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Tutorial: How to Make a Bread Bag

July 6, 2011

Even if you don’t bake your own bread, these bread bags are great for storing shop-bought bread in. Not only does it look waaaaay better than those horrible plastic wrappers, but it’s easier to keep closed, thus helping to prevent your bread from going stale or mouldy. This tutorial will make a bread bag suitable for bread made in most standard bread loaf tins. You can tweek the dimensions if you have abnormally large tins or a breadmaker.


  • 20″ by 17″ piece of heavy-duty fabric such as canvas or ticking
  • coordinating thread
  • a strip of fabric measuring 15″ long by 2″ wide for the tie. Alternatively you can use some thick ribbon or cotton tape
  • an iron and ironing board

Things to consider: Do not attempt to use a drawstring instead of the tie, it will not close tightly enough and you will have a small air hole at the top of your bag (I learnt the hard way). A tie closure means you can get it nice and tight around the neck of the bag, ensuring your bread stays fresh.

Step 1:

Using your iron, press down a quarter of an inch on the top of your piece of fabric, folding in to the wrong side of the fabric. Do this again with another quarter of an inch of fabric so that the raw edge is enclosed in the double fold.

Step 2:

Topstitch the pressed hem closed at the top.

Step 3:

Fold fabric so that both sides meet, right sides together, and stitch together, using a quarter-inch seam allowance. When you get to the bottom of the fabric, pivot your fabric round 90 degrees and continue sewing, stitching the bottom of the bag closed.

Step 4:

Zigzag your seams.

Step 5:

Give your bag a square bottom by taking each corner, one at a time, and manipulating it so that the seam runs down vertically from the corner and you have a triangular shape. Using a ruler measure where the triangle is 4″ across and draw a line here (in pencil). Stitch over the line.

Repeat for the other corner. Once you have stitched across both corners this way cut off the fabric triangle about half an inch from your stitches and then zigzag the seam of the bag.

The photographs are probably easier to understand than my garbled instructions.

Step 6:

Turn the bag right sides out. Now you can make your tape to tie the bag closed. Take your long thin piece of fabric and press the two short edges a quarter of an inch down, with wrong sides together. Then bring the two long edges together, wrong sides together and press. Then open up and fold over each edge again into the middle crease. Once the two edges are pressed into the middle of the strip of fabric fold it in half again along your middle crease and press again. Topstitch the edges together to close the strip of fabric. You should now have a strip of fabric tape to use as the tie for the bag.

Step 7:

Sew your tape to the bag. Along the seam at the top of the bag, about an inch down from the top hem, pin your fabric and then sew it in place using a rectangle pattern with a cross in it. This gives a very secure stitch.

Your bag is now ready to use!

Yes, I know, I need a new ironing board cover. It is on my list of things to do, I promise.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. Cloud Spotter permalink
    July 7, 2011 9:43 am


    The bags are just what I needed. The bread stayed fresh and crust stayed crispy.

  2. July 13, 2011 6:49 pm

    *wants one*

  3. July 26, 2011 4:38 pm

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! Looks simple to make and certainly useful. I need to make one soon.

  4. Suza permalink
    May 7, 2012 4:26 pm

    LOVE IT !

  5. Caitlyn permalink
    May 12, 2012 6:17 pm

    ok so which is the top side? The 20″ or 17″?

  6. August 30, 2012 1:58 am

    Reblogged this on Sanity In Suburbia and commented:
    I bought my daughter a sewing machine last year. I’m trying to get rid of plastic. I make some of my own bread. Here’s a great tutorial on how to make a bread bag. Linen tea towels are the basis of the Swedish bread bag and occasionally I see teatowels on special…

  7. January 9, 2013 10:29 pm

    Thanks so much for the instructions.. I was sooo trying to figure out the whole square bottom thing and you made it soooooo simple… on my way to making great bread bag gifts…thanks again…. ontario canada….eh!!

  8. December 14, 2013 12:25 am

    This is fantastic, I’ve been looking for something like this – I knew they existed! 😉

  9. January 9, 2014 4:03 am

    Oh dear. While the bag I made is lovely, my bread doesn’t fit inside it! I’m using 9 x 12 pans. Maybe your loves are smaller?

    It’s still a nice bag, so maybe I can store some other baked goods in it.

    • January 9, 2014 7:31 am

      Oh no! Yes my loaves are smaller, I should go back and edit this tutorial with the size of my bread tins in! I suppose you could still use it when you make things like rolls and bagels?

      • January 9, 2014 6:25 pm

        I was able to figure out how to resolve the problem. I had been making two at the same time, so I had one only partway done. If I do the bag 20 wide by 17 long, my bread will fit just fine. I think I might do the next one 22 x 18 though.

        I gave the other one to my kids, and it has become a stuffed cat sleeping bag 🙂

      • January 9, 2014 7:39 pm

        I love the idea of a stuffed cat sleeping bag!

  10. January 29, 2014 12:29 pm

    I have a couple of queries on the instructions…

    Step 1 – fold and press the top and two sides… yet the pictures show only the top folded and the sides raw. Which edges did you intend us to fold and press?

    Step 3 – pivot 45 degrees and continue sewing… I assume was meant to be pivot 90 degrees and continue?

    • January 31, 2014 12:11 pm

      Hi, Yes, sorry that should be pivot 90 degrees! I will edit that in the tutorial.

      As for step two, the photos do show the sides raw, I wrote the instructions before making and taking the photos, I will take that out if it was confusing you? Although, it really is a personal preference, you could have ironed the edges to enclose the raw edge first, it would have made no difference to your finished bread bag.

  11. December 4, 2014 7:51 pm

    Thanks for the instructions! I am, at the last minute, making a swap gift for my Relief Society Christmas party at church tonight. This is perfect!

  12. Monica permalink
    January 9, 2015 6:48 am

    This is a great tutorial, love the squared bottom, can’t wait to try it!

  13. April 8, 2015 6:59 pm

    Thanks for this, very easy to follow, really pleased with my bag.

  14. Grace permalink
    June 19, 2015 3:52 pm

    Just made a bag using heavy linen. It is perfect! I saw two linen bread bags for $36 plus shipping online, Crazy. I like that your pattern does not have a drawstring; during the summer I have problems with fruit flies and this should keep them off my bread. Thank you so much for your pattern.

  15. December 9, 2015 4:32 pm

    Reblogged this on VitalWrite and commented:
    Writing often goes by the wayside near Christmas because I’m so busy making presents. Just used this pattern for the third time. Fantastic!

  16. Clarissa permalink
    July 26, 2016 7:35 pm

    Thanks for suggesting a tie instead of drawstring!


  1. Christmas Gifts 2011 « My Greenwood Life

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