Tutorial: Gift Bags

These are easy to make and chances are you will be able to make them from things lying around the house. I particularly like the effect when they are made out of magazines or newspapers and another benefit is that you often have these things anyway so they are FREE! As Christmas is quickly approaching I will be making for Christmas presents.

You will need:

Wrapping paper - I'm using the left over from last year

Ribbon - I'm getting some from my stash however if you do not have any you could use string, twine or even wool. If its too thin maybe you could cut several lengths and plait it for added effect.

Card: I have taken this from some junk mail that came through the post

Ruler, glue or double sided tape, pencil and hole punch and scissors (although I've forgotten to take a photo of the scissors and hole punch).


Once you have gathered all of that you can then get started.

Step One

You need two rectangles of the paper that measure 39cm x21cm. If your paper has a directional pattern try to make sure it is going in the correct direction. Use my picture below to help you do this.



Step Two

Stick together the two pieces of paper back to back. This will ensure that the inside of your bag is patterned and add to the strength. If you want it to be blank on the inside stick plain paper onto the back of it.

Step Three

Make a fold 1cm from the right hand side.

Step Four

Make another fold 11cm on the left of the previous fold. This will make either the front/back.

Step Five

Make another fold 8cm on the left of the previous fold. This will make one of the sides.

Step Six

Make another fold 11cm on the left of the previous fold. This will not only make the other front/back but also will leave 8cm for the remaining side.

Step Seven

Make a fold 3 cm deep from the top.

Step Eight

Make a fold 5cm from the bottom.

Step Nine

Cut out two piece of card 11cm x8cm to fit below the top flap (see below). This will add strength to the top of your bag. The fold down the flap and stick it down to make a neat edge.

Step Ten

Put glue on the 1cm flap and glow the four sides together.

Step Eleven

Turn the bag upside down and push down one of the 8cm sides. The fold along he flaps to make half triangles (see below)

Step Twelve

Repeat with the other side.

Step Thirteen

Stick down the flaps to make the base of the bag.

Step Fourteen

Next glue down a rectangle of cardboard into the base of the bag to strengthen the base.

Step Fifteen 

Finally make holes and thread ribbon through to make the handles.


Now it is ready to put your presents in and give to your nearest and dearest. The best things about it though is that each one can be made to suit the person you are giving it to and they are cost a fraction of what they are in the shop.

I hope you found this tutorial was helpful. I welcome any comments and thoughts you have.


Framed Glass Piece

Here it is! This is the first chance I have had to put it up onto my blog. I am really impressed with how it has turned out. It is now sitting happily on my living room side table. What do you think?



Last Thursday I went to another glass workshop where I made a framed piece. I am actually getting quite good at cutting the glass and I must say I am getting more confidence with my designs. Although this could easily become my downfall but time will tell. Maybe one day I will get sooooo good that I will be able to have my own kiln. I would also need a larger house to accommodate the kiln but that is a small technicality.

Glass before the kiln

When it comes out of the kiln it will be glued (with extremely strong glue) onto a lovely dark frame. Each of the three pieces will be kept separate and have a space between but will stay in the same frame. I think this definitely adds another dimension to an otherwise typical picture.

My next glass workshop is to learn to make a bowl so am going to have to start looking around for ideas. If you have any feel free to send them across.


Seventeen Down, Three More To Go!

Today I have had a bit of a sewing day. It’s been a while since the completed my last block and I figured that I had better pull my finger out and complete the last four blocks. By the end of it my eyes were feeling strained from all of the concentration. I did manage to complete another block from my sampler quilt. Unfortunately it was an applique  block and that is not my strongest of skills. In fact I really struggle with it, however I am hoping that if people only look at from a distance they won’t notice that it’s slightly lumpy and uneven. I have also included images of the other blocks I have made so far.

Today's block is top centre

You can see from the image that it isn’t as neat as the others. I am really enjoying making the blocks and I only have three blocks left to complete then I will have enough for a double quilt. Once I have completed all of my blocks I then need to add borders, square them off and then add deep purple sashing.

Some more blocks.

I really enjoy making the log cabins and I particularly enjoyed making the variation of it called Court House Steps. That’s the block on the top right.

More blocks

The ones that I have already managed to put borders around I think look really effective, especially the double borders done in the same fabric patterns as the block.

Once I had completed my block I didn’t feel up to starting another one, especially one containing applique! So I got out my scrap basket and made a little hanging heart. For a first attempt and no instructions I think I did pretty well.  The picture doesn’t really do it justice. The buttons stand out against the fabric better than the picture shows.

My newest addition to my craft room.

I look forward to putting it on display in my craft room.