Wrapping it up! A Tutorial

(There are tutorials for these very quick and easy calico bags and hanging stars at the end of this post)

Welcome to Rainbow Hare Quilts for my day on the Thursday Think Tank Holiday Hop!
Thursday Think Tank Holiday Hop
In case you’ve missed any of the hop posts so far, here is the schedule:
1. November 1 – Making Rebecca Lynne DIY Christmas Cards
2. November 8 – Piecemeal Quilts Thanksgiving Etiquette (when you are lucky enough to be a guest!)
3. November 15 – Canadian Abroad Holiday Decor
4. November 22 – Seriously…I Think it Needs Stitches & MRL free pillow cover pattern
5. November 29 – She Can Quilt Gifts for Tweens/Teens/Twenties
6. December 6 – Missy Mac Creations Christmas Gifts for Kids from Kids
7. December 13 – Rainbow Hare Quilts Wrapping it Up
8. December 20 – YOU!  DIY Christmas Party Link Up

And at the end of this post you are invited to link up with a chance to win these fab Prizes

If I had a Christmas manifesto this year I think it would be to ban commercial wrapping paper! 
I’ve been looking for some quick and simple ways to wrap up Christmas 2012 with inexpensive materials we all have around the house and I’ve concluded that not only will we help save forests and money but our gifts will be more beautiful! 
I really wanted to make some paper hearts. To keep with the wrapping theme I thought I’d adapt the idea to make hanging decorations and pop in some some sweets or small goodies – wouldn’t that make a nice change from hanging commercial chocolate shapes on the Christmas tree?

These literally take about a minute to make and there’s a short tutorial at the end of this post. Or if you’re in a hurry, why not just print some?

Here are a couple of examples from The Graphics Fairy
Angel Banner
Deer Sign



This takes only 8 or 10 lines of stitching depending which casing option you choose!

(Note: The fabric I used is called calico in the UK but I think some of you might know as muslin. If someone could let me know, I’ll edit. It’s a very inexpensive medium weight cotton which sometimes still has seeds in it).

Decide how wide you want your bag to be and add about two inches. Cut a strip this wide across the width of your fabric and fold (see 1 below). This is the bottom of your bag. The selvedge edges will be together (see 2 below). This is the top of your bag.
 Sew a seam 1/8″ along both of the long edges (sides of bag). I’ve put the pin to make it easier to see.



Turn the bag inside out and press. Then fold the top edge of your bag down about 3″ on the inside of the bag. Press well and pin if your fabric is at all flimsy.



Sew a seam a good 1/2″ along each side of your bag. You have now basically made a french seam but the seam stays on the outside of the bag.


The next step is making the casing. Unfortunately my camera has started losing pictures whilst transferring them to my lap top and I have twice taken photos of this stage and twice they’ve vanished! Luckily it’s very easy and I hope the photo below should help. Cut two 2″ strips of calico about as long as the width of your bag. Turn the short ends under about 1 1/2″ and the long sides under 1/4″ and press well. Position one to the back and one to the front so as to sew down the folded top edge of your bag at the same time. Then thread one length of ribbon through the front and back casing from the left and one length of ribbon through the front and back casing from the right. Secure the ends of the ribbons. 

As an alternative, for the wine bottle bags (see below) I used two short casings on the front of the bags and threaded one piece of ribbon right round, beginning and ending at the gap in the middle, and tied a bow.

Then embellish as desired. I decided to use transfers on mine, using some deer images from The Graphics Fairy


This is what you need + a dab of glue (not shown).

Cut a length of string to hang the heart up and tie the ends together and cut out two heart shapes. I made mine about 5″, which seemed a manageable size to sew and fit a small gift inside.
I found it was easiest to start sewing where the presser foot is in the picture below. Place your loop of string between the layers (as shown) and when you get to it you’ll sew over it and secure it .
When you reach the bottom point of the heart stop with the needle and presser foot down. Gently  open up the two layers and pop your goodies in (I had to use fabric scraps for this test one!)
Sew up the last straight edge and stick your star on the front.
I’m thinking about making some other shapes – perhaps stars or birds…
I hope you have as much fun Wrapping Up Christmas this as I have!
Janine @ Rainbow Hare


  • Link up any post from the past week that features some creative thinking going on in your creative world.   It can be anything, quilting, home improvement, fashion, crafting, DIY gifts, cooking…whatever you have recently thought “hmmm, you know what I should create” is perfectly appropriate for the Think Tank.  TTT is all about whatever you are currently brainstorming and would like feedback or encouragement on!
  • Somewhere in your post, link back here to my blog. (Or grab the T.T.T. button for your sidebar.)
  • Comment on at least a few of the other links—because what fun is a linky party without comments?

5 thoughts on “Wrapping it up! A Tutorial

  1. Gene Black

    Great ideas.

    In the US, what you call calico is indeed what we call muslin as best I can tell from the picture. In the US calico is cotton fabric with a small, all-over floral print


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