Recycled Gift Bags

It is that time of year when we have or are in the midst of buying and making gifts for everyone on our list.

Then, we take a deep breath of satisfaction for having bought them all, and the wrapping panic begins!

Personally, I don’t get that panic anymore. Over the years, I have made dozens of different sized fabric drawstring bags for wrapping gifts for family and friends. For a few years, I had to make a few bags to fit those items that I just didn’t have the right size bag for, but for the last several years, I have not had to make any. It makes wrapping a breeze. Drop the gift into the bag, pull the drawstring closed. DONE! OK. I do have to safety pin on a permanent name tag, but that is really it. It takes only a few seconds to wrap each gift. Ahhhh.

All my recipients know that they have to return the gift bags to me if they want a gift next year and I have lost one or two bags over the years, but it works out really well.

I have also been known to purchase pillow cases (at the thrift store or at the dollar store) to wrap gifts in. I particularly like the ones that close with a zipper.

There are however, certain recipients that I just don’t feel comfortable asking for my bag back. They do not get fabric bags. They get beautiful, handmade gift bags and containers made from recycled materials. I make gift bags and packaging from run of-the-mill junk mail and newspapers.

To make the gift bag


  • Recycled newspaper or flyer
  • Find a box that the paper you are using can wrap around comfortably. The length of the box is irrelevant.
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • String, ribbon, yarn, etc.

Click on the first photo to see a manual slideshow of all the steps.

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