ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Make a Scrapbook Paper Gift Bag

Updated on June 29, 2014

A Beautiful Bag Is Part of the Gift

Like my other Square Gift Bag instructions, this Small, Tall Gift Bag design is made from a single sheet of scrapbook paper. This design can be a little trickier, but definitely worth it.

In a past life, when I was designing and selling jewelry, I gave a lot of thought to how I could give that value-added touch to the pieces I sold. These bags gave me an attention-grabbing way to send customers off with a product and a bag they could use to give the gift in (if it was a gift for someone else). I could make the bags for seasonal or occasional purposes - holidays, new baby, wedding, and so on. Because I was busy making my jewelry, these bags had to be quick to make, use minimal supplies, and be both sturdy and beautiful.

So choose some paper - whether for a special occasion or just because it fits your mood - and let's make a small, tall gift bag together!

All photos on this page are my own.

Tombow 62207 MONO Permanent Adhesive Refills, 3-Pack. Easy to Refill for a Strong, Instant Bond
Tombow 62207 MONO Permanent Adhesive Refills, 3-Pack. Easy to Refill for a Strong, Instant Bond

Don't forget refill packs for your adhesive roller. Once you start making these gift bags you won't want to stop.

Fiskars 1/16 Inch Hand Punch, Circle
Fiskars 1/16 Inch Hand Punch, Circle

I use the 1/16 inch hand punch for lots of things from bags to tags and more. It's a great tool with lots of different uses!

EK Success Ruler Pro Centering Acrylic Craft Ruler, 16-Inch
EK Success Ruler Pro Centering Acrylic Craft Ruler, 16-Inch

A ruler is such a basic tool, I want one in every room.


Let's Make a Bag

What You Need to Get Started


One 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper

2 9-inch lengths of ribbon






1/16-inch Hole punch

Bone folder

My pictures use single-sided paper so you can better see what I'm doing, but I really like using two-sided paper for bags if possible. The color inside gives the bag an extra boost of beauty and flare.

A Selection of Scrapbook Paper - Check out these pretty options from Amazon

Holiday gifts deserve a special paper that celebrates the season!

STEP 1: Some Lines for Good Measure

Taking a few moments to measure at the beginning will save you immeasurable (pun intended) time later. So, using your rule and pencil on the "wrong" side of the paper (this will be the inside of your bag), draw lines at 1/2" on two opposite edges of the paper. Then choose one edge and measure in 3-1/2" and draw a line there. The lines are pictured here to help you visualize where the lines will go.

Later on, you will use these lines as guides for where to fold or cut. When I first created this bag, I did my measuring in the middle of my assembly, and it was NOT easy. Live and learn...

STEP 2: Totally Tubular

Time to make your sheet of scrapbook paper into one big tube. To do this, glue along one edge of paper on the wrong side. Roll tube and seal seam by securing the two edges with about a 1/4" overlap.

For the next step, I need you to use your imagination... picture the round end of the tube as a clock face. Imagine the times with 12:00 at the top, 6:00 at the bottom and all the times in between. Now...

Lay the tube on the table so the seam is pointing at about 4:00. Press the tube flat. Open tube again and turn it to where the first creases you made meet in the middle. Match up the creases and press flat. When you open the tube this time, you'll have a square instead of round tube. The seam is on one side of the square tube.

Here's what your tube looks like after you've "square-ified" it.

Here's what your tube looks like after you've "square-ified" it.
Here's what your tube looks like after you've "square-ified" it.

STEP 3: Cut a Little, Fold a Little

Remember when you measured and drew those lines at the beginning of this bag-making process? This is when that front-end work starts to pay off. Turn your square tube so that you are looking at the end with only one line at 1/2". Using your scissors, cut down at each corner, stopping at the 1/2" line. You have created 4 "flaps," one one each side of the bag.

Run a line of adhesive along the inside of one of the flaps. Fold it down inside the bag on the 1/2" line, pressing it firmly in place. Repeat this step for each of the flaps to create a finished look at the top of the bag. This also provides some reinforcement for later on when you add handles.

Note: You may want to consider adding scrap paper reinforcements like on the Square Gift Bag.

A Few More Paper Craft Tools - Optional tools that can really personalize your project

Martha Stewart Crafts Bone Folder
Martha Stewart Crafts Bone Folder

A bone folder is especially useful if you start to experiment with heavier weights of paper. It will save your fingers!

