Monday, December 5, 2011

Tinier totes are great mini-bags for gift cards

A tinier tote (3.25-inch square) serves many uses:
  • Ornament
  • Gift card holder
  • Gift bag
  • Doll tote
  • Party favors
  • Placecards
My friend Joy T. asked if the tiny totes (Appleton Dance, Nov. 25, 2011) we made for shower favors could be used for Christmas ornaments and I told her the originals were a little too big for hanging on the tree. But I thought Joy's idea was great, so I sized the totes down and made some in the tinier size of 3.25-inch square. The tinier totes make cute Christmas tree ornaments. And the 3.25-square-inch tote size is perfect for presenting gift cards or other small gifts, like jewelry or candy. The small size also makes a great tote for a favorite doll. Made up in holiday colors, the tinier totes can also be used as favors and/or placecards at holiday parties. These tinier totes are very versatile! Use the following information in tandem with the Tiny Totes how-to in the Tiny Totes post (Appleton Dance, Nov. 25, 2011).

Cutting list for each 3-1/4 inch square tinier totes kit:
  • Bag top: two pieces of the same fabric 5 inches wide by 3 inches long
  • Bag bottom: two pieces of a fabric contrasting to the bag top 5 inches wide by 2 inches long
  • Bag lining: two pieces of a third fabric 5 inches wide by 4.5 inches long
  • Bag handles: two five-inch pieces of 1/4 inch wide grosgrain ribbon, satin ribbon, cording or fabric tube

I changed the proportions of the tote slightly so that readers can use their Scrap Therapy 5-inch-square stash or five-inch Charm Squares to make the totes. Of course you can also use any scraps or full yardage to cut your pieces.

Cut using Charm Squares or Quilt Therapy stash: (5 x 5 inches)
Choose two matching five-inch squares for the lining and choose four five-inch squares in two contrasting fabrics for the bag top and bottom. Cut the squares in two pieces to make a three-inch-long and a two-inch-long stack of four each, then match bag-top and bag-bottom to make the exterior of two different bags (they will be opposite each other in top and bottom bag fabrics, save one set for a second bag). Alternatively, you can choose four different five-inch squares and make a color-block or patchwork style bag.

With fat quarters (good for making multiples): (18 x 22 inches)
If you are using fat quarters, you can cut eight 5 x 4.5 inch squares from one-half of the fat quarter (make the five-inch cuts along the 22-inch side). Then cut two two-inch strips and two three-inch strips from the other half of the quarter and repeat with two more fat-quarters in contrasting or coordinating fabrics. (This will give you enough cuts to make a dozen bags.) Seam with 1/4-inch seams contrasting top and bottom bag fabrics to each other along the 22-inch length of the cuts, press seams open and cut seamed strips into four five-inch pieces. Match up bag parts to make tinier totes kits for 12 bags.

Assemble your bags using the same process outlined in the "Tiny Totes" how-to posted on Appleton Dance on Nov. 25, 2011. Make the following changes in that process:
  • When making the triangle shape to form the bottom of the bag, measure down only 1/2-inch from the tip of the triangle and sew across the triangle with a seam of about 1-inch in length. Cut the tip off, as shown in the "Tiny Totes" how-to.
  • When placing the handles on the bag, put the ends about five-eighths inch on either side of the center of the bag top (not the one-inch shown in the "Tiny Totes" how-to).
Tinier totes can be stuffed with tissue paper, lace doilies, or tulle. For a complete how-to-make the totes with photographs, go to  "Tiny Totes" posted on Appleton Dance on Nov. 25, 2011.

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