Posted on

Gift Giving Made Easy

If you’re like us, you’re already planning for holiday gift giving. But what about what your gifts are wrapped in? Don’t skimp on packaging this year. Instead of reaching for remnants of last year’s wrapping paper, wrap your gift in something that’s a gift itself.

Our cotton muslin bags are perfect for packaging gifts. Plus, they’re customizable, so you can stamp them with holiday greetings, significant quotes or even a pretty image, so your friend or family member can use it all year long. Here are a few quotes or phrases to consider adding to your packaging:

  • Life is like a cup of tea, it’s all in how you make it.
  • Start each day with a grateful heart.
  • Merry everything. Happy always.
  • Seek happy nights to happy days. – Shakespeare
  • Enjoy today.
  • Not all those who wander are lost. – Tolkien
Posted on

Pack Your Pack

Fall is an ideal time to pack up and hit the trails for long hike to take in the foliage. While you’re on the trail, though, don’t forget about refueling with snacks! Our cotton muslin drawstring bags are perfect for storing hiking snacks, as they’re resealable and don’t take up much room. Here are a few snack ideas for the next time you hit the trails:

  • Trail mix
  • Peanut butter and brown rice squares
  • Dried fruit
  • Roasted edamame
  • Pretzels
  • Nuts
  • Granola
  • Jerky or Fruit Leather

The ideal size for your pack is 4” x 6” cotton muslin drawstring bags. Hit the trails and enjoy yourself this fall.

Posted on

Food is Always the Best Gift

Maybe we’re just talking with our stomachs here, but there are few greater gifts than the gift of food—especially when it’s something homemade. In the spirit of giving and reusing, we’re offering up a roasted pumpkin seed gift that’s sure to please everyone. Simply use the seeds from inside the pumpkins you’ve used to decorate (make sure it’s still fresh) and store them in a decorated cotton muslin bag.

Here’s how to make roasted pumpkin seeds:

  1. Remove the seeds from your pumpkin, making sure to take out the pulp and strings
  2. Toss the seeds in a bowl with melted butter or oil and seasonings of your choice. (Options: Keep it simple with just salt and pepper OR experiment with flavor combinations like rosemary, thyme and a dash of nutmeg)
  3. Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet
  4. Bake at 300-degrees for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden
  5. Allow to cool and store in a cotton muslin bag
  6. Share and give
Posted on

Let Us Count The Ways

We serve up a lot of craft ideas for our cotton muslin bags, some of which involve decorating the bag or giving you free reign to decorate it yourself. We’ve rounded up a handful of ways to decorate a plain cotton bag, to give you inspiration for your next craft!

  1. Stamp it. Craft stores are bursting at the seams with stamp options that are ideal for any craft. Whether it’s holiday inspired or for every day use, you’ll find a stamp that’s perfect for the occasion and use.
  2. Use veggies. We’re talking potatoes, specifically. Spuds are versatile, not just at the dinner table, but at the craft table instead. Simply remove the skin from a portion of the potato, cut it into a desired shape, dip into paint and you have your own, DIY stamp!
  3. Iron on. Iron on patches or designs aren’t just for t-shirts and bookbags, they’re great for any craft using cotton muslin bags!
  4. Ombre it. Ombre isn’t just for your hairstyle. Use your favorite color paint, in various shades, to create an ombre effect for your cotton muslin bags.
  5. Inspire it. A to-go bag or gift bag is the ideal place to add inspiring messages. Either iron something on or write it yourself using permanent markers or paints.
Posted on

Travel Made Easier

With the holiday season approaching, families will spend more and more time on the road as they visit family and friends. To keep the kids (and adults, too) occupied without hours upon hours of screen time, we’ve come up with a simple, fun way to create a travel tic-tac-toe game.

Here’s how you make it:

Items Needed:

4” x 6” Celestial Gifts cotton muslin drawstring bag

20 small, flat pebbles (preferably uncoated, because you’ll be writing on them)

1 black permanent marker

1 white (or other color) permanent marker

Draw a tic-tac-toe shape over the cotton muslin drawstring bag (3 down and 3 across). Draw an X on 10 pebbles and an O on the other 10 pebbles. You’ll only need a few of the pebbles for the actual game, but it’s best to be prepared with extras in case a few go missing.

Store your pebbles in the cotton muslin drawstring bag when the game is not in play and use the bag for your board while traveling!

Posted on

Scrub-a-Dub-Dub, Toss a Bag in the Tub!

