Sunday, December 12, 2010

Vinyl shower curtain gift bags

Wow! Has it really been 3 months since my last post? Time definitely got away from me, but hopefully this post will make up for some of that lost time.

Probably 2 years ago, my mom gave me a Christmas themed vinyl shower curtain that she got deeply discounted at Kohl's. It was clear with seasonal words printed all over in different fonts.

Now, let me just say that I love Christmas and all of the decorating that goes along with it, but I think that people that include their bathrooms in the Christmas decorating are a bit obsessed. (No offense if you are one of those people!) So I kept the curtain in my Christmas stash and racked my brain for a creative way to use it. I thought that I could maybe attach it to the outside of the garage door or house, but that seemed pretty boring. Then I thought that I could use it as a tree skirt, but it just wasn't right. This year, I was about to break down and hang it up in my bathroom, when inspiration struck!

I work as a Special Education Aide in a junior high school. The school has a sewing club which meets quarterly to do a project outside of class. Recently they were making capri sun tote bags. Suddenly it struck me, if you can sew capri sun bags together, why not cut up and sew my vinyl curtain into gift bags! I pulled together all of my supplies:

1 vinyl shower curtain
cardboard templates
hole punch
sewing machine

I grabbed a medium sized gift bag from my stash to use to make a template. Upon opening the shower curtain package I found that the cardboard insert inside was the exactly the same size as the front/back and bottom of my gift back, so I used that to make my template. The measurements for my pieces were as follows: bottom 8.5" x 4.5", sides 11" x 5" and front and back 11" x 8.5". I laid the cardboard templates on top of the curtain and cut.

The cut out pieces looked like this:

Next I took a front and side piece and placed them on top of each other front sides (or pretty sides) together. I did not use pins to hold the vinyl together as I did not want any extra holes in the vinyl that would weaken or rip open. I then stitched the 2 pieces together on my sewing machine using a 1/4" seam.

I continued this way attaching the back and the other side, until I had a bottomless box. I then matched the front or pretty sides of the bottom piece to the front (one of the long sides) and stitched them together with a 1/4" seam. After stitching the entire bottom on I turned the bag right side out. I rolled the top unfinished edge down 1/4" and then turned rolled it down a second time and stitched the edge to finish it off. The vinyl was bunching up and difficult to keep straight for this part, but I'm sure you could glue some trim around the edge to cover up any imperfections. Finally, I punched 4 holes into the bag, 2 on each side. I then threaded the ribbon through the holes to make a handle and knotted it on the inside of the bag. I also placed a piece of cardboard in the bottom of the bag to give it some stability.

I had cut out enough to make about 12 bags of this size from this curtain. I am so excited to give our friends and neighbors gifts in these bags and watch their expressions as I reveal to them that I made them out of an ordinary shower curtain! Have you found a creative use for an ordinary piece of holiday decor or used something ordinary from your home to decorate for the holidays? I would love to hear about. I have another unusual piece of holiday decor that I am excited to share with you soon. Hint: It is a baby item that I use it to display holiday cards we receive from friends and family.

I'm linking up with Allison from House of Hepworths for her party, you can check her out here.

Squeal! I was featured on House of Hepworths for this post! I am so honored and feel like a true member of the blog world now!

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