Easy Drawstring Bags

Day 2 – No sugar. 
Well, no added sugar.  Yesterday I successfully avoided anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup and using sugar to sweeten anything. I originally don’t have many products that contain HFCS anyways, but was annoyed to find that the Yoplait yogurt that I thought was “healthy” contained it.  I normally check my labels before purchasing anything but now that I’m trying to avoid more (not all) sugar I looked through all the products in my cabinets and fridge.  Majority of my condiments have to go. Good-bye delicious Asian sesame dressing. 
At first I felt a bit overwhelmed by my decision.  But yesterday truly opened my eyes to how much sugar I’m drinking. I couldn’t have any coffee with my breakfast which I later decided wasn’t that big of a deal since I’m not a huge coffee drinker. I’ll just have some if it’s there.  I love cranberry raspberry juice and unfortunately drink more of that then I do water. I poured out huge cups of juice for the gardeners so that I could get rid of the temptation of stealing a sip here and there.  They thought it was because of the extra yard work that they had done.  I don’t drink any soda. In fact I haven’t had soda in over 10 years! (You can do it Angie!) However, I recently tried a San Pellegrino Aranciata and was hooked. On our recent trip to Costco (before I made my no sugar decision) I picked up a case so that I could have one each day.  Well when we got home I put away the groceries  and put them into the hallway closet.  The next day the most foul smell was coming from the closet.  The case of cans was rotten! It appeared that a can had burst in the middle and rotted the case.  So that had to be returned. Certainly you’ve heard the saying “everything happens for a reason.” I would have begun drinking one a day which is basically the equivalent of one can of soda a day (140 calories).  I’ve found myself drinking more water and eating more fruit.  So far, so good.

Something that definitely helps me avoid eating sweets and takes up my time is sewing. For Maysoon’s birthday I’ve decided to make something a little more substantial for the goody bags.  I’ve never been a fan of the mass produced plastic themed ones.  For Jenin’s first birthday I used plain white bags stamped with a “J” and stapled closed with little ribbon tags.  They were cute but seeing the kids rip them open and throw them to the ground was tough.  Helloooo… do you know how long it took me to make those?  The waste aspect was a bit much to swallow as well.

Enter fabric (reusable) drawstring bags…

These were ridiculously easy to make.  Used this tutorial: Simple Drawstring Bag from Happy Things.
According to the way I cut my fabric, one yard of fabric makes eight bags (I made 6 and saved the leftover fabric for another project) with a couple of inches left over.  I left the fabric folded in half (as it’s folded from the bolt), then cut every 8.5 inches, then cut along the folds. That makes 2 bags per 8.5 strip. Get it? For the ribbon I used 3 times the width of the finished bag which turned out to be one yard of ribbon per bag.

Next, I folded over and pressed 1/4 inch down the long side to give it a bit of a more finished edge.  Then fold  and press1/4 inch and then 1 inch on the short side.

Stitch closed. Sew closer to the bottom so that there is room to thread the ribbon through the casing. Zig zag stitch down the long side.
Starting on one end, thread ribbon through and bring out the same side. Repeat on the other side.
Tie ribbon. That’s it.  Easy, huh? By the way, remind me to buy Fray Check for the ribbon.
24 completed bags ready to be filled.
This is one of the first bags I made. See, it looks messy without folding over that 1/4 inch first. I loved the color but decided to go with the above print because I wanted a more uniform look for the party.  After I completed the bags and thought I was all done, I found this blue fabric which works much better with the color scheme.  On to make more bags. Good thing it was easy.



  • Angie says:

    The bags came out great! And the good thing is that they won't end up in the trash.

    I sent the videao to a group of friends. They were shocked! And some of them have small children. Many are giving up soda for starters.
    Guess this is called chain reaction….a GOOD chain reaction!
    Thanks again!!

    And congrats on your day 2!!

  • Amanda says:

    The bags are cute! I wanted to share a tip with you about sealing the ends of your ribbon…you don't need Fray Check! Recut your ends so they're nice and tidy, and then wave a lighter back and forth near the end…not too close or it will burn. The end of your ribbon will melt just a tiny bit from the heat, keeping it from unraveling. Hope this helps!

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