Gift cards are an excellent option when shopping time is tight or you're struggling to figure out someone's correct size, individual style or unique taste. That said, a gift card stuffed into an envelope can seem a little... well... impersonal. Our pretty fold-over gift card cases add the personal touch that says, "I may not know if you prefer bohemian or Burberry, but I know you're special, and I've made this just for you." There are two 4¾" pockets to hold gift cards, cash and/or a handwritten note.
Each pocket has a 2¼" high x 3¾" wide fabric-framed vinyl window, so the recipient can instantly see what fun's inside. We've even designed a sheet of ten custom-sized gift tags you can print and cut. Click on the image below to download the Gift Tag PDF. If possible, print on a heavy-weight paper or if your printer can't handle different types of paper, print on standard printer paper, glue to a heavy backing, then trim to size.
Although you can certainly use scraps to make these cute little cases, the design is best for an assembly line of multiple cases. That way, you can mix and match between them, using leftovers from one for the inside pocket "frames" on another, and making the most of the packaged binding.
We chose three fabrics from the High Street collection by Lily Ashbury for Moda Fabrics. We found good selections of High Street at Fat Quarter Shop, The Ribbon Retreat, and Fabric.com.
Each cases finishes at approximately 5¼" wide x 9¾" high when open and 5¼" wide x 3¾" high when closed. When it's done holding a gift card, the case would be perfect to use as a mini wallet or to hold business cards.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome 4120QDC)
NOTE: Make sure you start with a new machine needle to allow you to easily stitch through the vinyl.
Fabric and Other Supplies
Supplies shown are for ONE gift card case, but, as mentioned above, the design works best for multiple cases. You can then use scraps from one for the inside pocket "frames" on another.
- ¼ yard EACH of TWO coordinating 44"+ wide cotton fabrics
- ⅛ yard or scrap of a THIRD coordinating 44"+ wide cotton fabric
For our three samples we used the following combinations from the High Street collection by Lily Ashbury for Moda Fabrics (online shopping options are listed above in the introduction)
- Sample A (shown in the instructional photos): Claudia in Dark Pink for the exterior, Peacock Paisley in Dark Pink for the interior, and Lacey in Clementine for the interior pocket frame.
Sample B: Brigitte in Plum for the exterior, Daisy Foulard in Plum for the interior, and Ingrid Flowers in Lemonade for the interior pocket frame.
Sample C: Ingrid Flowers in Lemonade for the exterior, Lacey in Clementine for the interior, and Ingrid Flowers in Lemonade for the interior pocket frame.
- ⅛ yard or scrap of lightweight fusible interfacing; we used 950F ShirTailor® by Pellon
- ⅛ yard of 8-10 gauge clear sewing and craft vinyl
- 1 package of double fold bias tape - not the extra-wide double fold, but the standard double fold; we used Wrights Double Fold Bias Tape in Pinkfor Sample A and in Yellowfor Samples B and C
- ONE ½" decorative button
- All purpose thread to match fabric and binding
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- Download and print out TWO copies of the Gift Card Case pattern.
IMPORTANT: This pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out ONE pattern along the thick outer line. This is the pattern for the fabric pieces.
- Cut out the SECOND pattern along the thin inner line. This is the pattern for the interfacing pieces
- From both the interior and exterior fabric, use the larger pattern to fussy cut ONE piece from each.
NOTE: Take the extra time to carefully position your fabric's motif so it is centered top to bottom and side to side. It will then look lovely both open and folded shut.
- From the pocket frame fabric, cut the following strips:
FOUR 2" x 2¾"
THREE 1" x 5"
ONE 2" x 5"
NOTE: In the photo below you'll see that some of our stacks look like more than the required cuts listed above. This is correct; when working with tiny strips, we often cut a few extra in case we mess up... yes, we mess up sometimes too! The amounts listed above are correct number of strips needed for one case.
- From the vinyl, precisely cut TWO 4⅛" x 2¾" rectangles.
NOTE: To get the neatest wrap for the binding, it's important the cut edges of the vinyl are straight. It's easier to see and cut if you leave the protective paper in place.
- From the interfacing, use the smaller pattern to cut TWO pieces.
- Then cut each piece along the fold lines to yield three pieces.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Preparing the main panels
- Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of each main case panel. Fuse one section at a time, centering each on the panel so there is ¼" of fabric showing beyond the interfacing.
- Then, butt up the subsequent pieces so there is just a sliver of space between each interfacing section.
- Place the interior and exterior panels wrong sides together.
- Place the larger pattern over the top of the exterior side and use the dot on the pattern to mark the button placement.
- Thread a hand sewing needle with thread to match the INTERIOR fabric and neatly handstitch the button in place through both panels.
