Tuesday 26 November 2013

Personalised Present Mail Bag

It's turned to Christmas here.  I hope that's OK.
  It's my favourite time of the year and it is just as much about the lead up for me and my family as the day itself.  It's also the best excuse for lots of making, creating and baking - so lets start [although I did technically start earlier this month] with my favourite - children's present post/mail bags.  Last year, I made some small versions for my Godchildren [stockings and bags], but this year I have a nephew thrown into the mix and I have bigger presents to give.  You will probably have seen versions of these all over the Internet, but I have made some personalised bags and they were much simpler and easier than I worried - and required no more than the bags, stencils and some Sharpies.

I picked up 5 bags from eBay [from this seller if you are interested] around 50cm by 80cm, but there are plenty of other sellers now offering similar bags and shapes.
So that I wasn't let loose completely to my own design, I made a few templates for myself.

Remebering that these are for children, not me, I kept the design basic, big, bold and clear.  I made a  feature of the name and postage stamp, with simple stars to add variation and decoration and a simple 'Special Delivery' stamp at the base.  
I used Mac font style 'Modern: Futura: Medium' with the first names at around 190pt in size and these [that post mark terribly drawn, just use it as a guide - sorry!] shapes:
[right click and save to your desktop to print]
I started my first bag tracing the text with a chalk-based pencil, which could be erased if it went wrong:
...then tracing over these outlines with the Sharpie, but once I got the hang of it, I just went straight ahead with the Sharpie:
[if your text doesn't show through easily for your to trace, hold everything up to a window and make outlines that you can define once back at a table where it wont be so awkward and uncomfortable!].

I then outlined the names in the centre of the bag, before filling in and adding the extra details:

 To finish the bag and create a 'mail bag' effect, I folded the top of the sack outwards to create a large top hem and then threaded red wool, with a long and wide running stitch, starting and finishing at the front to create a pretty tie fastening:
....adding a little detail with some bells at the ends.....
....and then the bag was ready to stuff with presents.  These sacks can more than hold the weight and you can pretty much fill them to bursting - I'm quite tempted to make one for myself and they would look great with a more general festive design and as large decorations to hold [or hide] anything around the house during the festive season:

  • If you have a hessin bag that likes to moult a little more than you'd like - an old [or cheap] pillow case makes the perfect lining.
  • If you have time, some embroidery around the name letters or as extra embellishment, decoration and details would look gorge-ous.
  • I went for simple red wool ties, but thicker ribbon with a big bow would be be-aut-iful.
  • You could add pockets to the front in a bright colour, such as red felt, for any smaller presents, or even a letter from Father Christmas himself.
see you next time - please let me know and see if you try this! x


  1. Made this tonight and I love it! My kids are going to their grandparents's house for an early Christmas, so this is a great way for Santa to make an appearance ahead of schedule. Tried to post a picture but unable to do so through my phone. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Hello! Thanks so much or letting me know - they'll love it! If you can, I would love to see - you can email me at (thethingsshemakes@yahoo.com) :)


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