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August 15, 2012

The Christmas holidays are a big deal in my family, and includes a lot of gift giving. DVD movies are a particularly popular item on all of our wish lists. Given the amount of wrapping paper trash that we generate each year, and the number of DVDs I have wrapped every year, I decided that this year I would make up some fabric DVD gift wrappers to use and encourage everyone to reuse them. Below is a simple tutorial for a DVD gift wrapper. It features a full pocket with a mid-length flap, and can be decorated in many ways. It can also be made from a single fat quarter!  This is a great beginner's project.

DVD Gift Wrapper 


  • Hook and loop tape, 4” strip
  • Fabric, two pieces, measuring 7¼” by 22”
  • Matching thread
  • White thread
  • Coordinating Ribbon, 1 yard
  • Interfacing, useful for lightweight or see-through fabrics
Diagram, body measures 7.25"x22"

  • Sewing machine
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
Optional but oh-so-handy:
  • Quilter’s ruler
  • Rotary cutter
  • Point turner
  • ¼” presser foot

The Layout

The diagram on the right shows the layout and dimensions for the wrapper. It’s all one piece, but can be mentally divided into three sections, the flap, the pocket back, and the pocket front.

A typical DVD case measures 7 1/2 ”x 5 ¼” x 9/16,” and I used those dimensions for this tutorial. You may have to increase the length and width slightly for double case DVDs.

If you're using a fat quarter, be sure to double check its measurements before cutting.  Different stores or clerks may cut them to a different size!


1. Cut two 7 ¼” x 22” pieces of fabric, either from the same fabric or two contrasting pieces.

If you plan to use interfacing, follow the package instructions to iron on the interfacing to the wrong side of one of the pieces of fabric now.  Interfacing is not required, but helpful if you find you can see your DVD through the fabric layers!

If you want to sew decorations to the outside of the wrapper, do so now.

2. Align your two pieces of fabric with the right sides (the sides you want to show) together on the inside. Sew ¼” from the edges of the fabric all the way around, leaving an opening roughly 2” for turning.

 I left my opening on the lower half, as marked by the orange line on the diagram above. This way you won’t see it in the final product, and it will be sewn closed when the pocket is sewn.

3. Trim diagonally across the corners to reduce bulk, (avoid cutting the stitches) and turn right side out through the opening and carefully poke out the corners. Iron.

4.  Pick one side of your piece to be the interior of your wrap. At this point I changed out my top thread to white to match the tape, but left the bobbin the original color.  This way my stitches disappeared on the tape side, but weren't glaringly obvious on the red side!

Sew the ‘soft’ strip of hook and loop tape along one short edge on this side of the interior side, ¼” from the edge, and 1 ¼” from the sides. Since this is the flap that people will be touching and handling, you will want the softer piece on this end.

5. Turn the piece over to show the outer side of the wrap. To place the ‘rough’ strip of tape, measure 1 ¼” from each side, and 3 ¼” from the short edge of the piece to the long edge of the tape. Be sure that you are measuring from the edge that does NOT have the ‘soft’ tape on it. Stitch in place.

6. With right sides out, fold up the bottom half of the piece 8 7/8” and sew ¼” from the edges all the way around. Repeat with a narrow zigzag stitch for an added touch.

7.  Take your yard of ribbon and align the center of it with the center of the flap.  Sew the ribbon to the outside side of the flap, either following seam lines or along the edges of the ribbon.  After putting a DVD inside and closing the flap, bring the ribbon ends around to the opposite side of the wrapper and tie a bow.

The wrapper is done!

You can choose to forego hook and loop tape altogether and use buttons, snaps, or ties to hold your package closed.  The ribbon is a great place to tie on a nice name tag.  Alternatively, if you don't want to have to tie a bow every time, you can shorten the ribbon to 15 inches and sew a small square of hook and loop tape or snaps on opposite ends of the ribbon.  A premade bow or other embellishment can be attached to the top ribbon.

Having to untie the ribbon and ‘rip’ the Velcro helps to give the giftee the traditional feeling of ‘opening a present,’ rather than holding a slipcovered movie.  (Let’s face it, we all love ripping paper!)  The main problem with this wrapper is that it’s OBVIOUS that there’s a DVD inside. Granted, that’s the case with any wrapped DVD. The idea here is to reduce waste, not truly surprise the gift recipient. With that in mind, an empty DVD case is a great container for gift cards, cash, and small pieces of jewelry, so you can still surprise your giftee!