Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Easy DIY Gift Bag Upgrade

I use gift bags very rarely.  In general, I like wrapping gifts.  (Yeah, I'm weird.  Tell me something I don't know.)  This year, though, I'm just so tired.  So I'm taking some shortcuts--some gifts are getting the "shove it in a gift bag and forget about it" treatment.

Aaand since I like things to be pretty and inexpensive, I upgraded some inexpensive, plain bags.  And they actually don't look dumb!

Just remember, I am the world's worst photographer.
 You can stop here.  No really.  You can look at the photo and see how it's done.  See?  You can shortcut your wrapping and your blog-reading.

What you'll need:

Gift bags
Craft/wrapping paper in coordinating colors
Glue dots/tape
Bells/ornaments/something pretty (optional)

For the bag on the left, I cut strips of wrapping paper about two inches wide, cut fringe, and curled it up around my finger.  I taped the fringe strips on the bag, because I'm classy like that.  (And also because I couldn't find my glue dots.  Seriously.  What did I do before glue dots?)  And then I used a strip of paper to cover the tape on the top layer of fringe.  The bag I already had.  The paper I already had.  The raffia I already had.  Total cost:  $0.  Total time:  5 minutes.

For the bag on the right, I cut two triangles, the star shape, and the rectangle for the trunk out of wrapping paper.  (The paper I have is a heavier, paper-grocery bag texture, FYI.)  I made it purposely imperfect, since that seemed to fit the "down home" feel of the color combo with the checks.  As I said, I misplaced my glue dots, so I used the old tape loop trick--one in the middle of the smaller triangle, and one in each corner of the larger triangle.  The fact that the edges of the trees are not tight against the bag makes for an interesting texture, though it didn't translate well to photo.  (Blame it on the photographer.  Frankly, I'm surprised she managed to get the entirety of both bags in one shot.)  The bells are a cheapy ornament I got at Target to dress it up a bit more, since I don't have the energy to do fancy bows this year.  Five bags:  $3.  Bell ornaments from Target:  $1.  Total cost per bag:  $1.60.  And it actually looks cute enough to be reused next year.  (What, doesn't your family do that, too?)  Total time:  2 minutes.

(Bravo if you read this far.  Don't give me that look--I told you you didn't need to.)

(True:  Last chance to email me at danathebiped at gmx dot com about what nice thing you've done for homeless pets and even have the smallest hope of getting your Possum Pinups calendar by Christmas!)


  1. You're so smart! What a great DIY idea! I'm lazy and I really enjoy gift bags. And they're so varied these days you can get silly or elegant. But I think I have some plain craft paper bags hiding somewhere at home and these ideas would make them much more festive! Thanks! :D

    1. Thanks, Bubbe! I've always had a really hard time justifying spending tons of money on the prettiest gift bags, and anyway, they don't match my other, wrapped gifts, and I'm too OGD (Obsessive Gifting Disorder) to deal with mismatched packages.