HomeGift GuideHow to Make a Gift Bag Out of Wrapping Paper

How to Make a Gift Bag Out of Wrapping Paper

Have some leftover wrapping paper but no gift bags? Don’t toss that paper just yet! You can easily make a gift bag from wrapping paper. I’ve used this trick many times when I’ve found myself last-minute gift shopping.

You might be thinking how to make a gift bag out of wrapping paper? The options are endless based on the patterns and colors of paper you have on hand. I especially love using festive prints around the holidays.

One Christmas, I made bags using candy cane stripe paper that really put smiles on faces. You really don’t have to be the most crafty person either. Anyone can make a bag with wrapping paper.

Let’s find out the complete process of how to make gift bag out of wrapping paper.

How to Make a Gift Bag Out of Wrapping Paper 

Anyone will love it to know that you’ve taken the time to craft a unique bag for their gift. The best part is you likely have all the supplies you need already. All it takes is a few simple folds and some tape or glue to turn that paper into a reusable bag.

Please, read on to get the details of how to make a gift bag out of wrapping paper

Materials Needed to Make a Gift Bag out of Wrapping Paper

  • Wrapping paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Ribbon
  • A hole punch
wrapping paper

Steps to Make Gift Bag from Wrapping Paper

I’ve explained all the steps, so you face no problem crafting the bag. The whole process will take around 10 to 20 minutes. 

Step 1: Cut the Paper to Size

Start by laying out your gift in the center of the wrapping paper. Make sure to leave a generous border all the way around, a couple inches more than what you need to fully cover your gift should do the trick. 

Then, use scissors to cut neatly along the edges of the paper. No need to rush here, take your time for a nice clean cut.

Step 2: Fold the Sides

Flip the paper over so the pretty side is facing down. Take one side and fold it up towards the middle. Then do the same with the opposite side, aiming for it to overlap with the other side. To keep the sides in place, add some tape along the folds. 

wrapping a gift

Step 3: Fold the Bottom

Simply fold the bottom section of paper upwards, creasing along the fold. Lift it high enough that your gift will sit comfortably inside without slipping down. A nail works well for getting a nice sharp crease. 

You may also like: How to Wrap Round Gifts

Step 4: Form the Base

Take that folded up bottom section of the wrapping paper and gently pry it open. You’ll notice it starts to look like an open mouth, which is perfect. 

Go ahead and press down on those two bottom corners to flatten them out. This will turn that open mouth shape into a nice triangle at the bottom. Make nice sharp creases with your fingernail to keep the folds crisp.

Step 5: Finish the Bottom Seams

Fold the ends of the triangles, so they meet in the center with an overlap. Crease well and secure with tape along the folds. It forms the bottom of the bag. 

Your bag is mostly ready now. This is how to fold wrapping paper into a bag.

Step 6: Put the Gift in the Bag

Open up your gift bag and give it a look. Stand it up to see how it holds its shape. The folds on the inside may need a little extra tape to keep it sturdy. Run your fingers along the seams and add small pieces of tape where needed. 

Now that your bag is ready for the gift, place your present inside. You can also add some tissue paper to fill it out if the gift is small.

a gift bag

Step 7: Finish it off with a Ribbon

Once the gift is safely in the bag, it’s time for the finishing touches. Take the top flap and fold it down over the backside, enclosing your gift inside. Now you just need a nice ribbon or bow to tie it all together. 

Use a small hole punch to make holes through the top layer of paper for threading the ribbon. Punch it in a few places across the width so you can tie a bow or knot. With the wrapping paper, you can make the bow out of it to decorate the gift bag. And with that, your custom gift bag is all ready for giving! 

Attach Bag Handles (Optional)

This step of how to make a gift bag out of wrapping paper is totally optional, but handles make gift bags so much easier to carry. If you want to go the extra mile, it’s time to add this optional handle step.

Stand that wrapping paper bag up tall and grab a hole punch. We’re going to make two holes near the top on each side. Line them up evenly and punch straight through the folded over part at the top.

Great, now we’ve got perfectly placed handle holes. Let’s make the actual handles. I like using plain ribbon, but yarn or string would work too. You could even cut thin strips from leftover wrapping paper if you want the handles to match.

Cut two ribbons a little longer than the width of the bag. Thread one ribbon through the front holes, then do the same for the back holes with the other ribbon.

To finish it off cleanly, you can tie the ends together in a double knot inside the bag so it doesn’t slip back through the holes. Or for a cute touch, tie the ends into little bows instead. Now you can easily carry around that thoughtful gift in style. 

Read more: How to Wrap a Blanket as a Gift

The Final Words 

So, this is how to make a gift bag out of wrapping paper. It’s such a fun, easy craft and you can personalize them in several ways. The best part is how cheap they are.

Who needs to buy gift bags anymore when wrapping paper works just as well? I’ve been using this technique for a while instead of wasting money at the store. 

Megan Barber
Megan Barber
Megan Barber is the founder of The Gift World. Her writing has also been published in Curbed, Travel + Leisure, Ski Magazine. She is now living with her husband and two kids in Denver, CO. She loves giving gifts to the people in her life. Her gift guides will definitely make your present buying experience as easy and as pleasurable as possible with plenty of great gift ideas for all occasions. When not writing, you can find her enjoying biking the Mile High City or camping across the country in a 4x4 Sportsmobile Sprinter.


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