reusable Christmas gift bags and tags tutorial

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Many of us are taking a step back to see how we can reduce our waste and reuse old things. These reusable fabric drawstring gift bags are one of the best things I have dedicated my time to recently. Not only do they reduce waste, but they also reduce my time spent wrapping presents each year! Since the project is proving to go much quicker than I anticipated, I decided to also create reusable gift tags. All I’m doing is addressing them to my kiddos (since they get the bulk of the gifts) and laminating them. Brilliant right?! To get that vibrant, smooth label, I’m using Pilot Pens. Hover over the image below to shop – or continue onto the tutorial!

Think about how much waste we create with massive amounts of wrapping paper each year. I’m a sucker for beautiful wrapping paper just like the next gal, but it all just ends up in the trash. Now think about how much TIME you spend each year wrapping gifts… the cutting, the tears when you run out with only an inch left of the gift box showing (hehe), the taping, the curling of ribbons, the addressing of tags. At the busiest time of the year, surely we parents have better things we could be doing with our days.

Last year my family went trick-or-treating as Mario Brothers characters and I just couldn’t find the right candy bags to match. It dawned on me that I could simply sew matching bags and so I did! The kids even reused them this year even though they totally did not match this year’s costume choices. The trick or treat bags worked so well that by the time December hit, I had the brilliant idea to sew up a huge batch of Christmas gift bags.

I’d like to say I did this last year, but I didn’t. By the time it dawned on me, there was only a couple of weeks left til Christmas and, well, we all know how chaotic those weeks are. But this year, I was ready to go!

I’m first to admit, I’m a lazy, corning-cutting seamstress. I only take on basic projects and they are very few and far between. I tell you this so you KNOW these bags are a simple project. Literally anyone with a sewing machine can do this. To get started, you need to ask yourself a few questions like: what designs do I want and how large should the bags be. I tend to like more of a woodsy, woodland creature, flannel type of design but the world is your oyster here. Here’s your chance to create gift bags that completely match your holiday décor.

As far as sizes go, I went big. In fact, the bulk of my bags are a yard of fabric. My 6 year old ends up with a lot of large toys (that are usually impossible to wrap) and for my daughter, I decided I could group a lot of her gifts together in one bag. Like one bag will be all art supplies and another, clothes. There isn’t much need for a thousand little cloth bags.

how to sew fabric drawstring gift bags

  1. Start with a rectangle in the size bag you need. Cut along the edges using pinking shears to avoid fraying. This step saves time as you won’t need to finish the edges.
  2. Fold your fabric piece in half with right sides together (i.e. inside out) and pin along the edges with a 3/8th inch seam allowance.
  3. Sew along edges, stopping 2 inches below the top to allow for the drawstring. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.
  4.  Fold the top over in half to create the space for the drawstring. Pin. Sew.
  5. Now flip your bag right-side out, pushing the corners out.
  6. Prepare to insert the drawstring with this tip –> Wrap drawstring around the top of your G2® Pens by Pilot Pen, hooking it under to secure. Now insert the pin into the drawstring hole, pen-side first. Push the pen through, bunching and smoothing as you go. This is the quickest way to get your drawstring in!
  7. Press with an iron it desired.

how to create reusable holiday gift tags

    1.  Choose your tags, basic is best since you’ll be laminating.
    2.  Label tags with Pilot G2 Premium Gel Ink Pens.
    3.  Place tags within a laminator sheet and send it through the laminator.
    4.  Cut around the tags and create a hole, either with a hole punch or if there is an existing hole a safety pin works nicely.
    5.  For a smaller tag hole, use a safety pin to push your string or twine through.

I have an artsy 13 year old girl, so I know my way around a pack of gel pens. We’ve tried just about every type and every brand and we LOVE G2 Pilot Pens. G2 pens come in four-point sizes and multiple barrel styles with an extra comfortable grip and smooth gliding ink in 27 bright and vibrant colors. In fact, G2 is the #1 selling pen brand in America! These pens have a super smooth glide that results in really beautiful print!

Another fan favorite here in the Husvar House is the incredible, erasable FriXion pens work well for all kinds of projects as they contain a very smooth writing gel ink – perfet for addressing holiday cards, labeling gift tags and making that all-important Christmas Wish List for Santa!

You can find these amazing Pilot Pens and many more at Target in the school supplies section. Before you head out, I’ve got some deals for you!!

  • Save 25% off Participating Pilot Pen products at Target starting Nov. 24, 2019-Dec. 21, 2019!
  • Save 10% Off FriXion Pen products with the Target Circle app! Offer valid Nov. 24, 2019 – Dec. 7, 2019

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