Large Gift Bag DIY featuring Target Toy Emporium

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DIY watercolor gift bag for TargetToys

So your daughter is turning seven years old and the one thing she REALLY wants for her birthday is….a horse–a carrot-eating, clip clopping, real-live horse! And while you’d love to make her dreams come true, a horse just wouldn’t fit in her bedroom, nor could her allowance pay to board and feed said horse. It’s really not an option at this point. So what do you do?

What I would do in such a hypothetical scenario is visit Target’s new Toy Emporium section of their website. It has all of the best toys organized by their valuable purpose, such as Build, Create, and Explore. Not wanting to crush my daughter’s propensity to dream big entirely, I head to the the Imagine section. After just a little browsing, what do I find? A horse! One that will fit into her bedroom (after she cleans it), doesn’t cost her allowance to feed, and has all of the accessories she needs to practice taking care of a real horse and as a bonus, her 18″ doll will be so excited to ride it!

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I loaded up my little guys and made a field trip to Target (never sad to have a reason to spend some time there!).

Toy Emporium Target

Our horse isn’t hard to find…it is part of the Our Generation line, displayed here on the pink aisle.

Toy Emporium Our Generation horse

And look at the stable behind…tempting!

I was excited to have found the perfect birthday present for my future equestrian, but big presents can pose big challenges when it comes to concealing them and wrapping them for the big occasion. I came up with an imaginative solution you may want to try.

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How about a custom eco-friendly reusable sack that celebrates her imaginative spirit?

Pillowcase gift sac

In my mind this was going to be even more simple than it turned out to be. I purchased a package of plain white cotton pillowcases, thinking one would make a great bag. But this horse–being close to the real thing–is too grand to fit in a pillowcase! Luckily there were two in the package. I picked apart one seam from each case, and being in a hurry and not being my mom with her stellar sewing skills, used fusible fabric tape to adhere the two cases together at those seams with my iron. This made one large bag! Big enough for a good-sized toy horse.

Now for the fun part!

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I mixed some Rit dye with water in different concentrations to create a watercolor effect on my pillow case. This was a fun experiment. I learned that a little dye goes a long way. The less concentrated the dye, the easier it was to blend like watercolor paint. I used her two favorite colors: pink and purple.

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I  love the effect it created. Then I used a permanent marker and my best faux-calligraphy skills to write the word Imagine.

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The top of the bag has the pre-sewn pillow case hem. It makes a great place to insert rope or ribbon to create a drawstring.

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For wrapping purposes, I added a froofy pink tulle bow.


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After opening her present, I can see her using the bag for other gifts, as a travel laundry bag, or maybe for storage for her horse and its accessories.

DIY watercolor gift bag for toys-7309

With the holiday season approaching, I want to know which toys are on your children’s wish lists. And how do you wrap those oversized gifts?

Oh, and if you see my daughter, shhhh. Please don’t tell her she is getting a pony for her birthday. Now I can move on to the rest of her birthday insanity!

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  1. What a great idea! I love the added IMAGINE writing to the bag too! And that horse just made it on my daughter’s wish list! #client

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