christmas bags

Santa!  Take notes.

When I was growing up I always loved it when Santa wrapped all my presents so I could open one present at a time.  This seemed to make Christmas last longer rather than just having all the presents under the tree unwrapped.  But it certainly takes more time as a parent, especially a procrastinating parent as I am.

A few Christmas Eve’s ago, late at night, I was at my Mom’s house trying to wrap presents after our two kids were in bed to be ready for Christmas morning.  As I am all tangled in tape and paper I look over and see my sister-in-law (who had just hauled in her presents not five minutes prior) just finishing all her wrapping.  HOW?!?  Fabric Christmas bags.  GENIUS!!!  She had some that were passed down to her from her childhood.  Think of the memories just these bags alone held.  I have been hooked ever since.

We put our bags out on Christmas Eve and by morning Santa does his magic (in 10 minutes instead of hours) and they are filled with presents!  No plastic bags full of ripped wrapping paper – just fold up the fabric and you’re ready for next year!  SO GREEN!  The best part is we are not totally wasted the next morning so we can actually stay awake to watch all the presents fly out!

christmas-bags

My kids now get excited just seeing these bags come out of storage!

You can make them to match your holiday decor and put presents out as you buy them, if you want presents under the tree.  Or you can use themes your kids are into just like the wrapping paper.  Christmas fabric always goes on sale after Christmas so you can stock up for next year!

I shared the idea over on DISNEY to use these as a gift to that somone that seems to have everything.  You can click over there to see the tutorial on how to make them.

All Santa's Should Wrap THIS Way!

They also work wonderfully for birthday wrapping!

All Santa's Should Wrap THIS Way!

Merry Christmas!

All Santa's Should Wrap THIS Way!

39 Comments
COMMENTS
  1. December 16th, 2010 at 6:43 am
    Michelle says:
    Fabulous idea and how easy!! Thanks!!
  2. December 16th, 2010 at 8:20 am
    Jean says:
    Love this! Thanks for the post!
  3. December 16th, 2010 at 9:46 am
    Amber says:
    I use cloth bags already! They are great.
  4. December 16th, 2010 at 10:12 am
    Kimberly says:
    my mom wrapped our gifts in bags she made when we were younger - not all of them because with 6 kids, there were never enough bags...but she still uses them to this day! it's such a fantastic idea because you can reuse them and not have to worry about new things getting thrown away with the wrapping paper!! haha
  5. December 16th, 2010 at 11:10 am
    Gina says:
    do you put all the gifts in 1 big bag for each child??
  6. December 16th, 2010 at 1:01 pm
    Rachel says:
    um, genius!!!! i don't have kids yet, but i was wondering the other day what i would do for my future kids when santa came (leave them unwrapped with a big bow, wrap them up with different wrapping paper than their other presents, etc.) this idea totally solved my problem... although again, i don't have kids yet. ha, other people think about this early on, too, right?
    • December 24th, 2010 at 3:41 pm
      Pearl says:
      In our house, Santa doesn't wrap his gifts. He just attaches a cute tag to his presents. Presents from mom and dad are wrapped. Santa also leaves pretty cool, unwrapped stocking stuffers in the kidlets stockings. Regarding the fab, fabric bags, I may have to run out to Joanns to purchase holiday fabric on Monday to start working on ones for next year.
  7. December 16th, 2010 at 1:27 pm
    Carie says:
    I love the bags and is that a balloon wreath? Is there a tutorial on how to make it! I love, love, love it! Thanks for sharing your ideas!
  8. December 16th, 2010 at 1:28 pm
    Nicole says:
    great idea Missy I will stock up this year after Christmas!! thanks
  9. December 16th, 2010 at 3:07 pm
    Jessica Harwood says:
    Love this idea! I'm going fabric shopping after Christmas!
  10. December 16th, 2010 at 3:51 pm
    Pegg says:
    This year I planned to just use newspaper for the gifts. With big kids there aren't as many as with little ones. So maybe I will stock up on fabric after Christmas. I'm getting a serger for my gift, so maybe I'll just have to practice with that on this project. Oh what fun!!!!!
  11. December 16th, 2010 at 3:59 pm
    Samone says:
    Great idea! I was going to start wrapping this morning. 'tis now on hold while I go fabric hunting!
  12. December 16th, 2010 at 5:38 pm
    Jamin says:
    I have these that I use with my kids. I made about 10 after each child was born so that we have a nice variety of sizes. I sewed a piece of ribbon right into the side seam so that the ribbon is part of the bag. You are so right, this makes wrapping So much faster! Your bags are beautiful!
  13. December 16th, 2010 at 6:00 pm
    L says:
    When I grew up, presents from family members were wrapped and displayed under the tree, but presents from Santa were always displayed unwrapped which was fine and dandy with me. The only issue is that "Santa" has to be careful about his timing. If the presents are out, they're fair game, which didn't turn out well for my poor mother when my brother and I decided to wake each other up at 3am to see if Santa had come...and he had. My best friend's family also displayed gifts (rather than wrapping them) but after putting them out, "Santa" covered the doorway with wrapping paper so that the kids got to bust through it all together on Christmas morning (and weren't tempted to go check out the presents well before dawn).
  14. December 16th, 2010 at 7:32 pm
    Andrea says:
    Thanks so much for the inspiration! I made 4 new bags today because you inspired me so much:) I love the colors of your gift bags. Can't wait for the after Christmas fabric sales!
  15. December 16th, 2010 at 7:33 pm
    Andrea says:
    Thanks so much for the inspiration! I made 4 new bags today because you inspired me so much:) I love the colors of your gift bags. Can't wait for the after Christmas fabric sales!
  16. December 17th, 2010 at 10:51 am
    Monica says:
    This is such a great idea! Took my three children to the fabric store with me and let them pick out fabric for their own bags. We are traveling for Christmas, so I already "wrapped" their gifts and packed them in a suitcase. Should be fun on Christmas morning watching them open their gift bags. Guessing that pulling out the gift bags will be something looked forward to each Christmas.
    • April 10th, 2012 at 1:07 pm
      Amy says:
      Hey even if you are not travelling...I love the idea of hiding gifts in the suitcase! The closet is usually my spot but I may try to remember this next time :)
  17. December 17th, 2010 at 11:06 am
    Pam says:
    What a great idea! I love it... just a few more gifts to wrap, so may have to save this one for next year!
  18. December 17th, 2010 at 7:07 pm
    Mindy says:
    LOVE these bags! I've now made them as gifts twice & I'm yet to own any. This year I'm making some for myself! :)
  19. December 21st, 2010 at 12:12 am
    Debby says:
    When my nieces and nephews were smaller, I wrapped their gifts in bags each year. It was fun to pick out fabric for them, and I tried to use ones for things they enjoyed like sports, barbie, etc. Flannel was my favorite because it was so soft.

    I made my bags all one size - Pillowcase size! When they were done with their gifts they had a new holiday pillowcase to lay their heads on!
  20. December 21st, 2010 at 12:13 pm
    Maile says:
    A-MAZING!!!!!!!! I love this, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
  21. December 21st, 2010 at 5:50 pm
    carole says:
    just read your idea and HOW GREAT!!!!! Every year we have a big garbage bag full of used wrapping paper........NOT THIS YEAR..I"m doing the bags
    Thanks
    Carole
  22. December 21st, 2010 at 8:17 pm
    Leigh says:
    My mom started doing these years ago and it is great. She also started making super fancy ones to sell.
  23. December 22nd, 2010 at 2:36 am
    Missy says:
    LOVE this idea!!
    I am totally hitting the fabric stores after Christmas and going to do this as my project for next year.
    Thank you!!
  24. December 22nd, 2010 at 6:18 am
    Jeanne says:
    Been doing this for years. You can either wrap a gift --especially flat ones--in a piece of fabric as if it were paper, with a piece of yarn to hold all in place or make simple bags. You can also use furoshiki which is really fun--google it and you'll see what I mean. For ties, yarn works great, as does ribbon, long pieces of fabric, old neck ties, an empty red mesh produce bag...you're only limited by your imagination. A piece of advice for the most frugal of you: don't hit the fabric stores after Christmas. I find that if I keep my eyes open during the year that I find fabric at the town swap shed or other places for free; for this particular project, just keep your eyes out for Christmas colors in the fabrics. Red or green doesn't seem Christmassy in July, but come Dec. they sure do, whether there are reindeer in the pattern or not. People often give me fabric scraps, too, knowing I'm always glad for such things.
  25. December 22nd, 2010 at 5:32 pm
    Morgan says:
    We love these and have used them for a few years.
    One tip--zip ties work great as a tie under the ribbon. That way the kids can play with them till their hearts are content, but nothing gets seen until we cut the ties on Christmas morning. Kind of mean but it works!!!
    • December 22nd, 2010 at 6:08 pm
      Missy says:
      nice thinking, I like it!
  26. December 22nd, 2010 at 6:44 pm
    Lisa says:
    Love this. Will adopt it next year when the stores get their holiday fabrics in so I can have my pic o' the lot. Thanks so much for sharing.
  27. July 5th, 2011 at 9:43 pm
    Kandi says:
    what does the banner on your christmas tree say? I love it !!!
    • July 6th, 2011 at 9:33 am
      Missy says:
      thank you! it says, jingle.
      • July 8th, 2011 at 6:02 pm
        Kandi says:
        do you have instructions on how to make it?
        • December 6th, 2011 at 10:24 am
          Missy says:
          Here is a post for a valentine one that I made the same way
          http://www.howdoesshe.com/be-mine-valentine-banner
          really easy!
  28. July 26th, 2011 at 11:32 pm
    Danielle says:
    So cute! I really can't wait to try this at Christmas time! One question though, did your sister-in-law only use these for gifts from the parents? I know my kid would quickly notice the next year when Santa just happened to bring the same bags as the year before...so I am trying to come up with a good story :)
    • August 1st, 2011 at 9:35 pm
      Missy says:
      We put the empty bags out on Christmas Eve so Santa can fill the bags! It has worked so far! Good Luck!
  29. December 6th, 2011 at 10:18 am
    Camille Elkington says:
    My little sister made over 200 Santa bags this year---new tradition started for all our families!
    • December 6th, 2011 at 10:25 am
      Missy says:
      That is so nice! I need to make more for my sisters - they keep asking for them. :)
  30. December 15th, 2011 at 4:58 pm
    Monica says:
    Made these a couple of years ago and love them. The kids know which ones are there bags thus their gifts. And as I buy their presents I just slip them into the bags. Everything is wrapped and ready to go for Christmas morning!
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