Sylvia Plath once wrote “There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” We have to agree; nothing is as relaxing after a long day than a hot bath, except maybe a hot bath with a fragrant salt or scrub to leave your skin soft and refreshed.

Salt baths have many health benefits, as well, including stress relief, reducing muscle aches, and improving circulation. They are especially helpful if you are suffering from respiratory illness, acne, joint pain, or eczema, and they can help relieve discomfort from poison ivy or poison sumac rashes.

Our muslin bags are perfect for holding homemade bath salts to help wash away the stress of the day. If you’ve never made your own bath additives, take a look at some great homemade scrubs and salts below. Simply fill one of our bags and toss into the tub for an aromatic soak with no irritating salt crystals. Best of all, these will dissolve in the water so you can refill and use the bag again. . . for tomorrow’s post-work soak!

Lavender Mint Bath Salt

  • 2 cups epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 30 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Fill any of our natural cotton drawstring bags with the mixture and toss under running bath water. Store remaining mixture in an airtight container.

Healing Detox Soak

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup epsom salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

Mix ingredients together in a natural drawstring bag and toss under running water. This ginger soak will prompt your body to sweat profusely for about an hour post-bath, so be sure to drink plenty of water and wear lightweight clothing afterwards. Also, you’ll smell delightfully, but quite strongly, of ginger. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies, test this mixture on a small area of skin before diving into the bathtub.

Congestion Relief

  • 1 cup epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Mix all ingredients into a thick paste and fill bag. Place in hot bath water and soak for at least 20 minutes.  Store any remaining mixture in an airtight container.

Vanilla Coconut Exfoliating Scrub

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine ingredients into a thick paste and fill bag. In shower or bath, squeeze bag until mixture seeps through, then rub gently across your body to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin.
These recipes will keep your skin soft and radiant while you soak away the day’s stresses. Have you tried your own homemade bath salt or scrub? Leave your recipe in the comments!

Posted on

Ring in Spring with our Lavender Toss Bags

April showers have arrived across the nation, the trees are blooming and the sun is shining – spring has definitely sprung, and that means June weddings are quickly approaching! Wedding season is one of our favorite times of the year, and it’s prime time for one of our favorite products: our lavender-filled stamped bags.

Throw Me
Throw Me

If you’re a bride planning a wedding, you already have enough to worry about: catering, photographer, cake, dresses, making sure the DJ understand that The Chicken Dance is absolutely off-limits. The last thing you need is to stay up until the wee hours of the morning before your big day stuffing rice or bird seed into tiny, forgettable Ziplock bags for your guests to throw during your recessional. Besides, rice has become taboo and bird seed often contains dust and dirt that you don’t want to wear on your dress or in your hair for the duration of your reception.

That’s where we come in! Lavender is a great alternative to rice or seed because it is earth- and animal-friendly, won’t ruin your dress, and it looks and smells sublime. As an added bonus, these bags arrive ready-to-use, already filled and stamped with your choice of stock graphics or custom imprints. Your guests will remember the scent lingering in the air for years to come, and can use the bag as a sachet or keepsake after the festivities.

Best of all, these bags aren’t just for wedding favors. We can custom-stamp and lavender-fill these natural cotton bags for bridal or baby showers, birthdays, graduations, and many more occasions. The possibilities are limitless with this all-purpose product. With a two-week turnaround time for custom-stamped bags, there’s still time to order these for your summer wedding, graduation, or other celebrations; contact us today to get started!

Posted on

From Genius to Delicious: The Many Ways to Use Our Bags

Our bags can be used in many ways, and among our most versatile products is our 4×6 natural bag. Read on to discover our favorite uses for this bag, including a delicious corned beef recipe just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

Protect Ripening Vegetables

Birds, deer, and rabbits can wreak havoc on your garden in the coming summer months. Slip a 4×6 natural muslin bag over your tomatoes, cucumbers, and other garden produce and secure the drawstring around the vine to keep scavengers from making a meal of your hard work while they ripen on the vine.

Bath Scrubs and Salts

We love a relaxing soak in aromatic bath salts as much as anyone, but salt crystals can be scratchy and irritating to the skin. Fill a natural bag with salts and toss in your bath water for all of the aroma and relaxation without any of the irritation.

