Galactic Hot Dogs

Gift Bag Ideas

Under the Sea

Gifting Glitches

Be careful when using a glue gun on foam sheets. If you're trying to glue two pieces together to make 3D shapes, it can squeeze under the slippery surface and burn your fingers. Just use a small amount and hold it together for a few minutes with your fingers protected by rubber gloves, or try using the special glue designed for fun foam projects.

Here's a gift bag that's easy to make and can be reused by the kids for hours of fun.

Time frame: Two to three hours

Level: Moderately easy

What you need:

  • Gift bag
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Blue foam sheet (found in craft stores, trademarked Flexi-foam or Fun Foam)
  • Glue gun, tacky glue, or foam sheet glue
  • Package of foam sea animals (found in major craft stores)
  • Blue raffia bow
  • Tissue paper filler
  1. Measure the width of the front of your bag. Cut three waves out of the blue foam sheet. Make the waves as long as the width of the bag and about three inches tall.
  2. Using a glue gun or tacky glue, glue the three equally spaced waves across the bag, gluing only the bottom edge and side edges of the waves. The top should be open to allow insertion of sea animals. If you have a larger bag, you could include more waves of animals.
  3. Insert the foam sea animals into the waves. Make a bow out of the blue raffia and attach it to the handle. Fill the bag with tissue paper.

Simple Stitchery

Present Pointers

Craft stores sell all types of decorative buttons that are perfect for craft projects. The buttons come in bagged assortments that represent different interests (for example, sports, flowers, gardening supplies, shapes, seasonal objects, and so on). These buttons would be perfect to sew or glue onto your homemade bags.

You can wrap your gifts and save the environment at the same time by making reusable material bags for the presents you'll exchange. Just follow these simple directions:

Time frame: Two to four hours

Level: Moderately difficult

What you need:

  • Material (can use assorted fabrics, burlap, or felt)
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Rope or heavy cord
  • Pins
  • Large safety pin
  • Trims, buttons
  1. Cut the material into different-size rectangles. I'd recommend making two sizes of bags to accommodate large and small packages. I used material that's 22 x 36 inches and 16 x 32 inches. You'll need one rectangle for each bag you make.
  2. Fold the material in half with the right sides of the material together. Use the folded edge as the bottom of the bag and stitch up the two side edges using a 12-inch seam.
  3. Using an iron, press a 14-inch seam around the top of the bag toward the wrong side of the bag. Fold this pressed edge down again to the wrong side of the bag, forming a one-inch casing along the top. Press the casing down and pin it in place to prepare for sewing. The pressed casing should be seen on the wrong side of the material (which at this point is on the outside since it hasn't been turned right side out yet).
  4. Stitch the casing, using a 14-inch seam around the bottom of the casing. Leave a two-inch opening on one side of the side seams to insert the cord. Reinforce the stitching at the opening by reversing over the original stitching.
  5. Cut a piece of cord for the drawstring that is double the width of the bag plus eight inches (for the larger bag, approximately 48 inches; for the smaller bag, approximately 40 inches).
  6. Secure a pin on the end of the cord and thread the cord through the opening, around the casing to the other side. Tie a secure knot in the two ends of the cord. Do not resew the opening because the cord will be pulled through the hole.
  7. Turn the bag right side out. Sew rickrack or a lacey trim along the top of the bag under the casing, being careful not to sew the top opening shut. Sew some buttons on the bag for decoration or draw a simple design on the front using fabric paint.

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More on: Crafts for Kids


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Great Gifts © 2001 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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