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Homemade Gift Bags

Making your own gift bags is a great recycling and money saving project. This is a guide about homemade gift bags.

Recycled Box Gift Bags
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October 2, 2015 Flag
8 found this helpful

Celebrate the joy of gift giving with this project. Turn an ordinary brown paper bag into an extraordinary gift bag that is sure to make the recipient feel special. The roses are made from an egg carton tray, so this is also a budget-friendly winner!

completed bag

February 21, 2011 Flag

If you don't have the right size gift bag on hand, create your own by recycling a box. These are much sturdier than gift bags and can be used over and over again.

Recycled Box Gift Bags

December 16, 2015 Flag
14 found this helpful

Don't throw away your cardboard food boxes. Turn them into gift bags in a few simple steps!

Upcycled Food Box Gift Bag


December 4, 2013 Flag
5 found this helpful

Use aluminum foil and some shoe polish to create this mock pewter gift bag. Fill it with stocking fillers or candies, and you are ready to spread some Christmas cheer to friends and neighbors alike!

Finished bag.

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: one bag


  • green gourmet paper bag
  • 4 x 4.6 in cardstock
  • 2.3 x 3 in green corrugated cardstock
  • 2.2 x 2.6 in ordinary white printer paper
  • aluminum foil
  • red fabric bow with white polka dots
  • self-adhesive Christmas sticker of a Christmas tree
  • red glitter
  • thin white twine
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • Kiwi Instant Wax Shine for shoes (black)
  • quick-drying craft glue
  • stocking filler or candies


  1. Take the piece of 4" x 4.6" brown cardstock and cut out the inside, leaving a space of 0.5" from the outer edges of this piece to make a "frame."
  2. Glue pieces of twine onto the frame.
  3. Twine glued to frame.
  4. Glue aluminum foil over the frame and cut out the inside. Also cut off any protruding edges on the outside. The foil will have texture when it is glued over the twine. Note: The glue must be added to the dull side of the foil.
  5. Foil glued to frame over twine.
  6. Use the shoe polish to add some detail to the foil frame and allow to dry thoroughly.
  7. Frame after using shoe polish get pewter effect.
  8. Glue the frame to the front of the gift bag.
  9. Centre and glue the green corrugated cardstock in the middle of the frame.
  10. Apply the Christmas tree sticker onto the piece of white ordinary printer paper.
  11. Centre and glue the piece of printer paper on top of the corrugated cardstock.
  12. Make a frame around the piece of printer paper with glue.
  13. While the glue is still wet, sprinkle a liberal amount of glitter over the glue.
  14. Shake off any excess glitter.
  15. Glue the bow in place below the piece of printer paper.
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December 14, 2009 Flag
Make Your Own Gift Bags

Approximate Time: 20-30 minutes


  • Decorative papers
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Bone folder
  • Double-sided tape
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors


Cut out template and trace onto decorative paper.

Make folds and score with a bone folder.

To assemble bottom, fold short flaps, then the long flaps.

Apply tape or glue to secure the bottom.

Punch 2 holes to front and on the back top center of bag.

To make handles, thread the bag with a length of ribbon approximately 9 inches, then finish the ends with a knot.

Note: Wrap the gift in tissue paper before tucking it inside. Attach a gift tag.

Click Here for the Gift Bag Template.

By Maricel from Fairfax, VA

February 10, 2010 Flag

Dress a wedding gift in formal wear with this tuxedo-style bag, or use it for a special gift for that special man in your life.

Finished gift bag.

January 4, 2012 Flag

I collect shopping bags from department stores and such and try to re-use them despite the printing on them. One way I can do that is by covering the printing/advertising with pictures cut out of magazines or calendars. You could also cover them with squares of wrapping paper. I have stapled them on the bags or glued over the printing.

On one, I put a bow on the printing on one side and a label on the other. It's funky but colorful and does help you recycle those various bags! I do love gift bags, as they make wrapping so easy. They cost $1 at the cheapest, except at a thrift store. They have almost as many lives as a cat. So you can reuse them until they are in tatters!

By Pam from Los Angeles, CA

May 7, 2013 Flag
4 found this helpful

This gift bag is made from a crispbread box, painted using a 99p test pot. For the handles I used twine/string. I filled it with homemade items; home grown and dried mint, and a lavender sachet. I used a letter stencil on some craft paper I had for a guide on the letters of the recipient's name, but magazine pages can be used and are very effective.

Purple gift bag.
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December 17, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

This is a guide about recycled sweater gift bag. Turn an old sweater into a cute gift bag for a small gift.

Recycled Sweater Gift Bag

December 5, 2005 Flag
1 found this helpful

Take a 9x12 sheet of felt and cut it in half longways with decorative scissors. Then fold in half short ways. Sew 1/4 inch seam with machine or by hand or glue side openings only, to close.

July 11, 2008 Flag
0 found this helpful

This little froggy gift bag is very easy to make, using a 12x12 inch piece of card stock and scoring a bit, two circles and a couple of eyes. The bag itself isn't very big but fun. I made it for my granddaughter's birthday!

Frog gift bag.

November 21, 2007 Flag

Create your own gift bags using ordinary brown lunch bags, fabric, and fusible web. I cut out the words "Ho ho ho" from plaid fabric and fused them on a bag. On another, I cut out an angel that was pre-printed on the fabric and fused it to a bag.

Lunch sack gift bags.

May 30, 2007 Flag
Mara Rivet1 found this helpful

These bags make great inexpensive gift bags or you can use them for parties.

Dinosaur stenciled brown paper bags.

December 15, 2004 Flag
0 found this helpful

Keep the kids busy and have great, cheap gift bags. Get a pack of brown lunch bags at the dollar store and let the kids decorate them with markers, stencils, glitter-glue, whatever is on hand.

January 14, 2005 Flag
1 found this helpful

If you ever come into possession of the shopping bags with twine handles, used by some of the more "upscale" stores, turn them into gift bags! For example, cut the front off of a Christmas card picturing Santa, a winter scene, etc.

November 30, 2004 Flag
0 found this helpful

Give the kids a stack of brown paper lunch bags to decorate. Use them for small gifts. Add a ribbon tie, a raffia bow or staple shut and add a stick-on bow and you're good to go! By Linda

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