Duck Brand IT20904 1/2-by-450-Inch Double Stick Permanent Tape
Duck Brand IT20904 1/2-by-450-Inch Double Stick Permanent Tape

Sometimes, I "cheat" and use double-sided tape instead of adhesive. Just keep in mind the 1/2 inch width of this tape vs. the width of some of your 1/4 inch tabs.

Fiskars All A-Fleur Embossing Border Punch (12-68337097)
Fiskars All A-Fleur Embossing Border Punch (12-68337097)

Consider adding a decorative touch to the top of your bag.

Martha Stewart Crafts Edger Punch, Scallop Dot
Martha Stewart Crafts Edger Punch, Scallop Dot

Another decorative possibility for the top edge of your bag... Leave out the reinforcements for light gifts so this edge sticks up or fold in for a lovely finish inside.


STEP 4: Cutting Flaps

At the bottom end of the tube, use your scissors to cut along each corner to the 3-1/2" line, giving you 4 longer flaps. Now... each flap needs a different treatment, so just take them one at a time and refer to the picture here if you need help.

Flap 1: Cut it completely off at the 3-1/2" line.

Flap 2: (to the left or right of the flap you just removed) Cut off the end at the 1/2" line.

Flaps 3 and 4: Don't do anything to these flaps yet

STEP 5: Folding & Securing the Bottom

Flap 1: Remember, this flap is gone. It's important to note though that the opening you made by removing this flap is where the tab from Flap 4 will go when you get to that step.

Flap 3: (Note: This is across from Flap 2, which is the shortest flap remaining) Fold on the 3-1/2" and 1/2" lines. This will be the first layer of the bottom. Check your folds to make sure the bottom will lie flat while the tab fits securely against the inner bottom edge of the bag. Then open your folds and run adhesive along the design side of the tab. Fold the flap in and press the tab securely against the inside of the bag.

Flap 2: You may need to trim this one a bit if it's too long for the bottom of the bag. Fold it over at the 3-1/2" line. Then open it back up, and run adhesive around the perimeter of the inside of the flap. Stick it to the underside of Flap 3.

Flap 4: (Note: this is the 3-1/2 inch flap across from Flap 1, which you removed) Fold on the 3-1/2" and 1/2" lines to create the bottom of the bag and a tab to close off the far side of the bag. Test the tab to make sure the bottom will lay flat and the tab will fit neatly in the slot. Now open the flap back up and run adhesive in two places - around the perimeter of the inside of the bottom so it will stick to the underside of Flap 2 and on the outside of the tab, which will stick to the inside of the bag.

TIP: If you have trouble getting the tab on Flap 4 into the slot, trim the corners off the tab. It slips in easier and can't be seen from the outside of the bag.

All this business with the flaps and tabs gets easier with each bag. I promise!!! And it will be well worth it when you get that look from someone as they ask "Did you really make the bag too?"

STEP 6: Finishing Touches

Use your 1/16 inch hole punch to make 2 holes each at the top of the front and back of the bag. I usually make the seam side of the bag the back. Thread the ribbon through the holes and knot the ends inside. Depending on the thickness of your handles, you may need to make a few holes side by side, but don't make too many holes or the knot you make in your ribbon (or cord or whatever you use for handles) will pull through.

Then, create some creases in the sides of the bag to give it that "bag look" by bringing the front and back of the bag together, forcing the sides in. Fold hard creases about 2/3 of the way down (picture a paper lunch sack).

Voila! You have a beautiful, personalized gift bag.


After you're comfortable with making this gift bag and you're ready to personalize things a bit more, here are some variations you can try:

  1. I recommend ribbon for the handles in these instructions, but don't feel limited. Maybe you have satin or cotton cord in the house. Or string, decorative wire, or even just shoelaces. Use what you have on hand if it fits the look of your bag.
  2. Experiment with paper. Cardstock can make a heck of a sturdy bag and be really fun if you want to print, paint, or stamp your own design.
  3. To make this bag rectangular (see the picture below), leave out the 3-1/2" measurement in STEP 1 and change the "clock time" for your initial folds to make it rectangular. When you get to STEP 4, you'll just have to make your cuts appropriate for the width of your bag. You can figure it out. I have faith in you!

When you are ready, try it as a rectangle.

When you are ready, try it as a rectangle.
When you are ready, try it as a rectangle.

Link Party Connections

Here are parties and blog hops this page is linked to. Click on any of them to find hundreds more ideas, recipes, crafts, and much more!

Questions or comments? - Please let me know what you think...

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Great instructions and tools suggestions. Pinned. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday.

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 

      6 years ago from California

      I love your detailed instructions. Well done!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)