DIY gift bags made from calendar pages

Ok, not quite anything.  but certainly from old calendars, newspapers and potato-chip tubes.

Last weekend I riffled through our overflowing recycling pile and extracted some paper to play with, experimenting with my sewing machine.  My favourite are these vibrant gift bags, made by simply stitching together two pages from last year’s calendar;

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The local supermarket weekly newspaper becomes a single-use tote or gift bag when stitched on two sides and adorned with ribbon-scrap handles..

DIY recycled newspaper tote

And a souvenir from our recent trip to Cape Town – a free weekly mag from the winelands – becomes a fun bag too!

DIY book from old magazines

And finally Pringles tubes covered in leftover gift-wrap become handy packages for cookies, sweets or half-bottles of Valentine’s champagne (I write that in case my husband is reading; what is a blog for, if not to drop heavy marital hints?)

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To make calendar bags…

If you still have last year’s calendar lying around (ours was from here),  separate and trim the pages and then stitch two of them together on your sewing machine, using a basic running stitch and staying as close to the edges as you can.  Make sure both picture-sides are facing out, to avoid gifting someone the insight of your carefully-detailed family events for the entire month of June 2019.  Use a hole punch to make holes at the top and thread through scraps of ribbon or string to make handles.  You could also add a pocket to the outside of the bag (to hold a gift card for example) by stitching on a square of card before you sew the two sides together.

To make newspaper or magazine bags…

These are less sturdy (despite my styling above, I don’t recommend using them for the weekly shop), but they’re great fun.  Try using a foreign language newspaper, or a glossy magazine  – they’re the perfect size and weight to hold a book or other lightweight gift.  Open up your newspaper and remove any staples, and keep just a few layers of the pages. You can fold the top over to make a cuff as I did with the Waitrose newspaper, or just leave them as is.  Stitch around the sides as before (make sure you leave the top open, of course..), and then you can either stitch on ribbon handles or use a hole punch and eyelets as above.

For the gift tube..

Take an empty Pringles tin (I’m afraid this craft may require you to eat a tube of Pringles first; consider it a display of your commitment to the muse), then roll it over a sheet of giftwrap to work out the dimensions of the paper you need.  Cut out the paper, paste it around the tube using watered-down white glue and then punch holes for handles when dry.  Don’t be alarmed by the drying process by the way, in which the paper will look awful.  By the morning it will be beautiful.

p.s. from the archives; book vases, stitched vessels and altered envelopes

Happy Thursday!

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