December 15, 2021 - Fabric & Sewing

How to Make DIY Traditional African Print Fabric Gifts

African wax print fabric shop

With so many celebrations happening all year round including Christmas, Birthdays and more, we’re constantly searching for that perfect gift for family and friends, a gift that’s unique, made with love and stands out from the rest. Sound Familiar? We might have your answer…

Start creating handmade gifts using unique African print fabric!

You can’t beat a gift that’s been personalised, handmade and crafted with a high-quality, ethical and unique fabric. We can guarantee you won’t find anything like it, and it will last for years to come!

So put the kettle on, make yourself comfortable and browse our fabulous African print gift ideas that are suitable for men, women and children that you could make at home. The majority of these handmade gift ideas are suitable for beginners who can practice cutting fabric and sewing a straight stitch on the machine, and some of the gifts can also be hand sewn if you don’t have a sewing machine at home.


DIY sewing gift ideas by Kitenge


African Wax Print Fabric Gifts for Men

Are you having trouble finding the perfect gifts for male loved ones in your family? Don’t worry as we’ve got some great gift suggestions that you could easily make at home in no time at all.


Traditional handkerchiefs that are sold in the shops and online always look dull and boring. A fun, brightly coloured set of handmade African wax print fabric handkerchiefs could be the perfect gift, especially for elder relatives.

They are really easy and quick to make too! If you don’t have a sewing machine at home then you could hand sew instead. You’ll need some fabric, fabric scissors and thread. For a single hankie, the below video recommends cutting the fabric to 30 x 30cm. Watch the video below to find out more.




Do you have a male relative in the family who loves to read? Do you have any spare books at home that you could pass on to a loved one with a vibrant Ankara fabric bookmark inside? This is a fantastic gift idea for a bookworm.

You could make a traditional rectangular shaped long bookmark or try something a bit different like a corner fabric bookmark as demonstrated in the below video. This is another gift that is simple and easy to make and suitable for beginners. You can also use up any fabric scraps at home.



Key Fob

Do you know anyone in the family that are good at losing their house or car keys? Could a bold and vibrant African print fabric key fob (or keychain) make it easier to locate their keys? They can be made in any length and style you like!

According to the below video tutorial, you’ll need two contrasting fabrics, medium or heavyweight interfacing, thread, pins, a snap hook, a safety pin, a rotary cutter and mat, a fabric marker and a ruler.



Ankara Fabric Gifts for Women

There are so many options when it comes to making your own handmade African print fabric gifts for women. Here are a few of our favourite suggestions:


African headwraps are stylish gifts that can be made to cover the whole head or half of the head. Your loved one can have fun experimenting with different wrap styles and looks. Headwraps can be worn casually or for special occasions. They can help protect your hair from bad weather or to hide your hair if you’re having a bad hair day!

African wax print fabrics are the perfect material to make headwraps due to their bold patterns and bright colours. Learn how you can make a headwrap at home with a sewing machine, fabric scissors, a tape measure (or ruler) thread and an iron.



If you prefer to purchase ready-made African print headwraps visit our online shop. All our accessories are lovingly handcrafted in Tanzania by talented tailors using the finest authentic Ankara fabrics printed in Nigeria.




If you can’t see your loved one wearing a colourful headwrap then perhaps a handmade scarf will be more suitable. You could make a narrow headwrap, for example, 72 x 11 inches, which can also be worn as a scarf.

During the winter months, you could add a fleece lining to the scarf or even make a cosy snood. To make a neck warmer, you’ll need some outer fabric, fleece fabric, a measuring tape or ruler, cutting scissors, pins, a sewing needle, thread and a sewing machine. Learn how to make an Ankara fabric snood in the below video:



Make-Up Brush Holder

An African print fabric make-up brush holder is a useful gift especially for those who travel regularly. You might have bought a set of makeup brushes for a loved one but would like to make a unique holder to put them in. This can help to make your gift that extra bit special.

Watch the below video to find out how you could make one at home. You’ll need a sewing machine, fabric scissors, thread, an iron, satin ribbon and a tape measure or ruler.



