Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reusable Gift Wrap

This year sew mama sew challenged us to help reduce our waste this holiday season by using reusable grocery bags to wrap Christmas presents in.  I thought this was such a good idea!  I thought I would get in on the fun and see if I could get you inspired to do the same.
The bag I have chosen is so easy anyone can do it; from someone who has The Skills to someone who has no skills.
Items Needed:

  • an old shirt (preferably something stretchy like a t-shirt, but anything will work fine)
  • thread, any color

The arms of the shirt need to be cut off so as to make part of the handles so to get the holes the same shape and size I folded the shirt in half thusly.  I then simply cut right inside the seam where the sleeves have been sewn onto the body of the shirt.

Here it is after the sleeves are gone.  You will need to do the same thing with the neck of the shirt so it will stretch and you can get your items in and out of the bag.

Once everything is cut turn the shirt inside out and sew a seam along the bottom of the shirt so you will not have a big hole in the bottom of your bag.

So the edges won't fray you want to sew a seam along them but there is no need to fold it or iron or in other words hem the edges.  Instead just sew a line of thread along all the raw edges.  I used an over-lock stitch but you can also use a zig-zag stitch or any "stretch" stitch.  You wouldn't really want to use a straight stitch as this stitch does not stretch and you want your openings to stretch a bit. 

And you are all done!  Now wasn't that so easy you can't even believe it?

And what do you do with the left over pieces that used to be the arms of the shirt?  Well, since this is all about reducing waste you throw them in your scrap basket of course!

You thought that was going to be long, drawn out, and rather hard didn't you?!  Well, weren't you pleasingly surprised?

Now you can use this great little package to wrap another package in.  I used ribbon to tie it all up so as not to use any tape that will just be thrown away, and for the tag I cut a rectangle out of an old paper bag I had here and put the initial of the little chicken that will be receiving this particular present and stuck it under the tree.

Some other sites for a bit more inspiration:

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