Tutorial: How to make an envelope bag

This week I made up ten of these easy envelope bags (five for each kid) for an upcoming road trip. I will fill them with surprises and hope that they'll help us get through 30 hours on the road!

These bags are super simple to make. They are a perfect beginning project—all straight stitches and not too fussy about measurements. I used this project to try out my new sewing machine (hooray!).

I also made some pillow covers using this technique. (See here for moral support.)

1. Cut out your fabric. I used about 36" by 12" for a bag about 16" by 11". You can make any size you want—just cut out the width you want plus 1", and twice the height plus 2–3".

I used a vintage sheet for this bag, but I also made bags out of quilting cotton, corduroy, and even old pants.

2. Press under the short ends of the fabric twice. I did about 1/2", but I didn't measure since I wasn't concerned that the bag turn out exactly a certain size.

3. Stitch the pressed ends to hem.

You should have something like this.

4. Turn the fabric right side down.

5. Fold in one short side about 2 or 3 inches. This will be your envelope top.

6. Fold the other side to overlap the envelope top by about an inch. Press and pin.

7. Sew up the sides.

You should have something like this.

8. Turn right side out and press.


  1. These are genius for a roadtrip! What a great idea!

  2. What an awesome idea for my grandchildren who are taking an upcoming trip. Can't wait to get started.

  3. How cute.. and what a great idea for road trips... Enjoy your trip, and know the bags will be great entertainment for the kids..
    Happy and safe traveling.

  4. I love an easy project. And, I love a good road trip. Thank you for linking up on the Vintage Sheet Blog Weekend Link Up Party.