As a site dedicated to promoting all things handmade, we probably shouldn’t be advocating the gift card. But… what if you put the gift card inside a super cute, handmade case? All bases covered, and everybody’s happy. Plus, when the gift card is spent, the case can still be used to hold cards and cash for a quick shopping trip. We even added a key ring to clip on a house or car key. Take it by itself or toss it into a larger tote. You could even use one as a clever case for your business cards.
As extra personalization, we added a bit of embellishment on each flap. Thanks to the world of scrapbooking, the choices for adhesive shapes and letters are nearly endless. We found our four seasonal options in the blink of an eye at a local craft store: three different sparkling snowflakes and a glittering dimensional letter set. The strength of the adhesive is just right for gift giving, allowing the element to be removed for after-holiday use if so desired. For a stronger bond, simply add a drop of permanent fabric glue.
If your machine has a monogramming function, that’s yet another option. We stitched out a ¾” single Block Letter Monogram on our Janome Memory Craft 9900. It was a perfect fit within the 1½” stripe on our exterior fabric. This step should be done prior to sewing the exterior to the lining so the lining remains smooth.
The key ring loop is optional, but adds a handy extra feature. The steps below show you how we made our loops from the exterior fabric. You could also use a sturdy ribbon, such as a double-layer grosgrain, or a heavy twill tape.
The snap closure on the flap is also optional. You could use a button and buttonhole or even Velcro®. But, we thought cute plastic snaps were the perfect bright and happy choice to match our colorful holiday fabrics. We chose a plain red snap cover, but there are lots of fun colors and many of them feature little embossed designs. If you are new to working with plastic snaps, we have a full step-by-step tutorial. Our tutorial outlines working with Babyville brand snaps, but the process is similar for most plastic snap options. You could also use a standard metal snap, and of course… we have a step-by-step tutorial for that too.
For the best fussy cut, we recommend starting with a scrap about 11″ high x 6″ wide. This gives you enough wiggle room to shift the pattern up and down and side to side to get the very best look. This is why we recommend ⅓ yard cuts below, however, this is a ScrapBusters project, so scour your scrap bin for just the right size and shape.
It’s fun to use an extra pretty print for the lining so there’s a pop of color when the case is opened. We originally selected three colors of Reindeer Toss from the Rudolph and Friends collection by Quilting Treasures.
Even though made with scraps in mind, buying a ⅓ yard cut and going into assembly-line mode might be just the ticket to power through your gift list. With some clever cutting, you could get nine cases from a ⅓ yard of a pretty 54″ wide home décor fabric, which is what we chose for our exterior stripe.
Traditional cottons for the lining are usually just 44-45″ wide, so to have a sufficient amount of matching lining fabric, you’d want to go up to ⅔ of a yard. You could get all those teacher gifts done in a single afternoon! Working with Fat Quarters is also an idea.
We offer a free pattern download below so you can get the perfect concave and convex curves.
Our cases finish at approximately 4½” wide x 3⅜” high when fully folded.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Quarter Inch Seam foot; optional, but helpful as all seams are ¼”
- Edge Guide foot; optional, but helpful for precise topstitching and edgestitching
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: Supplies listed below are for ONE case.
- Scraps or ⅓ yard of a 45″+ medium-weight striped canvas or similar for the case exterior and key ring loop
- Scrap or ⅓ yard of a 44″+ quilting weight cotton or similar for the case lining
- ¼ yard of 20″+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing
- ONE ½” plastic or metal snap; optional
- ONE 1″ split key ring; optional
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Adhesive letter or emblem for optional flap embellishment
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print the Gift Card Case pattern.
IMPORTANT: This pattern download consists of ONE 8½” x 11″ sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page to confirm your print out is to the correct scale.
- Cut out the pattern along the solid line.
- From the fabric for the exterior and key ring loop, cut the following:
ONE 1½” x 2″ strip, cut from within the solid colored stripe
Using the pattern, fussy cut one exterior panel; we were careful to center our stripes.
- From the fabric for the lining, use the pattern to cut ONE panel.
- From the fusible interfacing, use the pattern to cut ONE panel.
