How to easily repurpose an old sweater into a cute custom wine carrier tote or diy bottle gift bag
As I was cleaning my craft room the other day, I came across a pile of old (and ugly) sweaters that I bought a few years back with the intention of upcycling or repurposing them. Since Christmas is right around the corner, I thought it might be fun to make some of the sweaters into wine bottle sweaters or gift bags.
Who doesn’t love to receive a nice bottle of wine for a gift? Not just for the Holidays, of course but anytime, right?! Not only is it an affordable and easy gift but personally, I like to give and receive consumables. Nobody needs more stuff sitting around!
What is a wine bottle bag?
It is simply a gift bag made specifically for a bottle of wine. You can buy special bags at the store but those can be kind of boring. As always, it is much more fun to make your own wine gift bag, don’t you think?
Oh also, you are not limited to using a sweater by any means! Flannel shirts work great and can look fun and festive. Also, old fleece shirts or jackets can be used as well. Just make sure that whatever material you choose is not too thin. You don’t want the bag and bottle to break!
Alright, so technically, the sweater I used was a pre-felted jacket made with 100% wool which is actually perfect for this pattern. I got really lucky to find this material which was probably a pretty expensive jacket at one time.
I love the detail of the embroidered and beaded snowflakes. Perfect for a Christmas gift bag!
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Making the wine bag, step by step:
- Old sweater, jacket or flannel
- Fabric Scissors
- Sewing Needle
- Sewing Machine (optional)
- Ribbon or Cording
Measure the sleeve
The first thing you want to do is figure out how big your gift bag needs to be. So, take a regular sized wine bottle and place it inside one of the the sleeves of your sweater.
Now you need to decide if you want a cuff at the top of you bag or not. Some sweaters have a nice cuff detail but others don’t. There is no right or wrong here, it is really up to you. Also, decide if you want to fold over the top of your bag to give it more of a pronounced edge.
This jacket did not have a nice cuff so I just decided to make the top of the wine bag a couple inches taller than the wine bottle which gives me space to put a colorful ribbon.
So, once you know where the top of the bag will be, turn your sleeve inside out and place a pin where you will sew a straight line across the bottom of your sleeve.
Sew the gift bag
Now, place pins all along the bottom seam line and then cut the sleeve off about one inch below the pins. That will give you enough of a seam allowance. (If it ends up being too bulky, you can always cut off a bit more fabric.
Taking needle and thread or your sewing machine, sew a straight line across the bottom of your wine bag where you placed the pins.
Now comes the tricky part. In order for the wine bag to stand upright, you need to sew what are called ‘grocery bag’ corners. If you turn a paper grocery bag inside out, you’ll see the corners are folded, perpendicular to the long bottom edge.
So, take a corner of the bottom of your sleeve and fold it 90 degrees from the first seam. Place a pin and sew it. Repeat with the other corner.
Finishing the wine gift bag
That’s really all there’s to it. This is a super simple sewing project and it really only took me 30 minutes from start to finish to make this wine bottle bag, perfect for a last minute hostess gift, Birthday present or Christmas gift idea.
Here’s a really old post where I shared how to make Fingerless Gloves from an Old Sweater. No knitting or crochet required! And these Old Sweater Vase Cozies would be a great Winter decoration for the mantel.
I’ll be making other fun things from old sweaters soon. Check back often!