I decided this was the year to stop buying gift wrap. Doesn't it make more sense to make gift bags that can be reused instead of buying paper that is thrown in the trash after the first use?
My fabric stash contains enough Christmas prints to make lots of gift bags. A third of a yard of fabric is sufficient to make 2 small bags. A yard of fabric can make a bunch, depending on what size are needed for your gifts.
I chose 5 different prints for these gift bags. It took me all of 15 minutes to sew a few seams and turn a hem at the top. I used a sewing machine but they can be sewn by hand too. (Don't sew? Use fabric glue or an iron-on bonding material.)
To finish, I crocheted chains with scrap yarn to tie into bows. I popped the gifts into each bag and tied it closed. It takes just a few seconds to insert the gift and tie it closed instead of the time it takes to wrap a gift in paper. Odd shapes are no problem either. :-) No tape or paper needed. For gift tags, you can print out free ones on the web or create your own.
These bags are a bonus gift that can be reused again and again. That's what I call creative recycling and saving money. Holiday themed fabric can be purchased inexpensively (50% off or more) in the after Christmas clearance sales. Pick up some and start a new tradition with your family next year.
You can also sew fabric gift bags for any occasion. Wouldn't a child love a gift bag made from their favorite character fabric? If you make it large enough, it can be used as a pillowcase on their bed. If you quilt, you may have extra quilt blocks that could be turned into gift bags or even tote bags to hold gifts. Plain pillowcases can be painted, embroidered, stamped, or embellished to create custom gift bags too.
With a little creativity and what you have on hand, you can have some fun and save a little money too.