HomeGift GuideHow To Make Paper Bags For Gifts

How To Make Paper Bags For Gifts

Making your own gift bags can be a fun and creative way to add a personal touch to your gift-giving. Not only are they eco-friendly, but they can also save you money and give you a sense of satisfaction in creating something unique. 

In this article, we will walk you through the steps of making a paper gift bag, so you can create your own custom bags for any occasion.

Benefits of Paper Gift Bags

diy paper gift bag
Photo: nina_gili / Getty Images

There are several benefits to using paper gift bags:

  • Eco-friendly: Paper gift bags are biodegradable and recyclable, making them an environmentally friendly choice compared to plastic bags.
  • Versatility: Paper gift bags come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and designs, making them suitable for various occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, baby showers, and more. For oddly shaped gifts or even large gifts, using paper gift bags could be a great idea.
  • Customization: Paper gift bags can be customized with different colors, patterns, and designs, making them a great option for personalized gifts or branded merchandise.
  • Convenience: Paper gift bags are lightweight and easy to carry, making them a convenient option for both the gift giver and recipient.
  • Cost-effective: Paper gift bags are often less expensive than other gift wrapping options, making them a cost-effective choice for those on a budget.

Paper gift bags offer an excellent combination of environmental friendliness, versatility, customization, convenience, and affordability, making them a popular choice for gift giving.

Materials & Tools to Prepare

In order to make paper bags for gifts, there are some materials and tools you need to prepare.

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Double-sided tape or glue stick
  • Decorative paper (wrapping paper, scrapbooking paper, etc.)
  • Ribbon or string
gift bag making tools
Photo: Olga Stock / Getty Images

How To Make A Paper Gift Bag: DIY Guide

Step 1: Measure and Cut the Paper

Measure the height and width of the gift you will be placing in the bag. Add an extra 2-3 inches to the height and 1-2 inches to the width for the top of the bag. Using a ruler and pencil, mark the measurements on the decorative paper and cut it to size.

Step 2: Fold the Sides

Place the paper with the decorative side facing down. Fold both sides inwards about 1 inch, creating a crease. Open the sides back up.

Step 3: Create the Bottom

Fold the bottom of the paper upwards, about 2-3 inches, creating a crease. Flip the paper over and fold the bottom upwards again, creating another crease. Open the bottom of the paper back up.

Step 4: Fold the Corners

Fold the bottom corners of the paper inwards, towards the center crease you just made. This should create a triangular shape on both sides. Press down on the corners to create a crease.

Step 5: Create the Bottom of the Bag

Fold the bottom of the paper upwards again, this time bringing the triangular flaps you just created together. Use double-sided tape or a glue stick to secure the flaps in place. This creates the bottom of the bag.

Step 6: Fold the Top

Fold the top of the paper down about 1-2 inches, creating a crease. Open the top back up.

Step 7: Create Handles

Cut two pieces of ribbon or string, each about 10-12 inches long. Attach each end of the ribbon or string to the inside of the bag using double-sided tape or a glue stick. The handles should be attached to the top of the bag, about 2-3 inches apart.

Step 8: Close the Bag

Fold the top of the bag down again, this time over the handles, creating a crease. Use double-sided tape or a glue stick to secure the top of the bag in place. You can also fold the top over twice for added strength and decoration.

Your paper gift bag is now complete! You can add extra decorations, such as stickers or bows, to make it even more unique. With a little practice, you can create bags of various sizes and styles for all your gift-giving needs.

In conclusion, making your own paper gift bags can be a fun and creative way to personalize your gift-giving. With just a few simple materials and steps, you can create a custom bag that is both eco-friendly and cost-effective. 

Plus, the satisfaction of creating something with your own hands is a gift in itself. So, the next time you need a gift bag, consider making one yourself and enjoy the process of creating something unique and special.

Read more: How to Wrap a Blanket as a Gift

FAQs About Paper Gift Bags

What type of paper works best for making paper bags?

