Frugal Upcycled Fabric Gift Bags

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If you’re here from Nap-time Creations, welcome.  I’m so pleased to be participating in A Crafty Christmas.  I can’t wait to show you my Upcycled Gift Bags.
If there’s one thing that really bugs me, it’s throwing away wrapping paper after gifts have been opened.  I’ve not yet figured out how to repurpose large amounts of wrapping paper (although I did go through a phase when we smoothed it out and reused it.  That’s was frustrating and not very festive.)  So in preparation for the holidays this year I dropped by a local thrift store and looked through the linens section for fabric I could repurpose by sewing frugal upcycled fabric gift bags for my holiday gift wrapping.
several upcycled red and white fabric gift bags next to red and white fabric with title text reading 10 Upcycled Gift Bags for $1
 If you check the linens section at your thrift store, you’ll be surprised at the quality of fabric there for amazingly low prices.  I found this red cotton tablecloth and this white cotton twin bed skirt (when I saw the lacy edge of the bed skirt, I just had to get it) for $1 each.  Yep, $1 for a red cotton tablecloth that produced 10 gift bags! 
a white bed skirt and a red  and white tablecloth
I’ve made plenty of fabric gift bags in the past.  I enjoy finding fun fabrics to repurpose.  But over the years, I’ve become annoyed that depending on the gift inside, the bag doesn’t have enough structure.  It often falls over or just looks dumpy.  Cute, but dumpy. 
a red and white upcycled fabric gift bag
So this time I was determined to sew a fabric gift bag that had some structure.  I searched my pantry for a cardboard box the right size to repurpose. 
a Horizon Organic chocolate milk cardboard box
 I cut the box down to about half the height I wanted for my finished bag.  I measured the circumference of the box and added 5/8 inch for the seam allowance. 
a measuring tape being used to measure a cardboard box
 I measured the fabric and eyeballed how tall I wanted the bag to be to allow enough fabric at the top to be gathered with a bow. 
a cardboard box and measuring tape on red and white fabric
I cut my fabric so I could use the already finished edge of the table cloth as the finished top of my bag. 
red and white tablecloth
 I sewed the bottom and side seam with a 1/4 inch seam.  I grabbed a coordinating piece of ribbon from my stash (harvested from gifts we’ve received in the past)  and sewed it into the side seam to use to tie the bag. 
red and white tablecloth with a side seam stitched on it
 I slipped the box into the bag and lined the seam up in the middle of one of the sides. You need to line the seam up this way for the next step to work correctly. 
a red and white fabric being slipped over a cardboard box
 I fiddled with the box until it fit neatly in the bag and pulled the corners of the bag out to the sides. 
the bottom side of a red and white fabric bag
 Then I poked the corners into the bottom of the bag and tucked them in neatly. 
showing how to fold the corners of the red and white fabric gift bag
 Ta da.
A fabric gift bag that will stand up neatly on its own.  This bag cost me $.10 because I repurposed ribbon that I already had.    I love that I can make  the exact size gift bag that I need. 
a red and white upcycled fabric gift bag
 I was able to make 10 fabric gift bags from that one $1 thrifted table cloth.  I used ribbon that I already had so for $.10 a piece I’m ready to start wrapping some gifts. 
several red and white upcycled fabric gift bags
 Stay tuned next week  to see what twist I put on the gift bag I made with the white bed skirt.
 I’m participating in A Crafty Christmas at Nap-Time Creations.  Be sure to pop over and check out all the other crafty ideas for Christmas.
You may also be interested in: 
2 red sweater gift bags tied with ribbon with title text reading Repurposed Sweater Gift Bags
green and white fabric baskets with title text reading Baskets from Cloth Napkins

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  1. You are going to turn me into a crafter before this year is over. I love that you make it look so easy and provide such clear instructions. If my practice run goes well, I may head to Ross and stock up on discounted tablecloths and make a bunch of these.

  2. I LOVE this!! and I LOVE that you found such festive fabric at the thrift store :o) SCORE!!!!! These are fabulous bags and will be so useful for wrapping, especially those hard to wrap in paper objects that like to poke out of my wrapping. PS, glad you are out of the smooth out the used wrapping phase :o) That’s just crazy ;o) EMily I just spread the word about this post on all my social media, thanks for sharing with me.

  3. You inspire me! I bought a tablecloth on sale (paid more than $1) and have not figured out what to do with it. Now I know. I just love these and love the red and white – perfect for the holidays!

  4. Clever idea to add the box to enable the gifts to stand up. That red and white fabric was a great find – perfect for Christmas.

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