Wrap Your Christmas Gifts in this DIY Drawstring Bag

Wrapping Christmas Gifts

Wrapping paper is expensive. Unless you are one of those people who carefully peel the tape from your gifts, chances are you will not be able to use that wrapping again. It can take weeks to get all your Christmas gifts wrapped and having all that beautiful paper strewn across your floor on Xmas morning is not only terrible for our carbon footprint, but it also means a sheer waste of time, effort and money. The environmentally-friendly alternative to rolls of wrapping is the DIY drawstring bag. These nifty little bags can be used at Christmas time, birthdays or any other special occasion.

Use Your Sewing Machine to Create Lasting Drawstring Bags

Drawstring gift bags are an easy to assemble, cost-effective solution to wrapping paper. You can choose cotton, muslin, velvet – just about any fabric you fancy – for your drawstring bag. Because you are making these bags from scratch, you can select prints your loved ones will absolutely adore (think Disney princesses and Star Wars for the grandkids!). 

This Is the Sewing Equipment and Other Tools You Will Need to Create Your Fabulous Gift Bags: 

  • Safety pin
  • Pins 
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Overlocker
  • Fabric of choice
  • Ribbon of choice or string
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Cotton thread

Follow These Easy Steps:

  • Step 1: 

Fold the fabric double. Put the gift on top of it. Measure out the correct dimensions for your gift bag and cut out two identical halves, allowing 1 cm at the sides and bottom for the seams, and a 4 cm allowance for the drawstring tunnel on top.

  • Step 2: 

Line up the halves, with the wrong sides facing outward, then use your overlocker to run up the sides and bottom. Overlock the top edges separately to guard against fraying.

  • Step 3:

You can now see your bag taking shape. Fold the top sides over, allowing enough space for your ribbon and safety pin to slide through. Remember the drawstrings will be lined up double, so leave enough space and do not sew the edges closed (the tunnel must be open on either side). Use pins to hold the tunnel in place.

  • Step 4: 

Line the top of your bag up to the sewing machine. Use plain stitching to secure the drawstring tunnel, removing the pins as you go along. Use reverse stitching at both edges to secure the tunnel. Repeat the procedure on the other side of your bag as well, carefully trimming any loose threads with a scissor.

  • Step 5: 

Fold the overlocked seams open and iron them flat. Now turn the bag right side out.

  • Step 6:

Fold the short end of your ribbon in half and put the safety pin through it. Close the pin and push it into the drawstring tunnel. Thread the ribbon through the tunnel and pull it out at the other side. Now flip the bag over and stick the drawing pin into the tunnel on the other side, threading it through until both ribbon ends are sticking out on the same side. Once this is done, take out the safety pin and securely tie both ends. 

  • Step 7: 

Complete step 6, but on the opposite side of your bag. 

Once you have put the string through the top of your bag, simply pull on the sides to close it and you are done. 

You can use this video tutorial for a more detailed guide. Or, click on some of these festive designs for more inspiration.

To create a bigger bag that could double-up as a backpack, increase the dimensions, use rope instead of ribbon, add a grommet to the lower corners of your backpack, and string the rope through it and then tie a double knot. You can view a drawstring backpack tutorial here.

Like with most DIY sewing projects, you will need to prepare these Christmas drawstring bags ahead of time, but they will save you money and have a much longer life than wrapping. Your guests will be thrilled to receive their personalized, 100% reusable bag. Depending on the size, they can be used as storage space for Christmas ornaments, or slung over the shoulder when you pop out to the shops or the gym. Contact us today to learn more about Empisal overlockers and affordable sewing machines.

Sew Your Own Christmas Decorations!

sewing christmas decorations

A growing number of businesses are cutting down on paper and plastic. So, in the spirit of going green this festive season, why not use fabric for your Christmas decorations? Sewing your own decorations is not only cost-effective, but also more environmentally-friendly. There are a number of easy sewing projects to choose from allowing the entire family to get involved! 

Easy Sewing Projects to Suit Every Taste 

Making your own Christmas decorations takes a little thought and planning, but this only means the Christmas excitement starts a few weeks earlier. While you will need to shop around for the materials and embellishments, the end results are worth the effort. Never thought of sewing Christmas decorations? Here are some incredible ideas that will definitely inspire!

Ornaments

Instead of buying breakable baubles, make miniature pillows in different designs to decorate the tree. These are cheap, pretty and reusable. Depending on your choice of fabric, they’ll last for years and can be stored and moved without fear of damaging them. Use top stitching to attach various motifs, and zigzag stitches alternating with plain stitches for a ‘Christmas sweater’ effect. Just follow this simple tutorial to learn how. 

Garland

For those with a staircase and who want to make a statement, opt for a Christmas garland. This festive bunting can also be strung up over the mantelpiece. Use greens and deep reds, and spell out ‘Merry Xmas’ or even string up the initials of the family members. Wool felt is used in the tutorial, but you could use silk for a more glamorous feel. Just be sure to use an overlocker on the edges to prevent fraying, and to iron out any creases with your steam press.

Cushion and Chair Covers and Table Runners

You will want to add an embroidery machine to your list of sewing equipment for these festive decorations. Any living space can be spruced up by changing the look of the décor. Buy golden embroidery floss to use in your Empisal Embroider Machine 350 and use the monogramming feature to make personalised cushions and chair covers for the whole family. This sewing machine uses USB design transfer, so you can go crazy with patterns and emblems. You can also dazzle your guests with a fabulous, yet affordable table runner. Choose coordinating colours and different textures to create an authentic piece of table art. Whether you choose cushions, chair covers or table runners, these sewing projects will provide hours of fun. 

Coasters

These little pieces are often overlooked, but they can add a special touch to your Christmas table. Let your imagination run wild and mix up the colours and designs. Felt can be layered for a sturdy feel by double-stitching the edges in a contrasting colour. Why not delight your guests by gifting them a coaster that bears their initials?

Christmas Stocking

Use plain stitching to put this age-old favourite together. Personalise them with patterns, colours and symbols that complement the personality of each recipient. Almost any sturdy fabric will do. Cut out shapes in contrasting colours and use plain stitching to affix them to the stocking. Overlocking the edges of the stocking will ensure they last at least a few Christmases (but you will probably want to donate them and design new ones for next year!).

Even if you do not own a sewing or fancy embroidery machine yet, you can still attempt some of these designs with a basic needle, thread and ironing equipment. You can purchase an affordable sewing kit from any good haberdashery, and invest in your very own Empisal once you have been hooked. Contact us today to learn more about our affordable sewing machines.