Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DIY Gift Bag Storage Tutorial

DIY Gift Bag Storage Tutorial

Gift bags were a mess in our house that needed to be tidied up. We saved about all of the gift bags we got wedding gifts in, and they lived in the same bag we put them in the day we opened up all the wedding gifts. This was 5 years ago. They were still in that bag. 

That bag was also in the room we're getting ready for Baby Rethmeier, and had to be moved elsewhere. I looked at many DIY gift bag storages on Pinterest and Google, and found almost nothing that would suit the numerous sizes of bags that we had. 
Except this one little jewel that I saw on Amazon for about $25 plus shipping. That seemed a little high, so, as always, when I see something that seems a little pricey, my mind starts figuring out how to DIY! Here's my tutorial that I hope will save you some time. If you have any questions please comment, and I will do my best to explain better.

I bought 2 yds. of fabric and it was about exactly enough. I did have to get a bit clever on how I was going to lay it out, though, so if you want a bit less of a headache, you may want to go with about 2 1/2 or 3.

Step 1) Cut Pieces
You will need the following sizes:
2 pieces: 18" x 38"
1 piece: 36" x 8"
1 piece: 18" x 14.5"
1 piece: 18" x 12.5"
1 piece: 18" x 10.5"
1 piece: 18" x 8.5"
1 piece: 18" x 20"

Step 2) Mark stitch line on hanger piece, along top of hanger as shown. You will want to use a ruler to get a nice straight line. Leave a blank spot in the center about 1-2" long to leave space for the hanger hook to go through.
Step 2. Marking the stitch line
Step 2. Marking the stitch line

Step 3) Finish top edge of 1 Lg piece, all pockets, and bottom edge of half the hanger piece. You will need to clip it in the middle as shown, to make it easier to sew just half.
Step 3. Clipping the hanger piece in half in the center

Step 3. Note the top piece is the hanger piece with only 1/2 finished off.
Step 4) Fold hanger piece in two, right sides together, and stitch along stitch line on hanger piece. Make sure to leave an opening in the middle for the hanger hook to stick through.

Step 5) Stitch bottoms only of pockets onto the Lg piece with the unfinished top. This will be the front. Make sure they are upside-down, and right sides together. It's okay if they overlap a bit, just make sure you're only catching the right pieces when you stitch together.
The largest pocket (the 18" x 20" piece you cut in step 1) is a pocket for the back piece. Stitch the bottom only of it to the Lg piece that has the finished top. 
Step 5. You are sewing the bottom of the pocket. It will flip up  to create the pocket with a finished top.
Step 7. Hanger piece will also be upside down until after its sewn.

Step 6) Stitch hanger piece to the Lg piece with unfinished edge (front)

Step 7) Flip Small pocket up and stitch a divider down the middle of it. 

Step 8) Flip all pockets up, so they are in their final position, and press.

Step 10. Where I covered the pocket division and top stitch line with trim
Step 9) Pin 2 large pieces together, right sides together. 
TIP: It's a good idea to be sure there's a pin catching the top edge of each pocket.

Step 10) Stitch 2 sides together and turn.
Essentially the back and front now make one large pocket. I chose to stitch it closed (and covered my stitch line with rick-rack trim, because I couldn't help myself). You could choose to leave it open and store wrapping paper rolls in it.

Voila! Done! Make sure to use a sturdy hanger, or hang it with two hangers. I left mine open enough so that the hanger could be replaced, should it break. (I know all too well the breakage of hangers under too much weight. One valuable lesson I learned while working at a bridal store.)

Load it up with your gift bags and tissue paper, and enjoy!