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My teen daughter came home from school last week and told me that she had volunteered to purchase a Christmas gift to donate to a child. She had specifically chosen an older boy because she knows that younger children are usually chosen first. She’s going tomorrow to purchase Christmas toys to donate to this wonderful 8-year-old boy. I’m so proud of my daughter and her thoughtfulness. She’s motivated me to donate toys for a another child in our community and make a DIY Santa sack for the Christmas gifts. Most toy donation drives ask that the gifts not be wrapped. I like to place my donated toys inside a Santa sack. This allows the organization to easily open the sack, check the donations and even wrap them if they want. But the Santa sack is such a magical way to wrap a child’s Christmas gift that I think it makes the donated toys that much more special for the child who receives them.
I have a confession. Every single time I go to a craft store, I look at the fabric clearance bin. I am not a seamstress, so purchasing fabric off the bolt at full price is a bit intimidating to me. But buying the unassuming remnant from the clearance bin is motivating (because there’s less pressure for this non-seamstress sewing mama). I found this adorable Santa fabric and knew immediately that I wanted to make a Santa sack to go with my donated gifts. I was disappointed that the remnant of Santa fabric was much too small to make a gift bag, but then I found this second remnant of coordinating red fabric. Yipppe! One Santa sack coming right up.
DIY Santa Sack for Toy Donations
I cut the blue fabric in half (for each side of the sack) and cut the red fabric in half and then in half again. Since the fabric was the same width, it made it easy to match the pieces up and sew the 2 sides of the sack. (I’m so charmed by that Santa fabric! It makes me happy every time I see it.)
I sewed the 2 sides together on three edges. I turned down the top about 1 1/2 inches and sewed it down with 2 rows of stitching to make a casing for the drawstring. After sewing everything, I carefully picked open the seam on one side between the 2 rows of stitching. For more details on sewing the sack, check out this upcycled fabric gift bag tutorial.
I threaded a piece of holiday ribbon through the casing of the Santa sack. If your ribbon has text or an image on it, pay attention to which side is up before you start threading it through (ask me how I know this).
Having taught parent education for over 20 years, I know that many disadvantaged families do not have very many books at home. I also know how important reading and having books available is for the future success of children. When I purchase Christmas toys to donate, I try to include a book to go with the toy. I also realize that children want toys. Toys make their eyes light up and brighten their day. This year I popped over to Walmart to check out the Hallmark Northpole Holiday toys, books and more. I found lots of fun toys and book choices on one and a half aisles near the cards and stationery.
I was able to find a sweet book and coordinating game to donate. They also had a can of make-your-own snow and a stuffed snowball that coordinated with the book and game. What child doesn’t love a cuddly, soft stuffed toy (and one that you can safely throw around the house! Not that I am recommending that)? And snow in a can. Snow. in. a. can! How fun is that?!
After looking through the book, I realized the Find Me Santa snowflake that comes with the book is an extra special gift for children who may be homeless or displaced during the holiday season.
I can’t wait to help my daughter drop off her donated toys and to drop off my DIY Santa Sack filled with Christmas toy donations. Will you join my daughter and me in donating toys and books to children this holiday season? Generosity and sharing is truly the magic and meaning of Christmas.
Other gift bag ideas: