According to Robert Lilienfeld and Dr. William Rathje, authors of “Use Less Stuff: Environmental Solutions for Who We Really Are,” Americans produce an extra one million tons of trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Much of that is wrapping paper, tape, ribbon, and cardboard. Switching to reusable cloth bags instead of professional satin gift pouch can put a big dent in all that waste, preserving trees for better uses, such as preventing soil erosion, serving as wind breaks, and providing needed oxygen to the atmosphere. Make a commitment to have a “green” Christmas this year and to have all birthday, anniversary and wedding gifts wrapped in cloth gift bags.
1 Thread sewing machine. Be sure to use cotton thread with cotton or natural fiber cloth and synthetic thread with synthetic or polyester cloth. Decide what size gift bag you wish to make. Most nonwoven bag factory will fit in a bag that is 12 inches wide by 18 inches tall or smaller.
2 Cut a piece of fabric twice the desired width of your bag, plus one inch more than the desired height. If you want a bag that is 15 inches wide by 15 inches high, you will need a piece of fabric 16 inches by 30 inches.
3 Fold fabric down one inch along the top edge of the long side. Press with a steam iron to make a casing. Stitch fabric with sewing machine, 3/4 inches from the folded edge using a straight seam. Back stitch once or twice at the end of the seam to ensure it will not unravel.
4 Fold fabric in half with the good side facing inward. The unfinished bag should now be 15 inches by 15 inches. Stitch a double seam, 1/4 inch apart, along the bottom, with the lowest seam 1/4 inch from the bottom edge and the upper seam 1/2 inch from the bottom edge. Repeat double seam up the side, stopping when you reach the casing.
5 Thread the satin ribbon through the casing. Fill the China silk gift pouch with gifts, pull cord tight, and tie it in a large bow.