A few years ago my eco-friendly brother in law started introducing non-paper-gift-wrap ideas into our gift exchanging and it was awesome. Baskets, boxes, even yards of fabric with pinking sheered edges so they wouldn't unravel.
I took the yards of fabric they gave me a step further - I could wrap four times as many gifts if I sewed them into bags.
So here's what my pile of presents looks like this year:
1) No more paper we're throwing away, that's awesome
2) Super fast to "wrap" your presents
3) They only take five minutes to sew when I make new ones
4) Once they're out into the world they last for YEARS. My non-sewing family members are using my last years' bags, now that we've had this going for a while we don't even get the trash/recycle bins out for gift unwrapping time, our trash consists of a few ribbons and sometimes not even that if I splurge for nice ones.
5) Throw them in the trunk of your car without worrying about them getting crushed or wrinkled, unlike paper bags
5) Cheap as hell. Christmas fabric goes on mega-sale after Christmas every year, you can wrap 3-4 good-size gifts or a million little ones with a yard.
6) Good project to use up the last of a spool of thread you're tired of since nobody's looking too closely at thread color on these
7) They store flat and take up no space in storage, unlike gift boxes and baskets
To sew them, I just sew a side seam, then sew the bottom, then hem the top. Here's the inside-out view:
Then to close them I either just tie up the top, bag style, or I fold the extra into the package kinda pillowcase style:
tie ribbon or string and you're done. the end.
cross posted to my much neglected crafty blog