OR  ….  Alternative Lifestyles of a Gift Bag


With a few simple items
you probably have on hand,
it’s a quick 15 minutes
to a fresh statement piece.

All you need is:~ Fabric or Paper Bag with message tag (yes, I’m showing a South House jute party sack with Chalk Cloth Spot-to-Jot)
~ Small tree or two branches as I used
~ Empty Can (I used an empty Panko bread crumb can, but almost any tall-ish can will do)
~ Florist marbles, pebbles, rocks, sand (whatever you have on hand)
~ A length of ribbon
~ Florist Moss (in the craft aisle at Wal-mart or florist aisles of hobby and fabric stores)
~ 2 plastic bags


1) Start with your message while your bag is flat. I wrote with Chalk Marker on the chalk cloth spot, but you can stamp or stencil on the bag or a tag.
2)  Fill the can with marbles/rocks/sand and place in the bag.
3)  Twist the plastic bags and loosely wrap around the base of the can to act as filler between the can and the bag. This is optional, but I like the shape it gives.
4)  Gather the bag around the neck of the can and tie with ribbon.
 5)  If using two or more branches as I did, wire them together. IMG_2648
  6)  Insert tree into can filler.  IMG_2645
7)  For the finishing touch, add moss. Be sure to cover completely and I like to have a bit hanging over the edge.  IMG_2642

DSCF6072 Yes, this original Believe tree was for Christmas in our home, but it’s simplicity cries out to be translated to many, many occasions and seasons.

How about: For Easter/Spring – A branch from the budding redbud out back; nestle a craft store nest and egg in a joint, or attach paper butterflies. And the message could declare “He is Risen” or “Bloom” or …

For Mom & Dad’s 50th anniversary buffet table – tree branches bearing small pictures of each family member that has resulted from this union and the message being their initials encircled by a heart.

For Halloween – of course anything creepy!

So what message would you declare on your bag?


  1. Christine

    Where do you get your jute from? What kind is it?

    • admin

      Hi Christine, thanks for your inquiry. So sorry, my jute is not available retail. It must be ordered in large quantities from the mill. It is 100% jute. I’m lucky to have access to amazing resources since I’ve been in the product design field for almost 30 years now (yikes, can I be that ooolld?).



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