Here are some things I like about felted bowls:
1. They're quick - you can knock out a bowl during an episode of "Top Chef" or "Mad Men" (ask me how I know!)
2. They use very little yarn. Over the years of many felting projects I have accumulated a bazillion little balls of leftover Lambs Pride Bulky, my favorite felting yarn. I can't make myself throw them out, and I can't give them away to any of my designated leftover yarn recipients. So they sit in a drawer in my yarn cabinet (yes I have a yarn cabinet - wanna make something of it?!) until it's time to make felted bowls!! Little balls of leftover felting yarn are perfect for felted bowls! If you run out, you just use another little ball of leftover yarn and make a striped bowl.
3. Felted bowls are awesome for containing little giftees. Last year I made felted bowls for a bunch of my school-mom friends and put little felted hearts in them. (Brace yourself if you follow the link - they're mighty cute!!)
I'm linking to a great free pattern from alice*thelma for felted bowls of several sizes. Her pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, but you can also use bulky weight and follow the instructions for the smaller sizes and use #13 or #15 double-points.
Instead of buying another gift bag, why not knock out a little felted bowl? They're great for holding jewelry or potpourri or knitting notions (like stitch markers, etc) or action figures (ask me how I know!) or little felted hearts.