Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Gift's In the Bag

Did you know that an additional 5 million tons of waste is generated during the holidays? Can you guess the culprit? Yup, wrapping paper, tissue, bows and ribbons. 
A few years ago my father-in-law challenged us to use alternative wrap, so we all put our heads together and spent an afternoon and made dozens and dozens of Christmas wrap bags
The bags are pretty simple. They take just 10 -15 minutes to make and are fun to give because they become part of the gift. They last for years and years too! 
So, here's your tutorial: 

Decorative ribbon
Festive holiday fabric or recycled clean clothes that have a cool texture or pattern 

You can truly do any size or shape you want. I like doing smaller bags, so I like 12 x 15 or 14 x 17  but feel free to mix it up. For both of these sizes I would use 38 inches of ribbon. Just make sure the ribbon is approximately 2 1/2 times the width of the bag so it can fit around the bag when something is in the bag. 

Cut fabric and ribbon to specified size. It’s easiest to cut it on the fold so you only have to sew up two sides. Mark 1/2 inch from the top of the fabric and fold down with wrong sides touching. Iron. 

Then mark 1 1/2 down and fold that under to complete a turned edge. Now sew across the bottom of the folded fabric to keep the turned edge in place. 

Mark 3 inches down from the top on the edge of the right side of the fabric and make a small mark. This is where your ribbon is going to go.
Now fold the ribbon in half lengthwise and line it up to the 3 inch mark you just made and pin it into place. It is helpful to put a little bit extra into the seam allowance so you can make sure the ribbon won’t come undone when the bag is finished. Make sure the loose ends are neatly pushed into the bag so they don’t get sewn accidentally to the side of your bag when you sew. 

Fold the bag right sides together.
Pin the rest of length and width of the bag with right sides touching and sew it together at 3/8 inch seam allowance.
If you are using fabric that frays easily, I’d recommend serging the length so it won’t fray on you.
Turn it inside out and your gift bag is ready to be gifted!


Valerie said...

What an intriguing idea! Thanks for the post.

Sarah said...

Hi Sarah - this is a great tutorial. You probably don't remember me but I babysat for you when you lived in Wisconsin. I found your blog when perusing facebook (Pam Hotz's page). I'm one of the Henry sisters and I love to sew, too! I have a long neglected blog (sassypriscilla.type I hope you and your family are well! I can't believe how grown up you all are! Sarah Cooley

Sarah said...

Sarah, oh my gosh!!! My mom has mentioned "the Henry girls" from Wisconsin several times. How fun... okay, I'm going to connect with you on your blog!


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