DIY Drawstring Hot Cocoa Bags – easy sewing gift idea!

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Sew some little drawstring bags – add a few packets of hot cocoa (maybe even a mug) – and you have a thoughtful gift!


For more fun projects like this, check out all my free sewing patterns.

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Drawstring Hot Cocoa Bags Pattern is included in the blog post below and is free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF pattern for $3 is optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library to access anytime you want? Check it out.


I first told you about this project last Saturday, when I started making little bags to hold hot chocolate packets for our elementary school’s holiday shop. The ‘holiday shop’ is a school fundraiser where crafty moms and grandmas get the chance to sew stuff to donate, and then kids can bring in a few dollars to shop during one of the weeks before Christmas break. The items are priced ridiculously low, but it’s all for a good cause since 100% of the proceeds go to the school.

I love this fundraiser because I feel like I can help the school without buying overpriced wrapping paper or plastic cups!


The ribbon drawstring bags that I’m sewing are two different sizes. The larger bag is approximately 9 1/2’’ tall and 9’’ wide.

It can fit a mug plus the hot cocoa packets (or spoons) inside!

This cute hot cocoa themed fabric is from the Kringle’s Sweet Shop collection from Blend Fabrics.

This cute hot cocoa themed fabric is from the Kringle’s Sweet Shop collection from Blend Fabrics.

The smaller drawstring bag measures about 7’’ tall and 5’’ wide.


It is just the right size for a few hot cocoa packets!

The bags have (optional) boxed corners to make them cuter and help them hold their sweet contents.


Just in case you (like me) plan to make a whole bunch of little drawstring bags, I am going to share tips for sewing up lots at one time.

Bonus – this project is fat quarter friendly! From a fat quarter, you can make 1 of the larger drawstring bags or 3 of the smaller bags.

So let’s get started! The instructions are pretty much the same for both sizes of bag. I’ll show you where they differ along the way. There are 4 main steps for this project, and I suggest that you complete each step for all the bags before you move on to the next step.

Step 1: Cutting

For each large drawstring bag, cut:

  • 2 fabric rectangles 13’’ tall x 10’’ wide

  • 2 pieces of ribbon, each 24’’ long (1/4’’, 3/8’’, or 1/2’’ ribbon would work great)

For each small drawstring bag, cut:

  • 2 fabric rectangles 9’’ tall x 6’’ wide

  • 2 pieces of ribbon, each 16’’ long (1/4’’, 3/8’’, or 1/2’’ ribbon would work great)

Cut all of the pieces that you need for all of your bags before moving on.


Step 2: Pressing

1. Press the top edge of each fabric piece to the wrong side by 1/4’’.


2. Then fold the top of each piece over again and press.

  • for the large bags, press over 2’’

  • for the small bags, press over 1 1/2’’

Press the tops of all of the fabric pieces before moving on.


Step 3: Sewing

1. Place two pieces right sides together, temporarily unfolding the top edges for a few minutes while you sew.


2. Stitch the sides and bottom edges together with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

Note: for a proper finish, press the seams open or serge the edges. I did neither since I still had 26 bags to make!

This is one of the larger bags.

This is one of the larger bags.

3. To box the corners, nest the side and bottom seam together, making the corner flat as seen above.

For the larger bags, draw a line about 1’’ away from the tip.

For the smaller bags, draw a line about 1/2’’ away from the tip.


4. Stitch across the line that you drew.


5. Trim away the corner 1/4’’ past the line.

Repeat 3- 5 above for the other corner of the bag.

Tip: I like to sew up to this point on all the bags that I’m working on. Then I take a break to pin the casings down on all of them (see next step).


6. Fold the casing down to the inside along the folds that you pressed in the first step. Pin in place.


7. Using the free arm on your sewing machine, stitch all the way around the bag, close to the fold.


The small bags are too small for my sewing machine’s free arm, so I turned them right side out and stitched through the opening (see above).


8. Finish the casing by sewing around the bag one more time – sewing half way in between the first line of stitching and the top edge of the bag.

Trim the stray threads and sew up to this point for all your bags. Turn all of the bags right side out.

Step 4: Insert the Drawstrings

1. Using your seam ripper, cut just a few threads in each side seam of the casing (both sides). The casing is the portion in between the two lines of stitching on the outside of the bag.

Note: I really love my surgical seam ripper – but any kind of seam ripper will work for this step.


2. Use a bodkin or a safety pin to insert one of the ribbon pieces through the casing on one side of the bag.

Note: the ribbon pieces for my larger bags are approximately 24’’ long. For my smaller bags they are about 15-16’’ long.

3. Flip the bag over and re-insert the bodkin or safety pin to thread the ribbon through the casing on the other side of the bag. The beginning of the ribbon should emerge next to the end of the same piece. Tie the two ends together.


4. Repeat step 3 with the second piece of ribbon, inserting the bodkin from the opposite side seam of the bag, so that there will be a knot with ribbon ends on both sides of the bag.

Done! Finish all of your DIY Hot Cocoa Bags the same way. 🙂

I’d love to see the fabrics you choose for making hot cocoa bags for all your friends, family, and co-workers! If you share on Instagram make sure to tag me @sewcanshe.

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