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Friday, December 18, 2009

Santa's Got A Brand New Bag~ Craft 6

Need a simple and sweet way to present your gifts? How about a fabric bag? The bottom of my tree is surrounded by bags.

There are even small bags filled with treats tucked within the midst of the tree branches.

Next to the tree is an old German sled topped with larger bags. No two are exactly the same.

Here is a close up that shows bags embellished with doilies, rick rack, old lace and jingle bells.
Although I don't have a problem with peekers in my family, the bells do act as a deterrent should the desire arise.

The beauty of the bags is that they can be made to fit any size gift. The bags belonging to Mr. Decor and Sweet Boy have masculine trimmings such as wooden ice skates and twine. The Fashionista's bags are a bit softer with velvet, lace and antique rhinestone buttons and broaches.

A close up of one of my favorite bags features a duffel with a ruffled top. The ribbon is old blanket edging that I embellished on my sewing machine.

In the kitchen nook are additional bags to be opened after breakfast.

Now onto the behind the scenes, or is it "seams"? I had a few flour sack scraps leftover from when I slip covered the chair for Sweet Boy's room. As it is old material I couldn't bring myself to just throw it away.

I also had a linen panel that did not make it through the wash when I was repurposing curtains for the Fashionista's apartment.

When I began planning an old fashioned Christmas for my children this year a light bulb popped into my head reminding me that in the old days, packages were either wrapped in brown paper or material.
I began by making a list of what gifts were going to be given and then approximated how big I needed each bag to be and made sure to include a 1 inch inside seam.

I cut out basic squares and rectangles. Each bag received various embroidered stitching across the top of the bag. The fun part was digging through my stash of ribbons, bells and broaches to embellish each bag.

For the neighbors gifts I had found a large stack of vintage cloth Christmas napkins at the thrift shop. A couple of side seams and I had lovely wrapping for a bottle of cider. I embellished each with a handmade corsage. ( A few corsages are still left in the Etsy shop.)

The lasting beauty of fabric bags is that they can be used for several years. I won't spend money on paper or add to the landfills. They are also washable and the color is neutral enough for use on birthdays and other happy occasions. You can customize your bags to fit any color palette. Now that's a wrap!

Go make a beautiful mess and be blessed,


Neabear said...

Your bags are so pretty! I use fabric bags most of the time too! I just make new ones if I don't have one the right size.

Lou Cinda said...

These bags are gorgeous! They are a gift within themselves! What a wonderful idea and so beautiful!

Have a great weekend Laura!

Lou Cinda

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Laura, your bags are just stunning. I love them all and what a wonderful idea. Each one is so special and will make such a beautiful keepsake. I hope you and all your family have a very Blessed Christmas. Hugs, Marty

Carrie said...

Oh, a wonderful idea. I have fabric bags.... I will have to remember to use them next year.

The Boston Lady said...

Beautiful! And they can be used again! You are so creative, Laura.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

These are great, Laura, and I just got a linen fabric remnant for another project, but should have some left over. I'll bet I could do something like this with it and all those lovely things I won from you! : )

Linda said...


Your creativity is always so inspiring! The bags and lovely and useful.

Thanks for sharing,
Linda :)

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

This is brilliant for one is able to reuse these and there is less to clean up after the gifts have been opened on Christmas.
It's an idea I'll advocate and encourage going forth.
Warmest regards,

❦TattingChic said...

What a beautiful Christmas tree! I ♥ the way you have wrapped your gifts! So beautiful and creative and even resourceful! :)
~TattingChic ♥

Tanya said...

This is such a cute idea and reusable for so many things. I think I'll make some for the bath scrubs that I'm making.

Tracey said...

Fabulous!!! Eco-friendly and pretty...I love it! My mom is going to help me sew up some burlap gift bags this first attempt at learning to sew, well, at least the basics...

Merry Christmas Laura!

:) T

Moms For Morality said...

I really do love this idea. So pretty and simple, but still very special.

Jules said...

What a great idea! :o) I love an old fashion Christmas!! Your bags are lovely. You may be seeing more of me. I really enjoyed your blog and I noticed we have several things in common. Blessings!

PS. Thanks for the sweet comment you left on my blog. :o)

The Lazy Peacock said...

so clever, and stunning! this is such a fantastic idea, i just love it!

Rose - The Center of My Self said...

Things made by hand and with careful thought and love are just so special! My fave part really, though, is that they're eco-responsible. Reusable over and over. So sad that some people still use foil or heavily inked papers these days and then tossing them in the landfill where they don't degrade. Great idea!

Kim said...

I also like the idea that everything is coordinated. I haven't wrapped yet and I know I have a pretty good-sized piece of Christmas fabric that I was going to get rid of because I wasn't using it. I may be doing this myself. Thanks for the idea.

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Brilliant! But then you are, sweetie. Merry merry Christmas, may all your days be filled with the laughter of those you love.
xoxo Lidy

Stephanie said...

What a great idea! I had been thinking of making tote bags for my nieces gifts but I like your idea so much better than what I had in mind! Thank you for sharing!