When making paper bags for gifts, the type of paper you use is important for both the appearance and durability of the bag. The best paper for making paper bags is a heavier weight paper, such as kraft paper or cardstock.

Kraft paper is a sturdy brown paper that is commonly used for packaging and is often available in rolls or sheets at craft or office supply stores. It has a natural, rustic look and can be decorated with stamps, stickers, or other embellishments.

Cardstock is a thicker and more rigid type of paper that is available in a range of colors and patterns. It is often used for scrapbooking and card-making and can be a great option if you want a more colorful or decorative paper bag.

Regardless of which type of paper you choose, it’s important to make sure that it is strong enough to hold the weight of the gift you plan to put inside the bag. You may also want to consider using double-sided tape or glue to reinforce the seams of the bag for added durability.

How to decorate a paper gift bag?

Paper gift bags can be used for a wide variety of gifts.
Small items: Paper gift bags are perfect for small gifts like jewelry, cosmetics, or candy.

Clothing accessories: You can use a paper gift bag to present items such as scarves, gloves, hats, or socks.

Books or stationery: If you’re giving a book or stationery item like notebooks, pens or journals, a paper bag is a simple and easy way to wrap it.

Handmade or DIY gifts: If you’ve made a handmade or DIY gift like homemade soap or candles, a paper bag can be a nice way to present it.

Food gifts: Paper bags can be used to present food gifts like homemade cookies, brownies, or other baked goods.

Party favors: If you’re hosting a party or event, paper bags can be used to create party favors for guests to take home.

How to decorate a paper gift bag?

There are many ways to decorate a paper gift bag to make it look unique and special. Here are some ideas:

Use stamps: You can use rubber stamps to add designs and patterns to your paper bag. Use a stamp pad and press the stamp firmly onto the bag.

Add stickers: Stickers are an easy and fun way to decorate your paper bag. You can find stickers in many different themes and designs, such as floral, holiday, or birthday.

Draw or paint: If you’re feeling creative, you can draw or paint designs onto your paper bag. Use colored pencils, markers, or watercolor paint to add color and detail.

Add ribbon or bows: Ribbon or paper bows can add a finishing touch to your paper bag. Tie a piece of ribbon around the top of the bag, or use it to create handles for the bag.

Use washi tape: Washi tape is a decorative tape that comes in many colors and patterns. You can use it to add stripes, borders, or other designs to your paper bag.

Add a gift tag: A gift tag is a simple way to personalize your paper bag. You can make your own gift tag by cutting a piece of cardstock or paper into a small rectangle and writing a message or the recipient’s name on it.

Use embellishments: You can add embellishments such as sequins, beads, or glitter to your paper bag to make it sparkle and shine.

What are tips for making my paper bag more sturdy?

If you want to make your paper bag more sturdy, here are some tips:
Use heavier paper: One of the easiest ways to make a paper bag more sturdy is to use a heavier weight paper. Look for cardstock or other thick papers that are designed for crafting.

Double up the paper: You can make your paper bag stronger by using two layers of paper. Cut two identical pieces of paper and glue them together before you start folding and assembling your bag.

Reinforce the handles: The handles of your paper bag can be a weak point, especially if you’re carrying a heavy gift. To reinforce them, you can use tape or extra pieces of paper to create a thicker handle.

Use glue or tape: Make sure you use a strong adhesive when assembling your paper bag. Use glue or double-sided tape to secure the folds and hold the bag together.

Add a cardboard base: You can make your paper bag more sturdy by adding a cardboard base to the bottom of the bag. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit the bottom of the bag and glue it in place.

Add a reinforcement strip: To make the top of your bag stronger, you can add a reinforcement strip. Cut a thin strip of paper and glue it along the top edge of the bag.

By following these tips, you can make your paper bag stronger and more durable. This is especially helpful if you’re carrying heavier items or if you want your bag to last longer.

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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