How to Repurpose Used Wrapping Paper into Gift Bags

How to Repurpose Used Wrapping Paper into Gift Bags

How to Repurpose Used Wrapping Paper into Gift Bags


Reusing gift wrapping paper is a great way to reduce waste and get creative with crafting. Wrapping paper often has beautiful designs that shouldn’t just be tossed after the holidays. With a few simple steps, you can repurpose used wrapping paper into custom gift bags. This allows you to extend the life of your wrapping paper and make gifts even more special for friends and family.

Gather Materials

To transform wrapping paper into gift bags, you’ll need:

  • Used wrapping paper – Try to find pieces that are large enough to cut bag shapes from. Save wrapping paper from gifts you receive to build up a supply.

  • Scissors – Sharp scissors make cutting wrapping paper much easier.

  • Ruler – A ruler helps cut straight edges for a clean look.

  • Glue – Opt for a strong adhesive like a glue stick or tape runner.

  • Handles – Ribbon, twine, rope, or other materials to create handles for the bags.

  • Pencil – Use a pencil to trace and mark cuts on the wrapping paper. Pencil marks can be easily erased if you make a mistake.

Design the Gift Bags

Once you have your materials, it’s time to design the gift bags. Here are some tips:

  • Decide on a size – Measure the items you’ll be gifting and cut the bags slightly larger. Standard gift bag sizes include small (6 x 8 inches), medium (8 x 10 inches), and large (10 x 12 inches).

  • Sketch bag shapes – Use a pencil to lightly sketch different shapes like rectangles, squares, or triangles on the back of the wrapping paper before cutting.

  • Incorporate patterns – Fold the wrapping paper strategically to highlight patterns and designs on the exterior of the bags.

  • Use coordinating paper – Mix and match pieces of wrapping paper to create unique looks.

Cut and Assemble the Bags

Once you’ve sketched out the design, it’s time to cut and assemble the gift bags. Follow these steps:

  • Using your sketches as a guide, cut out the bag shapes with scissors. Be sure to leave a 1-inch border around the edges.

  • Fold up the bottom edge of the bag and make creases along the fold line. Unfold and apply glue along this folded area.

  • Re-fold the bottom of the bag and press to seal the glue and create a flat base. Allow to fully dry.

  • Cut lengths of ribbon, twine, or rope to make handles. You’ll need two pieces the width of the bag. Glue or tape them to the interior sides of the bag, about 1-2 inches from the top.

  • Decorate the bags by gluing on extra scraps of wrapping paper, bows, flowers, etc. Have fun customizing each bag!

Fill and Present the Handmade Gift Bags

The repurposed wrapping paper gift bags are ready to be filled! Here are some final presentation tips:

  • Coordinate wrapping paper inside the bag with the pattern on the outside.

  • Use tissue paper to add fullness and color. A few sheets on top of the gift is perfect.

  • Attach gift tags featuring “To” and “From” to personalize each bag.

  • Decorate the tops of the bags with ribbon, bows, sprigs of greenery, pinecones, or other embellishments.

  • Present the gift bags with pride! The handmade touch will make your gifts even more thoughtful.

Repurposing wrapping paper into one-of-a-kind gift bags is an easy, eco-friendly craft. Follow these steps to transform used wrapping paper into gorgeous bags for any occasion. Get creative with different shapes, patterns, and decorative touches. Your friends and family will love the homemade bag and gift inside!