The Gifted Blog

March 10, 2010

Double Ruffle Gift Topper | Tutorial

Tired of putting the same old bow on your presents? Switch it up with a Double Ruffle Gift Topper! This unique gift adornment is reusable and made with recycled material.
This tutorial was conceived in the wake of a clothes swap. A group of friends got together with their cast-off clothing, and we spent the morning trying things on and picking out items to take home. As I gathered the leftover clothes, I was inspired to play around with a few of the pieces.

This tank top looked pretty bizarre on me, but I loved the bright red color and soft, thin material. Got an unwanted t-shirt lying around? Grab it and let's get started! (You'll also want: a needle and matching thread, scissors, and a piece of elastic.)

We'll start off nice and easy. Lay your shirt flat and cut off the bottom hem, leaving the stitching on the t-shirt intact. (Note: This 14"-wide shirt made a 3"-long gift topper. A wider shirt will make a longer ruffle; you can also use the edge of a sleeve if you'd like a smaller version.)

Next, take a needle and thread and do a running stitch through the stitching on the edge of the strip. I found that using big, uneven stitches made the most interesting pattern. Pull the thread to gather the strip as you go.

Stitch and pull until the whole loop of fabric is gathered snugly. Knot and cut thread.

Flip and arrange ruffle so the raw edges are facing up. Stitch the two sides together, inserting the needle close to the raw edges.

After stitching up and down through the ruffle (as seen above), you may need to make a few more stitches to hold everything together. Stitch until ruffle is securely held together. Knot and cut thread.

Almost done! Measure a piece of elastic that fits your box of choice. (If it's a small box like this one, you can substitute a ponytail holder.)

Stitch an "X" to make it a loop.

Place the bottom edge of double ruffle against the elastic and secure it to the loop with a few stitches on either side of the "X". Here, the thread is going around the elastic, not through it, so the elastic can stretch without breaking the ruffle.

Flip it right-side out and voila...

A beautiful, reusable Double Ruffle Gift Topper! Well done you.

Of course, we want to see your work if you try this project. Submit your images to The Gifted Blog Reader Gallery to share!

What do you think? Anything that needs clarification? I'd love your feedback.


  1. Wow it's cute! I like this coral-like orange color. :)
    Thank you for sharing how to make! It seems all kinds of rim...even sox are usable, aren't they?

  2. So cute! Maybe I will try it... :) I loved the way that you re-worked your clothes (and your t-shirt sale!) in college. Do you still do that?

  3. I love it! This might be my favorite one yet. And I'm thinking that bow could be used as a headband when the gift is unwrapped?

  4. love it!! thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for all the positive feedback!

    Makiko - I think you're right. You could use all kinds of things to make the ruffle. I liked using the shirt hem because it was already folded on one side and sewn shut on the other.

    Jessica - Go for it! (But maybe plan your wedding first, hee hee.) It's funny you mention re-working clothes...I hadn't done that in so long, but after the clothes swap I was really inspired and did two shirts! They turned out kind of Anthropologie-style; I'm really enjoying them.

    Luci - Great idea for a variation! You could totally work this as a hair accessory. I'm sure with your sewing skills you could do a lot more with this than I've done.

    Sha - Thanks, sissie. : )

  6. This is beautiful! I love the colors. :)

    I'd cut up some of my old t-shirts but my mother is coming for a visit at the end of April and invariably she will want to know why I was cutting up "good clothes" instead of repairing them or giving them away :-p [note to self: get rid of the evidence of that sheet you cut up . . . ]

    :) Regardless, I may perhaps try this with some craft felt. I have a present in mind that I think it would look nice on.

  7. Cute - I love it, this would be great with a few colors too.

  8. wow, how long did it take to make this?

  9. Sora - Funny you ask. It took probably about 30 minutes of hands-on time, spread over the course of 3 weeks. (I got sidetracked.)

    It's a little hard for me to judge b/c of the added time of setting up shots and photographing between each step, but I think a half-hour is a fair (if not generous) guess!

  10. luv this tute, very creative & easy to make, I will definitely keep this mind for my next gift!


  11. I love it!! Thanks for sharing this awesome idea. I linked to your tut in my blog. :)

    Eleonora from Sweden

  12. I likey!! Definitely going to try this out!! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  13. @seesuestitch, Zarinaia, & OneCraftyFox - Thanks so much, ladies! Please let me know if you try it - I would love to see your results in The Gifted Blog Flickr pool!

  14. I just stumbled on this gift wrapping idea and it is genius! I have a whole bin of old tank tops that may finally be pulled out of my closet.

    P.S. Love your blog.


  15. @The Bella Life - Camberley, thanks so much for the kind words! It was so fun to go through remnants of the clothing swap I hosted and find new things to do w/ the old stuff. Hope you have fun with the tank tops in your closet!


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