Many of us are feeling the stress of preparing for the holidays, so I’m thinking I should have posted this a couple of weeks ago. But just in case you’re still looking for a more environmentally friendly way to “wrap” gifts this year, here’s my suggestion…
This project is quite similar to the Camo Cache Bags described in my first “Maker Monday” post. But since gift bags don’t have to stand up to the elements, theses are considerably simpler and quicker to make. I made 8 gift bags in about 90 minutes one weekend morning. In past years I’ve made more complicated gift bags, using button holes to thread the ribbons through, but they take quite a bit longer to make, so I prefer this simpler version that requires nothing more than the ability to sew a fairly straight seam!
NOTE: A sewing machine that can sew straight seams is required for this project. Materials include fabric, thread, straight pins and a suitable length of ribbon or cord (some people use yarn, but I find that gets knotted too easily and is very hard to undo, so you end up having to cut the yarn and replace it with something else).
You can use fabric leftover from other sewing projects or purchase cotton, fleece, flannel or other fabric that doesn’t unravel too easily. This time around, I had some roughly 30 x 45 cm (12 x 18″) flannel pieces that I picked up at a quilting show a few years ago. I had only one piece in each print, so matched two complementary prints together to make each bag.
If you prefer to make a fabric gift bag custom-sized for a particular gift, I suggest wrapping the uncut fabric around the gift item and then cutting it to size adding about 15 cm (6 inches) to the length and width to accommodate seam allowances and to make it easier to slip the gift into the finished bag.
That’s it – your bag is finished! When it’s time to give something away in your hand-crafted bag, I undo the loose knot, slip a hole-punched gift tag through one end, slide the gift tag down to the top of the bag and then tie a bow with the ribbon.
When our boys were younger, I used this type of gift bag for birthday party loot bags. It’s usually pretty easy to find printed cotton fabric that matches the theme of the birthday party (I’ve used Star Wars prints, car prints, Bionicle (Lego) prints, etc.) and then the birthday party guests go home not only with a little bag of treats but also with a bag they can use to carry around their current favourite toys. When our boys were younger and wanted to bring a favourite stuffed animal or blanket along on a trip, I’d get them to pack them into a cloth bag before stowing them in their little back packs, to help keep those cherished belongings clean while traveling. And, of course, I’ve used kid-oriented printed fabrics to make gift bags when we’re giving birthday gifts, baby presents and even wedding presents (large fabric gift bags can be re-purposed as laundry bags when traveling).
Please leave a comment with your suggestions for improvements to this design or a link to your own design/construction ideas.