymeasured said 8 years ago

    This is really nice- the embroidery really added a special touch!

  • odiliafu

    odiliafu said 8 years ago

    Lovely fabrics!!

  • tinygreenapples

    tinygreenapples said 8 years ago

    I LOVE IT! Thanks!!!

  • evelynfields

    evelynfields said 8 years ago

    I painted a metal box for guests to place gift cards & I have kept the box to hold the reply cards that I now use as address cards. Everytime I go to update someones address it is a reminder of that special day.

  • AntoinetteDesign

    AntoinetteDesign said 8 years ago

    Oh such a cute idea! We had a backyard/BBQ wedding with a lot of out-of-towners roadtripping to it, so we filled brown paper lunch bags with roadtrip goodies for them to enjoy on the trip back home (trailmix, mints, chocolates, tea bags, wet naps, jujubes, etc...) We made little handmade labels and prettified the brown bags with ribbon...they were much appreciated (and would've looked a whole lot cuter in little bags like yours!!)

  • Berlinski

    Berlinski said 8 years ago

    This is such a cool way to give completely individual, special wedding gifts!! Must store that idea away...

  • bbbennyandthejet

    bbbennyandthejet said 8 years ago

    I'm definitely going to use this idea for wedding gifts too Berlinski.. my vinyls usually get packaged in retro album covers.. but this idea will make them SUPER handmade! Too cute.. thanks for another fantastic How Tuesday!

  • christinececelia

    christinececelia said 8 years ago

    I love it!!! Im totally making them...oh to give wine at house warming parties!!!

  • DeborahVoizin

    DeborahVoizin said 8 years ago

    Too Cute!

  • PipocaHandmade

    PipocaHandmade said 8 years ago

    What a great idea for wrapping, and being green! I love the idea of embroidering the bag for a personal touch. Beautiful fabric. Cute. Cute. Cute!

  • yourcreativeoutlet

    yourcreativeoutlet said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for this great idea!!!

  • TheSingingBird

    TheSingingBird said 8 years ago

    great how-to video, thanks! :)

  • WingsDove

    WingsDove said 8 years ago

    Thank you for the wonderful idea for fabric favor (or gift) bags.

  • nichan

    nichan said 8 years ago

    my sewing teacher long time ago gave me a small drawstring (coin) pouch made from batik...very was made for wedding souvener or some other traditional ceremony (i forgot)... I use it for coin now... it's a good idea, isn't it?

  • pamwares

    pamwares said 8 years ago


  • lovejujube

    lovejujube said 8 years ago

    Wonderful I blogged about it as well.

  • meeabee

    meeabee said 8 years ago

    The fabric is so pretty and vibrant. Love this article.

  • Fun2designs

    Fun2designs said 8 years ago

    Little pouches are so fun! the fabrics availble now are GREAT

  • LittlePaperDog

    LittlePaperDog said 8 years ago

    Love this idea so I made my own. blogged:

  • themefragrance

    themefragrance said 8 years ago

    I love the personal touch with the embroidery.

  • dvenice

    dvenice said 8 years ago

    question, i am looking to take a craft class in nyc on paper clay. Does anyone know of any studios or classes in nyc?? Help, and thanks! Denise

  • dvenice

    dvenice said 8 years ago

    I also am open to other classes as well, but need them in nyc.

  • CynAbby

    CynAbby said 8 years ago

    thanks so much for the tutorial!! i really love it!!! thumbs up!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tokmik

    tokmik said 7 years ago

    Great info, I like it... cloth wine bags

  • liviamarie3

    liviamarie3 said 6 years ago

    thanks so much! Great idea for my sister's bach party favors! One question....are you using home decor fabric? I'm new to quilting and have regular 100% cotton but it seems like it would be too flimsy. Any advice? Thanks!

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