Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Art of the Surcee - My Newest Tutorial - How to Create Nostalgic Sewn Paper Gift Bags

In the Southern United States, we are raised with a wonderful tradition called the "surcee."  I've talked about them before, but if you don't know, a surcee is a gift given for no other reason that to show the recipient that he or she is special. These little gift bags a little surcees in themselves, but they make the most delightful vehicles to delivery surcees to your friends and loved ones, too. 

I wrote this new tutorial in response to several requests from my customers, who all receive these gift bags with each purchase of a piece of jewelry from my shop.  They often tell me they recycle the bags by passing them along to another gift recipient. One of my customers told me it felt like Christmas for her when she opened the box, and she found herself wrapping the box back up and opening it again and again, just to see these gift bags nestled inside. That is exactly the feeling I hope you will get, both from making these beautiful little bags and by giving them as well.  

One customer even told me opening the box they came in was such an unexpected surprise, she cried.  I don't want to make anyone cry, of course, but that is what a surcee will do for you.  She kept closing and opening the box they arrived in, just to repeat the feeling.  And the vintage buttons!   One of my very good customers, who has a couple dozen by now, has confessed to hoarding them for herself for the buttons alone!

The bags also make fabulous party favors when filled with candy and are the best way to give a gift card.  Who wants to use a boring old envelope when you could use one of these?  You could also slip in event tickets, money or a folded check.   I also had a request for 10 to be embellished with vintage kitchen images for a bridal shower.   Taking that idea a little further, wouldn't these be great to hold bridesmaid gifts?   You can make them masculine or feminine in theme.  The possibilities are almost endless.  

In the tutorial, I instruct you how to create these charming, whimsical, nostalgic sewn paper gift bags using vintage dictionary pages, vintage buttons, and a few other inexpensive materials and tools, none of which are hard to find or expensive, with the exception of a sewing machine. You will need the use of a sewing machine to complete the project, but advanced sewing skills are not necessary. If you can sew a zigzag stitch in a straight line, you can create these delightful gift bags.  The lesson is 14 pages total and contains step-by-step instructions and lots of clear, color photos.  It is also extremely easy to follow.   If you prefer a CD version, I can also burn a copy for you onto CD for a small additional fee for postage and the cost of the CD. 

I can tell you first hand that creating these beauties is also addictive.   I make them in batches of 50 or so at a time.  Speaking of which, I only have 11 left from the last batch.  I better get crackin' on some new ones!  


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