- Remember to transfer all the pattern markings. There are two large dots for the snap placement…
- … and two small dots for centering the key ring loop.
- Mark both sides of both fabric panels.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Place the interfacing on the wrong side of the lining panel. All edges of both layers should be flush.
- Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing in place.
Create and place the key ring loop
- Find the 1½” x 2″ strip. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, so it is now ¾” x 2″. Pin along the 2″ side.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch the short seam. We used our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot. The ends remain open and raw.
- Turn the strip right side out through the open ends. Press the strip flat with its seam running along one edge
- Fold the sewn strip in half, matching the raw ends, to form a loop.
- Find the exterior panel. Place it right side up on your work surface.
- Position the loop along the right side of the panel, using the dots from the pattern as your placement guide. The raw edges of the loop and the fabric are flush and the loop itself is facing in towards the middle of the panel. The seam of the loop should be facing down towards the bottom of the case (the concave curve).
- Hand or machine baste the loop in place within the seam allowance.
NOTE: Remember you can substitute a heavy ribbon for this loop.
Assemble front to back and set snaps
- Collect the front and back panels.
NOTE: If adding machine embroidery, stabilize the area and embroider your letter or small design at this point in the construction. Your embroidery’s center point should be about 1½” from the apex of the flap curve (from the raw edge).
- Place the exterior panel right sides together with the lining panel, sandwiching the key ring loop between the layers.
- Pin in place all around, leaving an approximate 3-4″ opening along one side for turning.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch around the entire piece, remembering to lock your seam at either side of the opening. Pivot at the bottom corners and go slowly around the top to maintain a smooth curve.
- Trim the corners and clip the curves, being careful not to cut into your seam.
- We also graded our seam allowance, trimming back the lining side of the seam allowance to ⅛”. Press open the seam allowance.
- Turn right side out through the opening.
- Use a long, blunt-end tool, like our fave – a chopstick, to square the corners and smooth the curves. A point turner or knitting needle are other good options. Pull the loop out into position.
- Press well, turning in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to match the solid colored stripe in the top and bobbin.
- Increase the stitch length (we used 3.5mm).
- Topstitch around the entire perimeter of the panel through both layers. We used our Janome Edge Guide foot.
NOTE: If you are new to topstitching, check out our full topstitching tutorial for helpful tips.
- Using the pattern markings as your guide, set both halves of the snap.
- The stud half on the snap goes on the flap, which means the pronged cover will be inserted from the exterior side through to the lining.
- Place the stud over the prong. Notice the snap is quite close to but not touching the topstitching – just they way you want it. This is why it’s important to carefully transfer all your pattern markings.
- Squeeze the two parts together with the pliers.
- Insert the opposite half of the snap at the bottom snap marking. Because it is opposite, the pronged cover will be inserted from the lining side through to the exterior.
- The socket then attaches with the pliers in the same manner as the stud.
NOTE: As mentioned above, if you are new to working with plastic snaps, we have a full step-by-step tutorial. You could also use a standard metal snap, and of course… we have a step-by-step tutorial for that too.
Final fold and seam
- Fold up the bottom of the panel along the fold line shown on the pattern. The side edges should be flush. Press the snap together to test the fit. You can slightly adjust the fold lines if necessary to make sure the case lays nice and flat. Press well to set the folds.
- Un-snap and pin the along both sides through all the layers.
- With the stitch still lengthened exactly as it was for the topstitching, and with the machine still threaded in the same manner, edgestitch along both sides through ALL the layers. This new seam should run directly on top of the existing topstitching seam.
- You are going through quite a few layers, so go slowly and carefully. You could switch to a Walking or Even Feed foot or similar for added control. Or, if appropriate, engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system like the AcuFeed™ Flex system we love to use on many of our Janome studio models.
- Use a lock stitch to secure the start and end of your seam. Or, leave the thread tails long and hand knot.
- Fold the flap down into position and snap shut. Press well.
- Add the optional embellishment. We used a sparkling snowflake, centering it within the middle stripe directly above the snap.
- Slip the split ring on the key ring loop.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild