Things I Also Make – tote/bag with many lives

This particular item has gone through three transformations.

First it was a “wine tote.” I saw these all made up, with empty bottles, displayed at my local quilt shop. I loved them! I thought it was such a great idea and really dressed up a gift bottle of wine. I whipped up a bunch of them.

But the idea didn’t seem to catch on at sales. People seemed to think it would be weird to give a reusable bag as a gift. What would the recipient do with the wine tote? Would they re-gift it? Or would it get tossed in a corner?

So I changed tactics and started calling them “gift bags.” This happened after a friend told me about packing the tote full of little gifts for Christmas. Of course! This reusable bag could be used as a gift bag for anything that would fit in it: wine, fancy pasta, socks, whatever.


They’re all decorated with a cool button.

But… the idea of resuable gift wrapping still hasn’t caught on with many people.  (Or maybe it’s because I only ever had about 10 of these around… not enough options??)

The most recent incarnation is my favorite, and I think it will stick. It happened like this: My husband and I often go out for walks and it gets pretty warm around here in the summer. So we like to carry some water with us. This gets to be a pain because often I found myself carrying the water. The thought of the ever-unpopular “wine tote / gift bag” and the need to more easily carry water on walks clashed together in my mind one fateful day. I grabbed a long strip of fabric and safety-pinned it to the gift bags. Voila! The “water bottle totes” were born.

I converted several of the totes to water bottle totes and then adjusted the pattern for new ones. These have done much better and frankly, they make a lot more sense. More people are carrying around drink bottles than are gifting bottles of wine. =)

But still, I wouldn’t be surprised if some other adjustment, addition, or change is made to this item down the road.

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One thought on “Things I Also Make – tote/bag with many lives

  1. That makes sense. I bought two from the first incarnation, and believe or not I gave it as a gift with a bottle of wine inside. But I wasn’t sure what the recipients would do with it next. I still have one, and that’s a good idea, using it as a general gift bag. But water totes might really work.

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