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Reusable Gift Bags and Wine Bags

March 3rd, 2010

My favorite part about giving gifts is choosing the perfect wrapping paper and accessories to make the package 100% complete.  The only problem is that I always spend so much time wrapping and decorating, and then the lucky receiver typically takes no time at all to shred the outer layer and toss it to the side.  It’s kinda like getting a cake from the Cake Boss.

They’re so pretty, I would never want to eat it!

So instead of creating all of the paper waste that goes along with wrapping gifts, why not package them in something that your friends and family can use over and over again?  I found two great tutorials for two very different bags perfect for gift giving!

First up: the Wine Tote from Sewing Republic.

As some of you may have noticed, this is the same wine tote that I made for Christmas gifts, and a birthday gift for my good friend, Alyssa.

You can reuse them over and over again, and they are perfect gifts to bring for the host or hostess of a party!

What makes them even more great, is that you only need two fabric quarters, and at Joann’s you can typically get those for $0.99 each!  Eco-friendly, and great on my wallet!  For these, however, I just used some scraps.

These are super simple to make too, it took me about an hour to whip up both.

To give them a little more pizazz you could consider using a patchwork scheme.

Or, you could add some fabric flowers!

Or, you could add ruffles to the handle – that would be super cute!

Next up we have a similar bag that’s just a bit larger, and instead of having a handle it incorporates a drawstring!  From one of my favorite sewing sites, Sew4Home, this is the Reversible (and Reusable!) Gift Bag.

The finished bag ends up being about 13″ x 11″, but the tutorial is so simple, that you could adjust the measurements to fit whatever size you need easily!

I love that it’s fully reversible – it adds a bit of flair to the bag!

It uses a bit more fabric then the wine bags do, but if you’re a crazy crafter like I am, I’m sure you have some leftover fabrics laying around that you could use!

One change I made to the tutorial was instead of using cord for the draw string, I used leftover fabric from the interior print to make Patchwork String, a great use for scraps from Mairuru.

This project only took me about a half hour.  Great for last minute wrappers!

Well, that’s all for today!  But before I go, I wanted to take a moment and introduce you to another GREEN crafter, the Green Bag Lady!

Since 2008, she has been making reusable fabric shopping bags, and giving them away FREE at events in return for a promise that you will not use paper or plastic bags.  To date, she has given away 8,577 bags!

She also provides great tutorials, for recyclable bags.  On her site you can find a tutorial for Reusable Christmas Bags as well as a download-able pattern.

Time to wrap things up!  But stay tuned because tomorrow I’ll be posting a tutorial on to make headbands out of scraps!

And be sure to check back on Sunday when I announce my first GIVEAWAY!

Annnnd for those following along, make sure you grab a GREEN button, and leave links to your green projects in the comments section!

See you tomorrow!

Christmas Rundown (Part 2)

January 4th, 2010

One of my New Years resolutions this year is to finish all unfinished crafts and to post at least once a week.  To ensure that I post, I have scheduled an hour for myself every Sunday to sit down and write out a review of that week’s crafts.  This week I didn’t do any crafts (I really needed a break!).  So this post will be dedicated to all of the Christmas crafts that I still haven’t written about, thus satisfying two of my many resolutions.

A friend of mine recently gave me her old prom dress and asked if I could refashion it into something else.

I held onto it for awhile, trying to decide what exactly I would do with it.  Then as I was reading my RSS feed one day, I came across this beautiful ruffled skirt pattern from June Bug Baby.  How adorable is that!?

As soon as I saw it I knew I had to use the prom dress to make my friend’s daughter a festive skirt for the Christmas season!  And after about an hour of ruffling and sewing, this was the end result:

Needless to say, the skirt turned out to be so freaking cute!

Next up, we have a couple of wine bags a few of my friends ordered for holidays.

These bags are so easy to make, and a great gift to give for family and friends.

I made this last one for my Aunt Yvonne.  She was lucky enough to have me draw her name in our Secret Santa pull.

On hers I decided to add a little flair, sewing on a small rosette made from felt.

I also gave her a scarf, like the ones that I made for homecoming.

I was able to make four of these from 2.5 yards of t-shirt fabric, so a couple of my friends got them too!

There were so many other crafty items that I made for Christmas presents, but with the big time crunch I wasn’t able to take pictures of them all.  However, I was able to sneak a quick picture of my mom donning her Christmas apron on Christmas day that my dad ordered for her.  Doesn’t she look festive for the holidays!!

Well that’s all for this week!  Hope you all had a happy and safe new years!

For the Wine Lovers

October 18th, 2009

During my many hours perusing the internet for new patterns and craft ideas, I came across the Bernina Sewing Republic website.  It’s full of tutorials, projects, sewing help, and special offers.  If you love to sew, I would definitely recommend visiting this site!

Anyways, while browsing their Project Ideas section, I came across the Wine Tote tutorial.

‘What a great idea!’ I thought to myself.  So many of my friends and family are wine enthusiasts, and this would make a great gift for any occasion.  So I decided to give it a go, and this is what I came up with:


There were so many things that I liked about this project, that I’ve deemed this my ‘Go-To Gift’ for last minute events!

The first thing I loved was that this project takes very little material.  I was able to fashion this out of two fabric quarters from Joann Fabrics and some left over batting.  (BTW – Joann’s has hundreds of fabric quarters in a large variety of colors and patterns and are typically on sale for about $0.99 each!)


Second, it only took about 30 minutes to do from start to finish, so even a novice sewer can punch this project out in about an hour!


Third, it’s reversible – gotta love that!


I think I’ll be making a lot of these for Christmas – great for a hostess gift!  But in the meantime, I’ll be giving this wine tote to my good friend Alyssa at JMU Athletics Marketing – Happy Birthday, Alyssa!

Until next time!