How to Make a Gift Bag Out of Wrapping Paper – DIY Tutorial

Creating a gift bag from wrapping paper is not just an eco-friendly choice but also a testament to your creativity and thoughtfulness.

In this guide, I will walk you through the process of transforming a piece of wrapping paper into a charming, bespoke gift bag.

Key Takeaways

  • Eco-Friendly Crafting: Transforming wrapping paper into gift bags is a sustainable practice that reduces waste and promotes recycling.
  • Personalization and Creativity: DIY gift bags offer a chance to personalize gifts, showing thoughtfulness and creativity in gift presentation.
  • Versatility in Design: Wrapping paper comes in various colors and patterns, allowing for versatility and customization for different occasions.
  • Therapeutic Crafting Experience: The process of making gift bags can be a mindful, therapeutic activity, providing a creative escape.
  • Strength and Durability Tips: For heavier gifts, reinforce the bag’s base and handles, ensuring the bag is as functional as it is attractive.

Why Choose Wrapping Paper?

Wrapping paper gift bag instructions

Wrapping paper is often relegated to a single use, which doesn’t do justice to its potential.

By repurposing wrapping paper, similar to what you can do with tissue paper, into gift bags, we not only give it a second life but also showcase our commitment to sustainability.

Just like a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly, a simple sheet of wrapping paper can transform into a stunning gift bag.

The Versatility

The beauty of using wrapping paper lies in its versatility. Available in various colors, textures, and patterns, it can be tailored to fit any occasion – from the understated elegance required for a wedding gift to the whimsical charm perfect for a child’s birthday present.

Materials Needed

Step-by-step gift bag tutorial

  • Wrapping Paper: Choose a quality paper that’s both sturdy and attractive.
  • Scissors: Sharp and precise for clean cuts.
  • Ruler or Measuring Tape: Essential for accurate measurements.
  • Double-Sided Tape or Glue Stick: For secure adhesion.
  • Hole Punch: For the handles.
  • Ribbon or Twine: To create the handles.

Choosing the Right Paper

When selecting wrapping paper, consider the weight and durability. A heavier paper will result in a sturdier bag, suitable for heavier gifts, while lighter paper might be more appropriate for smaller, lighter items.

Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Your Gift Bag

Step 1: Measure and Cut the Paper

First, determine the size of the bag you need. A good rule of thumb is to have the paper’s width twice the width of the desired bag, plus a little extra for the side folds.

The height should be the height of the bag plus half of the bottom fold.

Pro Tip: Use a piece of plain paper to practice your folds and cuts before you start on the actual wrapping paper.

Step 2: Fold and Shape

Start by folding one edge of the paper inward to create a clean line, which will be the top of your bag.

Then, fold the paper in half and secure the edges with double-sided tape or glue, leaving the top open.

Step 3: Create the Base

Crafting a gift bag with wrapping paper

For the base, fold the bottom of the paper up. Open the fold and flatten out the corners to form a diamond shape.

Then, fold the top and bottom corners inwards, creating flaps. Secure these with tape or glue.

Step 4: Add Strength and Structure

Reinforce the bottom of the bag by placing an additional piece of cardboard or thick paper inside, cut to the size of the bag’s base.

Step 5: Punch Holes and Add Handles

Punch holes near the top of the bag on both sides. Thread your ribbon or twine through these holes to create handles.

Knot the ends inside the bag for stability.

Customizing Your Gift Bag

How to customize gift bag

Tailoring to the Occasion

Personalize your bag according to the occasion. Use themed paper for holidays or birthday parties, add decorative elements like stickers or stamps, or attach a personalized tag.

Adding a Creative Touch

Consider adding embellishments such as bows, lace, or even hand-drawn designs. These personal touches elevate your gift bag from a simple container to a memorable part of the gift.

Fixing Common Issues

When the Paper Tears

If your paper tears, don’t despair. Use decorative tape or stickers to cover the tear, adding an unexpected design element to your bag.

Handling Heavier Items

For heavier gifts, reinforce the base and handles. Use a double layer of paper, or opt for a fabric handle for extra strength.

Sustainable and Stylish: The Final Product

Wrapping paper gift bag DIY

Your final product is not just a gift bag; it’s a reflection of your dedication to sustainable practices and personal touch in gift-giving.

This simple yet impactful DIY project not only reduces waste but also adds a unique flair to your present.

Advanced Techniques for Seasoned Crafters

Experimenting with Textures and Layers

For those who are more experienced in crafting, consider experimenting with different textures. Combine matte and glossy papers, or layer patterned paper with translucent sheets for a sophisticated look.

Incorporating Origami Techniques

Incorporate basic origami techniques for more intricate designs. Simple folds can add elegance and complexity to your gift bag, making it stand out.


Can I make a gift bag from thin wrapping paper?

Yes, you can use thin wrapping paper, but consider doubling it up or reinforcing the base and sides with cardstock for added strength.

How do I determine the size of the paper needed for a specific gift?

As a general rule, the paper should be three times the width and twice the height of the gift. Adjust proportions for unusually shaped items.

Can I use recycled paper for making gift bags?

Absolutely! Recycled paper is a great choice. Just ensure it’s sturdy enough for the gift’s weight.

What can I use instead of a ribbon for the handles?

You can use alternatives like twine, yarn, or even strips of fabric for a unique touch.

How can I make the gift bag waterproof?

To waterproof, use clear adhesive shelf liner on the inside of the bag or apply a waterproof spray to the exterior.

Is it possible to add a window to the bag?

Yes, you can cut a shape out of one side and tape a piece of clear plastic or cellophane behind it for a window effect.

Can I make a gift bag that’s reusable?

Definitely! Choose a durable paper and reinforce the base and handles. Encourage the recipient to reuse it for future gifting.

How can I personalize a gift bag made from plain wrapping paper?

Personalize with stamps, hand-drawn designs, stickers, or by attaching a handwritten note or tag.

What’s the best way to store these DIY gift bags?

Store them flat, with tissue paper inside to retain their shape. Keep them in a dry place to prevent moisture damage.

Can I make a gift bag without using glue or tape?

Yes, you can use origami techniques for a no-glue, no-tape gift bag, though it might be less sturdy.

Final Words

Crafting a gift bag from wrapping paper is more than just a crafting project; it’s a statement.

It says that you care enough to invest time and thought into every aspect of gift-giving. It’s a celebration of creativity, sustainability, and personal expression.

So, the next time you find yourself with leftover wrapping paper, remember that it holds the potential to become something beautiful and functional – a gift bag crafted with love and care.