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How to Make a Square Gift Bag from Scrapbook Paper

Updated on June 29, 2014

A Singe Sheet of Scrapbook Paper = The Perfect Gift Bag

You've found the perfect gift for that special someone. The perfect gift needs the perfect gift bag to complete the package. Why depend on department stores and pay too much for a bag that doesn't quite fit the occasion? Add a personal touch by making your own gift bag using your favorite pattern of scrapbook paper for pennies on the dollar.

This square gift bag is perfect for small items like jewelry, small candles, knick-knacks, and candies. I designed this bag with jewelry in mind. As a craft jewelry designer, I wanted to create a bag that would draw attention to the pieces my customers purchased from me. The bag had to be easy and quick to make, inexpensive, and look professional yet fun.

Even now that I don't sell my jewelry much anymore, I like to set aside an hour or two on a Sunday to make a bunch of these bags and keep them on hand so when I have a gift to give, I can just choose the best one for the occasion. It will only take you one bag to get the hang of this design, and then you'll be off and running.

All photos on this page are my own.

Great Tools for Making Great Gift Bags

Fiskars scrapbooking paper trimmer with swing-out arm, 12 inches
Fiskars scrapbooking paper trimmer with swing-out arm, 12 inches

Trim paper quickly and accurately with a portable paper trimmer like this one. I use this to make multiple rectangles quickly for the reinforcements

 
Tombow Power Bond Mono Adhesive Roller, Permanent (62118)
Tombow Power Bond Mono Adhesive Roller, Permanent (62118)

Quickly put your adhesive where you want it (and no place else).

 
Tombow Mono Permanent Adhesive Refills, 3 Pack (62207)
Tombow Mono Permanent Adhesive Refills, 3 Pack (62207)

You'll love your Tombow roller so much... don't forget the refills.

 
Fiskars Traditional Bone Folder
Fiskars Traditional Bone Folder

This is a good, sturdy bone folder. You'll want one, especially for tougher folds and cardstock projects.

 

Square Gift Bag Supplies List

Materials:

* One 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper

* 2 12-inch lengths of ribbon

* 2 3x-inch scraps of paper

* Adhesive

Tools:

* Pencil

* Ruler

* Bone folder

* Hole punch

Paper to Make Bags that Celebrate the Season

For this project, I like to use two-sided scrapbook paper. I used one-sided for the demonstration so it would be easier to see what I was doing, and I think the square bags still look really nice. Pick patterns that are pretty and that match your occasion.

STEP 1: Marks to Fold By

All of your work for this project will be done looking at the "wrong" side of your scrapbook paper (the white side or the side you do not want showing), which will be the inside of the bag. The first step is to mark a few important points for folding.

To do this, place the straight edge of an 18-inch ruler (a normal 12-inch ruler is not quite long enough) from one corner to the opposite corner and place a small dot 4.25 inches from each corner. Do the same for the other 2 corners. At this point, you should have 4 dots on your paper, which are your guides to where your folds will go.

The folds pictured here are part of the next step... let's go!

STEP 2: Big Folds, Little Folds

Now you are going to do some folding that will get your scrapbook paper ready for all of the later steps. Use the four dots you made in Step 1 as guides.

Fold one corner to the dot closest to it (like in the picture in Step 1) and make a crease. Open the fold again. Then fold the corner to the dot closest to the opposite corner (pictured here). Again make a crease and open it. Do the same for ever corner. The folds have created a square in the center that will be the bottom of the bag (see the larger picture below).

When you are finished folding all your corners, this is what it should look like.

When you are finished folding all your corners, this is what it should look like.
When you are finished folding all your corners, this is what it should look like.

STEP 3: Let's Bring in Some Reinforcements

You want your bag to be strong as well as pretty, so we're going to add some reinforcements in the early stages. This bag will hold up to small gifts with a little weight to them and can be used again and again.

Using adhesive, glue two opposite corners down (fold to the closest dot). For the other two corners, take your 3x-inch scraps of paper (I use cardstock scraps from other projects, but almost any kind of paper will add strength to this part of the bag) and paste one across the crease of each corner. Glue the triangle flap down over the scrap of paper. The scraps of paper will reinforce the top of the bag where the handles will go.

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STEP 4: Bringing Things Together

After the last step, you are left with a bunch of triangles and squares. The center square will be the bottom, while the surrounding squares will be the bag's sides. In this step, the triangles will be folded inside the bag and later be used to reinforce and stabilize it. Here we go...

Bring two sides together so their edges touch, tucking the triangle of paper between them inside the bag. Crease the triangle at its center. Open the fold and repeat these steps for each pair of sides.

When all triangles have been creased, it will look like the photo below. Use adhesive on the patterned side of the triangles to secure the bag's four sides.

Your square gift bag... almost there!

Your square gift bag... almost there!
Your square gift bag... almost there!

STEP 5: Beautiful on the Inside

Now, you should have a cube-shaped bag with four triangular flaps pointing in. Let's put those flaps to good use and stick them to the walls of the bag where you added the handle reinforcements earlier (the scraps of paper).

On the inside of the bag, use adhesive on one side of each triangle and press onto two sides of the inner walls of the bag. Again, I recommend sticking them to the reinforced sides of your bag as these will bear most of the weight of whatever you put into the bag.

Note: It can be a little tricky to use your adhesive applicator in the cramped quarters of this bag. Feel free to "cheat" and use double-stick tape for this step in particular.

STEP 6: Finishing Touches

Last step... let's make it look like a bag with a handle and a few extra creases.

Make two small hole punches through each reinforced top (you may need to make more hole punches in a cluster if you use a wider ribbon or thicker string). Thread one end of ribbon through each hole tying a knot in the end so it does not slip back through the hole. Then, bring the sides together and make a loose crease to finish the "bag look."

You're done! Now that you've completed one bag, the next one, or two, or ten are quick and easy!

Variations on the Square Bag

Please don't feel limited by my instructions. Use them. Adapt them. Make these bags your own. Here are a few variations I've thought of:

  • I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Two-sided paper adds a really pretty touch.
  • My instructions talk about ribbon handles, and I really like using ribbon, but I don't always have ribbons that match the paper designs I've chosen. Other possible handle materials (you saw some of these in the pictures) are cotton cord and satin cord. Look for what you have on hand. It might be yarn, leather cord, hemp, or even shoelaces, depending on your paper pattern and preference.

Do you think you'll try making your own gift bag?

Do you think you'll try making your own gift bag?

See results

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!

Let me know what you think or what questions you have.

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    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      This is such a wonderful idea and a very handy tip when you're stuck! thank you for this, I wouldn't have ever known to try this!

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 4 years ago

      Nice little box for gifting some chocolates! I'll definitely try. Thanks for the tutorial.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 4 years ago

      What a great idea! I have so many pieces of scrapbook paper and no time to scrapbook. Think I'll use my paper to make these cute bags! Blessed.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 4 years ago from Texas

      What a great idea! This seams pretty easy to do and with all the different scrap booking papers available you could really customize a bag for the occasion.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 4 years ago from Kansas

      What a great project. I have tons of scrapbook paper and never enough gift bags for those last minute gifts. I'll be trying this.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 5 years ago

      Wow, good stuff. You explained it so well, with great pictures, I may even be able to do this! And that is a huge compliment.

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 5 years ago from California

      Very nice step by step instructions and photos. Good job!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      What a positively awesome craft idea - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 5 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Welcome to Squidoo. I like the craft lenses and this one is nicely done.