Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fabric gift bag

Reusing paper gift bags is already pretty "green." Lately, though, I've been picking up cute fabric totes for around a quarter. I thought this toile tote was cute enough for a gift bag.

What do you think? Is it ewww to give a gift in a bag that's not new?

23 comments:

Mary said...

I don't think it is ewww...unless it is soiled or smelly.......then I would wash it, starch it, and iron it! Good as new!

Birdie said...

I love both giving and receiving fabric totes!

Mary Ann said...

As long as it's very clean and doesn't look worn. I would much prefer receiving a fabric bag to a paper gift bag. I make some drawstring bags sometimes to use as the gift as well as the gift wrap. I love it when the whole gift-wrappings and all-are useful.

Ewokgirl said...

It's only gross if it's dirty or smells weird. No one will know it's not new as long as it's cleaned, ironed, and starched. :-)

devildogwife said...

What a great idea! As long as it's clean, no one will know that it's used.

laurel sauls said...

I think that is great! I would rather receive a gift in a bag like that any day!
Do you take your own reusable bags to the grocery store? I have been interested in doing this but haven't done it yet. Just curious if you do...

Anonymous said...

I would love it. And so would anyone else I know. I would also tell them that it was new, cause I'm just like that, and if it did bother them, then they don't deserve a present, anyway.

BTW, a book that I know you would love is The Girl of the Limberlost. My mom read it when she was a girl in the early 50s, and now I have my very own copy that I won't share with anyone. It is about a girl who makes do with what she has and faces struggles and comes out of it a beautiful woman, inside and out. I have seen it and others by the same author on Amazon and Ebay.

Just sharing.

Rebekah

Anonymous said...

okay, on my comment above, I meant to say that I would tell them that it was NOT new and what a good deal I got on it. (Should really use that preview option!)

Rebekah

Molly said...

Nope, not in my opinion. Besides, you are the only one who knows it isn't new.

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

i like it ... what a great idea!

Lucy said...

I think it's great! As long as it's clean and in good shape, I'd love to be given a bag I can use for errands, etc. The toile is adorable!

Marie said...

I'm particularly fond of velvet drawstring bags for gift giving.

Paula said...

What a FABULOUS idea! AS long as it LOOKS like new, why not use it? :) And I have to also say I LOVED your heirloom post! I liked to both from my blog! :)

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

I would think a lovely tote bag would always be welcome! My husband's step-mother is the queen of finding bargain gift containers that are often as wonderful as the gift they contain. I'm trying to take a page out of her book and pick up things when I see them - cute decorative boxes, hat boxes, etc. I'd not thought of tote bags before. Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Girl of the Limberlost is a great book. Hallmark Hall of fame made a movie of it that you can sometimes find at the library. The video is a great family movie. I love stories of resourcefulness.

mama k said...

I agree as long as it's clean and in good condition go for it. It probably depends somewhat one the receiver too I suppose.

Lizzie said...

I've been saying for years that we should make the switch from paper gift-wrapping to fabric in the form of totes or simple drawstring bags...and haven't gotten very far, LOL. I have a grand plan to make a whole stack of drawstring bags (super easy) from sale xmas fabric of the year before, and having 'sacks' of presents according to the size. You can recycle newspaper to 'puff out' the bags a little if the newsprint isn't going to soil the item. Each year I get all enthused about this idea and then in the mad rush of chaos that is Nov/Dec, usually go for the easy option of paper. Come to think of it, I really should be starting now, LOL.

Then of course you have the option of keeping an eye out for any groovy fabric, even old garments/curtains from yard sales or thrift stores, and using those to make reusable bags for gifts for the rest of the year. Every person I've mentioned this idea to LOVES it. The 'wrapping' then becomes part of the gift itself, and the recipient either hangs on to it for use around their home, or 'recycles' the bag when giving *their* next gift.

This works especially well at Xmas time. How many times have you looked at the mess of coloured paper afterward and groaned at the waste? Some save the paper for reuse but why not go one step further and not bother buying it at all? The fabric for the bags could be even cheaper than paper, if you pick it up secondhand, or at the very least, would pay for themselves in not needing to buy wrap for a couple of years.

You don't need a pattern. A simple drawstring bag is simply a rectangle cut to fit whatever you're wrapping (or if you're making these in advance, make a few in several different sizes), folded in half (right sides together, side seams sewn up (the bottom seam is the fold). Fold about a half inch down at the top (while still inside out) and sew down. Do this again to form the 'casing' for the ribbon - how much to fold down is dependent on the wide of the ribbon. Leave an opening near one of the side seams. Turn right side out. Stick a safety pin in the end of a length of ribbon and feed it through the casing. Pop item in (remove pin!), tie in a pretty bow and wha-la.

Couple of points to remember (then I'll go, I promise, this comment is way too long, LOL):

* If you have small children and you're using this idea at Xmas, you might want to do one of a few things. Stuff the bag a bit to disguise the shape, tie the bag in a double knot to prevent peaking, or leaving it hidden (but wrapped) until after kiddies go to bed on Xmas eve, then arranging all the sacks underneath the tree.

* Choose the fabric carefully - check for 'see-through ability'. No point wrapping if they can see straight through the bag!

* If you're making one to wrap something specific, fold a length of fabric around the item to get an idea of how big a piece of fabric you need, and make sure to allow extra for seams and 'maneouverability'.

Right, that's it...I'm dragging out the sewing machine now, LOL.

Cheers,
Lizzie
http://lizzieshome.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I think this idea is great, too. Most people I know reuse the paper gift bags several times, so why not something like this? I am going to look for some cute totes on my next thrift store stop!
Susan

Anna said...

I would love to be given a bag like that. My favorite gifts have been ones that someone picked out for me and were used. To get a used dish that matches your set...to get something you collect..to get a used book picked out just for your taste, etc .. and to have it in such a pretty cloth reusuable bag would be extra special!! What a good idea Meredith!! Also thankyou for inspiring me to think of my family treasures in a new light. Great ideas!!

Flighty Girl said...

Fabric gift bags are the new "in" thing. I was just in Whole Foods the other day and they were fabric gifts bags. Your idea is even more "green" than Whole Foods ;)

Amy said...

I love this idea! I would love a gift in a fabric tote. It would make a wonderful library bag for someone, or a great regift!! Great job!

Karen said...

I think this is a great idea! The bag is actually part of the gift, this way. I love it when the packaging is part of the present.

thehomespunheart said...

I would probably try to wash it - but think it is perfectly acceptable to give a used bag! Cute!