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YES! But How? :: Homemade Gift Bags

Why not avoid paper gift-wrap and make your own gift bags?
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Fabric Gift Bags

These reusable fabric gift bags make a stylish and environmentally friendly alternative to paper and can be regifted for years to come.

Photo by Jessica Wilson.


Why not avoid paper gift-wrap and make your own gift bags?

Each holiday season, consumers cart home their purchases and wrap gifts in 4 million tons of shopping bags and wrapping paper. And since most wrapping paper contains non-paper additives, all this waste ends up in a landfill.

Why not avoid paper gift-wrap and make your own gift bags? It’s a fun activity to do with your kids, friends, or family members. And unlike traditional wrapping paper, gift bags don’t require the use of tape and can be re-gifted, reused, and enjoyed for years to come.

It’s not as hard as you might think. Making a few of these bags requires about an hour of your time, some basic materials, and a small amount of creativity.

You need: a sharp pair of scissors, some needles and thread, a ruler, and fabric.

You can look around your house for old sheets or something else that would work, or go to your local crafts store and pick out your favorite holiday pattern.

Clear an area and lay out all your tools. Place the gift you’re wrapping in the center of the fabric and look at how much you’ll need to cover the item completely. Then cut your fabric to the size you need, fold it in half and stitch two sides. Leave the bag as is, bunch the top with cloth ribbon, or hem the top, leaving a hole to push through a drawstring.

—Heather Purser

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Heather PurserHeather Purser wrote this article for Climate Action, the Winter 2010 issue of YES! Magazine. Heather is a YES! Magazine editorial assistant. After YES!, Heather Purser is ready to dive professionally and begin harvesting geoducks. (And thanks to her internship, she feels a little funny about the whole thing now.)

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