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Fabric Holiday Bags

Fabric Holiday Bagsby: Joyce Moseley Pierce - 641 wordsAs my children were growing up, it always bothered meto buy wrapping paper only to see it ripped open ... in the ... or trash after C

Fabric Holiday Bags
by: Joyce Moseley Pierce - 641 words

As my children were growing up, it always bothered me
to buy wrapping paper only to see it ripped open and
thrown in the fireplace or trash after Christmas gifts
were opened. I tried using comics but soon discovered
I didn't like the black newsprint it left on my hands and
everyone else's. For me, gift wrap was right up there
with fireworks - we spent good money only to see it
go up in smoke. I began to look for a solution.

I bought craft paper and stenciled things on it, but
still, I felt the paper was going to waste. Then one
year after Christmas I saw holiday fabric on sale and
had an idea! I bought yard after yard of it on
clearance and brought it home to make gift bags.

I cut the fabric in various sizes. Sometimes I only
got 2-3 bags out of a yard, but I knew that they would
be able to hold the bigger items, and better yet - I would
be able to reuse them next year. I basically cut and
sewed them like a pillowcase. I sewed a seam up three sides
and left the top open. Then I turned that edge in slightly
and stitched it on the machine to finish it off.
Then I folded it in about 3 inches (or more on bigger bags)
and hemmed it. I then put another row of stitching
about a half inch above that one to create a casing
for the ribbon. I slipped a piece of ribbon through the
casing and tied it shut. If you have nosey kids, you
may want to tie a knot!

Once the gifts are stuffed in the fabric
bags and poofed up with tissue paper, stand them up
around the tree and enjoy your creative artwork! They look
like miniature Santa bags. The best thing, besides
the fact that in the long run you are saving money
by not buying wrapping paper, is that you don't spend
hours wrapping the gifts and don't need scotch tape
or bows. One satin ribbon will last the lifetime of
the bag. I still use gift tags and punch a hole in them so
they can be run through the ribbon. You might save old
Christmas cards and cut them up for gift tags.

At first my kids hated it - I guess they liked the
sound of the ripping paper and the big mess it created.
As years went by, I was determined to make this work, and
feel I have now succeeded. I continue to buy fabric
occasionally because my family has grown and now includes
in-laws and grandchildren. I make the bags big enough
that I can insert a shirt box, or whatever size I
may be using. Sometimes I just wrap the item with a lot
of tissue paper and then stuff it in the fabric bag.
Tissue paper allows people to hear the crunching of
paper and seems to satisfy the need for noise! Tissue
paper is also reusable for the same purpose next year.
Just fold it up and put it away with the bags. All
of the bags can be folded and stuffed inside the
largest bag. You can save space, time, and money.

If you have wrapping paper left over from last year (some
people unwrap gifts and save the paper) try running it
through a shredder to use as stuffing for your bags.
The fuller the bags, the cuter they look under the tree.

Use whatever fabric catches your eye or whatever is on
sale. I like the red and green holiday fabricFree Reprint Articles, but I've
since incorporated some blue and gold into the group.
Even plain muslin or pillow ticking can look good if
you spice it up with fancy ribbon. Be creative.

Article Tags: Fabric Holiday, Wrapping Paper

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Joyce is a freelance writer and owner of Emerson Publications.
She is the creator of "All They'll Need to Know," a workbook
to help families record personal and financial information.
She is also the editor of The Family First Newsletter, an
ezine for families with young children. To subscribe:

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