A Hint of Home said...

The bags are so creative and unique. I love the old fashion Christmas theme. Your tree is very pretty. Thanks for stopping by today.

Rita Kent at TesoroFino.Com said...

I am so in love with your blog. When I went to click the follow button, I saw that many are also in love with it too. Your posts are so creative and descriptive. I enjoyed spending time here. Thank you for stopping by my blog today to see my Vintage Sterling Silver Give Away. Was wondering if you could help promote it on your blog since you have so many visitors. Let me know what you think!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Wow, Laura! Those are BEAUTIFUL!


Sheila :-)

Blue Creek Home said...

Aren't you glad that light bulb went off? This was a great idea and they truly are gorgeous!
Merry Christmas!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Laura, dropping back by to say that is amazing about the family asking only for food. It really tugs at your heart strings. A friend of mine told me through tears that she picked a child from the angel tree, and all she wanted was a coat. My friend sat down and cried and then went out and bought the child the jazziest coat she could find along with some other things, and this from a person who sacrificed to buy the child that. We both cried!

I think the Lord has opened the eyes of all of us this Christmas to the needs of others, and I am thankful to you for sharing your own story with us. You are an angel, and I pray God's richest blessings on you, sweet Laura!


Sheila :-)

Polly@MakeMineBeautiful said...

Those are darling Laura. What a treat it'll be for the people who receive them.
Great idea! said...

Ok, I was instantly in love with you with a name like Laura Ingalls!! My favorite all time series!! And those fabric bags?? to. die. for. I'm so happy I found your blog!


Susan said...

Lovely bags!!! I adore the "bell" alarms!!

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Yummy! What a great idea.

Christmas blessings,

Gattina said...

Beautiful, you are very talented !

Liz said...

Way tooo cute. This is such a great idea. Love these!!! Your home is looking Merry! :)


Its So Very Cheri said...

I love the bags and your manger and the chain link on your tree. It is adorable.

I have had so many Google problems-and it isn't over-Google has no idea how to solve the problem.
Sorry I haven't been by much-I decided after weeks and weeks of non-stop Google issues, I am throwing my hands up and making much needed visits.
I hope you have a Very Merry Christmas and hope you can come by for a visit.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

I love the bags! They are lovely Laura!

Someone commented to me the other day that they had made bags for their children out of different colored pillow cases...and then reuse them every year. So clever to make something you can reuse year after year.

Merry Christmas!

A Fanciful Life said...

What a wonderful idea and how much fun to make. I love the idea that they can be used over and over again. Pretty embellishments too!
Sharon :-)

jaimeparis said...

I cannot tell you how much I love your bags, they are simply fabulous!
in-love-with-them!!!I must make some really soon. Thank you so much for sharing.
Holiday hugs, Erika

Miss Mustard Seed said...

These bags are so cute and I love how they are each unique. You can tell you really put heart into them. Nice job!

FleaMarketTrixie said...

Great idea, those are lovely!

Stacey @ Fun to Craft said...

Beautiful bags!! Thanks so much for sharing. Hope you have a Merry Christmas! said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! :)

Your bags are so lovely, very much like the old days!

I like the fact that they could be used any time of the year.
Now I'm off to read some older posts!

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Wow. Incredible. So many reasons this is a good idea!

The beauty of them makes them look labour intensive but I can see once you have them made, then they are always there!

Thanks for linking up to SNS!

FJ Donna

Pat & Ron Harris said...

What a great idea. They are so pretty. No tossing away the wrappings there! Thank you for visiting junkblossoms! If you hadn't I wouldn't have found your blog so quickly. I'll be back soon, hope you will too. Merry Christmas.

Its So Very Cheri said...

Hey Laura-thanks for the suggestion-unfortunately I have been on firefox from the beginning and I have tried internet explorer just to see but it is worse to view my blog.

I will somehow get it all fixed.


Willow said...

The bags are so lovely and yet simple to make. Thanks for another great idea.


Barbara Jacksier said...

Very inspiring. Several of your ideas would look lovely as table favors at a wedding. I'm helping a friend plan hers, so bridal favors are very much on my mind. said...

My mom did this for us one year and I still treasure mine!

shannon said...

This is a terrific idea! I love reusing or re-purposing stuff. Fabulous!!

LDH said...

The bags are not only beautiful but can be used again and again, Through the years I have received gifts presented in lovely handmade bags and always wanted to make more. Your post has inspired me :)

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your comment.

Christmas Blessings to you!
Kindly, ldh

Gail said...

Oh how I love your bags. What a great idea. I'll have to try and remember this for next year.

Have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.


Holly said...

Laura, what a great idea! You put so much love and effort into them and they look beautiful.

fairfieldhouse said...


What a clever, creative idea! You are a very talented woman. I am new to blogging but enjoyed visiting your blog and will return.

Merry Christmas!

Little Lovables said...

lovely idea!!

Anonymous said...

I like your Nativity Scene in the one picture-- Its very unique!
Merry Christmas Laura!


Laurie said...

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! Thank you so much for linking it to Tip Junkie.