Spoiler Alert: If you were planning on inviting my daughter to a birthday part sometime in 2009, your child is going to get a version of the bag and book above because even with just one child I can’t keep track of it anymore. Previously in my mommy career I had a “gift pantry” in our guest room closet, which I kept carefully stocked with a broad array of books and toys that I would dole out every time there was a birthday party. My daughter and I would go through all of the options and select one that we thought would appeal. Of course I never wrote down what I gave to whom so now I’m really stuck. “Did we give this book to her already?” I wonder every time I need a gift.
So here’s my solution. I’m buying a whole bunch of copies of one book and making cloth drawstring bags with personalized tags for each child in 2009. The bag above took less than an hour to make even with the tag, which is made with a rigid stabilizer such as Fast 2 Fuse. I use leftover binding scraps for the drawstring and trace the name with a laundry-proof Sakura pen. The bag can be any size but I’ve made it big enough for books or shoes, which took a scrap a bit smaller than a fat quarter.
This solves a number of problems. First, I know that I haven’t done this before so I know I’m not repeating a gift. Second, I like replacing wrapping paper with something that will be re-used. By the way, my daughter will be spying on your child to see what colors they use in their drawings and what colors they wear most often so we can at least try to make a bag in their favorite color. Lastly, this gift solution satisfies part of my desire to have as many children in the world have at least one thing in their life that someone hand made especially for them. You can’t find it in a store. Someone sat down, thought about you and really tried hard to make something special for you and only you. I’ve gotta think that’s at least in the running with a Webkinz.
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