Drawstring Bag Gift Wrapping (Upcycle DIY)

A little bit different than what you might expect to find here, but I’ve really
been vibe-ing with this eco-friendly trend lately.

I’ve always loved to DIY, and being mindful of recycling (and upcycling) is a big part of that.

But let’s dive into this DIY tutorial already.

Can you imagine this cute little guy lying underneath your Christmas tree?

This adorable bag will sure make an impact and looks like a gift in itself!

This DIY tutorial is inspired by last week’s post where I shared my Favorite Eco-friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas.

The drawstring bag I show you to make here, is made from materials I already had lying around my home. So it’s the perfect eco-friendly alternative to that glitzy paper gift wrapping.

Not only is paper gift wrapping a ‘fast consumed’ item that you use once and then thrown away to never be seen again.

That glossy, glittery paper is often lined with a plastic coating or plastic glitter. And we all know by now that plastic is heavily polluting our oceans.

But that’s not something you need to worry about with this easy drawstring bag!

It’s not easy to write a comprehensive DIY tutorial for sewing projects. That’s why I decided to go with a video-tutorial instead!

I hope this video explains the steps a lot better than what I could show you in pictures.

The video can also be watched without sound!

I recommend to watch the video tutorial first and then read the instructions below.

This DIY really is your chance to recycle whatever you have at home.

As a base I used an oversized men’s shirt. Look around your home and see what you have to work with. You might have a few plain tshirts laying around that you weren’t using anyways.

Or check your local thrift store to see what steals you can find!

To hold everything together we’re using needle and thread. If you have a sewing machine, that helps a lot.

A sewing machine might look complicated and scary, but it’s actually the easiest and fastest way to finish projects like these.

I tried fabric glue first, but because of all the curves and edges in the snowman it quickly turned into a hot mess.

Glue wasn’t a very eco-friendly option anyways. And since my sewing machine seems to be broken, I resorted to some good old fashioned hand stitching.

To make the drawstring I used a shoe lace that had never been used and was still sitting in the original packaging. It turned out to be the perfect lenght for this project. It was also sturdy enough to hold everything together.

Something like a soft cord or even a sturdy ribbon would also work really well.

To make my snowman look a lot more like, well, a snowman, I gave it some buttons for eyes, a felt nose and some tassel buttons.

Those ‘eye’ buttons are recycled from bought shirts and pants. You know those buttons that are attached to the label on the inside of a new garment? Just in case one of the existing buttons falls off? I’m one of those people that actually keeps them in a jar in our cupboard.

The felt was a cut off piece from another project. And the tassles where made from an old Christmas Garland I snatched from my parents’ house. Which I’m pretty sure dates back to the 80’s.

Yield: 1 bag

DIY Snowman Drawstring Bag

DIY Snowman Drawstring Bag

This recycled drawstring bag can be made in minutes and will look impressive underneath your Christmas tree!

Materials

  • XL or XXL cotton t-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread (or a sewing machine)
  • Shoe lace (or use cord)
  • Recycled buttons, fabric scraps, felt, paint ... (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the T-shirt flat on a table. If you're using fabric, fold it in half. Draw the outline of a snowman onto the side facing up.
  2. When you get to the top, draw the circle halfway. Draw a straight line from each side upwards. 
  3. Cut along the lines, making sure you cut both layers of the fabric. Cut a straight line at the top. It will look like your snowman has a flat head.
  4. Pin both sides of the fabric together.
  5. Fold the top edges outwards on each side. Pin down and sew on each side in a straight line about 1/2 inch from the fold. The tunnels you create is where we'll pull the cord through.
  6. Starting just below the sewed straight line, sew along the edges of the shape.
  7. Turn the fabric inside out.
  8. Pull a shoe lace or cord through the open tunnels at the top.
  9. Decorate your snowman with leftover fabric scraps, buttons, ...

There are no limits to your imagination! Why not make a gingerbread man, a snow cone, a Christmas tree or a candy cane instead!

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