Homemade Recycled Gift Bags

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.

Approximate Time: About 20 minutes


  • empty box, such as a cereal box
  • wrapping paper
  • scissors
  • tape
  • hole punch
  • ribbon


Trim the top flaps from your box. Wrap the box with gift wrap as you would a gift, leaving about two inches of paper at the open end of the box. Fold the excess paper to the inside of the box and tape to secure.

For the handles, punch two holes on opposite sides of box, thread ribbon through the holes and knot the ends.

You can even create a gift tag from leftover wrapping paper. Fold a piece of the paper in half, punch a hole in the corner, and thread it onto one of the ribbons before threading the ribbon through the hole.

By Rachel's Mom from Wilkesboro, NC

February 22, 20110 found this helpful

A most excellent idea. Wish I'd thought of it myself. I really like using gift bags, and I like re-using them as well. These would last even longer than the paper ones.

Thank you for the idea, great photos and super good instructions.


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February 22, 20110 found this helpful

I love getting up a half-hour early now, just to sit and look at my ThriftyFun recipes and Crafts while I drink my coffee.

This one will be a keeper forever. I really like it a lot. Good directions too. I could have used it last Sunday when we celebrated a family aniversary.

Thank you for sharing your idea.


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February 22, 20110 found this helpful

Very clever. It sounds simple enough too.



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February 22, 20111 found this helpful

As many boxes as I've covered in interesting ways, I never thought to do this with one of them. It's such a good idea, I'm adopting it as of right now.

We come home from the grocery store with 3-4 boxes of cereal which get dumped into special cereal containers that "pour" out. I think they're made by Rubbermaid. I look at the boxes and they're really not strong enough to use the way I like to make boxes but I use them a lot to make patterns for crafts, so save the wide sides of the boxes.. This is such a great way to recycle the entire box. I love it.

Thank you, thank you.


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February 22, 20110 found this helpful

This is a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing. Wish I'd thought of it. :-)

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February 22, 20110 found this helpful

Fantastic idea! I will definitely be trying this soon, as my Daughter has a friend's Birthday Sleepover coming up and this will be terrific for taking her Birthday Gift in! Wish I'd thought of it!

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February 23, 20110 found this helpful

My daughter did these for Christmas. Instead of ribbon she used the tulle which is bought on spools - perhaps 6" wide. It scrunches up to a great size.

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February 23, 20110 found this helpful

So simple and so nice. I can't believe someone

hasn't marketed these. A really nice craft.

Thank you for sharing it.


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February 24, 20110 found this helpful


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March 6, 20110 found this helpful

I love it! This caused me to think how many of those boxes I have thrown away and could have saved to use as gift bags. You bet I will be saving them from now on.

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December 23, 20120 found this helpful

I absolutely love this idea. I go through cereal like no tomorrow, and, of course, the boxes end up in the trash. This is an excellent way to recycle them for any occassion. I am now planning on doing this for Christmas - in fact, I have a large Cheerios box just waiting for me to give this a try. Great suggestion!

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