I'm very keen on recycling as much as I can. Over here in Leicestershire we have a green bin to collect garden rubbish and grey cardboard, a brown one for food waste (a new idea, even collecting cooked food, bones, meat etc) and a black one for other rubbish. I have a box of my own next to the bins to put plastic bottles in, and I take those to a facility at the supermarket. I regularly take things to (and buy things from) the local charity shop, even saving all my off-cuts of fabric - even the little tiny ones - to take for them to get money for as rags. I have fabric bags for my shopping and even save the plastic bags you get on the weekend papers and put Project Linus kits into those.
So when I saw on Tonya's blog that she made reusable fabric gift bags, I was motivated to have a go. First I tipped out all the off-cuts of wadding I had saved 'just in case' and found some which could be sewn together.
I chose the fabric for outer and lining, cut it to shape, zigzagged a couple of pieces of wadding to the required size and then made the bag. Tonya gives detailed instructions, but basically I layered the fabrics right sides together with the wadding on top, sewed all round the edge, leaving a gap to turn through, turned right sides out, folded the bag into shape and sewed up the sides of the bag and along the flap to top stitch.
Here are the first two I made. They're about 10 inches square. Tonya suggested using Velcro to close them, but I just put on ribbon ties - my children are in their twenties and not likely to get try to peep before the day.
Then I made two more using pieces of Christmas fabric which have been lurking in my Christmas box for years, one a Debbie Mumm and the other a horrible cheap piece I picked up somewhere or other. Another plus on the recycling front! I put little ribbon loops on these and sewed buttons on for closing. Seems to work well enough.
I have no idea what I will be putting in these bags, but as long as it fits in, the gift doesn't have to be the exact same shape. At least it will slightly reduce the mountain of wrapping paper which is cleared up every Christmas morning, and has had the welcome effect of reducing my stash too! Let me just go and see what other pieces of Christmas fabric are still lurking....