Tag Archives: reusable gift bag

Pokeball and Thomas Train Pillowcases

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Every year for my kids’ birthdays, I sneak a bit more reusable or cloth wrapping into their gift pile. I wouldn’t move away completely from having them tear and toss any paper, that’s part of the fun, but I do aim to keep it at least 50% reused wraps or fabric wraps. So besides the assortment of  twice used, thrice used and who knows how many times used gift bags we wrapped in I also made a few special wraps this time. It was especially handy since the items I needed a cloth wrap for were sleeping bags. Thus a pillowcase to match was ideal as a wrapping.

For my son I purchased a somewhat holey Thomas and Friends fitted twin sheet at Goodwill for $2. It was a bit tricky planning the case to avoid the holes in my material but still include every printed character. His sleeping bag of course was blue.

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For my daughter, to keep with her Pokemon/Nintendo theme, a red sleeping bag was the obvious choice. I only needed to decide whether to emblazon the case with a giant M for Mario or piece together a Pokeball scheme. I decided to go with a Pokeball scheme since I had extra time that day and not too much in the way of red fabric.

The idea behind the Pokeballs was that with a vinyl circle where the button should be would act as a window to insert Pokemon cards or print-outs to have an ever-changing sham. The circles are sewn onto the pillow in a U shape, leaving the top open for card insertion. As of right now, my daughter has Hippotatas, Lucario and Pink Shellos in her case. I figured this would be a way to keep up with her desire to acquire more Pokemon without actually having the expense of buying them, the time of making them or the burden of owning and organizing them. Having more Pokemon is as cheap and simple as printing a picture from the internet and slipping it in the case.

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Frugal Baby Gift Basket

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I only had a couple of day’s warning to put together a nice gift for an expectant mom. I love baby showers and I love making gifts for babies so I felt no pressure at all making something on short notice. I spent a couple of days assessing what materials I had on hand and the time I would have to work(seems like there’s less and less of that these days).  I had such a therapeutic morning assembling this gift! With a good plan and a supportive hubby I was able to get this gift done with plenty of time to spare.

The first gift made was a tie dyed onesie. It’s supposed to be black with accordion folds but I forgot that black often comes out purplish. It’s been a long time since I’ve dyed anything! It’s a gift for a boy so I thought I’d better make it look more boyish. I quickly downloaded some clip-art and printed it on iron-on transfer paper. Adorable and gender neutral! It’s also much darker in person.

Next up was a crinkle tag toy. This one was insanely easy to whip up! I saw it somewhere on my internet search for frugal baby gifts but I can’t recall where. But basically it’s 6 bits of folded ribbon, 2 6X6 inch squares of flannel and a layer of plastic in between. It took about 8 minutes to make it and I had to fight my 11 month old to keep it for a gift. She was really loving it!

Last was the bucket to present the gift in. I had posted a tutorial for this project on my old blog but that blog is, sadly, no more. 😦 It’s pretty simple though. You cut 4 exterior and interior pieces 6.5X8.5 inches and 1 interior and exterior pieces 8.5X8.5 inches. Assemble the exterior box by sewing together the 4 exterior side pieces face-to-face on the short sides to form a bottomless box(like a box kite). Then attach the 8.5 inch square to the botom face-to-face.

Repeat steps with interior pieces.

Place right side out exterior box on flat surface and insert right-side-out interior box.

Starting an inch down from the top edge, sew in-the-ditch on all four corners.

Cut a square of cardboard to fit the bottom of your box and slip it in down one of the sides. Then cut 4 cardboard pieces to fit the sides(1/2 inch shorter than the top edge of your fabric).

When your cardboard pieces are all in you can fold in the outer and inner edges, pin and sew shut.

I’ll make a tutorial again one of these days. I wasn’t thinking about it this morning or I would have taken pictures of my work in progress. Duh!

Anyway, I added handles and a little pocket on the front to slip an index card into. That way the bucket is reusable as a nursery organizer. 😉

I added a  Baby Gap hat I picked up on clearance, tissue paper and a recycled card festooned with a recycled ribbon.

All in all this gift cost about $5 and 2.5 hours of crafting.

Gift bag or purse from a sweater

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This is an easy project for a damaged, outdated or too small sweater. Just turn it inside out and sew a straight line under the arms. Cut above it and zig-zag the edge for more durability. Add straps and you’re done! I used an old kid’s belt for my straps.

Reusable Gift Bag, Turtle

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Kids’ clothes are a wonderful source of nifty appliques, notions and specialty fabric. They’re cheap and often free to acquire. Too often items that  get a bit stained or outgrown are  just tossed instead of recycled. Making gift bags is a fantastic, fast way to recycle tiny garments!

Here’s one I made out of a toddler skort and two scraps from my scrap box. Just two quick rectangles serged together and around the top with a quick serged scrap ribbon.

This could be re-gifted over and over or used to store small items like jewelry, stationary, software, a game system, kids’ toys, etc. Larger sizes can be reused as shoe bags, craft and art supply organizers, and for china storage. There are so many possibilities!

Sequined T-Shirt Gift Bag and Fix for a hole in a Tee

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Another gift bag I made from a couple of t-shirt scraps. I made a quick ribbon from my scrap box. This is a single layer bag but I think from now on I’ll be doubling up when I use tees for gift bags. The extra layer will support large/heavier gifts and prevent a lot of the stretching that happens with knits. It will also help the bag last longer in its second life. 😀

I also did a quick(hence the messiness)reverse applique fix for a big hole in the front center of one of my son’s tees. It’s a bit sloppy but it works.