Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Paper? Or Plastic? I'll take flannel.

If you use this tutorial, I'd love to see your creation! 
Feel free to post it to the Handmade Mommy Tutorials Flickr Pool.

Rummaging through my stash the other night looking for a certain fabric, I came across a Christmas print flannel remnant I had buried. I have never known what I would do with this of those fabric purchases that makes no sense whatsoever. You know you have them, too. But suddenly I realized it would make great drawstring gift bags for kids' gifts.

I thought someone else might benefit from my little project so I put together a how-to. I whipped these up after the kids went down so the how-to photos aren't so pretty (I sure do love natural lighting...sigh). But the photos hopefully get the job done. These are not blue ribbon winning pieces, just a way to give cute (and environmentally friendly!) gift wrap while using up some of your stash.

First, figure out how big you want your finished bag to be. Then, add 1/2" to the width and double your length + 2 inches for the piece you cut. For example, if you want your finished bag to be 10" wide by 12" long you would cut a piece of fabric measuring 10 1/2" wide by 26" long. Cut said piece of fabric.

Next, fold your fabric wrong sides together along the length.

Sew a 1/4" seam up both the sides.

Fold your top edge down about an inch. Keep in mind that someone is just going to LOVE getting handcrafted gift bags and don't be too concerned with the accuracy of your measuring. Your loved ones will never notice the difference between 1" and 3/4", I promise.

Sew around the top of the bag leaving about a one inch gap at one of the side seams.

Now turn your bag right side out and push your corners out. I love this little tool and highly recommend it if you don't have one. Just a tip.

Thread your cord/ribbon/etc. through the casing at the top. Again, I have a little tool recommendation: the bodkin. This little thing has saved me much frustration in the past and you might like it, too.

Now you're done! Stuff your bag with thoughtful gifts for loved ones, and know that they will be most impressed.

Oh, and if you get a little carried away, it's okay to make a couple...or eight in a batch. Please don't judge me. It's a problem, I know.
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  1. such a fun idea. You've been busy!

  2. Cute!

    "one of those fabric purchases that makes no sense whatsoever. You know you have them, too."

    This is actually one thing I can say I do *not* have. :)

  3. Great idea! I'll be sewing up a few of these this week, thanks!!

  4. Hi , I used your great idea this Christmas and everyone raved about how good the bags all looked under the tree- I used only four fabrics, all in red and white, and I used all white satin ribbon for the ties, so the effect was cohesive. I didn't "make to measure" but just made my bags about 16" tall and half the width of the fabric- so you could get 4 bags from a metre of fabric. This 'fat quarter' size worked for preety much all of my gifts except huge toys for my two boys- I made bigger bags for their things, and pre-wrapped in any ugly xmas paper so they wouldn't untie the strings and peek! The bags were honestly quicker to run up assembly line style than faffing about with paper and sticky tape and curling ribbon. Thanks for the simple but great idea, I love your blog! Susan

  5. I'm so glad you liked them, Susan! I love knowing that someone else enjoyed making them and giving them!


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