Last Minute Wrapping with Thrifted Scarf Gift Bags

Hi everyone! Christmas is almost here! How are things going? Are you stressed? Hey, don’t be so hard on yourself. Take some deep breaths; pour a cup of coffee; re-evaluate your list. What are your absolute priorities? Focus on them; try to let the rest go.

It’s all about being together with loved ones and taking some time to remember what we’re celebrating, right? Today’s post might offer a creative break, or it might be one you pin for next year. Either way, I think it’s a keeper. I’m going to show you how I turned thrifted scarves into gift bags that you’re going to love.

three red gift bags made with thrifted scarvesOf all the bags I made this year with old scarves, I think the red ones are my favorite–plain and simple, but very cheerful.

Materials for Turning Thrifted Scarves Into Gift Bags

Thrifted gray scarfMy scarf-to-gift-bag journey began last year with this gray wool scarf I picked up for a dollar at Goodwill. In fact, none of the scarves I found for this project cost more than $1.75, and each makes 2-5 bags, depending on how long they are and how big you decide to make your bags.

You are looking for a 2-ply scarf, meaning it has both a front and a back; it’s two-layered. If you can pull the front away from the back, then you know you have the right kind of scarf.


  • 2-ply knitted scarf
  • Sewing machine 
  • Pom-poms or ribbon 

How to Make a Gift Bag from a Thrifted Scarf

Step 1: This gray scarf was so narrow, I decide to make some wine bags with it. I cut off the tassels and cut a piece about 15-16″ long.

Step 2: I turned it inside out and stitched one end closed to make the bottom, and then I hemmed the top a couple of inches.

Sewing an old scarf into a gift bagHere you see I’ve turned the scarf inside-out and am sewing the bottom up.

Like so.

Step 3: Sew a simple, but wide hem at the top. You want a bigger than normal hem because you’re not going to “finish” the hem by folding it over. This is a quickie project that requires only basic sewing skills. With a bigger hem, you won’t see the unfinished hem on the inside when you tie off the top with ribbon or string.

[Note: When sewing, be sure not to pull the scarf fabric as you sew or the top of your bag will be stretched out and wonky. Also, I tried iron on hem tape and didn’t care for the results. It was difficult to work with the knit fabric.]

I made three wine-sized bags and two smaller bags from just one scarf. But look at the bottom. I went one step further to make the bottom of my bags look a little nicer and stand up better.

Step 4: I gave them a flat bottom, by sewing each corner of the bottom (perpendicular to the first seam).

I’m hoping this diagram will help convey my meaning.

Cut the excess off of each corner and you’re done.

The bottom of your bag should look something like this.

I had fun with all sorts of scarves.

Some don’t have tassels on the end, they are sewn shut, like this one–so one end is done for you! Just cut it to size and then hem the top.

Others sometimes have a finished open ends like this red one. In this case, the top of your bag is done for you, you just need to sew the bottom shut.

It can grow a little addictive, hunting down 2-ply scarves to turn into gift bags. I’ve made a small pile and have already used a few for gifts of wine to neighbors, and another bunch hold gifts for my family under the tree.

Homemade wrapping takes a little extra effort, but it definitely allows your packages to stand out in a crowd.

Wishing you all a very happy and blessed Christmas!!

Thanks so much for stopping by today–
If you enjoyed  your visit, I hope you follow me by email.
Sign up and never miss a post.

Let’s connect!
Instagram Shop


Bye for now,

scan of Diana signature

Always adding new merchandise:

Vintage Shop Button

Our vintage link party is open until Monday at 8 am–

I’d love it if you’d pin me!
Last minute wrapping with thrifted scarves


Share This:


  1. Lol, I just bought a wonderful snowflake hat to make Ken sweaters out of—and thought maybe a few hats too. I always peruse the scarves. With rich people changing their wardrobes every season—Pashima’s are appearing in the thrift stores….been waiting for just the right color. Grins and love your idea for wine bags, will pass it on! Sandi

    1. So much cheap “fabric” out their in the form of old clothing–so many crafting opportunities for us crazy crafters! Merry Christmas, Sandi!!

  2. I love your idea, Diana! I am going to try it, but not for this Christmas!

    Sending wishes for a Happy and Fun Christmas to you and your family!

  3. Love! Pinning. Another use for those fabulous thrift store scarves! I’m thinking perfect for homemade pickles, apple sauce, or anything in a jar…next year’s project. Hope you had a Merry Christmas, Diana!

  4. That’s an idea I’m going to copy! It’s awesome! Thanks for that and for hosting such a great linkup 🙂 ~ Rheta

  5. So do-able and totally original! Scarves are about to go missing all over. 🙂

    I’ve featured you this weekend on DIY Salvaged Junk 360! 🙂

  6. I never thought of scarves for gift bags; what a great idea. I love Goodwill Christmas tablecloths (as well as Christmas cloth and ribbon 70% off after Christmas)! Tablecloths have all those hemmed edges that you can use for the top edge. I sew a pretty ribbon,braid, string of faux pearls, or cording in the side seam, hem the top, and voila! Great bazaar items, all sizes. Did some with a sheer lavender shower curtain with violets with pearls for the ties; wrapped the gift in tissue–elegant! Cloth gift bags don’t rip if they get manhandled (cathandled!) under the tree, are really green and less flammable to use and store, (we used to consider it a good Christmas if we filled the woodstove 4x with wrapping paper!), and are so re-usable. One friend and I gifted the same bag back and forth for 3 Christmases! P.S.: wine bottle bags will hold about 4 pairs of socks, too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *