Christmas is a few days away, and the wrapping frenzy has just begun at our house. I normally use kraft paper and twine when wrapping gifts, but odd-shaped items seem to go best in bags. I decided to make some gift bags this year out of felt scraps leftover from my Christmas tree skirt project. The felt is made from recycled plastic bottles, and, best of all, the handmade bags are reusable.
To make your own felt gift bags, you need the following items:
sewing machine (or you can handstitch)
embroidery floss and needle
bias tape or yarn (optional)
1. Cut out two identical rectangles (the size depends on your gift). The proportion of length to width should be similar to a brown lunch sack.
2. With right sides together, sew along all the edges except the top.
3. To create a base for the bag, pinch the corners so that the bottom seam touches each side seam. Then run the two corners through the sewing machine, creating new seams perpendicular to the bottom seam.
4. Turn the bag right side out and trim the top edge with pinking shears. The basic bag design is now done!
5. For the button detail, flip down the top edge and cut a slit in the middle of the flap. The slit should go through both layers of the flap.
6. Sew the button(s) onto the bag with embroidery floss.
7. Just add embroidered designs to the front of the flap, and the bag is ready to gift!
Another option, especially if you're running short on time, is to skip steps 5 - 7 and tie the felt bag with yarn or bias tape.
I can see the felt bags being a great project for young crafters. They will most likely need a little help with the sewing (especially the corners). And, instead of embroidery, kids could glue felt shapes onto the bag, like hearts for Valentine's Day.