Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Step Seven: Recycled Gift Bag

Hi Sylwi!

I'm not a big fan of wrapping paper or gift bags as it seems like such a waste. Sometimes it's nice to receive a gift that's been beautifully packaged in freshly bought paper. However, a couple of years ago, we had a big family Christmas where there was soooo much gift wrap, I felt awful when I was clearing it up. So now, we have a challenge at home to creatively gift wrap presents sustainably instead.

So, this week, taking recycling as my theme again, I'm making a really simple newspaper gift bag and decorating it with some origami newspaper lilies. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to take very good photos of the end result... but at least you'll get the gist! :-)

I got the idea to use newspaper for a gift bag from The India Shop, a fantastic online fair trade shop. They can provide these bags to retail shops to use instead of plastic bags and the money raised goes towards providing shelter and education for street children in India. Such a brilliant idea!

You start with 2 double pages of newspaper - as colourful as you can find - and glue them together to make one stronger piece.

I couldn't find very colourful pages in my local paper this week, but usually around Valentine's day or Easter, there are lots of adverts and special offers which would make very good paper for gift bags.

Turn down the top edge and glue. This gives the part where the handles will go extra strength.

Using a book or a box, wrap the paper around it and glue. I try and make the join run down the side, as this will not be noticeable when it is finished.

Wrap one end of the book, just as you would if it was a present. Make sure that the overlap is quite large, as this will be the bottom of your bag and needs to be quite strong.

Pinch the four corners of the bag to give a sharp crease down each side and then pull the book out of the bag.

Next, you make the side folds, by pressing the top side down onto the bottom side - this leaves a neat fold down the middle of each side. Do this on both sides.

When you reach the bottom, fold the bottom rectangle up, so that it lies flat against the bag.

That's your basic bag shape. Now punch 2 holes on either side at the top and using a length of old ribbon or thick string, thread your a handle through on each side. Tie a knot at each end of the handles on the inside of the bag to secure...

... and that's the bag part finished!

I wanted to add some kind of pretty gift tag or decoration to the handles, so added a couple of newspaper origami lilies (brilliant 'how to' instructions here). I modified them slightly, by creating stamens made from raffia that actually run right through the lilies (tied in a knot on the inside of each lily to secure). The raffia that comes out of the top of the lilies can be used to tie them onto the bag.

There! No more excuses for me to waste paper, or money on gift bags anymore! :-) After your stamping escapades last week and Gennine's awesome tutorial, I'm dreaming of recycled brown paper bags with white stamps... :-) See what you've started?! :-))

Hope you're having a great creative Tuesday, my darling.
Lots and lots of love

1 comment:

  1. Dear Fi, it's late I'm heading to bed, but I will come back tomorrow to comment. I will just say that I LOOOVE your origami lilies, I didn't check the instructions yet, but I hope I will be able to follow ;) :* Good Night!

    hm... actually Good Morning is almost 7:30 in Channel Islands, I'm curious if you are already awake... :)