Sunday, December 6, 2015

Last Minute Gift (& Gift Wrap) Idea to Sew, Just in Time for Chanukah!

Happy Chanukah 2015! It starts tonight, and continues for 7 more nights. So even if it's 4 in the afternoon, that's still enough time to make stitched Chanukah presents (or Christmas, for that matter), especially the ones I'm showing you here.

These drawstring gift bags are probably the most useful Chanukah items I've ever sewn. I made them years ago, and they have brought our family's wrapping paper trash and expense waaaayyy down. A pack of different-sized bags is the perfect meta-gift for an environmentalist and/or hard-to-shop-for person.
For some of my bags, I used wide ribbon to cinch, for dramatic effect. But in hindsight, this was a mistake, because the ribbon has to be pressed before reuse every year, on a low temperature, so as not to melt the acrylic. Choose a nice cord, or a very thin grosgrain ribbon instead, especially if you're giving the bags to someone who doesn't know much about ironing.

The purple bag below may have been my first gift bag, before I discovered Judaic novelty fabrics. Instead of a drawstring casing, it has a velcro closure at the top center, and a grosgrain ribbon stitched  through its center on the right side, so it can be tied.  I can't believe I used sparkly glitter glue! (Real quilters sneer at sparkly glitter glue!) 
Here's a bag cut from menorah fabric. 
This one is from a more elegant print:
To punch up the excitement, I made each bag a little brooch. I cut star motifs from novelty fabric, mounted them on stiff interfacing, quilted them, overstitched the edges, then decorated with fancy buttons and beads. The diamond-studden button on the left is missing a few of its priceless stones, but who's going to notice?
 Here's the back. (I cannot explain why I painted the back petals in such an eccentric fashion.)
The giftee can wear it, or leave it on the bag.
Oh wait, there's one more. For this third brooch, I went nuts with the eyelash yarn, and the beads spell "holiday." I know, it's kooky, but keep in mind that I was trying to impress young children!
Here are two of my bags from birthday themed fabrics:
Want to make your own? Google "How to Make a Drawstring Bag" and you'll find eleventy million tutorials. Want to buy a set instead of making them? On etsy, here's one of many sellers who make lovely bag sets from Christmas and other novelty fabrics. (No financial affiliation!)

Wishing all a joyous and colorful holiday season!


  1. I made drawstring Christmas bags last year for all my gifts. The golf club one was the silliest! I agree that they are really handy and save heaps of paper waste.

    1. That's hilarious! A golf gift bag!!! Hmmm, I have some golf fabric....I just don't know any golfers!!! Thanks for the comment!

    2. Four of my machatanim are avid golfers. They live in Florida. The golf fabric would make nice covers for the clubs.


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