Cloth bags instead of wrapping paper. An Eco craft Project.

Everyone is talking about the environment. It's as if we all woke up at once to the fact that the earth is a closed biosphere and that stuff we use has to be recycled or we are doomed! So I'm joining in, why not! I'm looking at presents and how we wrap them.

Paper is pretty easy to recycle compared to lots of things we make. And plain paper breaks down and composts nicely. But fancy wrapping paper, the shiny sort, the metallic sort, the glittery sort, doesn't. And Christmas and birthday wrapping can end up looking gorgeous but being very bad for the planet.

Some time ago I wrote about using bags for children's gifts, not because of the planet, but because children's toys are so over packaged that an impatient toddler can end up in tears of rage when 20 minutes after unwrapping their new baby doll daddy is still trying to undo all the ties and twists, and because so much toy packaging is geared towards gender.

But lately I realised that reusable bags would also be good for adults gifts, for any gifts really, and the best thing about a little bag is that it makes gifts easy to wrap, and it can be reusable too!

If you have a sewing machine they are a snap to make, but even if you hand sew they are far from complicated.

So with a doubly environmental plan that involved buying cheap clothes at Charity stores purely for the pretty designs on the material and then recycling them into bags, I set to work.

So far I have actually used new material because I found some cheap 'fat quarters', and the bags I have made are small, but I'm going to keep making them, as and when I have time, so that by Christmas I should have a good choice.

I have used ribbon for the 'drawstring' on my bags so that they can have a bow tied at the top.

The simplest design require no finishing of raw edges, just a simple rectangle of material, wide hems sewn at each narrow end for the drawstring (ribbon) , fold the rectagle into a square, and then a quick sew together of the sides.

Two loops of ribbons are threaded through the hems and ... ta da! a drawstring bag.

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