Simple Reusable Gift Tags for Cloth Gift Bags

We love our reusable cloth gift bags. Compared to wrapping paper and paper gift bags, reusable bags are:
  • Eco-friendlier! We create less waste and recycling.
  • Cheaper (in the long run)
  • Faster and easier to wrap gifts with
  • Easier to reuse
  • More durable -- those paper gift bags only last so long when you reuse them
  • WAY simpler clean up (my favorite part)

But I did run into one little snag the first year I wrapped all of our gifts with cloth gift bags: gift tags. Those little card stock gift tags you tape onto presents? They just kept falling off. Tape doesn't work well on fabric. At least not the scotch tape I was using. Sticker gift tags didn't work either.

But I soon thought of a solution: reusable gift tags. I used the same idea as the one I came up with for the numbered tags for my Children's Book Advent Calendar Countdown. I made super simple gift tags using index cards punched several times at the top to make them easy to string along the ribbon used to tie the gift bag shut.

I decorated them with holiday stickers from my childhood collection (a little scary that I still have these). I put clear box tape over the stickers to prevent my little ones from peeling them off.

These tags work well for me since we generally purchase and wrap a set number of gifts for each child from the same people year after year (one gift from Mami and Papi, one gift from my parents selected and wrapped by me, one gift from Santa).  I also have made gift tags to and from "Tia," since my sister often spends Christmas with us.  I stash the tags with my cloth gift bags and ribbons for easy reuse.

How do you label your gifts wrapped in reusable gift bags or fabric?

Related Posts

If I Can Sew This, So Can You: DIY Reusable Gift Bags
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle while Wrapping Gifts
Children's Book Advent Calendar with an Eco-friendly Twist
Eco-novice's Green Gift Guide

For more great ideas on being green 
and saving green during the holidays, 

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Gifts that Encourage a Child's Sense of Wonder About Nature

Children are natural scientists and love to explore the world around them. But sometimes their enthusiasm for the natural world wanes as they grow up and become engaged in friendships, structured activities, and technology. Here are some gifts to encourage your child's sense of wonder about the natural world.


There is no shortage of fabulous non-fiction children's literature about the natural world. Just the other day I found a "Like New" used hardcover copy of an amazing encyclopedia of extinct animals. My kids and I have particularly enjoyed books for the backyard naturalist. Our favorite books about trees include:

For a long time my daughter's favorite book was Are You a Snail?, one of the books in the Backyard Books series, all about the little creatures you might encounter in your own yard.

We also have several books in the series of Take Along Guides for kids, including:

I also recommend investing in some guides for grown-ups about your own area's flora and fauna. My children have loved pouring over these, if only to look at the pictures, and they are great to take on hikes and outings (along with the Take Along Guides mentioned above) to help identify any wildlife or plants you might encounter.

Recently at the library I found the book Where Does My Shadow Sleep: A Parent's Guide to Exploring Science with Children's Books, which includes chapters on exploring the natural world. Find additional ideas for books about the natural world in Bugs, Bogs, Bats, and Books: Sharing nature with children through reading, published by the American Library Association (contains book descriptions, no activities).

Green Sisterhood Etsy Handmade Giveaway

2013 has been a great year for Eco-novice and to help show my appreciation to all of you readers, followers, and fans, I am excited to be able to co-host this incredible handmade giveaway from the Green Sisterhood. Loyal Eco-novice readers know that I am a big Etsy fan, and I am thrilled to be able to introduce you to these eco-friendly sellers and their fabulous handmade products. One person will win all of these items, a total retail value of over $200!

Thank you again for being part of this community. Good luck!

Note to email subscribers: You will need to visit the post to enter the giveaway. Click here to go to the post and enter.

Green Sisterhood's Eco-Friendly Holiday Handmade Giveaway!

1) Herban Lifestyle - Man's Grooming Set $40 
3) House of Metalworks - Yoga Hamsa Necklace $23 
4) Happy Earth Tea - Organic Immune Boosting Tea $12 
5) Crunchy Betty - Exquisite Cleansing Oil $15.50 
6) HerbanLuxe - Vegan Mascara $11.75 
7) Reiter8 - Clutch made from boat sail $23 
8) ecokaren - Eco Fabric Modal Scarf $30 
9) Snackaby - Food Safe Reusable Snack Bags $23 
10) Juniper Mercantile - Organic Unbleached Cotton Towels $15

And to improve your chances of winning, check out these participating bloggers. You can use the rafflecopter widgets on their blogs to gain additional entries.

Here is how to enter. If you can't see the widget below, CLICK HERE TO SEE the FORM AND ENTER a Rafflecopter giveaway

NOTE: The giveaway is for US and Canada residents only and ends on Monday at 11:59PM EST, December 16, 2013. Please read the Terms and Conditions at the end of the Rafflecopter widget before entering. By entering, you are agreeing to subscribe to Green Sisterhood's email newsletter.

