Belated Happy Easter Reusable Gift Bags

Our church has an annual Gertrude Hawk Easter candy fundraiser. This year, to entice our friends and family to order even more chocolate, I promised them something handmade from me.

We picked up the huge candy shipment a couple of weeks before Easter, and as I was sorting out each individual order and packing them in appropriate-sized paper shopping bags, the felt bunny-shaped candy bar holders I had planned to make didn't seem like enough of a reward. And the shopping bags were either too big or too small ... then it occurred to me - I should make Easter goodie bags, just like these reusable Christmas gift bags from 2010.

For each bag, I used craft felt from JoAnn Fabrics (the kind that's 72" wide and made in the USA from recycled plastic) and machine embroidered applique designs on one side. We were a little short on time to get the candy delivered, so I didn't make handles. Instead, I experimented with cut-outs and ribbon handles.

Left: Three Bunnies Applique from Embroidery Boutique - I've been calling this one "Nothin' Butt Bunnies" - The bag is made of lime green craft felt, the bunny appliques are flannel with fluffy minkee tails; the tack-down stitching for the green rick rack grass is part of the embroidery design;
Right: Chocolate Bunny applique freebie from DigiStitches -The bag is made of hot pink craft felt, chocolate bunny applique is cotton fabric. The bunny was supposed to have a bow tied and attached at the neck ....

Easter Gift Bags
These were the first two bags I finished, and the only two that I chose to cut out ovals for the handles. To make the handles, I marked the stitching line with water soluble pen, zigzag stitched around and then cut out the centers. This method was fast and easy, but when the bags were full, the handles felt like they needed more stabilization.

For the remainder of the bags, I stitched buttonholes at the top and slipped coordinating ribbon through to make handles. The ribbons are knotted on the inside to secure them in place.

Happy Easter Marshmallow Bunnies applique from Five Star Fonts -The bag is made of light blue craft felt, bunny appliques are flannel, handles are grosgrain ribbon.

Easter Gift Bags

Easter Puppy Applique from Planet Applique -the bag is lime green craft felt, puppy applique is light blue felt with fuzzy white fleece and pink flannel ears. Handles are grosgrain ribbon.

Easter Gift Bags

Chick in Egg applique from Planet Applique - Light pink craft felt bag, flannel applique and grosgrain ribbon handles.

Easter Gift Bags

Whimsical Easter Egg applique from Planet Applique - fuschia pink craft felt, flannel applique egg sections and printed satin ribbon for handles.

Easter Gift Bags

After embroidering, the bags were constructed using my serger, with two side seams and boxed bottom corners. The top edge was turned down and zigzag stitched in place before stitching the buttonholes for the handles. A double layer of poster paper was added to the bottom of each bag for support.

And the chocolate was delicious!

*****

Since this is a somewhat belated Easter post, I thought I'd share a link to Material Girl Kris's new blog called funnybunny. Kris is new to blogging and for one of her first entries, Happy Easter funnybunny, she shared a photo of her bunny Panini wearing one of our Happy Easter bandanas from 2011.


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