Reduce and Reuse: DIY Fabric Gift Bags

Every year, after spending hours wrapping gifts and then witnessing the trash bags that get filled with discarded paper, I promise myself that I will find an alternative solution. A forward thinking friend of mine started investing in fabric gift bags. They become a a lovely addition to any gift and can be reused over and over. Fabric gift bags are wonderfully earth friendly and make gift wrapping fabulously easy!

Reduce & Resuse: DIY Fabric Gift BagsInspired by the notion, we decided to design some of our own fabric gifts bags. We started out by revisiting the importance of reducing the amount of paper that we use and choosing to use products that can be reused a number of times.

Next, we gathered our materials…

Reduce & Reuse: DIY Fabric Gift Bags

Then the sky is the limit!

Reduce & Reuse: DIY Fabric Gift Bags

When you are finished let the paint dry overnight.  If you would like you can also add a touch of recycled tissue paper.

What are some of your favorite gift wrapping ideas this holiday season?


With over 10 years of EDU experience and a growing family, Mariah started Playful Learning in 2008 as a resource for parents and teachers. In 2010 Playful Learning received the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and in August of 2011, Shambhala Publications released her first book, Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. Mariah has an M.S. Ed in Elementary Education and was that girl sitting in the back of class thinking about what she would do differently if she was the teacher. Now she is happily working with a team of gifted educators to bring life-changing lessons to children, families, and schools around the world. In her free time she can be found taking long walks, enjoying a cup of tea, or swimming in the Atlantic with her husband and two daughters.



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  1. LOVE this! I’m planning a paper-free Christmas this year… I scored some handsewn fabric gift bags at my community food & craft swap (!/photo.php?fbid=4927372739932&set=a.4927371219894.2192489.1166836294&type=3&theater), but I don’t sew, so I hadn’t figured out what to do for the rest of the gifts. Then yesterday, I picked up some fallen star fruits from a neighbor’s tree, planning to use them for a stamping activity with my girls. Now I know what we’ll be stamping!! Thanks for the idea.

  2. We have been paper-free for gifting for years and years. It started with my husband’s Oma, who is from Germany. This may have been a tradition in her family (?) or she just had the initiative to do it, passed down to my mother in law, and then to us girls in the family. Love it that we see the same gift tags and same wrapping every year, and it never costs a cent and nothing gets thrown away, just folded and put away until next year. We do this for birthday bags, too, and people LOVE getting them!
    Sarah M

  3. I usually put my gifts in store reusable shopping bags. Most stores make Holiday themed bags and they can be used for shopping afterwards. Target has good ones, but even Dollar stores have nice holiday reusable bags.

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