cloth bag how-to

let me start by apologizing for the quality of the pictures. i am well aware that they are crappy! anyway, here are the is what i'm doing this year for some of my gifts--not all of them, i just don't have time or fabric to do them all. but i think this is a nice way to package a gift without creating more trash: 8,000 tons of wrapping paper and 2 billion cards are thrown away during the holiday season! and that's just part of the 300,000 tons of extra trash that piles up at the holidays. yikes.

here we go....

start with a piece of fabric that fits the item you intend to wrap--it should be roughly 1/3 of your fabric.

fold side each side of the fabric 1/4" and press. then fold again another 1/4". press. when all 4 sides are completed, make sure your item will still fit width-wise!

now sew all around the edges that have been folded under, so that they're nice & secure, and won't unravel through all the years of use that this bag is gonna get.

cut a length of ribbon double the length of your fabric. more is okay, if you are adept at tying big, fancy bows. i am not.

center the ribbon on your fabric so that the "extra" on both top and bottom are roughly equal. pin in place--think of your fabric in fourths--and do not pin ribbon in the top fourth section. leave it loose.

stitch down ribbon, making sure not to stitch the top fourth. this is where the ribbon will tie in a bow.

you now have a piece of fabric with nice edges and a ribbon sewn to most of it. congrats.

this next step is not needed, but it is all the nicer. take a bit of velcro and stitch it:

a) on the reverse of the fabric where the ribbon is stitched all the way to the edge (this will be the top half of the bag).

b) and on the front side of the fabric 1-2 inches above where the ribbon that didn't get stitched all the way leaves off.

fold the bottom of your fabric piece upward so that it will make the pouch to fit your item.

stitch the folded bit with a 1/4" seam--down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side--making sure to backstitch at both ends. again, this will make a pouch to hold the gift. an d remember, nice & sturdy. we want this thing to last forever.

slip your item into the bag. close with the velcro, if you used it. (if for some reason the velcro doesn't match up--because of the bulk or height of the item--you can simply curse for a moment, take it off and reattach where it should go).

tie a pretty bow. fluff said bow. give gift with love, eco-friendly, handmade (and only slightly wonky) holiday joy.

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