Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fabric Gift Wrap

I made a vow a a couple of years ago that I would no longer spend money on wrapping paper. I have always saved every gift bag and piece of tissue paper to reuse. Currently though I have a few Christmas bags and a whole lot of baby girl and baby boy bags. I use these when ever I can but I need to find another solution to gift giving. For this reason I have been looking into reusable gift wrap. Most of what you find out there is bags. I think the reusable bags are great for birthdays but under my tree I still like the look of wrapped boxes with pretty ribbon.

I found a tutorial here that had some good information on making gift wrap. I thought I would get different fabric for each child so there would be no need to label the gifts. I knew I needed to make gift wrap not only for Christmas but also for the kids birthdays. This is when I thought why not make it double sided so one side is Christmas and the other side is for birthday. For those not interested in making gift wrap try Etsy there are many sellers of reusable gift bags and gift wrap there.

Here is my double sided gift wrap tutorial:

Making at least 3 sizes of gift wrap small, medium, and large in order to be sure you can wrap a variety of things. I also have 4 very large fabric bags which I use for extra large items. My smallest wrap is 12"x18" and my largest is 3'x4'.

First choose 2 different fabrics. I used a strawberry fabric and a plain red.
Lay out the fabric with the right sides facing each other.

Decide how big you want your gift wrap and cut about 1/2 inch more on each side. I did not use any precise measuring. I just eyeballed it and cut out different size squares and rectangles from the fabric I had.

Fold the top layer of fabric in half. Place a ribbon about the length of the fabric across the bottom fabric where the top fabric is folded up. Pull a small amount of ribbon out beyond the fabric and fold the top fabric back down.

Pin the ribbon and the corners of the two fabrics together.
Sew around the fabrics leaving a small area not sewn in order to flip the fabric.

Flip the fabric so the right sides are out. Push out the corners as needed and then sew up the unsewn section.
You now have a completed fabric gift wrap.

How the wrap your gift.
Use the fabric gift wrap as you would paper. Lay it out and put the object you are wrapping in the middle. Fold up the sides without the ribbon.

Then fold in the corners and fold up the sides with the ribbon.

Depending on the size of the object you may be able to wrap the ribbon around to the front of the package or just tie the ribbon in the back.

This is the first tutorial I have ever written. If you have any question please post them below I will be happy to clarify anything confusing.

Here are a few pictures of our fabric wrap being used though the years at both Christmas and birthdays!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Please use reusable bags!

Why oh why do I still see so many people leaving the stores with plastic bags? Reusable bags are easy, convenient, and so much better for the world.

These are the best bags for grocery shopping I have the Pastel String bags and Stephen has the Neutral ones. 5 bags with a stuff sack to keep them all in they are perfect to keep in the car for all your shopping needs. I like the short handles best.

For produce I love my mesh bags I bought from here. They are the perfect size and they store in their own stuff sack which I have attached to my string bags stuff sack. They are see through and durable but could be considered on the small size. A couple of extra large ones would be a good idea to complete the set.

I also love to buy from the bulk section, no wasted packaging. For my bulk purchases I have these wonderful bags. They hold anything I need.

I have 2 of these that I love for throwing in my purse when I go into any store.

The bags above are just a few of the thousands of options you have in reusable bags. The trick is to really think about what you will use them for and buy accordingly. Here are 2 great places to start your search for reusable bags.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Revamp of Purely Natural

Purely Natural is going to be revamped! I have had a hard time deciding what to do with this blog I am hoping that starting fresh will motivate me to write more. I want Purely Natural to be an area where I can post about all the natural and organic things we do in our family. Hopefully by explaining what we do, how we do it, and why we do it I will be able to inspire others to do the same. Also for all my friends and family who know I am an eco-friendly nut but are not sure why this blog should help explain my reasoning behind my madness.

I love to learn about how others run their life and why they do the things they do, it is amazing what you can learn from someone else. So read, comment, and ask questions. The more you actually discuss the realities of day to day life the more you learn about yourself and those around you.