Ahhhhh, the gift card. It seems to be such a common choice, and not just as a last minute grab for someone hard to shop for. Gift cards appear to be the go-to gift for anyone and any occasion. Let's face it - they're easy to find, quick to buy, come in any denomination, and are... stunningly impersonal. Maybe it's just me, but a gift card seems to say, "I couldn't really be bothered to find you a present; how about you go get yourself a little something?" But who am I to rain on the gift-giving parade?! Instead, how about we at least put the gift card into a super cool little handmade holder. Something that can be used even after the gift card's been spent. Our handy holder is also perfect for business cards or to stash your license and credit card when traveling light for a night on the town. Slip it in your pocket or use the key ring to hook it on to a purse or belt. Now it says, "I made this just for you!"
Our gift card holders finish at 9¼" x 2¾" flat and 4" x 2¾" folded. Each holder takes just TWO 11" x 4" rectangles; one for the front and one for the lining. However, if you want to do specific fussy cutting, you'll want to start with a slightly larger piece.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome 3160QDC)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- Scraps or two coordinating ¼ yard cuts of cotton fabric: we used Patty Young's Flora & Fauna for Michael Miller Fabrics in Stone Hive (front) and Lime Blossoms (lining), Tula Pink's Parisville for Free Spirit Fabrics in Pomegranate Fans (front) and Dusk Eyedrops (lining), and Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow for Free Spirit Fabrics in Grass Herringbone (front) and Maple Acorn Chain (lining)
- Scraps or ¼ yard of light to medium weight fusible interfacing
- ½ yard of ½" grosgrain ribbon to coordinate with outside fabric
- One split key ring
- One black or color-coordinated hair elastic
- One ¾" - 1" accent button
- Fusible seam tape: such as Steam-A-Seam
- All purpose thread to match fabric and ribbon
NOTE: On two of the three holders I made, I used matching thread; but on the third, I chose a contrasting pink thread against the wine ribbon... also cute, don't you think?
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- Download and print the Gift Card Case pattern. Print TWO copies of the pattern.
IMPORTANT: This pattern consists of 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 solid line; this will be the pattern for your fabric.
- Cut out the second pattern along the dotted line; this will be the pattern for your interfacing.
- From the fabric(s) for your holder front, use the pattern to cut one front piece and one lining piece.
NOTE: I fussy cut all my fabrics and so cut each fabric individually. If you have fabric for which a fussy cut isn't critical and/or you aren't worried about the lining fabric, you can stack your front fabric and lining fabric and pin the pattern piece through both layers. This way, you only need to cut once and can be guaranteed your two pieces are exactly the same size.
- From the fusible interfacing, use the smaller pattern piece to cut one piece of interfacing for each card holder.
- Use the larger pattern piece to measure and 'pinch' your ribbon into its key ring loop. To do this, start with one raw edge of the ribbon just barely beyond the top of the pattern piece. Run it down to the first fold line and pinch a 1" loop (you need 2" of ribbon to create a 1" loop).
- Carefully slip a key ring into the loop, then place a pin at the base of the loop to hold it in place. Continue running the ribbon down the middle of the pattern to just past the bottom edge. Trim the ribbon at this point.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Thread your machine with thread that matches your ribbon.
- Stitch a horizontal line across the ribbon at the base of the loop - exactly where you placed your pin. Stitch back and forth once or twice to secure.
- Place the stitched ribbon on the front fabric piece. I used my paper pattern to make sure my ribbon stitch line still lined up correctly with the fold line, then used my seam guage to make sure the ribbon was centered side to side.
- You can simply pin the ribbon in place, or your can use a fusible seam tape, like Steam-A-Seam to adhere it. This was my choice.
- Carefully edgestitch the ribbon in place, working from the bottom up to the ribbon's seam line. When you get to this seam line, lock your stitch, and remove the project from the machine.
- Fold the loop down and out of the way, then replace the project under the needle to finish the edgestitching.
- Repeat to edgestitch the opposite side of the ribbon.
- Cut the hair elastic in half and center it at the top raw edge of the ribbon. The raw ends of the hair elastic should extend just beyond the raw edge of the ribbon and fabric. Machine baste the hair elastic in place close to the raw edges.
NOTE: I did not attempt to pin the hair elastic in place, I simply held it in place with my finger and carefully slid the project under the needle. I used my fingernail (you could also use the end of a pin) to keep the ends aligned as I stitched back and forth.
- Following manufacturer's directions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the lining, centering the interfacing. There should be ¼" between the edge of the interfacing and the raw edge of the fabric.
- Place the finished front and the interfaced lining right sides together. Pin in place. Leave a 1" - 2" opening near the top of the holder along one side.
NOTE: We've marked our suggested point for this opening on the pattern piece.
- If necessary, re-thread your machine with thread to match your fabric. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch the front and lining together, remembering to leave that opening.
IMPORTANT: Backstitch at the top over the ends of the hair elastic. This little elastic will take some yanking, so you should get it as secure as possible. I stitched across, backstitched all the way over and then stitched across again... so three lines of stitching all together.
- Clip all the corners on a diagonal and turn the holder right side out. Gently push out corners using your finger or a long tool with a blunt end, like a large knitting needle or chop stick.
- Press flat, making sure the raw edges of the opening are pressed flush with the sewn seam.
- To place the button, first match the finished flat holder against the pattern. Mark the second fold point with a pin. The button should be positioned approximately 1½" from the bottom edge. Mark this point with another pin.
- But... don't take my word for it! Fold the holder into its finished 'envelope' shape, and, holding the button in place with your fingers, test that the elastic will stretch over the button and the holder will lay flat when closed.
- Hand stitch the button securely in place while the holder is flat.
- Fold up the bottom of the holder again, checking it against the pattern just to be sure everything still lines up.
- Stitch both sides in place using a 1/8" to 1/4" seam (this also closes the opening left from turning right side out). It's best to start at the top and stitch down to the bottom fold. You have more traction starting with your presser foot against the fabric of the flap.
NOTE: If your machine allows, use a lock stitch instead of a back tack. It makes a cleaner line of stitching.
- Insert your gift card and close the flap.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson
Other machines suitable for this project include the Singer 4423 and the Brother PC-420 Project Runway.