Thrifty Thursday: Fabric Wrapping Bags

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I’m always trying to find some great ways to save money and resources at Christmas.  And reuse everything I can.  I hate to buy wrapping paper, only to throw it away.  A friend of mine has pouches seemingly for EVERYTHING.  Her curling iron, her china, well, you get the picture.  What if I took scrap fabric and made pouches for presents?  Then, I can reuse them next year too!  Or if I give them away, they can go to a good home to be a pouch for someone else!  These are simple to make, inexpensive, and completely reusable for a thousand things around your house.

Materials:

Fabric, large enough for your present, plus extra around the sides and top

Ribbon

Safety pin, about the same width as your ribbon,

Seam ripper

Sewing machine and thread

Start with your fabric.  Make sure you iron it, so you can tell just where you are sewing it.  Cut it to fit your package, plus some extra at the top and sides.  You’ll be putting a 3/8 inch seam, so make sure you have some extra for that.

Pin the sides, making sure the right, or patterned, side of your fabric is towards the center, touching each other.  These pouches are about as big as a small pocket dictionary, so I put three pins in each side.  Pin them as you are comfortable.

Here’s a nifty trick that you can use as you are sewing.  If you have a lot of the same type of thing, chain them together as you go through.  As soon as one item is stitched, put an extra stitch in between and then keep going.  This works for clothing, bags, quilting, just about anything you sew.  Sew along one side, using a 3/8 inch seam allowance.

When you are done chaining one side, it will look like this:

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Just cut the stitch in between the pieces and start sewing the other side so you have an open pouch.  Now for the fun part.  Roll the top of the bag down twice, each roll about 1/2 an inch wide, or at least wide enough plus a hair extra to fit your ribbon through.  Pin this pretty well, and sew around , creating a pocket for the ribbon.

Turn right side out.  With a seam ripper, or small scissors, trim three or four stitches in the side seam, where the ribbons will come out.

This is a two-string drawstring bag, so cut your ribbons a few inches longer than twice the width of your bag.  The ribbons will be fed through with the safety pin, in a double “U” pattern as shown here:

I feed one ribbon through half way, then pick up the second ribbon, continuing through to the next side, where I drop the original ribbon, tying it in a knot with its other end.  Continue the second ribbon to the other side, tying a knot with both ends.  Now, if you pull the ends, your bag will close!

Toss in your present, and you have a pretty wrapping that’s a gift inside a gift!  What a great way to use up fabric and create a lasting wrapping you can use from year to year!  I think I’m going to make one that is an extra special one.  My family takes turns with one extra special gift, chosen specifically for one person each year.  It changes every year, so everyone gets a turn.  That present is going to get a special fabric that is only for that “special gift”.  What fun things can you think of to do with these bags?

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