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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DIY: Reusable Felt Christmas Gift Bags!

Blueberry Junkie has a great idea for keeping down the amount of wrapping paper thrown away this holiday season.  We love that these bags are so cute and completely reusable!  It's like putting a gift inside of a gift.  Check out their blog for more DIY.

Eco friendly alternative to wrapping with paper

It’s that gift giving time of year again, which means a lot of wrapping. Last year, tired of all the waste in packaging during the Holidays, I decided to stop using wrapping paper, boxes, and other materials that get discarded. Instead, I decided to sew several simple felt bags to present my gifts in. Yes, this requires some work, but these gift bags are extremely easy and quick to make, you will have several in no time. The best part, once you make them, you can keep reusing them year after year.  They make a great environmentally friendly alternative to paper wrapping.
Felt is a great material to work with, as it doesn’t fray, therefore, it requires minimal sewing. This tutorial is for a bag that measures 8.5 x 11in (you can use a regular printer paper as a template) but you can make it as bit or as small as you need to.

Materials and Tools
- red felt 2 (8×11.5 in), scrap of off white felt and pink felt
- embroidery floss in black and pink
- embroidery thread
- scissors, pins, ruler, chalk pencil
- sewing machine
- ribbon

Gather all your supplies and materials. The sewing machine is optional, as you can easily do this entire project by hand. I like to use it to save time.
1. measure carefully and cut two pieces measuring 8.5 x 11in out of the red felt. If you want to skip the measuring, just grab a sheet of paper (printer paper will do the trick), pin it onto the red felt and cut around it.  Put the red felt aside for now.
2. Take your cookie cutter shape (I chose a star for this project) and trace it onto the off-white felt.  Cut it.
3. Pin the star felt shape into place on the lower part one of your 8.5 x 11 piece of red felt. I chose to use my sewing machine to stitch on the star, but this can easily be done by hand using a running stitch.
4. Once the star has been stitched on, it is time to add some details. With embroidery thread and an embroidery needle I added eyes and a mouth.
5. Cut 2 small circles out of pink felt and using a running stitch them, secure them onto the star.  Almost done.
6. Take your 2 pieces of red felt, align them carefully and pin the edges. Using your sewing machine (you can also do this by hand), stitch around the sides and the bottom edges. Leave the bottom edge open.  Voila! your reusable felt gift back is ready.
All that is left to do now is insert your present, add a pretty ribbon to close the bag and you are done.  Customization options are only limited by your imagination. Instead of a star, try monogramming it with the recipient’s initial.  You can also make bags in other colors to match you Christmas color scheme.

green alternative to wrapping with paper

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