French-Inspired Burlap Wine Bag

I love all things French. The motifs and especially the phrases such as J’adore (I love you), Bonjour (Hello), Je t’aime (I love you ‘also’) and Merci (thank you). French phrases bring a certain elegance to handmade creations such as these handmade burlap wine bags. By using approximately 1/2 yard or less of burlap material, you can whip up your own French-themed wine bag in one evening.

First, create your own bag by cutting one 7”x15” strip of burlap fabric using a rotary cutter and self-healing mat.

Fuse some webbing to an 10” square of black wool or acrylic felt with an iron and ironing surface. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the exact directions for this.

Next, use your Sizzix Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine, cutting pads, and Serif Essentials Bigz Dies to cut out the letters for “Merci” or other desired sentiment. Make sure you die cut paper side up so that the letters will have the appropriate orientation when fused to the bag front.

Peel the paper backing from the letters and fuse them to the front of the bag.

Thread the sewing machine with black thread and stitch the letters in place on the bag front with a straight stitch.

Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sewing machine and thread, sew the seams right sides out down the sides of the bag and the top of the bag.

Turn the bag right sides out and use a glue such as Fabric Fusion to adhere the measuring tape around the bag about 4” down from the top,

To embellish the bag, I used hand dyed muslin, dyed with various colors of Rit Dye to create handmade flowers. I rolled and twist the strips in a spiral, gluing in place with the fabric glue as I went along.

I embellished each handmade flower with various flower centers created from sequins, rhinestones, beads, etc.

Use the fabric fusion to adhere the handmade flowers to the burlap bag as shown. Let glue set before further handling.

To add the drawstring, thread a tapestry needle with thin, delicate organza or muslin fabric strips (I used one of the dyed muslin strips I created with Rit Dye.) Thread the ribbon from front to back, leaving about 4” of the ribbon hanging. Continue, going all the way around the bag until you reach the front again. Trim off excess ribbon, leaving 4” hanging so that you can tie the ends of the ribbon into a bow.

I finished off my burlap wine bag by adding a distressed, stamped wooden tag embellishment. Paint the tag black, then wax the surface and paint it antique white. Sand the surface to reveal an aged surface and stamp with a solvent ink and an image of your choice. I used a bird but a fleur de lis or a French postage stamp from my collection would have worked well, too.

I can’t think of a friend or family member who doesn’t adore getting my cousin’s homemade wine as a gift. What a great way to say thank you for so many wonderful ways my friends have helped me with over the past year.

Live Life Creatively,

Melony Bradley (www.mel-designs.typepad.com)