Tutorial: Gift Bags using a Book

When I was younger I was a Brownie and a Girl Guide. I remember learning all kinds of great things there, but only a few have stuck in my head: how to cook pikelets with a tin can and a candle, and how to make gift bags using a book.

I haven’t made these for years. But since the vow to never buy wrapping paper again, I’ve found myself trying to come up with alternative ways to wrap gifts (even though I don’t have any gifts to wrap just yet, the mind just wanders!). This handy little piece of info was filed away in the back of my mind and decided to come floating back. Very considerate of it!

Gift bags using a book

I’ve used my some of my daughter’s drawings for these, she’s 18mths old and LOVES drawing. We have piles and piles of her drawings already, I can only imagine how many we are going to end up with over the years. But I can see that in my quest to replace wrapping paper with recycled and reusable alternatives her drawings are going to come in very handy.

Ready to learn how to turn your kid’s drawings/magazines/newspaper etc. into reusable and recyclable gift bags? You can click any of the pictures for a larger image.

Stuff you will need:

  • Paper or similar, whatever you are wanting to make your bag out of
  • Tape
  • A book (or two or more depending on your desired bag size)
  • Holepunch (optional – for adding ribbon)

Lay out your paperStep 1:

Check your paper size. Tape 2 pieces together if neccessary. I have used 2 A4 pieces to make my bags (approx 20cm tall).

 

 

 

Fold top of paper downStep 2:

Make a fold of about 3 – 4cm on one of the long sides. This step is optional depending on what look you want. It will provide a sturdy top to thread ribbon through like the one with the red ribbon. If you want a bag like the one with the pink ribbon, skip this step.

 

 

Wrap bookStep 3:

Wrap paper around book and tape all the way along. If you joined 2 pieces of paper together, you may like to make sure that the join is on the side.

 

 

 

Push book to desired positionStep 4:

Slide book up or down until there is just enough to fold the bottom of the bag nicely. Too little and you will have a hole, too much and it will be too bulky.

 

 

 

Fold bottom of bagStep 5:

Fold the bottom of the bag as if wrapping a present. Top first, then sides, then the bottom. Tape in place.

 

 

 

Slide the book outStep 6:

Slide the book out. It looks like a bag, you are nearly done!

 

 

 

 

Step 7:

Using your finger and thumbnail pinched together, crease the four sides of the bag. Don’t worry about the bottom, we will get to that.

 

 

 

Step 8:

Bring the two edges on one side of the bag together, forming in inverted fold in the side of the bag. Repeat for the other side.

 

 

 

Step 9:

Flatten bag, folding the base towards the back of the bag. Crease all edges.

 

 

 

 

Using your hole punch, punch holes in the top and embellish as desired. You could make little ribbon handles, tie a big bow, add a tag, get creative!

And you are done! One gift bag made from recycled materials, which can either be reused or recycled.

Let me know by commenting here if these steps don’t make sense. I’ll be happy to help.

No more wrapping paper!

Nicola xx

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One Response to Tutorial: Gift Bags using a Book

  1. Bronwyn says:

    That’s awesome! I’ll definitely be using your tutorial to make some gift bags – such a clever idea! And such a great use for kids’ artwork – we collect plenty here, too!

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