Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Custom Handmade Gift Bags

Well Christmas is over now and most of you don't even want to start thinking about Valentine's day.  After all, it's still over a month away.  Well, if you start now, you can have an inexpensive and adorable gift for all your sweeties on Valentine's day.  These custom gift bags are so easy to make that even a domestically inept person who has no sewing skills can do it!  I promise!   Just fill these adorable bags with goodies (candy, soaps, lotions etc.) and the ones you love will feel so special for receiving something handmade! Tired of giving the same old cheesy gifts just for the sake of giving a gift?  Handmade gifts are by far the best you can give!  Knowing someone took the time and energy to create something, with your interests in mind is a delightful thought.  I gave a bunch of the above snowman bags to my co-workers for Christmas and filled them will small, inexpensive trinkets.  Everyone loved them!  I think they liked the bags more than what was actually in the bags.  So today I'm going to teach you how to make these.  But don't let the fun stop here!  Engage your creativity!  There are so many possibilities with these gift bags!

Custom Gift Bags
Supplies:
  • Fabric of your choice!  I get 1/2 yard cuts and can get about 5-6 bags per cut.
  • Ribbon of your choice!  Again, use your imagination!  I like about 1/2 inch thick ribbon.
    • cut into pieces about 18 inches long
  • Lightweight sheets of felt for cutting out shapes
  • Large bore sewing needle
  • Lightweight yarn 
  • Buttons, beads etc. if desired
  • Sewing machine
Directions:
  • First, cut your fabric into strips to make the bags.  I cut them about 7-7.5 inches wide.  This eventually yields about a 6 inch wide bag.  Of course you can make the bag as wide or tall as you want.  Just be sure to take into account that you will be sewing up the sides.
  • After you get the fabric all cut out into the size pieces you want (the above fabric is 7 inches x about 19 inches), you are ready to sew up the sides to create a bag!  Fold the fabric in half so that the wrong side is facing outward.  You want to sew it inside out so the seem is hidden on the inside.  Then take a piece of your pre-cut ribbon, and fold that in half and then place on the inside of the bag so that just a small piece sticks out on the side.

  • Now, sew up the sides of the bag to the very top, make sure your ribbon gets sewn in the side as well.  Be sure to leave about a 1/2 inch border on the sides.  This is a very basic sewing stitch but if you are still uneasy then bribe a friend to do it for you (by the way, thanks Mom)! 
  • Now, turn your bag right-side out and you are finished with the bag part!  All that's left is the decorating.  I told you it was easy!  These would be nice even without any added decorations.
  • I like to add a little decorative touch.  So I cut a bunch of hearts out of the felt sheets, and then hand sewed them on the bags using the large-bore needle and some yarn.  Depending on how thick the yarn is you may have to split up the strands, or if you use the "baby weight" yarn, it should be thin enough.
  • You can hold the hearts it place while you sew it by either pinning it down or gluing it down with craft glue.  Feel free to add more decorative touches, like buttons or beads.  Here is where you can really let your imagination run wild!

These bags really are very easy to make and quite inexpensive.  The cost for supplies breaks down to about $1.00 per bag.  Now that Christmas is over, its probably a good time to snatch up some great deals on fabric to make these bags for next year!  You can do these for any holiday, or for kid's birthdays.  I can't wait to see what great ideas you guys can come up with!

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