If there is one thing I hate buying above all other things, it is gift wrap! Invariably I don’t have the right kind of wrapping supplies for the particular gift I am giving. I also see no point in spending money on something that will get ripped open a couple hours later and then thrown away. I have seen many different solutions to this: decorated butcher paper, Sunday comics, pre-wrapped boxes that are used year after year, cloth draw-string sacks, and something called a furoshiki (It is a piece of cloth used in Japan to wrap gifts in a variety of ways for different sized packages). However, this Eco Christmas Gift Wrap caught my eye, so I decided to make my own version!
Isn’t it cute?? I made one for myself and one for a friend as a Christmas gift. This print is a Christmas/winter print; however, I bought some Christmas fabric 60% off that could easily be used year-round (It is a blue, red, green, and white stripe). I made a few changes to the original design. First, of all my bow snaps on and off, which should be great for travel and storage! Second, instead of using batting and a liner fabric, I just used pieces of quilted material! Third, I sewed the velcro on before putting it together so my seams would not show through the “wrapping paper” and so I could get the velcro as close to the edges as possible.
Before I tell you exactly what I did, I would like to add a couple suggestions in case you have a problem with “peekers” at your house! One person suggested doing a quick little whip stitch at the top of the velcro closure. Since each person’s hand-stitch is about as unique to them as their handwriting, no one would be able to peek!! However, if you don’t want to whip stitch them all closed, then you might consider usinga zipper instead of velcro and make tiny stitches right under the zipper to keep it closed. A master peeker can unwrap and rewrap packages; however, getting into this gift bag should prove a real challenge if not impossible!
Now, the first thing I did was cut out 2 pieces of pretty fabric. I chose to make mine 10″x10″ so that it would easily accomodate dvds and standard sized books. Then I cut out two pieces of quilted fabric the same size. Being raised by a slightly OCD mother, I surged around every edge of every piece. (Mom always said the inside should look just as good as the outside…) Next I cut out ribbon and sewed them on the top and bottom pieces of the “wrapping paper.” You don’t have to do it on the bottom. I just thought it would make it look more like a paper wrapped gift.
Next I sewed a “wrapping paper” piece to a quilted piece with right sides together and did the same thing with the next two pieces. I went ahead and took the opportunity to sew the velcro into place at the top of the quilted piece on each of my two pieces. I also went ahead and sewed a snap on the top piece so I would not have any seams or threads inside my gift bag. (Another carry over from my mother teaching me how to sew…)
Then I put the two pieces together with right sides together with “wrapping paper” on “wrapping paper” and quilted fabric on quilted fabric. I also made an effort to match up the ribbons as close as possible. Next I sewed a seam all the way around, leaving an opening at the end of the quilted material.
At last it was time to turn the “pillowcase” of sorts right side out! Then I tucked the edges under at the opening and sewed a little seam to close it up. Finally, I could tuck the lining into the “gift bag.”
And there you have it. An absolutely adorable re-usable gift bag that looks like a real paper wrapped present under the tree!! We will definitely be using these for years to come around our house, and I think these would also make a great gift with perhaps a little something inside them!
I am still thinking on how to do gift tags. I thought about tags that velcro on. I thought about paper tags with a hole in them that would fit on the snap for the bow. I also thought about sewing on a plastic material that you could slip a paper tag into, but I am still undecided. If you have a good idea on how to do the gift tag, let me know!