African Print Fabric Gifts for Kids

You can have a lot of fun getting creative when making handmade African print fabric gifts for children in your family. These colourful gifts can be loved and cherished by children of all ages.

Notebook Cover

Hard covered notebooks or diaries look fantastic when wrapped in brightly coloured Ankara fabrics. This method can also help to protect books and they look great when displayed on a shelf. Do you have any spare notebooks at home that you could upcycle into something special?

You’ll need some fabric, thread, scissors, a tape measure, fabric marker, pins and an iron. Watch the below video demonstration to see how quick and easy it is to make.



If you don’t have a sewing machine then you could follow this method instead, which doesn’t require any sewing (only glue):



Pencil Case

You could make a pretty matching pencil case in the same fabric as a diary or notebook cover so your loved one can take them to school when the new term starts. You’ll need to cut a piece of fabric 9 x 7 inches and use a zipper with a length of 9 inches. Watch how easy it is to make a pencil pouch with a sewing machine:




Hair scrunchies are great gifts for girls and teenagers and are really simple to make. Do you have any leftover fabric scraps at home that you could use? You’ll also need ¼ inch elastic, thread, a safety pin and scissors. The fabric needs to be cut to 22 x 3 ½ inches. Learn more by watching the video tutorial below:



African Print Fabric Gifts for The Home

African inspired gifts for home décor can help add a splash of colour to a room adding warmth, texture and interest. Handmade presents for the home are suitable for friends and relatives of all ages and will last for years to come if made using high quality, authentic African wax print fabrics.

Learn more about African interior style trends and ideas and the best African wax print fabrics for home interior design.

Cushion Cover

Handmade, cosy cushion covers look even better if they use bright and cheerful printed fabrics to add a pop of colour to a chair, bed or sofa. There are different varieties and designs that you can experiment with.

The envelope pillow is a simple style for beginners as demonstrated in the below video. You can also attach zips, buttons, piping and even handmade pompoms for an extra special touch!




A funky African print fabric apron is a wonderful handmade gift for those who enjoy cooking and baking (including the kids). The 100% cotton fabric is perfect as it’s easy to wash. You’ll need 1½ yards of fabric for an adult-sized apron with a handy front pocket. Check out this great vlog to watch how to make an apron at home.




Patterned napkins are a great way to add interest to a dining or kitchen table and are a perfect last-minute gift idea. A set of 4, 6 or more napkins can be made easily at home using a sewing machine especially if you’re a beginner. They could even be made to decorate your dining table adding to the theme of the celebration!


African wax print fabric napkins by Qasa Qasa UK fabric for interior design


African print fabric napkins by QÄSA QÄSA

It’s best to use naturally absorbent fabrics to make napkins so African wax print fabric made from 100% cotton is suitable. You could make a set of napkins in the same fabric or each napkin could be a different colour and print design. They can be either square or rectangular shaped.



Our fat quarters (approximately 18 x 22 inches), leftover from our African print clothing production in Tanzania, are the perfect size to make napkins. Take a look at our current collection to see if any of the prints and colourways take your fancy!


Do you have any old napkin holders that you could upcycle by wrapping them in matching African print fabric by using glue?

Final Tips Before You Begin

Before you begin, make sure you check out our blog about sewing tips when using African Print Fabric so you know exactly what to consider. The gift ideas mentioned in this blog can also be made for birthdays and housewarming presents all year round.


Sewing tips African wax print fabric by Kitenge


Browse Kitenge’s Colourful Collection of African Print Fabrics

We hope you have enjoyed watching the above video tutorials and have picked up some helpful sewing tips. There are so many great gift ideas that can be made at home.


Authentic African wax print fabric designs by Kitenge Store


Why not browse our unique African print fabric to use for your sewing project? Our authentic fabrics, made in Africa, are available to purchase by the yard and we also have some fat quarters available leftover from our African print clothing production.


Alternatively, explore our blog on 20 fabric items to make at home for more inspiration.

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