You've picked up everything on your youngster's mile-long Christmas list and it's all wrapped and ready for the big day. If you're wondering why all those gifts seem to lack any personal touch, it's probably because they're hidden in store-bought wrapping paper and plain gift bags. Add to the festive spirit of the season by presenting your child with special, custom gift bags just for him -- he might be so thrilled with your handmade offerings that they become his favorite gift!
Stocking Gift Bag
Whether you're making a gift bag for your own youngster or making a batch of bags for a holiday celebration, stockings are the way to go, as long as you have some basic sewing skills and a little embroidery knowledge. With a few simple cuts and stitches, you can present any child with a personalized gift bag that doubles as a festive keepsake. Start by cutting the stocking shape from two pieces of red felt -- you can make the stockings any size you like to accommodate your gifts. Stitch a neat line around the outer edges of the two stocking shapes, and then flip the stocking right side out if you want to hide the stitching. Cut and sew a rectangle of white felt around the top opening of the stocking and then embroider the child's name in the white felt. You're done!
Wreath Gift Tube
If you have a few small goodies to fill a gift bag, make a creative looking wreath and turn it into a tube to fill with your gifts. Start with two green felt circles, both with identical wavy edges and a cutout center. Lay the two circles together and sew around the outer edges, leaving a gap at least 3 inches wide to fill the wreath. Sew on a small strip of felt here to make a handle for the bag. Now it's time to make miniature felt photo ornaments. Cut identical pairs of shapes from leftover scraps of felt and then cut out the center of one shape from each pair. Place a miniature photo in between each pair of shapes, with the image showing through the hole you cut, and sew up the outer seam. Lay the ornaments on the wreath and sew a few stitches to keep them in place. All you have to do now is stuff the wreath with your little gifts.
Keepsake Santa Gift Bag
If you have some extra time to make elaborate gift bags, this adorable felt Santa will make any gift more special. To get Santa started, trace an outline of the jolly fellow on a large piece of felt -- Santa should be at least 12 inches tall, but you can make him even larger if you like. Cut out the shape and make an identical one to make Santa's back. Now it's time to cut out all of Santa’s infamous little features, like his big black boots, white-trimmed coat, pants and hat, a portly looking face and big white beard. Draw the features on his face with fabric marker and then glue all the pieces in place with fabric glue. One more item you can't forget: Santa’s “nice” list. Write your young gift recipient's name prominently on the list and the glue it in place in Santa’s hands. Sew the two layers of Santa together with his features facing inward, leaving his hat open at the top. Turn him right side out and then stuff him with gifts to make him nice and plump.
If your kiddo is dreaming of a white Christmas, make him a simple gift bag, covered in as many delicate white felt snowflakes as you can make. Start with a colorful felt rectangle for the gift bag to create a background contrast for the snowflakes -- any size rectangle will do. Fold the rectangle in half and sew up each side to make the bag. Now it's time to start cutting out snowflakes. Cut as many different shapes, sizes and patterns as you can -- stop if your hands start to ache, because there is still more work to be done. Create two handles from the snowflakes by overlapping them edge to edge. Sew the edges together and then sew the ends of each handle to the top of the felt bag. Start gluing, or stitching, the remaining snowflakes to the gift bag in random fashion. You can create a single layer of snowflakes and leave lots of background color exposed, or layer the snowflakes on top of each other to give the gift bag some dimension. When all the snowflakes are in place, there is just one more addition to make. Cut out the letters of your child's name from some red and green felt and stitch these in place near the center of the bag.
- Creative and Thoughtful Gift Giving: Easy Ideas for Making Gifts Special; Leah Ingram
- Christmas; Susan White Sullivan
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images