Every year we spend hours, wrapping countless gifts in preparation for the holidays. In a few minutes the excitement is over and we’re left with a big bag of trash. Do this project early in the holiday season to avoid the late nights right before the big day.
Last year I made eco-friendly reusable gift bags. You don’t need to be a great seamstress, just the ability to sew a straight-ish line. They are fast and easy.
Quick and easy doesn’t mean, wait until Dec 19th to start sewing, or you’ll wonder what ever made you think this was a good idea.
The good news is, you only have to make them once. Then they are done. This year I only have to pull them out and wrapping will be a breeze!
7-10 yards of lightweight muslin.
Large Spool of matching thread
Iron & Ironing Board
This isn’t an exact science, I approximated my measurements and worked it out. You’re essentially making a pillow case for each gift.
Grab a few of the gifts you need to wrap. Haven’t done your shopping, collect an assortment of toys and books. Look in the birthday gift stash for sample sizes too.
Each bag is made with one piece of muslin, fold over, pin down. Sew a seam along each side.
NOTE – If you are worried about fraying you’ll want to sew all the rough edges with a zig-zag stich before sewing your seems and hem.
Lay out your fabric to determine the “envelope size” you’ll need. Place the gifts on the fabric, allow an inch or two for wiggle room. Add 2″ extra inches for seams on the side and 1 1/2 for the top. Remember you will be using these again, so precision isn’t the goal.
TIP – Cut multiple bags of each size all at one time.
Next, determine how much room you need to allow for the length of your “envelope”. Guesstimate how much fabric it will take to cover your desired gift, then add a few inches. It’s nice to have extra on top for a prettier presentation.
Iron the bag. Fold the top edge over one time, then fold again (for a cleaner finish) and pin.
Sew the top seam.
Iron and your bag is done.
All that’s left to do is insert the gift, label and embellish (if desired).
For the greenest option (you’ll need to select a slightly heavier muslin so it’s not too sheer), insert the gift and tie with raffia.
I wrap the gift with a couple of sheets of tissue paper, and tie with raffia or satin ribbon (which I reuse). The picture shows some ribbon from the past that I’m trying to use up.
What’s nice is the sheerness of the muslin allows the color of the tissue paper to show through. You still have a nice festive look and if you love to pay attention to detail (aka anal like me) you can color coordinate.
During the finger food stage of feeding your little one my favorites are (Organic):Puffed WheatPuffed Kamut (related to wheat) – larger and easier for little hands to graspPuffed Brown RicePuffed CornBrown Rice Cakes – Unsalted* Don’t forget the fruits and vegetables. You can cook and chop into small pieces any vegetable or non soft fruit that you might feed them at meal time.