12 March 2013


Welcome back!  I am certainly having a lot of fun with this and hope that you are also.  If this is your first time here you are likely wondering just what is this all about?  This challenge is all about building up your holiday stash in small steps each month, and then when December rolls around you will have "CHRISTMAS IN THE BANK";  you will have reduced your holiday stress and have time for those "must do" last minute projects or even just breathing!

WINNER OF A FREE COLLAGE SHEET OF YOUR CHOICE FROM HEATHER HUDSON IS "BUSY MARTHA"!  I will send you a private message connecting you and Heather.  Congratulations!

Please feel free to take the "CHRISTMAS IN THE BANK" button for your own blog, even if you aren't participating this month.  Each participant will be eligible to win the collage sheet of their choice from Heather Hudson so please leave a link or comment so that we can see what you are doing with the challenge and put you into the random draw.

My goal is to make this as easy as possible.  I mean to generally offer projects that you can easily complete in a couple of hours or less, using items you will already have on hand.  You should be able to work on your "CHRISTMAS IN THE BANK" stash each month without taking much time away from your regular crafting activities.

The most difficult part of this challenge is for each of us to keep it simple LOL  Simplicity can be beautiful!  Try to complete the basic challenges as offered.  You can always add embellishments and personalize your items when you use them.  I encourage you to approach these challenges with a production line in mind.  Do all of your cutting, glueing etc. on each piece at the same time where you can.  Building a stash is all about production!  Numbers!

And the challenge this month is GIFT BAGS!  How many?  Six in any size.  I stopped using much bought wrapping paper a number of years ago, I save whatever gift bags come my way through the holidays and shopping bags throughout the year to recycle.  I haven't calculated how much time, effort and environment I save by using recycled bags as opposed to wrapping boxes but it feels considerable!   If you won't use this many bags yourself, consider making them for someone who does or create bags to fit what you do through out the year.

My daughter and I have used the same bag, back and forth for many years.  Our own little tradition.  I find that almost everyone receiving these bags, keeps them and reuses.

My bags were created with Christmas themed fabric ("Seasons" by debbie taylor-kerman for Henry Glass Fabrics) which I purchased on sale after the holidays, "Heat n Bond",  8x10 kraft paper shopping bags (which I also picked up at a liquidation sale, the fabric covers the original printing) and vintage trim, ribbon and tags from my stash.

If you don't have fabric in your stash of course you can use paper!  As always, use what you have.

I  measured out enough "Heat n Bond" (again use whatever brand of iron on backing if you are using fabric and do read the instructions LOL) to cut 6 seven inch squares.  I laid this large piece onto the back of my fabric and ironed it on, measured and penciled in the cutting lines on the adhesive backing and then used pinking shears to cut the squares.  TIP:  using pinking or decorative scissors if you are using paper, hides any less than perfect measurements or cutting!  These were then ironed onto my bags.  Production line!

I repeated this process with my second or top fabric, changing the size to five inch squares.  These were ironed onto the background fabric.  I could have stopped at this point.  With a bit of ribbon and a tag added when I go to use these, sweet enough for anyone to receive!  I had a leftover strip of the background fabric bonded and ready to go so I cut down some tags out of my stash and covered those, ready to be tied on with a bit of burlap"ish" ribbon.  The vintage pom pom trim (adhered with double sided tape) in red and cream was perfect for the whimsical fabric and added the vintage touch that I adore.

Nothing too fancy or complicated.  Cutting out the tags and covering them took the most amount of time but still six bags created in less than 2 hours!


  1. Great idea to recycle those handy shopping bags. Love your fabrics and trims. I shall do my bags this month and share them later. Thank you for the push to create now before the holidays get crazy. Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

  2. What a fab idea Sandi! Got some pretty green and red paper bags in my stash! Now I see why you wanted those vintage pom poms, so cute! And I am a winner, winner, hooray, thanks so much, Marilyn.

  3. Super Cute Bags Sandi! I am sooo glad you are doing this challenge...so I will be ready for Christmas!! Hugs!!

  4. Love your bags. Will have to think on this one -- mine may be wine and food bags.

  5. Love these Sandy! the snowmen are adorable! :)

  6. I did finally get a bag done :0) I LOVE it!!


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