Recycled Sweater Bottle Gift Bags

This Bottle Gift Bag is no cost at all if you use an old sweater your about to give away. Using the sleeves is a perfect way to make a super cute gift bag for a bottled drink.

Although my husband and I don't drink alcohol at all, occasionally we will grab a bottle of sparkling cider at our favorite apple orchard's market and give as a quick holiday gift. This cute gift bag is a way to dress up a rather ordinary gift and make it a little more special without spending any or much money. Besides bottles of drinks, it could be used for a gift of infused oils or vinegars, homemade syrups and more.

In the picture above I used both a full sized Cider bottle and those mini cider bottles found at the Dollar Store. That would be so cute at a holiday dinner table for everyone (including kids) to have their own little bottle of cider dressed up in a cute bag!
Mini cider bottles from the Dollar Tree 
Thermal Shirt Bag

You can use an adults or a childs sweater or shirt. as long as it is long enough and wide enough for the bottle, and any kind will  generally  work. The one above is the kind that has a cuff that can be rolled down, but any type of sweater sleeve will work just fine.
 Flannel Shirt Bag

Ok, truth in crafting moment:  I totally just winged it with out a pattern or directions, as I usually do, but have refined the directions for you below. The bottom of my bag ended up a little more triangle than circle, cause I just started stitching the bottom piece from a square shaped scrap and didn't trace and cut as the directions below. I just sort of trimmed as I stitched, and it turned out fine, but wouldn't recommend it.
My second and third bags turned out "normal" once I used the directions I am including below.

Recycled Sweater Bottle Bag
My second bottle bag shown above turned out way better when I used the directions below!

Old sweater
needle and thread


Cut sleeves from the sweater.
(If using a child's sweater you may need to also cut a small piece of the sweater to use as the bottom of the bag.)
Carefully slide bottle into the sleeve, and adjust the top of the bottle to the top of the cuff of the sleeve.
Cut the sleeve 1- 1 1/2 inches below the bottom of the bottle. (Save scrap to use as the bottom of the bag)

Turn Sleeve inside out.

Open up the bottom of the sleeve so it is rounded (I would just stick my hand down the cuff ) and place it on top of the scrap of sweater. Trace a circle around the sweater about 1/2 inch wider than the bottom of the  cuff. Cut out the circle.
Sew the circle scrap to the bottom edge of the sleeve (not the cuff end) in a whip stitch, all the way around the cuff. Tie the end of the thread into a knot and cut.

Turn your sweater bag right side out.
Place your bottle in the bag.
Embelish with ribbons and tags as desired.

Crock pot Lazy Cabbage Rolls

Crock pot Cabbage Rolls! Well almost! Here we have the wonderful taste of cabbage rolls, but in an easy to throw together slow cooker recipe. Just layer the ingredients in the crock pot and set it to go! 
Crock Pot Lazy Cabbage Rolls

My dear hubby loves cabbage rolls. I can not eat cabbage, so I don't make it for him as often as he would like. When I came across this recipe over at Homemade Happiness I knew I'd have to give it a try!  The results? Wonderful! I made it just as the recipe states (ok I cut it in half since we are empty nesters now!), and think based on our own health and taste preferences will tweak it just a bit next time. 

The originial recipe I am posting here has that wonderful traditional cabbage roll taste and does not need changing. My husband is diabetic and the tomato soup and ketchup had a bit to much sugar for him, so next time I'll substitute out my own homemade marinara sauce,but othewise we loved it! (Ok, I might also do half ground beef, half ground sausage next time).

Jan's tip: This makes a TON! (I cut it in half and we had enough for dinner plus lunch for both of us the next day all for half the recipe!)

Crock pot Lazy Cabbage Rolls:

2 lbs. lean ground beef
4 cups of cabbage, chopped
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups of rice, (uncooked)  brown or white
1 large can stewed tomato chunks
2 cans tomato soup
2 1/2 cans water
1/4 cup ketchup
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp dry mustard

Brown ground beef in a non-stick pan, drain any fat and season with salt and pepper.
Place half of the cabbage on the bottom of your crock pot. 
Add the cooked ground beef on top. 
Add the onion.
Add the uncooked  rice. 
In a bowl, mix together remaining ingredients and pour over top of rice.
Add remaining cabbage on top, place the lid on, turn on high for 3 hours or on low for 5 hours.

To Serve:
Mix all the layers together by giving it a good stir and you are ready to eat!

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