Monday 20 March 2023

A fabric stash project - drawstring gift bags for a Disney cruise gift exchange

This year one of my goals is to make a dent in my fabric stash. I have lots of projects in mind, and this week I suddenly found a new opportunity to use up some more of my fabric! 

In a couple of months we are lucky enough to be going on a Disney cruise, and one thing that I love about Disney cruises is the Fish Extender gift exchange. It's an organised way of giving little gifts to families in other staterooms, and lots of people take part. You can find out details in the Facebook group for your cruise, and sign up with the commitment of giving gifts to a certain number of staterooms.

We went on a Halloween Disney cruise back in October 2019 and I went for it in a big way. We were in an exchange group of ten staterooms, and I also took part in an ornament exchange, a postcard exchange, and I made lots of smaller 'Pixie Dust' gifts which are given out at random. The exchange is called a Fish Extender after the long hanging pockets that people hang from the fish shaped hook outside their stateroom door - you can see how I made my Moana themed Fish Extender here

Moana themed Fish Extender for Disney cruise

I really loved taking part but it took up a lot of suitcase space so this time I have scaled it back. We are in an exchange group with five other families, and I'm not doing any other exchanges although I have a few little things to give away as Pixie Dust.

I was trying to think of a better way of presenting my gifts than using plastic gift bags, and I remembered I had some London Underground themed fabric in my stash which would make perfect gift bags. It's fairly likely that most of the other people taking part will be from the US, and if not then they will be people that enjoy to travel, so I hope that they like the design. I had enough fabric to make up four of my five bags, and some colourful spotty fabric for the fifth bag.

London Underground fabric used to make simple drawstring bags

My drawstring bag method is super simple. I just take a rectangle of fabric and sew a deep seam on the longest side to hold the ribbon. Then I turn the right sides together and sew around the sides, making sure to leave the ribbon seam free. I turn the bag the right way around and thread a length of  ribbon through for closing the bag (I also made quite a dent in my huge ribbon stash!)

Simple drawstring bags for Disney cruise Fish Extender exchange

I used some smaller leftovers of fabric to make tiny drawstring bags for Pixie Dust, along with a little tag to let people know where it came from. I had a collection of little Disney figurines which fit perfectly. The bags were a bit fiddly but were very quick to sew up. You can see some leftover anchor and pirate Mickey fabric from when I made Disney cruise themed scrunchies.

As for the gifts inside the bags I have tried my best to keep them small and light. Each person in the stateroom has an individual gift wrapped in tissue paper. I found some gorgeous Disney themed stationery on sale in Asda, there are also bags of Easter chocolates, pretty pens, keyrings, pin badges and small toys and games depending on the different ages.

Now I need to make sure that they arrive safely on the ship, and hope that the recipients are pleased with them!

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