Monday 4 December 2017

Elf Bags

Elf Bags are an infinitely reusable alternative to gift wrapping. They are perfect for family celebrations, to be reused every year. They can be a gift in themselves, for a friend, with a gift inside, even! That's a double-gift! Your friend can then regift the bag as a gift to someone else or use it for their own family Christmas as a non-gift.  That's a lot of gifting.

Elf Bags are full of happiness
Several years ago I decided to do away with gift wrapping, and instead, started sewing festive bags for our family Christmas merriment.

The idea, which I'm sure originates a long long time ago, in a place far far away, was introduced to me by my mother in law.  She'd sewed a stack of reusable gift bags from some in-your-face Christmas fabric that was sold dirt cheap after the holiday.  The textile made my eyes sore.  With a pained grimace on my face I walked into Spotlight and found some vaguely non-hideous Christmas fabric. I sewed a pile of gift bags. And that's how it happened.  No more mountains of ripped wrapping paper and bits of sticky tape stuck to the cat's behind. Finally I would no longer anxiously linger by the plastic tree, trying to salvage whatever paper was somewhat intact, while everyone else helped themselves to pudding. Instead, the cloth bags would get folded and stashed away with all the decorations, for more gifting next year.

Our family gift bags prop up Christmas trees every year
As with all expanding families, every year we'd find ourselves making more presents and needing more bags. Every year I've been sewing more, with a sneaking suspicion that a family member or two likes to keep their gift bag, instead of returning it.

Last week, on RNZ National, Jesse Mulligan got all the treehuggers to crawl out of their burlap sacks to frantically send in their ideas for alternatives to non-recyclable shiny gift wrap.  Apparently lots of people use it, and many of them contaminate their recycling with it. I emerged from my black burlap sack to email Jesse a photo of my gift bags, and he responded with enthusiasm and a suggestion that I turn this idea into a business. Thanks Jesse, I am acting on your wisdom and turning my house into some sort of a sweat shop to create Elf Bags.

Elf Bags come in a variety of sizes, fabric types and textile designs.  The sizes are loosely grouped into Small, Medium and Large, and there are a few narrow, long bags also. Someone told me they are good for wine bottles.

Would you like an Elf Bag? No, you would like a large stack of Elf Bags. That's excellent! It's too close to Christmas to be retailing them online this year, but I will be selling them at the Brooklyn Christmas market on Saturday, December 9th.  Alternatively, you're welcome to browse the Elf Bag gallery and get in touch to let me know which bags you'd like to collect from me. I can also post them to you, if it can arrive before the gifting obligations.  I will keep adding photos to the gallery over the next few days and weeks.
The kinds of things you can Elf Bag

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