DIY Welcome Bag

So you’ve invited guests from all over the world to your wedding. Fantastic! They haven’t been to your wedding destination before. How fun! They won’t have a clue about what to do or where to go. Oh oh…

What to do, what to do, what to do? You could make a sweet wedding welcome tote bag, and then fill it with goodies to point your guests in the right direction, ease their minds, and make them feel welcome.


–          Four 30 cm x 17 cm (11.8 in x 6.7 in) pieces of material (for the bag)

–          Two 8 cm x 41 cm (8.14 in x 16.14 in) pieces of material (for the bag straps)

–          Paper

–          Decorating material: textile paint and paintbrush, textile markers, iron-on transfers, a stencil, or stamp

–          Pins

–          Scissors

–          Pencil

–          Sewing machine with thread

Estimated cost: less than $1 per bag

Note: 1 cm = 0.393701 inches



Step 1:

Pin the four pieces of 30 cm x 17 cm bag material together in pairs, right (pretty) sides facing each other. Draw a 27.5 cm x 13.5 cm rectangle in the center on one side of each pair. This does not need to be precise, but the more accurate, the better.

Step 2:

Create bag design. If you’re using an iron-on transfer or painting free hand, do it on the right side of one set of the pairs.

If you’re using a stencil, create a 27.5 cm x 13.5 cm rectangle out of paper to represent the surface area of the bag. Next draw your design on the paper rectangle, as you would like to see it on the bag, and pin it in line with the rectangle on one set of the pairs, facing down. Flip the material over and trace the pattern onto the right side of the material using pencil, then paint or draw over it.

Step 3:

Sew around three edges of both pairs of material, leaving the top open. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end. Press the material into place.

Step 4:

Fold the top to meet the top line of the drawn rectangle and press into place. Flip over and repeat. Stitch down, but be careful not to stitch the bag closed.

Step 5:

Pinch the bottom corner together and measure out 1.5 cm from the tip then stitch across. Repeat until all four corners are done.

Step 6:

Turn the bag without the design inside-out and place inside the bag with the design so that the right (pretty) sides are touching.  Set aside.

Step 7:

Take two 8 cm x 41 cm strap pieces and fold them in half width-wise, then press into place. Unfold. Fold the outside of each strap piece to meet the middle line and press into place. Fold in half and press into place. Pin together and stitch each strap from top to bottom. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end.

Step 8:

Measure 2.5 cm from the edge of each bag and mark it with a pin. Place straps, ends up, in-between the two bag pieces and pin into place.

Step 9:

Sew around the top of the entire bag, leaving a gap of 3 cm then use this space to turn the bag inside out.

Step 10:

Push the lining into the bag, press into place, pin and stitch around the top to close.

Step 11:

Fill bag with goodies (link to “what to put into a welcome bag” article) and a welcome booklet (link to welcome booklet tutorial). Voila!


What would you put into your ideal welcome bag?


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