Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christmas Clutter Countdown Week 13 & Gift Bag Tutorial

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This week I completed my second batch of handmade Christmas gifts AND then a third batch of handmade gifts. Here's a peek at some of the supplies I used for the third batch of gifts.

I am so excited to have all these gifts completed. I wrapped them all this week using holiday boxes and a few lunch bags that I turned into gift bags using patterned paper and yarn or ribbon. (See my tutorial below for making these quick and easy gift bags.)

The only gifts I have left to purchase are those for Robbie and a few stocking stuffers or goodie bag items once I know who will be celebrating Christmas Day with us. Robbie's birthday is next weekend, and I was able to pick up some gifts for him this week and get them wrapped. I also made reservations for his birthday dinner.

I printed the invitations and address labels for our annual ladies ornament exchange. Then it was quick and easy to fold the invitations, tape them closed, stick on address labels, return address labels and postage stamps. They all went in the mail this weekend.

I'm also coordinating a small play for the pre-school children at our church to do during our church's annual Christmas program. I gathered the materials I needed this week and made calls to parents in preparation for this fun event.

With Thanksgiving coming up in less than two weeks, Robbie and I decided which delicacies we would be taking to my parent's home for Thanksgiving Day as well as what we would be making for our church's Thanksgiving Feast on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. During my weekly grocery run, I picked up everything we would need (except for a few fresh items we'll get next week).

This week's focus was the master bedroom. I had picked up a new corner shelf for our bedroom several weeks ago and finally took time this week to bring it in from the garage and set it up behind the little green couch. Robbie helped me hang a few items on the wall that I had stored behind the green couch waiting to get all the furniture in place. I deep cleaned the room, dusting everything and even sorting through the pile of books by my bed. Well . . . I guess I should say sorting through the FOUR piles of books by my bed, getting them organized a little better and reminding myself what I have waiting to be read.

Each of the smaller gift bags is created with a red 10 3/4" x 5" lunch bag, one 8 1/2" x 11" piece of patterned paper, and a 12" piece of yarn.

Cut the patterned paper in half lengthwise so that each piece measured 4 1/4" across. Cut one piece down to 8" tall and adhere to the back of the bag.

Fold the top of the bag down two inches from the top. For the front of the bag, cut a 5 1/2" length and a 1 1/2" length. Adhere to the front of the bag and the front of the folded down flap.

Punch holes through the folded part of the bag - I punched mine two inches in from each side.

Once your gift is safely tucked in the bag, thread yarn through the holes and tie into a bow.

I used a 12 1/2" x 6" brown lunch bag for the larger gift bag and a 12" x 12" sheet of patterned paper with a 14" piece of ribbon. The three pieces of patterned paper needed for this larger bag measure 10"x5 1/2", 8"x5 1/2", and 1 3/4"x5 1/2".

I really like how easily these few steps turn a plain lunch bag into a decorative gift bag. Obviously the bags can easily be made more elaborate with layers of various papers and embellishments. Have fun and if you create some gifts bags, please leave me a link. I'd love to see them.


  1. the bags are lovely!! well done for de-cluttering! i cant imagine how busy life must get with thanksgiving before christmas! crazy horses!

  2. Great tutorial on the bags - thank-you! Can't believe you've got all those presents sorted already ... Well done on the de-cluttering. I am about to start!

  3. Great tutorial, these little gift bags are so cute :)

  4. Love the gift bag tutorial! Since I bought lunch bags at the beginning of the school year, but my girls are now buying lunch every day (apparently it is not "cool" for Juniors to brown bag), i have a stack of bags needing to find some use!

  5. that is a great tutorial that even I can understand thanks xxx


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