Wednesday, December 17, 2014

DIY Reusable Gift Sacks

More Christmas projects??? -- why yes! There are just 7 days left and I'm going to maximize my crafting time :).

If you've been following my posts lately, you've seen that my crafting room has gotten an new addition-- a die cutting machine! I lovity-love my Fabi. The Fabi is a fabric die cutting version of the Sizzix Big Shot or Big Kick; but packaged with quilters in mind. See the cute cathedral window print? That means it's for us!

What's a die cutting machine?  Well the machine is basically a great big squeezer. It squishes the fabric and the dies together with enough force that the blades in the die cut through the fabric. Each shape you cut requires a different die. Sizzix a has a huge selection of dies that cut common quilting shapes for peiceing (hexies anyone?)  and even dies that cut little stuffies.

The best part about the Sizzix dies is that they can cut 8 peices of fabric at a time, so you can cut a quilt in minutes with zero measuring. For this project though,  we are going to Sizzix's Alphabet dies to cut our no sew applique for our Gift Sack.


Let's Get Started:

First, we need to make our bag! We've done many drawstring bags at MIH, so we are going to go over this one quickly. You can size your bag to fit your intended gift so go as big or small as you like!

I started with a 12" x WOF (44") strip of fabric folded in half. Fold the top down a half of an inch and then over by 2 inches on both sides to create a pocket for your draw string. Press and sew this fold.

To create a gusset for your bag, fold a pleat as shown at the bottom of the bag. Then simply sew up both sides of the bag, backstiching and stopping an inch and half from the top of the bag.
Turn right side out and you have an easy gusseted gift bag. In this version, the opening for the drawstring aren't finished. If it bugs you, you can always serge or zig zag the raw edges before sewing the bag together.
Now for the fun part! Take your scrap of felt and iron Heat and Bond to the wrong side.
Now lets use our die cutting machine! Here is the way that I found was easiest. Place one of your cutting mats on the bed of the machine.
Find the die with the letter that needs to be cut out.
Place the scrap of fabric Heat and Bond side up on your die and cover with the other cutting mat.
Place the die and mat on the machine face up, and run it though.
Voila! a perfect die cut, every single time! The hardest part of this, for me at least, was remembering to put the Heat and bond side up. If you can remember that, you'll be done in about 5 minutes.
Here's the entire name spelled out. I was able to cut out the two a's at the same time. I added a little hand cut heart because.... well because.
Remove the paper backing from each letter, and then simply iron on. The Heat and Bond Ultra will stick even through the wash-- no sewing required.

Now all that's left to do is to add a bow, and you have a gift bag you can reuse each year.

I hope your holiday prep is just going swimmingly and that you have a few minutes to do a few extras.

*Sizzix provided a Fabi and dies for me to review, but I have not been compensated for this post. Purchasing from the affiliate links above helps support MIH!