How to decorate and upcycle an organza bag

an organza bag with ribbon embroidery

Do you save those little organza bags that you get with purchases or gifts of jewellery and keyrings at craft fairs and online places like Etsy? I always keep them, along with gift bags and boxes ready to use again, they are just too nice and useful looking to throw away. The problem however, is that I rarely have a chance to actually use them! I might use one to give a small handmade gift in but to be totally honest that doesn’t come up very often.

This month the theme for the Sustainable Pinterest Challenge is NATURE and I was inspired by this pin from Fresh Vintage by Lisa S where Lisa embroidered a little organza bag and filled it with lavender. Now is the time of year when any lavender you harvested to dry earlier in the summer will be about ready to use so hopefully the timing is good.


I loved the idea of decorating an organza bag with a lavender motif and thought rather than just copying what Lisa had done I would mix things up a bit and try some simple ribbon applique.

This was my organza bag before decoration.

It doesn’t really show in this photo but it’s a light silver colour. It’s not one of those tiny organza bags, this one measures 14cm x 20cm (5.75” x 8”)

To decorate this bag I also used:

  • 3 lengths of thin green ribbon 6cm (2.5” )

  • 3 strips of purple fabric approx 12cm (4.5”) long and 1/2cm or 3/5” wide (or use a purple ribbon of course, I just didn’t have enough in my stash)

  • Green thread and purple thread

  • A small purple bow

  • A needle and scissors

I drew a simple design on a bit of scrap paper and slipped it inside the bag and traced it with an erasable pen. To be honest, it didn’t show very well and on reflection a simple pencil line would have been fine.

stitching green ribbon onto an organza bag

Simple lavender design ribbon applique

Start by sealing the ends of your thin green ribbon with a flame. Obviously do this very carefully, it only takes the tiniest fraction of a second. This is worth doing, if you catch the end of the ribbon as you sew it on it can come all unravelled (apparently!!) Take a length of green thread and sew the ribbon lengths in place using a simple running stitch, no need for anything fancy here.

stitching a purple ribbon to an organza bag

Next take one of your lengths of purple fabric, knot a length of purple thread and run a line of gathering stitches up the centre of the strip. Pull the stitches up until the fabric is a good length for a lavender flower head. Stitch it in place with a few stitches at each end.

Add a purple bow to the middle with a couple of stitches to finish the decoration. I’ve turned it over in this last photo so you can see what the back looks like. It’s hard to do neat careful stitches on the fine organza, so “not neat” stitches are fine! You do really need to stitch this decoration in place though. I’ve not had any success with glue and organza bags, nothing seems to stick very well!

An organza bag filled with lavender and decorated with applique

Fill your bag with dried lavender and it’s ready to pop in your wardrobe or gift to a friend.

If you fill an organza bag with your own, home dried lavender you may need to give it a bit of a shake outside to remove any fine dusty bits. My lavender needed that, very fine dusty particles were dropping all over the place to start with. Shop bought lavender must be processed differently as it doesn’t seem to be so dusty. Maybe it gets shaken a lot during the drying process or something?

Dried lavender keeps it’s scent for a while but will fade over time. If you give your lavender bag a bit of a squeeze and a squish every now and again the scent will be refreshed.


Now let’s check out the other Nature themed crafts that my fellow Sustainable Pinterest Bloggers have been up to;

A collage of nature inspired crafts

Julie | Sum of their Stories | How to decorate an organza bag (that’s this tutorial that you’ve just read!)

Allyson | Southern Sunflowers | Pinecone Picture Frame

Gail | Purple Hues and Me | Pinecone Fall Swag

T’onna | Sew Crafty Crochet | Fall Leaves Masks

Marianne | Songbird |Easy Pinecone Centerpiece

Jo | Rose Tinted World | Autumn Leaf Candle Jar

Terri | A Good Life | Danmalas Flower Circle

Julie | Treasures Made From Yarn |Cat Toys

Ann | The Apple Street Cottage |Pinecone Mum Arrangement

Donna | Modern on Monticello | Primitive Sunflowers from Scrap Fabric

Niki | Life as a LEO Wife | DIY Pumpkin Vase

Mel | Decor Craft Design | DIY Pinecones for Fall

What a lovely collection of idea. I am excited to check out all the crafts with pinecones. We have some that have been used for many years in Christmas decorating, it’ll be nice to breath some new life into them with some fresh autumn ideas.