Sharing my passion for handcrafted jewelry, paper making, and living a creative life.

Friday, May 6, 2011

One a Day in May - Day 6 - Paper Bag Tutorial

Here's a little tutorial for a simple gift bag.  I love making these in all sizes for gifts of jewelry, handmade soaps, candles, etc.  You can embellish them with pressed flowers, photographs or art to make them extra special.  I usually use my handmade papers but they are also a great way to use up your stash of decorative commercial papers.
 The sample shown here uses my handmade gladiola paper.  I left the top deckle edge but you could also fold the edge down at the start to if you would rather have a sharp edge and also to add strength if you are putting something heavy into the gift bag.
For your form, choose a scrap of board or other object the size of the bag you want to make. 

Your piece of paper dimensions
height - how tall you want the bag overall plus the depth of the base and the width of the fold if you are folding over the top edge

width - the total of the front, back and 2 sides plus about 1" overlap.

Adhesive - I like to use a glue stick but you can use any adhesive that will dry fairly quickly.

Fold over the top edge if you are not leaving a deckle edge.
Wrap the paper around the form and glue it closed.  It should extend past the form (the width of the base).

Fold the bottom over 'gift wrap style', gluing each fold to the paper beneath.  For an extra strong base, insert a piece of cardboard against the form before folding the paper in and glue the paper to the cardboard.
While the bag is still on the form, embellish if desired.
Remove the bag from the form.
 Pinch the edges together on each side and crease.  This will leave a triangle at the base on each side.
 Fold the base over to the back at the top of the triangle and crease.  The bag will lay flat (how flat depends on the bulk of the paper you use) for storing.

Now you can punch holes near the top of the bag if you wish, add brads for strength, and close with string or yarn.  Or you can just leave as is, fill with tissue paper and add a gift.

Have fun!


  1. What a great tutorial! I love this, Liz-Anna - especially with your handmade paper, that makes the bag very special. Thanks!

  2. Wonderful Idea Liz-Anna! I'll bookmark this: )


Thank you for taking the time to leave comments. It means a lot to me.