About eleven years ago, I took a community class on quilting, decided I enjoyed it, signed up for a second class and went crazy buying cotton fabric to use for quilting. The quilting bug bit me hard for about two years before my interest waned. However, this still leaves me with lots of fabric (and planned quilting projects), but little completion in sight.
In fact, when I put together my unsuccessful garage sale, I put some fabric out for people to buy. No one bought it then. I posted pictures and noted the lengths of the fabric on craigslist--no nibbles there. So I had resigned myself to sending this fabric to a charity thrift store.
However, when I was figuring out what to wrap my niece's birthday gift of clothing and a notebook in, I realized I had no box, bag or wrapping paper to use. Plus, I really did not want to buy additional paper just to wrap her gift. Then a small light bulb went off in my brain.
When I had purchased my reusable grocery bags from Reusablebags.com, I noticed one of the items that could be purchased was reusable gift bags. Since it was Christmas time, I was thinking, "yeah, having gift bags that can be reused would be great!" All the gift paper in my family gets thrown out and that is a lot of paper! Paper gift bags do get reused, but there may not be one of the right size when needed.
I found directions for sewing reusable gift bags and recalled the fabric I was giving away. One fabric design was with colorful cats, perfect for a six-year-old child (or any children at heart). Therefore, I sewed up one bag, realized it was too small and created a larger one that was bigger than needed but worked for my purposes.
I was proud of not giving my niece paper to throw away, the bag was cute and it cost me nothing but my time to make! I have enough fabric remaining to make two to four additional gift bags and knowing that sewing these items are so simple, I will be hardpressed not to make more. However, I still have Christmas and other gift wrap in my house to use so my reusable cloth gift bags will only be used occasionally until I run out of my current gift wrap and ribbons.