Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Santa Sack Gift Bags

As I was tidying up after Christmas, I realized I should pass along our family's idea for eco-friendly, reusable gift bags. A few years ago, my then-10-year-old daughter and I quickly stitched up some simple cloth sacks for our family to reuse every year. My favorite part about these is they don't require any accessorizing with tissue paper! You know what I mean. You grab a paper gift bag out of your stash, but then you don't have tissue paper that matches, or the tissue paper is embarrassingly crumpled. My Santa Sacks get tied shut at the top, so the contents are neatly hidden inside. If you want the shape of the contents to be better disguised, crumple some newspaper around the item when you tuck it in the sack. Another bonus: the sacks take up very little space in your gift wrap stash. 

We made three sizes of sacks. These were all sized to be cut from 44/45" wide fabric with no waste. I didn't prewash the fabric because I wanted the crisp sizing to stay in, and they don't need to be washed. After I finished the bags, I stitched the middle of a 26" piece of grosgrain ribbon into a side seam, about 3" down from the top edge. On some of the plainer bags, I used a decorative machine stitching for the top edge hem.

Small- finished size is 10" by 16". Cut 4 rectangles, each 11" by 33" across the width of the fabric. Fold and stitch the two side seams, then hem the top edge. 
Medium- finished size is 14" by 21.5". Cut 1 rectangle across the width of the fabric, 44" by 15". Fold, sew up the side seams, then hem the top edge. 
Large-  finished size is 21.5" by 28". Cut 1 rectangle across the width of the fabric, 44" by 29". Fold crosswise and stitch the bottom seam and side seam. Hem the top edge.

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