Reusable Christmas Wrap Bag

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Introduction: Reusable Christmas Wrap Bag

About: I love to cook, knit, sew, and garden. Trained as a Family and Consumer Science Teacher, I taught GRADS and Personal Development, then taught about organ, eye and tissue donation for a non-profit. I'm worki…

Every Christmas I watch the pile of paper Christmas wrap being thrown away as my family opens their gifts. We always try to recycle, but it is such a waste of resources, not to mention the money spent on the wrapping paper! I want to create cute, Christmasy gift bags that won't tear (like the paper ones do), can be laundered if necessary, and can be reused, as well as stored easily.

Supplies

You need the following supplies:

  • fabric - 45" wide
  • 1/2 yard of middle fabric
  • 1/4 yard of top and bottom fabric
  • scissors
  • thread - matching to the fabric
  • sewing pins
  • measuring tape
  • extra wide double fold bias tape (for drawstring)
  • Sewing Machine
  • ruler & pencil
  • Electric iron & ironing board

Step 1: Getting the Material Ready

  • Before you do any cutting, wash and dry the material. There is always some shrinkage in cotton material, so this prevents the shrinkage from happening after you have made your bag. Everything will already have shrunk as much as it was going to.
  • Remove the selvedge edge on all the material. (The selvedge edge is the woven edge of the material.)
  • Press with a steam iron (if you don't have a steam iron, spray with a fine mist) so the pieces of material are smooth and flat.

Step 2: Placement of Top on the Middle Material

  1. Line up the piece of material that will be the top of the bag with the piece that will be the middle of the bag.
  2. Pin sides together, (not the selvedge edges!). Make sure they are even when you pin them together.

Step 3: Attach the Top to the Middle Material

  • Sew across the pinned material, leaving a 1/2 inch seam width.
  • Remove the pins.
  • Zigzag to overcast the edges of the material so they will not ravel when the bag is used.
  • Iron the seam toward the top of the material (in this case toward the red material, which will be the top of the bag).

Step 4: Attach the Bottom Material

  • Line up the piece of material that will be the bottom of the bag with the piece that is the middle of the bag (again, not the selvedge edge).
  • Pin in place; sew the 1/2" seam; then zigzag. You should have a flat piece of material that consists of three pieces of material - in my case, red, white and green.
  • Iron well so it is flat; the seam of red & white will be ironed upwards, toward the top of the bag. The seam of white and green will be ironed facing downward, toward what will be the bottom of the bag.

Step 5: Sew the Side Seam

  • Pin the material together at the selvedge edge, matching the edges of each piece (top, middle, bottom) at the seams.
  • Place a mark, using the pencil, about 1" from the seam of the upper material and the middle material.
  • Place another mark about 2" from the seam edge. Do not sew between these two marks as you sew up the selvedge edge. This will be the opening for your drawstring tunnel.
  • Sew, using a 1/2" seam. At this point you will have a tube, with (for me) the red material at the top, the white in the middle, and the green at the bottom.
  • Iron the seam open.
  • Zigzag each edge top to bottom.

Step 6: Sew the Bottom Seam

  • Fold the tube in half at the side seam.
  • Sew across the bottom of the tube.
  • Zigzag the seam, both pieces of the seam together.
  • Turn right side out and iron seam flat.

Step 7: Making the Boxed Corners

I wanted a bag with a "boxed" bottom - one that would sit flat when the gift was inside.

  • With the "tube" inside out, put your hand inside the bag and find the side seam and the bottom seam.
  • Fold the bag flat, matching the bottom and side seam. This will result in a point of the bottom fabric!
  • I wanted a bottom that is 4" across - So I measured down from the point 4". I placed my clear measuring tool across the point using the mark I made and drew a line. That is my sewing line for the boxed corner.
  • Pin across the line through both layers of fabric.
  • Sew across the line.
  • Fold the points to the middle of the bag. To anchor the points down, using the sewing machine (or by hand), tack through the seam allowances.

Step 8: Finishing the Top and Making the Drawstring Tube

I wanted the top of the bag to look finished and be decorative when the drawstring was used.

  • Fold 1/2 inch of the top material of the bag to the wrong side and press. This creates a finished look on the inside of the bag!
  • Fold the top material down to the inside, covering the seam allowance between the middle fabric and the top fabric.
  • Pin in place.
  • On the outside of the bag, sew close to the seam between the top and middle fabric, which will sew the top fabric over the seam allowance on the inside.
  • Note where the opening is on the top fabric, and sew around the bag, creating a tube for the drawstring to run through.

Step 9: Making and Inserting the Drawstring

  • Using 1/2 package of Wide Double Fold Bias Tape (1-1/2 yards), sew along the length, from one end to the other.
  • Insert a large safety pin in the end of the drawstring. This will help you pull it through the tube.
  • Insert the end of the drawstring with the safety pin into one side of the tube; pull the pin and drawstring through the tube until it comes out the other side of the tube.
  • Pull the drawstring until there is an even amount of drawstring on both sides of the tube.

Step 10: Done!!!

Your gift bag is finished! The drawstring looks like a ribbon when drawn and tied! The bag folds flat for storage and it can be used for a variety of gift sizes!

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