Loose Leaf Teas and Ground Coffee

Disposable tea bags are not only less fresh and tasty than loose leaf teas, they’re also not entirely biodegradable. Fill a reusable natural bag with your favorite blend of loose leaf tea or freshly-ground coffee for an individual cup of fresh, delicious tea or coffee made perfectly to your liking.

Spice Bags for Soups and Stews

We’ve all been there: enjoying a delicious bowl of jambalaya when suddenly, you’re trying to gracefully spit out a bay leaf or peppercorn without betraying your manners. Our 4×6 bags can be used to hold your own blend of spices and seasonings while cooking any manner of meals, so you keep the full flavor of the meal without the mess and embarrassment of picking spices out of your teeth.

For a particularly-timely practical use of this bag, try the corned beef recipe below for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Spicy horseradish cream and malty Guinness mustard amp up the flavor of this home-corned beef.

Ingredients

Brine

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups lager beer
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse kosher salt
  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Insta Cure no. 1* (optional)
  • 1/4 cup pickling spices
  • 1 6- to 8-pound flat-cut beef brisket, trimmed, with some fat remaining

Corned Beef And Vegetables

  • 1 12-ounce bottle Guinness stout or other stout or porter
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 whole allspice
  • 1 dried chile de árbol, broken in half
  • 12 baby turnips, trimmed, or 3 medium turnips or rutabagas, peeled, quartered
  • 8 unpeeled medium white-skinned or red-skinned potatoes (about 3 pounds)
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled
  • 4 medium onions, peeled, halved through root ends
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 2-pound head of cabbage, quartered
  • Horseradish Cream
  • Guinness Mustard

Preparation

For Brine

Pour 6 cups water and beer into large deep roasting pan. Add coarse salt; stir until dissolved. Add sugar; stir until dissolved. If desired, stir in Insta Cure No. 1. Mix in pickling spices. Pierce brisket all over with tip of small sharp knife. Submerge brisket in liquid, then top with heavy platter to weigh down. Cover and refrigerate 4 days.

Remove brisket from brine. Stir liquid to blend. Return brisket to brine; top with heavy platter. Cover; refrigerate 4 days. Remove brisket from brine. Rinse with cold running water. Can be made 2 days ahead. Wrap corned beef in plastic, cover with foil, and refrigerate.

For Corned Beef And Vegetables

Place corned beef in very large wide pot. Add stout and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Fill a 4×6 natural bag with bay leaves, coriander seeds, allspice, and chile, enclosing completely. Add spice bag to pot with beef; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until beef is tender, about 2 1/4 hours. Transfer beef to large baking sheet.

Add turnips and all remaining vegetables to liquid in pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently until all vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to baking sheet with beef. Return beef to pot and rewarm 5 minutes. Discard or empty spice bag.

Cut beef against grain into 1/4-inch thick slices. Arrange beef and vegetables on platter. Serve with Horseradish Cream and Guinness Mustard. Serves 6-8.

Posted on Leave a comment

Ohio Bridal Expo

February 8 was a banner day for Celestial Gifts, LLC. The Ohio Bridal Expo at Cincinnati’s Horseshoe Casino was our first opportunity to meet our customers face-to-face and display our products. We had a fantastic time meeting brides-to-be and other industry suppliers.

IMG_0038 (1)

We displayed many of our custom-stamped bags suitable for any bridal occasion: “thank you”-stamped bags for favors or thank-you gifts, bicycle and anchor-stamped bags perfect for summer nuptials, and our “throw me” bags to hold rice or lavender for the bride and groom recessional.

060 (1)

We held a drawing to give away 100 of these lavender-filled mini-bags and received 125 entries. Our winner was bride-to-be Katie Paul from Hamilton, Ohio. Congratulations, Katie!

Our bags are a perfect complement for the bridal industry. In addition to holding rice or lavender, they can hold favors, bridal party gifts, the wedding rings, and we even have bags to keep the bride’s shoes clean and scuff-free before the big walk down the aisle. All of our bags can be custom-stamped with your choice of image, your name, and wedding date.

Posted on Leave a comment

Cupid’s history

Valentine's Cupid treat bags

With Valentine’s Day coming up I wanted to work on a few new bags and started thinking. Where did Cupid really come from? While doing a little research I discovered Cupid (Latin Cupido, meaning desire) IS the God of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of love goddess Venus, and is known in Latin also as Amor (Love) His Greek counterpart is Eros. During his chubby childhood he acquires a bow and arrow then whoever is shot with this bow and arrow will be filled with uncontrollable desire and romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine’s Day!