22 November 2018

Gorgeous Gift Bags and Tags

My Christmas gift shopping is done!

Everything I had on my list to buy, has been bought - and all within my gift budget too. It took a bit of researching and shopping around, and a teeny, tiny bit of haggling for a couple of them, but they have all been paid for and are now happily waiting in the present box in my wardrobe.

As soon as I have the house to myself for an hour, I'll finish off the wrapping and labelling, and they'll be ready to put under the tree when it goes up at the weekend.

Last year in the Boxing Day sales, Hannah bought the loveliest wrapping papers, but some of the gifts need bags. The lovely Maureen brought lots of gift bags to card day a couple of months ago, and we all had our pick.

Why am I telling you this? Because they're gorgeous bags, they just need a little prettying up to make them usable.

Here is just one of the bags I've done already, just using papers and ribbons and lace I had in my stash. I'm thrilled with the way they've turned out, and even happier with the saving. Pretty gift bags are quite pricey, so revamping and reusing them just makes sense, financially and ecologically.

 Brown paper gift bag, redecorated using crepe paper, scrapbooking paper, 
stickers and a cut out sentiment

If you don't have any gift bags to redecorate, you can turn any paper bag into a fabulous designer gift bag in just a few minutes and with just a few embellishments, most of which you will probably already have on hand.

Idea No. 1.

Turn the top of your paper bag over 5cm. With a ruler and sharp pencil evenly mark 1cm lines 1cm apart along the middle of the flap. Using a Stanley Knife or similar and the ruler cut along the pencil lines through all the thicknesses of the paper bag.

Take a length of narrow ribbon and thread through the slits. Tie a large knot in each end to stop it from pulling out.

Idea No. 2

Measure your paper bag from the top edge of one side, down, across the bottom and up the other side. Add 15cm to this measurement and double it. Cut a length of ribbon to the final measurement and then cut that in half to give you two lengths of ribbon. Measure in 5cm from the side of the bag and leaving a 7.5cm tail, carefully glue the ribbon down the bag, across the bottom and up the other side again leaving a 7.5cm tag. Repeat the process with the other length of ribbon. Tie each length into a granny knot at the top of the bag to secure.

Idea No. 3

Turn the top of your bag down 5cm. Measure in 3cm from each side and cut a 1cm slit through all thicknesses of the bag. Take a stem of holly and push through the slits, folding the stem out at the back to secure.

And to go on all those gifts,w rapped or in bags, you need gift tags. There are some lovely tags in the shops, but you can make your own so they co-ordinate with your wrapping, and you'll have a lovely matching set, for just a few cents.

Gift Tag No. 1

Using a cookie cutter, trace around the outside edge onto coloured card and cut out. Then trace around the inside of the cutter so you have the same design, only smaller, onto a contrasting colour and cut out. Centre the smaller shape on the large shape and glue in place. Punch a hole at the top and thread with a piece of raffia to tie to your parcel or glue onto your gift. This looks great as gingerbread men and Christmas trees. If you have plain round cookie cutters they make lovely bauble style gift tags.

Gift Tag No. 2

Dress up some bought gift tags. Use a glitter pen to outline features on the tag. Once it is dry thread some thin red or green ribbon through the hole and tie into a large bow. Use a glue stick or sticky tape to attach the tag to the parcel. Lightly coat a plain, bought tag with pva glue and sprinkle with glitter and let it dry. You can never have too much bling and glitter, especially at Christmastime.

Gift Tag No. 3.

Find some large gum leaves. Using a texta pen write your message on the gum leaf. Laminate between two layers of clear contact. Cut around the outline of the leaf leaving a small border. Punch a hole to thread raffia through.

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