Gift bags are very practical and come in many sizes. On the other hand, they are expensive (especially those which are large or very resistant) and do not always correspond exactly to what one seeks. Make them yourself and store them so you can use them when giving gifts.
Method 1 of 2: Make a simple gift bag
Step 1. Choose the paper
You can make a bag out of almost any paper, like brown kraft paper, decorative scrapbooking paper, or gift wrap. However, it is not recommended to use card stock because it is too stiff.
- If the paper is the wrong size, cut it out making sure you cut out a rectangle.
- To make an ultra chic gift bag, try using pretty flocked or glitter wrapping paper.
Step 2. Decorate the plain paper
If you use plain paper like brown kraft paper, why not decorate it? This will give you something that looks like a gift bag rather than a shopping bag. Take paints and stencils and apply pretty designs to the paper. You can also apply simple decorations with rubber stamps and ink or acrylic paint.
- To make something more elegant, trace patterns with glue and then cover the glue with very fine glitter before it dries.
- Let the paper dry before moving on.
Step 3. Fold the top of the paper
Position the paper horizontally (in “landscape” orientation) with the right side (decorated side) facing up. Fold the top long edge back 3 to 5 cm. Mark the fold using your fingernail.
For a nice touch, cut the edge of the paper with notched scissors before folding it down
Step 4. Flip the paper over
Turn it over so that you see the wrong side. The folded strip should now touch the table and should always be at the top of the sheet.
If you are using plain paper with no face or reverse, this step is not necessary. The folded part will be inside
Step 5. Fold the sides
Fold the short side edges towards the middle of the paper to form a sort of tube. Make them overlap by 1 cm in the middle of the sheet. If you want, you can mark the folds on the sides with your fingernail. However, if you want the bag to have a more oval shape, then don't.
Step 6. Glue the edges
Glue the two overlapping edges together with glue or duct tape. Lift the edge that is on top. Run a stick of glue along the edge below or place a strip of double-sided tape on it. Put the edge you lifted over the other and slide your finger over it to stick it tight.
If you use glue, be careful not to get any inside the bag
Step 7. Fold the bottom edge
Fold the bottom of the paper up a few inches. The wider the folded band, the wider the bottom of the bag will be. Try to fold up a strip that is about 3 to 4 inches wide.
Step 8. Open the bottom of the paper
By folding the bottom of the paper up, you have created a kind of pocket. Lift the top layer, bring it towards you and flatten it. Run your fingernail over the oblique folds on the sides to mark them well. You should get a diamond-like shape with a rectangle in the center where the inside of the bag can be seen.
Step 9. Fold the flaps back
The diamond shape constituting the bottom of the bag must have two straight flaps, one at the top and one at the bottom. Fold them back towards the middle of the diamond, overlapping them slightly.
Step 10. Glue the bottom of the bag
Secure the bottom of the bag with glue or tape. Lift the top flap. Run a stick of glue along the edge of the one underneath or stick a strip of double-sided tape to it. Put the top flap back in place and slide your finger along its edge to secure it to the other.
Step 11. Make holes for the handles
Make holes in the front and back of the bag so you can attach handles. They should be 1 or 2 cm from the top edge of the bag and closer to each other than the sides of the bag.
- If the paper is thin enough, you can punch both layers at the same time.
- You can put eyelets in the holes to reinforce them and add a decorative touch.
Step 12. Cut some ribbon
Measure and cut two ribbons of the same length. For a more rustic appearance, you can use strong string or raffia.
- Choose colors to match the bag.
- Don't use too thin a ribbon, as the knots won't be big enough to hold it in place.
Step 13. Make the handles
Pass each end of one of the ribbons through one of the holes in the front of the bag. Tie the ends inside the bag. Flip this one over and do the same on the back.
Step 14. Fold the sides of the bag
If you want the bag to have a rectangular shape, fold its sides. If you open it now, the opening would have a rather oval shape. To give it a rectangular shape, like a classic gift bag, do the following.
- Fold the left and right sides so that the top of the bag between these folds is the same width as the bottom of the bag.
- Mark the folds with your fingernail.
- Unfold the two sides you just folded and turn the bag over.
- Fold the sides in the same way as on the first side and mark the folds with your fingernail.
Step 15. Open the bag
The paper bag is now ready for use. Put matching tissue paper inside and slip the gift to give. If necessary, add more tissue paper and run your hand through it to give it volume.
If you have folded the bag into a rectangular shape, like a traditional bag, you may need to adjust the folds
Method 2 of 2: Make a classic gift bag
Step 1. Choose the paper
You can make a bag out of almost any paper, like brown kraft paper, decorative scrapbooking paper, or gift wrap. Pick one that is suitable for the occasion. Cardstock is not recommended because it is too stiff.
To make an ultra chic gift bag, try using pretty flocked or glitter wrapping paper
Step 2. Decorate the plain paper
If you use plain paper like brown kraft paper, why not decorate it? This will give you something that looks like a gift bag rather than a shopping bag. Take paints and stencils and apply pretty designs to the paper. You can also apply simple decorations with rubber stamps.
- Let the paper dry before moving on.
- To do something more chic, draw patterns with glue and then cover it with very fine glitter.
Step 3. Find a box
Take a small box about the size of a gift bag as a guide. You will fold the paper around this box. So make sure it is bigger than the gift you are going to give. You can use any type of box, like cookie box, cereal box, shoe box, gift box, etc.
Step 4. Cut out the bottom of the bag
Draw the bottom of the bag on thin cardboard and cut it out. Place the thin end of the box on a sheet of thin cardboard and trace its outlines. Cut out this rectangle with a craft knife and set it aside. You will insert it in the bottom of the bag.
Use white or cardboard to match the color of the paper you have chosen
Step 5. Cut two strips of cardboard
Cut two narrow strips from thin cardboard. They will serve as reinforcements for the handles. They should have a length slightly less than the width of the bag and a width of about 3 to 5 cm. Cut out the strips and set them aside.
You will place these strips inside the folded edge at the top of the bag. Their color does not matter
Step 6. Cut out the paper
If necessary, cut the paper to the correct dimensions. You should have a rectangle big enough to go all the way around the box, as if you were making a gift package.
Step 7. Position the paper horizontally
Position the rectangle of paper in "landscape" orientation and fold the top edge down to get a neat edge. Fold the top of the paper back a few inches and mark the fold with your fingernail. The top of the bag will be nicer and cleaner.
- The folded strip should be the same width as the cardboard strips you cut.
- If the paper has a pattern, lay it right side up against the table and wrong side up for this step.
Step 8. Wrap the box
Wrap the paper around the box. Overlap the two ends by about 1 cm and cut off the excess paper. Try to overlap the edges of the paper at one edge of the box and tape them together with glue or double-sided tape.
Step 9. Wrap the bottom of the box
Fold the paper over the bottom of the box, as if you were wrapping a gift. Start by folding the left and right edges against the bottom of the box. Run your fingernail over the oblique folds at the top and bottom to mark them well. Fold the flaps that you form against the bottom of the box and glue them in place with glue or double-sided adhesive tape.
Step 10. Remove the box
If you wish, you can mark the folds at the corners of the bag at the ridges before removing the box. You can then put it away, because it will no longer be useful to you.
Step 11. Fold the sides of the bag
If you wish, you can flatten the bag to mark the folds on the sides. Lay the bag flat and tuck in the sides, like gift bags you can buy. Run your fingernail over the folds to mark them well. You only need to mark them between the top and the middle of the bag.
This step is optional, but allows for a more professional touch to the bag
Step 12. Add the handle reinforcements
Pass a stick of glue on one of the cardboard strips you cut out or stick a strip of double-sided adhesive tape to it. Lift the folded paper strip at the top of the bag, slide the cardboard strip underneath and press the paper flap to stick it to the cardboard. Do the same with the other strip of cardboard on the other side of the bag.
Step 13. Reinforce the bottom of the bag
Glue the rectangle of cardboard that you cut out at the very beginning to the bottom of the bag. Draw a cross on the rectangle with a glue stick or place two strips of double-sided adhesive tape on its diagonals. Slide the cardboard into the bag with the glue or tape facing down and press the rectangle to stick it to the bottom of the bag.
Step 14. Make holes for the handles
Make two holes in the front of the bag and two in the back. They should be 1 or 2 cm from the top of the bag and be closer to each other than to the sides of the bag.
To add a little prettier touch, put eyelets in the holes
Step 15. Cut out the handles
Cut ribbons to make the handles. Measure and cut two ribbons of the same length. Pick a color that goes well with the bag. To add a rustic touch, you can use something like string or raffia. Just avoid making handles that are too thin, as the knots won't be big enough to hold them in place.
Step 16. Attach the handles
Pass the ends of one of the ribbons through the holes on one side of the bag. Tie the ends inside the bag. Repeat the process on the other side of the bag with the second ribbon.
Step 17. Use the bag
Open the bag and put some tissue paper inside. Slip the present to offer and add more tissue paper if necessary. Add volume to the tissue paper by crumpling it a little.
- To make a gift bag even more chic, make small pom poms and attach them to the bag.
- Make bags ahead of time so you have one on hand when you need to give a gift.
- Choose colors and patterns to suit the occasion. Snowflakes on a blue background are ideal for Christmas while daffodils would be perfect for Easter.
- Slide your fingernail over the folds to keep them neat and neat.
- You can use whatever paper you want, but the better looking the better.
- After Christmas, buy large rolls of gift wrap on sale.
- Unfold a paper shopping bag. Lay your chosen paper on top and use the folds of the bag to guide you.
- Make a label to match the bag with scrap paper. Cut out a nice shape and fold it in half. Make a hole in one of the top corners, jute next to the fold, write a message in the label and tie it to the handle of the bag with a nice string.
- Decorate the plain paper with stencils, stamps, glitter, etc.