NOTE: Because this case is meant to be opened and closed repeatedly, the button will be most secure and stable if sewn through both the exterior and interior layers. However, this means your thread must match the interior fabric in order to be less-noticeable. (This also allows the button stitching to have a fun contrasting color when viewed from the front). It's important your stitching and knot be very small and neat - again to be the least noticeable on the inside. If you are unsure of your stitching, you could add one or two small squares of the lightweight fusible interfacing to the back of the exterior panel just behind the button placement mark. Fuse them in place to act as additional stability, and stitch the button through ONLY the exterior layer. Then place the interior and exterior panels wrong sides together once the button is in place.
Trimming the pockets
- Find all eight pocket frame strips and the two vinyl rectangles.
- On the four 2" x 2¾" side strips and the one 2" x 5" bottom strip, press back each long side of each strip ¼".
- On the three 1" x 5" top/bottom strips, press each in half lengthwise to set a center crease (so they would be ½" x 5"). Open the strip wrong side up so the crease line is visible. Press in each long raw edge so the two meet at the center crease line. Then, refold along the original fold line to create three small strips of ¼" double fold binding.
- You'll create the top pocket first.
- Find one vinyl rectangle. Bind the sides first. To do this, open up a side strip and place the side edge of the vinyl rectangle along one folded edge of the strip. The raw edge of the vinyl should be flush with the folded in raw edge of the strip. Pin in place through the vinyl, just catching the fabric enough to hold the vinyl steady.
- Fold the top of the binding down into position so the two folded edges are flush – one on top of the vinyl and one on the bottom.
- Thread the machine with thread to match the fabric in the top and bobbin. Lengthen your stitch slightly.
- Edgestitch the fabric strip to the vinyl, staying as close as you possibly can to the edges of the fabric. Remove the pins as you go along.
- Repeat to stitch a strip to the opposite side of the vinyl rectangle.
- Find two of the three narrow 5" strips. One is for the top and the second is for the bottom.
- As you did above for the side pieces, open up the binding strip and place the raw edge of the vinyl along the folded in edge of the fabric. In the case of the top and bottom trim pieces, the raw edge of the vinyl will sit right up against the center crease line of the fabric. The edges of the side binding pieces will extend beyond the top and bottom binding pieces a bit. This is fine and will be trimmed away later. Pin the top and bottom bindings in place flat - just as you did with the side bindings.
- Fold the top and bottom bindings over the vinyl and edgestitch in place, as above, stay very close to the folded edges of the fabric.
NOTE: In our photos, the vinyl is so clean and clear if looks like nothing is there... but it is; we promise.
- Trim away any excess side binding fabric so the sides are flush with the top and bottom and pocket measures 5" in width.
- To create the bottom pocket, attach the side bindings and the top binding in the same manner as above for the top pocket. The bottom edge is bound with the remaining wider 5" strip in the same manner as the side edges are bound. Pin in place.
- Then fold and edgestitch in place.
Placing the pockets onto the panel
- Place the case interior side up on your work surface. Place the larger pattern next it, aligning it top to bottom. Lay the top pocket on the interior panel. The top bound edge of the pocket should sit ¼" below the top fold line. The raw side edges of the pocket should be flush with the raw side edges of the panel. Pin in place.
- Thread the machine with thread to match the binding in the top and thread to match the exterior fabric in the bobbin.
- Edgestitch along ONLY the bottom edge of the bottom binding.
- Lay the bottom pocket on the interior panel. The top bound edge of the pocket should sit ¼" below the middle fold line. The raw side edges of the pocket should be flush with the raw side edges of the panel. The bottom bound edge of the pocket should be flush with the bottom raw edge of the panel. Pin in place.
- Machine baste along both sides and across the bottom edge of the panel through all the layers. Keep your stitching as close the raw edge as possible.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to match the binding in the top and bobbin. Set up the machine for a long basting stitch.
- Starting at the center bottom of the panel, slip the double fold bias binding over the raw edge. Pin in place.
- Machine baste in place.
- When you get to a corner (at the bottom and at the top curve), stop and remove the piece from under the needle.
- Miter the corner and continue around to the next side.
- When you get back around to your starting point, trim away the excess binding, fold under the raw edge and overlap the starting point by approximately 1". Finish the machine basting.
- When the bias binding is completely in place, go back around the entire perimeter with a zig zag stitch. This insures the narrow binding is truly secure.
- When the zig zag is complete, remove the basting stitches (the photos below with the buttonhole steps do a nice job of showing our zig zag stitch with the basting stitch removed).
NOTE: If you feel completely confident with your stitching and the ability to securely bind the entire piece with edgestitching, there's no reason you could not attach the binding in one step with a standard straight stitch.
- Using the pattern as a guide, mark the position of the buttonhole.
NOTE: We also recommend folding up the case into its final shape and confirming the buttonhole position with where your actual button is stitched into place. Adjust as needed.
- Following the instruction manual for your machine, stitch the buttonhole.
- Cut open the buttonhole with your seam ripper, working from the inside corner towards the middle to best avoid accidentally cutting into your stitching.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler