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Saturday, August 2, 2014

DIY Gift Bags

This morning I needed to wrap a few gifts for Miss Georgia's 3rd birthday. I bought her a light pink hair bow with a G monogrammed in chocolate brown on one of the ribbon tails - I wanted to clip it onto one of the packages as the bow for that gift. So of course I *HAD* to have pink and brown paper. I was sure I had a light pink gift bag...apparently not. I did have pink and brown paper though! Off to Pinterest...where I found THIS tutorial on making your own gift bags. I used it as my jumping off point.

This is the pink and brown paper I had on hand - I picked up a few rolls at Dollar Tree quite some time ago because I loved it the minute I saw it. Plus it's craft paper so it's heavy duty (and word to the wise, it requires GOOD tape).

From there I just sort of guessed as to how much to cut off.  Of course this morning I was rushing to do it last minute and didn't think to take photos. So...because I want to SHOW you how I altered the above directions, i'm making another bag...only it's going to be a small one. It all works the same.

  • Paper - wrapping paper, newspaper, butcher paper....whatever, as long as it's large enough for the bag you want to make
  • Scissors
  • Tape (type will depend on the paper you're using, but I used a combo of packing tape, colored duct tape and double sided sticky tape)
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon (string, tulle, rope, twine, yarn, left over fabric strips, shoe laces...)
  • Paperboard (cereal box, cracker box, frozen meal box, that one random top/bottom of a box in your Christmas wrapping supplies)
  • Bone folder (or if you're like me and didn't have it handy, just use a Sharpie on it's side)

Step 1 - Cut the piece of paper to the size you want - I would suggest adding at least two inches for folding. Try to keep it straight.

Step 2 -  Fold over the edge that will be your top - about an inch. Now fold it over again. Make your creases nice and sharp with that bone folder.  

  Step 3 - Now unfold it.

Step 4 - Cut two strips from your paperboard box - they should be a smidge smaller than the height of your fold. The length will need to be an inch or so longer than however far apart the handles will be - this will vary depending on the size of the bag you're making.

Step 5 - Put the strips on your fold and fold them in (feel free to secure with tape, glue, glue dots, etc.) - then tape the edge. If you have plenty of time, you can certainly use regular or hot glue or something like scrapbook adhesive. 

Step 6 - Bring your sides together, overlap and tape on the inside. I like my edges sharp and neat, so I folded the edge that would be on the outside...creased with the bone folder. 
 overlap and tape
 creasing my outside edge (prior to above)
 When working with a long piece of tape for the "overlap and tape" step, I found it easiest to do it this way - while the paper is flat, put the tape on the edge that will be the inside and secure it, peel the sticky part off your work surface, loop the paper over, then tuck under the tape (try not to let it get stuck), line it up then press the tape down from the inside.  *this is a lot easier if you make your side creases so you know where you can sort of 'flatten' the bag, then use hot glue or an adhesive runner from the OUTSIDE where you can see what you're and learn.

Step 7 - Make the bottom of the bag!  This is a lot like the process of gift wrapping the ends of a box. Fold 2-3" of paper up. Pull the bottom piece down and then fold the ends in to make triangles. Now overlap the top and bottom and tape it up.  You now have a bag that will stand up by itself.

Step 8 - Punch 2 holes in each of the long sides at the top for your bag handles. 

  Step 9 - Cut bag handles to length, thread thru the holes and either tie together or knot the ends.

Voila! Gift bags that match your wrapping paper.

Come back for round two - because I just made this whole process a WHOLE LOT easier in my head.