Make a pretty gift bag from fabric scraps

This is a gorgeous little gift bag to make from fabric remnants. It’s not difficult – you could even sew it by hand although it’s easier and quicker to use a sewing machine.

Put a pretty bar of soap or a small scented candle inside and it makes a lovely personal birthday, seasonal or thank you gift.  The bag is reversible too.

You can also make a bigger version of course.

What you need

Enough material to cut 11 squares measuring 12x12cm. You’ll need 4 for the inner sides, 4 for the outer sides, 1 inner base, 1 outer base and 1 piece for the drawstring loops.

Matching thread

Drawstring cord or ribbon

Sewing scissors, pins and a needle/sewing machine

How to make

We think this bag works best when you use a mixture of fabrics. You could cut each square out of a different fabric or you could alternate the fabric or you could choose one pattern for one side of the bag and something different for the other. It’s up to you! If you’re a beginner, choose a fabric with patterns that don’t have to be a specific way up. Cut and then iron 11 squares of fabric, each measuring 12x12cm.


Take 2 squares and put them right sides together as in the above left photo. Pin the right hand edge and sew together. Take another square and pin it to one of the squares you have just sewn (right sides together) and then again so that you have 4 joined squares. Iron the seams flat.


Sew the two ends together now – right sides together – so that you have a tube (see photo left).This next part is the trickiest bit. Choose a square for your base. Pin one edge of the base (right sides together) to one of the ‘tube’ squares. Sew. Do the same with each edge of the base.  Now it really is looking like a bag (see photos below)!

Do exactly the same with another 5 squares so that you have two bags.  Put one bag inside the other, right sides together.

Now for the loops – the photos below should help.  Take the last square and cut it into quarters. Now fold each square in half and open out again. Then fold one edge into the middle. Press with an iron (carefully!). Fold the opposite end into the middle and press. Fold in half and press again. Finally stitch the open edges together.

Almost there!  Fold each loop in half and pin each one between the 2 bags so that the raw edges of the loop line up with the top edge of the bags.  The loops should be pointing down and each loop should be positioned where the seams are.

Once you’ve pinned them in place (you won’t be able to see them now), sew the two bags together along the top edge, taking care when you sew over the loop areas.  Leave one section between two loops unstitched.  This is so you can turn the bag the right way.

It’s the reveal time at last. Push the bag through the gap you have left unstitched. Iron carefully, paying attention to the edges. Sew up the gap either by hand or machine.

Now all you have to do is thread through your ribbon or cord and tie it into a bow.

Ta da!  You have created an original, beautiful reversible gift bag.  Try making one using different fabrics or a larger size.  We find making them a little bit addictive…

Green & Ethical Christmas Fayre

We’re back again at the much loved Green & Ethical Christmas Fayre on Saturday 9 December, 11am-4pm.  It’s a lovely traditional family event with special guest Father Christmas plus children’s activities and plenty of stalls selling gifts, jewellery, accessories, clothing and artisan food. With an ethically sourced and environmentally friendly focus, it’s Christmas shopping with a conscience!  We hope to see you there!



Dulwich College Christmas Fair

Perfect place for Christmas shopping!

Thanks to everyone who came along to the Streatham & Clapham Christmas fair on Thursday.  We are pleased to announce that Turtle & Teal is at The Friends of Dulwich College Christmas Fair on Sunday 26 November, 11.30am-4pm. It’s always a wonderful event with businesses selling gorgeous gifts, jewellery, clothes, toys and food & drink including a street food market. There is plenty for children too including Santa’s Grotto, games and activities. You can find the Turtle & Teal stall in the Christison Main Hall. We look forward to seeing you!

Shopping event at Streatham & Clapham school

We are looking forward to taking a stall at the shopping evening on Thursday 16 November at Streatham & Clapham High School, 42 Abbotswood Road SW16 1AW. Doors open at 6.30pm.

It’s the perfect opportunity to get ahead with your Christmas shopping plus there’s a chance to win plenty of prizes in the raffle and silent auction. We will be selling a new range of our hand made and hand designed cushions, bags and accessories plus gorgeous gifts and the best scented candles around!

Thanks for visiting us!

We had sunshine, music and good times at the Ritherdon Road Street Party last Sunday. A huge thank you to the organisers – especially Gill – and to everyone who came to visit our stall.  You’ve probably noticed that you can’t buy our products online yet – we will be setting up an online shop soon. You can also subscribe to our mailing list to find out when and where we will next be selling our range of bags, accessories and hand-curated pieces.

Turtle & Teal at Ritherdon Road

We are so excited to be back at Ritherdon Road Street Party on Sunday 11 June from 11am – 5pm. It’s always a lovely, family friendly event with plenty of stalls, food & drink, live music and lots of independent shops, restaurants and cafes nearby. This year it’s bigger than ever but still retains that important community atmosphere. We will be selling our spring range of tote bags, cushions and zipper pouches plus a selection of our new, curated pieces.

The Turtle & Teal stall will be opposite the French Cafe – do pop along and say hello!