Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reusable Holiday Gift Bags

This year I decided I was going to FINALLY make some reusable gift bags for Christmas. I have been talking/thinking about it for years, but just never made the time. They don't take long at all, actually, and I have no idea why I hadn't made some sooner. Anyways, I had some old Christmas fabric from years ago when I made some holiday quilts, most of it not my favorite fabric, so this project didn't cost me a dime.
I only got around to making 5 bags so far this year (of assorted shapes and sizes) but, if I can stay motivated, I want to stock up on some holiday fabric after Christmas and make a bunch more for next year.
The bags are super easy.... you can follow my instructions for making your own produce bags, but just use holiday fabric instead of muslin and pretty yarn or ribbon instead of hemp. They literally took about 5-10 minutes each to make. 
I have already told Finn that we will be leaving the bags out under the tree for Santa to fill (sort of like a stocking) so Santa has less to wrap and we have less waste. He seems totally OK with the idea, and I figure over the years he will get accustomed, and it will just be part of the holiday tradition. 
I haven't bought any wrapping paper for holiday gifts this year.... I am pretty frugal and always save gift bags and bows, and so I have quite a stash of Christmas bags, as well as some leftover wrapping paper from years past. I love the idea of eventually having a Christmas with no wrapping waste, and making reusable gift bags for all of my gifts. For now, I am just focused on the ones that will stay in our home (and recycling the paper gift bags for presents we send out).
In addition to consuming less and reducing our holiday waste, wrapping presents will also be a breeze (as will cleanup in the morning). And for all of you parents who have stayed up into the wee hours putting together toys, the more time that can be saved the better!
How about a new tradition of Christmas bags for your family?

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  1. This is on my to-do list as well, but I don't think I'm going to get to it this year. I love the idea of leaving the empty bags under the tree and then having them filled on Christmas morning. What a magical thing to wake up to!

    P.S. I'm due mid-February. Still some time left, but I'm sure it will go by very fast! I hope you're feeling well also! :)

  2. Me too - made all fabric bags. Whew, it was a lot of sewing but since they are reuseable I should have it easy next year!

  3. Good for you!!! = ) I bought bags this year, because I felt like it was at least better than wrapping paper!