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What You Make of It: Reusable Gift Bags with Guest Contributor Annie of Firefly Hill

I love things that can be used again. Here are some little bags that have a multitude of uses-one of which is a gift bag. They are simple to make and the recipient can find a new use for it after they receive their gift.

This beautiful colorful fabric is from Jennifer Paganelli's new collection called Dance With Me. I had the pleasure of buying it at her open house this past weekend in Connecticut. Jennifer is just a lovely person. If you ever can make it to one of her open houses you should go! Her home was chock full of the most delightful things made with her eye candy fabrics. I could buy one of everything!

I have a thing for painted clothes pins. Is that weird? I like to use them for different things---one of which is as a closure for a gift. And again-re usable!

These could also be favor bags for a party, wedding shower, baby shower, etc. Just tailor the fabric to suit the occasion. I did a tutorial last fall that was similar to this one. I am going to do it again because this one has a much thinner lining.

Start out with four rectangles of fabric. This size will depend on how big you want the bag. I used 9" by 11" fabric which yielded a bag about 8" by 9".

Line the fabric that will be your exterior with 3 layers of iron on interlining. This will give the bag a little heft so that it will stand up. If you make the bag any bigger that the one I made, you may want to add more layers of interlining.

With right sides together, stitch one outer fabric to one inner fabric. Do this for both sets. Your fabric will now look like this (above).

Put right sides together. Stitch around perimeter of fabric using one half inch seam allowance. Try to match up seams where the two fabrics join together. Leave the lining end of the bag unstitched.

Now box out each corner and stitch about 1 and one half inches in from the corner of the bag.

Try to match up the seams.

Trim off the excess corner.

Turn your bag right side out and you are basically done. All you need to do is press the seam around the opening of the bag to make it look nice and neat. Also you need to close up the lining on the inside. Do this by folding the rough edge in on itself, press it and stitch closed.

To fold it like I have, just push the sides of the bag down to meet in the center. That forces the front and back into a point which you can then clip with a clothes pin (or whatever you like). You now have a cute little bag to use instead of standard gift wrapping. It is better for the environment and a little


I'm Annie. I live with my family on a little farm in the beautiful rolling horse country of New Jersey where we have ponies, a little donkey and a small army of cats.  I love to make things!   I am inspired by nature, vintage things, beautiful fabrics, color and texture and frequently sell the things I make in my little etsy shop called Firefly Hill Designs.



Hi, I just discovered your blog and love it. You have a tuturial on making flowers with fabric squares and it is by far the simplest explanation out there. Thank you so much. I have so many fabric scraps that I want to use and now i can't wait to make flowers with them, I can add them to my handbags that I make now. Fun!!

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