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Eco-novice's Favorite Kind of Toy: Wood Stacking Toys by Grimms

In my six-plus years as a parent, I've acquired and discarded a large number of toys. Some toys broke, some were made of possibly toxic materials, others were too annoying for the adults or overstimulating for the kids, and many quickly lost their appeal and were soon ignored. So I now have some well-defined preferences when it comes to owning toys.

Eco-novice's Toy Preferences

  • Quality over quantity
  • Natural, sustainable, and completely non-toxic materials
  • Aesthetically-pleasing
  • Open-ended to facilitate creativity and imaginative play
  • Durable
  • Appealing to a wide age-span (including adults)
  • Created by a business I can enthusiastically support
  • Worth saving for the grandkids

If I had it all to do again, I would own only these types of toys. In every way, our Grimm's toys fit perfectly with this philosophy.

Use a Pillowcase to Wrap a Large Gift {Easy Eco-tip Tuesday}

Today's Easy Eco-tip:
Use a pillowcase to wrap an especially large gift, rather than burn through half a roll of wrapping paper. Keep your eye out for festive, fun, and colorful pillowcases to use for gift wrap whenever you shop at the thrift store, or just use what you've already got. If you don't like the pillowcase idea, consider wrapping a large gift in a sheet or blanket (could be part of the gift) or, my personal favorite, stash the large gift in a closet or car trunk and send the recipient on a treasure hunt to find it.

Pillowcases make excellent extra-large reusable gift bags (I wrapped my yoga mat for the photo above). They can be tied off at the top with a ribbon, or for flat gifts like a box you can fold the pillowcase closed and criss-cross wrap with a ribbon to hold it shut (see photos in this post to see what I mean).

For oodles of additional eco-friendly and budget-friendly ways to wrap your gifts, check out my post Reduce, Reuse, Recycle while Wrapping Gifts.

Click here to browse the complete Green Holidays series.

For more Easy Eco-tips, click here.

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Stocking Up on Organic Unders on Cyber Monday

My 2yo in the Organic Cotton Training Unders.
They are thicker than the Classic Girls Unders but have similar fit and coverage.

So I did it. I invested in the organic cotton underwear for my kids. It's hard for me to cough up the money for organic cotton clothing. I like to get my clothes second-hand from family members, friends, or thrift stores. Underwear is one of the few things I do buy new though, and if you are going to invest in organic clothing, it might as well be the stuff directly against your child's sensitive areas all day. The fact that Hanna Andersson is having possibly its best sale of the year (15% off plus free shipping) helped ease my sticker shock a little. I ordered one each of several different kinds of under clothes for my kids a little while ago, and am stocking up on the ones we liked best. If you buy two or more sets of certain under clothes the discount is even greater than 15%.

Here is what I ordered from Hanna Andersson:

Let the Countdown Begin

I have wrapped 24 children's holiday books for our advent countdown. We started this tradition last year and I love it. Already the kids are remembering and anticipating their favorite books from last year. I was able to wrap all of our books with the gift bags I sewed a couple of years ago, plus a few sheet set bags and one old thin receiving blanket. You can read all the details, including how to make this work if you don't have 24 books or 24 gift bags, in last year's post.

I had my 4yo help me put them in order for a little number practice.

Yesterday we bought our Christmas tree and decorated it with our LED lights (last year's upgrade) and our stash of ornaments. It smells fabulous. I have plans to make salt dough ornaments with my kids this year. After dinner, we watched The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. This morning, my children have taken every ornament off the tree as part of their reenactment of the Grinch.

We celebrated my toddler turning 2 last month, and one of everyone's favorite gifts was the Uncle Goose Spanish ABC blocks. Our cheapy Melissa & Doug wooden alphabet blocks just do not compare in any way. So when I saw these Uncle Goose Christmas blocks, I decided to add them to our Christmas decor. (Disregard the crappy reviews: it's because they used to have the wrong product photos displayed. You can see additional views of the blocks currently for sale here.) I love holiday decorations that can be handled and played with by little ones.

One year I even made a list of child-friendly nativities I loved on Etsy. I didn't buy any of them because we already have three child-friendly nativities, but I love to admire them and think about buying them just the same.

Have you started decorating for the holidays yet?
What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Click here to browse the complete Green Holidays series.

Are you interested in Going Green Gradually? Sign up for my free email subscription to get each of my posts delivered to your inbox (I usually post one or two times a week). You can also follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitter, or with your favorite RSS Reader. I hope to see you again soon!

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Your purchase via these links helps support my blog. Thank you for your support. Read my full disclosure policy here.


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