The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread gift bags

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AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Bread gift bags

Many times when I give a loaf as a gift it is still warm and I am reluctant to put it in a plastic bag to risk ruining the crust. I have used teatowels but then the recipient feels obliged to return the "wrapper". I am also a quilter and as anyone who quilts or is related to a quilter can tell you - we have fabric! Yards and boxes and closets full of fabric. So my latest idea is to sew bread bags. No more lost teatowels, no more huge ziploc bags to accomodate sharp "ears" which can tear a 1 gallon bag. Nothing fancy, no patchwork or hand quilting, just a plain bag with maybe a drawstring top. Has anyone else tried this? I'd love to hear about your experiences, A.


Comments

DerekL's picture
DerekL

Wouldn't it take less time and effort to simply let the bread cool?

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Probably, A.

mattie405's picture
mattie405

When I was sewing quite a bit a few years ago I made tons of bags for both bread and wine gifts. I usually just serged the seams as it went a lot faster than sewing them on a sewing machine, I added a drawstring to the top after creating a casing. For those that were going to really good friends I would embroider something on them..........loaves of breads, wine glasses and bottles etc, everyone who received them appreciated them and many still have and use them for breads.........most of the wine bags were recycled for gifts the recipients gave to other friends, lots of the people asked me to make special ones for them too. At that point it seemed like it would become a "job" and I already had a job so I stopped making them.  mattie

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Mattie, the serger sounds like a great way to go. My feeling was that people would keep the bags and use them, maybe to keep a crusty loaf on the cutting board. I cover mine with a linen cloth but a bag would be tidier. I can see why people would keep your embroidered bags, very special. When I've finished the current quilt I'll see what I can come up with. Thanks for your input, A.

mattie405's picture
mattie405

Annie,


    If you have an embroidery machine you could also make the bags personalized for the recipients, less chance they will get thrown away.........people seem to realize that some effort was put into making something personalized and they appreciate the effort. On some of the more popular ones I did I embroidered out the recipe for a soup onto the bag, like a simple onion or potato soup, on the flip side of the bag I would put the familys name and a design, they went over very well. I didn't really spend a lot on nicer fabrics either, I usually buy a whole bolt of regular muslin when the store has it on sale so I always have some around here, I would just pre-wash it and then use it doubled for extra durability because they do get washed often. Seeing as you are a quilter you could maybe put a simple quilt block design on the bags for some decoration, maybe match it to the recipients decor..........lots of ways to personalize them.  Mattie

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hi Mattie, no, I don't have an embroidery machine. Your idea of putting a soup recipe on a bag sounds so neat, no wonder people kept them. I was really trying to come up with a way to use up some fabric and to make bags to fit different breads. A single block on one side would be easy. I know what you mean about something turning into a "job" - people ask why I don't sell the bread I bake but then it wouldn't be as much fun. Thanks for the great ideas, A.

bakermomof4's picture
bakermomof4

When I was in Portugal a few years ago, one of the things that I bought for myself and use often is a fabric bread bag with a drawstring.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hi Baker mom, what kind of fabric is your bag? Is it easy to wash? I'm thinking I need to finish the seams to prevent ravelling. What a nice souvenir of Portugal, A.

DrPr's picture
DrPr

I love the bread bag idea. Due to my schedule sometimes I don't have time to let bread cool before I deliver it. And beautiful bread bags are a great gift idea whether or not the bread is still warm.  I have delivered my breads in paper bags with built-in loop handles (gift bags) and conscientious friends tend to return the bags to me because they are nice.  People might want to give your bread bags back too, if you don't let them know it's part of the gift!  I like the idea of the soup recipe, too.  Very nice idea.  I'm not a seamstress but this gives me ideas for the holidays.

SusanWozniak's picture
SusanWozniak

I live in an area where people are carrying re-useable bags to shop.  I can see a real future in re-useable bread bags.

smasty's picture
smasty

Fabulous idea!  I'm a, sort of, former seamstress and still have loads of fabric and nice machines.  I love your idea!  Thanks!

mattie405's picture
mattie405

This year with finances getting tighter and tighter just about everyone we know is tightening their belts and a bread bag or two with some fresh made bread in them would be a nice gift. For senior citizens who have to watch their pennies a handmade grocery tote with a few canned staples in it would be a nice idea too.......instead of the usual trinkets that they have no use for. When I make grocery totes I square off the bottom and put a heavy piece of plexiglass in the bottom for added stability, I've made them with all kinds of handles too, short ones like a womans purse, shoulder straps to carry heavier items easier and made some like a simple backpack. For those of us that do sew we usually have lots of fabric sitting around, you know the stuff we bought that didn't get used up and we look at it now and wonder "what was I thinking when I bought this", bags are a perfect way to use it all up. I think I am going to get started make up the grocery sacks and picking up a few staples on my grocery shopping each week then contact one of our local churches or the local senior council who I am sure will know some seniors who are having a tough time just meeting their basic living expenses, I think a bag filled with some food items would help out even just a little, I'll keep the items to canned so they won't have to worry about freshness or tampering because this will be coming from a stranger. Off to the machines I go! Have a great week baking!    mattie

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I'm sure they will be most appreciated! I understand what you are saying about using pre packaged items, it's shame isn't it?


Betty

mattie405's picture
mattie405

Betty,


    I agree that now a days it is a shame that we have to be suspicious of everyone and everything, the world has changed a lot since I was a kid. I figured I could do a small grocery tote and fill it with the smaller cans of vegetables, maybe one of those small canned hams, some tuna and any other small canned goods that a simple meal could be made of. I want to keep the totes on the smaller size so they won't become too heavy to be lifted by a senior when filled. If I pick up a few staples each week during my regular grocery shopping it won't make a big dent in our food budget and I can make a few bags each week and fill them all right before the holidays. Many of our seniors have just enough income to not be able to qualify for any social programs that might help them out and yet not enough to have a decent quality of life considering all the contributions they made during their working years, lots of times they are forced to choose between medications or food and that to me shouldn't be happening in this great country, so if I can do a little bit and others do too, just think what could be accomplished. Sorry to get so long winded but seniors are close to my heart.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

and I believe all people as a whole, whatever nationality or ethnicity, are trying to make a difference in our world.


I use our local grocery store's enticement coupons (come shop here, this is really cheap) like brand named macaroni & cheese 69 cents, cereal 99 cents, albacore white tuna 79 cents..these were just a few items available this week with a $20 purchase. I put them away for our local food drives and also add other items from our pantry.


Betty