During the Holiday season, 4 million tons of wrapping paper end up in landfills. That’s correct, 4 million tons! Isn’t this enough to make you scrunch up your nose not from the stench but from the shock of seeing that much paper (and its equivalent amount in money) wasted all in the name of ostentatious generosity and gift-giving?
Knowing what you know now, how about beginning your new year with a resolve to continue your streak for fabulous gift-giving without placing added strain on the environment?
How? Well, by making gift bags that people can use for work, gift bags that do not have to be wrapped because they already look beautiful without the trappings of wrapping paper and ribbon. They can be used for anything, too – packing lunches, extra pair of shoes, pick-me-up toiletries, vanity kit, books, shopping – and the list goes on. With an enormous amount of creativity and enthusiasm, this might be your opportunity to give one of the most gorgeous and memorable gifts that top all the gifts you’ve given thus far.
Here’s what you will need:
- A bag design that catches your fancy along with a pattern for cutting
- Bolts of fabric and ribbons/belts
- Silk, canvass, hemp, velvet, or cotton
- Sewing thread
- Fabric chalk for tracing the outline and design of your gift bag
- Workbench for when you start putting your bag together
- Acrylic stickers or faux gems
Here’s how to do it
- Clear your workbench and start preparing all the materials that you will need to create your bag. It is advised that your workbench is in a well-lit and bright area so you can see even the tiniest detail.
- Using a pin, place your bag design where you can see it. The design will be your guide as you go from beginning to end.
- Take your fabric and lay it out evenly on the workbench.
- Take your pattern and place it on top of your fabric.
- Then take your fabric chalk and begin to draw lines following the pattern.
- Cut the pattern using your scissors. It’s best if you cut from the inside or inverted portion of the fabric where it’s bound to be “rougher.”
- Take your thread, run it through a needle, and proceed to stitch up both side sides of the fabric using a backstitch or Herringbone Stitch technique. The former is the strongest form of stitching technique while the latter is aesthetically eye-catching.
- To avoid fraying, take another batch of thread, run it through a needle, and proceed to stitch the top or opening of your bag using the Oversewing Stitch technique. Before sewing, fold both sides of the opening by about a quarter of an inch and sew lightly so the opening won’t bunch up. Folding the fabric will also leave ample space for you to run your ribbon through making a pouch or a drawstring.
- As a final touch, embellish the fabric with acrylic stickers or faux gems.
That’s all there is to it!