My friend Jena’s grandmother passed away recently. As Jena’s in New York and I’m in Ohio, I wasn’t able to visit her while she was sitting shiva, but I still wanted to send her a small condolence gift.
I went down to the Short North in Columbus and got a letterpress sympathy card from Tigertree.
I’m a big fan of letterpress cards. I guess they just have more of a personal feel than a standard Hallmark card, but maybe that’s just the hipster in me talking.
I also stopped by Le Chocoholique and picked up a few of their Oyo Whiskey Pecan chocolates, because Jena’s a big fan of whiskey, then went to Pistacia Vera‘s North Market location to pick up some of their amazing macarons. Originally, I was going to bake cookies myself, but I decided to make a gift bag instead for store-bought desserts.
I have a couple yards of these lovely light green fabrics that were collecting dust on my fabric shelf. They matched the ribbon on the Pistacia Vera box perfectly, so I combined the fabrics to make a lined drawstring gift bag. I followed these instructions for the gift bag, and these instructions to add the gussets. Side note, but I’m never attempting to make drawstrings that are under 3/4″ wide ever again. I tried three times to turn a 1/4″-wide strap inside out using a variety of methods, and that didn’t end up working. A 3/4″ strap was much easier to work with.
To plan the size of the bag, I first measured the dimensions of the gift box, which was 3″ × 5″ × 8″. I added an inch to each dimension for the seam allowance and to add a little more room inside the bag. I took this new measurement (4″ × 6″ × 9″) and flattened it into a two-dimensional shape by adding the width and depth measurements together, meaning each side of my bag would be 10″ × 9″. I then cut one piece of 10″ × 18″ fabric for the body of the bag, according to the drawstring bag instructions.
However, I forgot to take into account the fact that adding gussets to a bag will reduce its height. I haven’t thought about how the math works, but my gussets are each 3 1/2″ long, and I ended up needing to add at least 6″ to the length, making for an additional 3″ of height on either side. I’m guessing that you’ll need to add the length of your gusset (which will be the depth measurement of your item, plus any extra room you provided) to the length of your fabric. The bag I made does fit the box perfectly, but it can’t be closed. I’m still sending it to Jena, though, because I figure she can still use it for something else.
I don’t have much experience with death myself, so I’m not really familiar with the grieving process. My maternal grandfather passed away when I was young, and my maternal grandmother passed away a while ago. I wasn’t particularly close to her, and she wasn’t living with us or close to us at the time, so sometimes it still feels like her death never really happened because I was so removed from it. Still, despite my inexperience, I hope this gift helps Jena even a little bit.