Reusable Christmas Bags

Two years ago my mother in law sent all of our Christmas presents in reusable bags that she had sewn. I immediately loved the idea! I had never seen it before and thought it was very cool. I didn’t do anything about it last year, but this year I went shopping after Christmas and picked up some fabrics at 70% off. I sewed up a bunch of bags in varying sizes, added some ribbons to tie and called it a day. There are lots of reasons I love this idea.

1- It is less wasteful! According to the EPA, household waste increases by more than 25% between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. Ouch!

2- It saves money! I won’t have to go spend all that money on wrapping paper every year now, I’ll just be able to use my cute fabric bags!

3- They are easier to store! I hate those stupid wrapping paper rolls tumbling around in my closet. I simply put all the other bags into one fabric bag and set it on a shelf. They are easy to fold and store anywhere, really.

They also feel so old fashioned. I love everything about this idea and look forward to building our collection over the years.

I am not going to include a tutorial because I didn’t take any pictures in the process of working on them, but there are tons out there am I sure. Here is a picture of some of the finished products.


Published in: on January 11, 2014 at 12:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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To Top Them Off

You all might have seen what the presents from Santa will be looking like in our house. Click here if you missed it. Well, I have been thinking about what to do about putting their names on them. I can’t write them myself, since that will be obvious in a few years, and I really didn’t want to make individual stamps with each of their names. Russell suggested stamps with just their first initial, but I thought that seemed a little too impersonal for Santa. Then I stumbled upon a free gift tag printable on Pinterest and altered it just a little bit in Paint. This is what I came up with:


If you would like to recreate these tags (or something similar) for yourself, here are the free resources I used.

Free Printables- Gift Tags, and the font I used for their names is called Things We Said and is available for free download here. I printed them on cream colored paper, and tied them into the twine bow. I think it is the perfect way to top the presents off. Now all we have to do is wait for Christmas!

Published in: on December 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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More From Boy

A few more days have gone by, and Boy has mostly just been hanging around checking things out. One day he hung on the clock in the girls’ room to surprise them when they woke up.

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He hung out in our kitchen for a little while, (sideways/upside down- which the girls thought was SO funny)

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He visited our tree the day after we got it, (please ignore my complete lack of effort in hiding our light wires)

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And one day he must have missed Santa and so he sat in the Santa candy bowl,

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He hung on our living room light,

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and today he is perched on the top of the fridge.

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Some mornings Daddy has been really surprised at how easily the girls find Boy. They are incredibly observant and have had no trouble spotting him before they even eat breakfast. They are having so much from with this tradition and have started talking to Boy about their days. It is so cute. I am really happy we started it this year!

When Santa Comes

I wanted to give a little preview of what it will look like in our home when Santa visits. I know everyone isn’t into the Santa thing and that’s fine. I also think it is a super fun tradition and we are totally going to let our kids enjoy it as long as we can. This is the first year the girls really have any idea about who Santa is. They do know he might bring them presents, but I am not sure they see him much different than they do Dora or Elmo. They have said they want to sit on his lap and touch his beard, so we will see after we make our visit in a couple of weeks. They want Boy, our Elf on the Shelf, to tell Santa good things about them, but that is mostly because they want Santa to say “Wow!” Anyways, I was thinking about what to do with the gifts he will be bringing for them. Should they be wrapped, or unwrapped? There are some people who feel very strongly either way. We always did wrapped, and unwrapping is half the fun, right? But it is clear that Santa needs a different paper from the rest of the family. His elves do wrap them all the way up at the North Pole, so there is no way they could borrow our paper. And since I was going to get something different anyways  I decided to make it special.

Just what should presents from Santa look like? Here is what I came up with:

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I decided to do classic brown paper. I mean the elves sure have lots of presents to wrap, to kids of all ages and both genders. Something pretty basic and simple seems like what Santa would choose. Red twine wrapped around and tied in a bow seemed like a perfect choice to add touch of Christmas color. Then of course it needed a stamp to say who it was from, an official Santa seal. I made this stamp using an eraser. Click here for the file. I obviously did a simple version of the letters since I was cutting it on a stamp, but you get the idea. And yes, it is supposed to be backwards, so when you stamp it it comes out correct.

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That’s it! Perfect for any good little girl or boy!

Published in: on December 5, 2012 at 8:12 am  Comments (4)  
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Our Elf

We are doing the Elf on the Shelf tradition in our home, and while some people do it only in the month of December, we decided to start the day after Thanksgiving. The girls named our Elf “Boy” and are having fun finding him every morning. They do seem a little wise to the plan and often say that I am the one moving him and that he is “supposed to be” somewhere else. They do say he flies to Santa every night and that he tells Santa things, so maybe they will get more into the magic of it in future years.

So far Boy had been on top of the blinds, on the clock over the fireplace, on the microwave:

(The girls were a little concerned he’d get too hot up there), on the doorbell chime:

on the bathroom mirror:

and today he did his first little bit of mischief- he turned all the stockings around:

I’m sure we’ll have to duplicate some of his places, especially since Boy has to be someplace high since the girls would destroy him given the chance to get to him 🙂 Maybe next year?

Published in: on November 28, 2012 at 8:51 am  Comments (2)  
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A Christmas Card Preview

We’re very excited about the holidays and will be sending out lots of love and joy this season. Obviously.

Published in: on November 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm  Comments (1)  
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