Sustainable Gift Wrapping: How to Reuse Your Paper Grocery Store Bags

If you’re anything like me, you forget your reusable grocery bags in the back of your car and then you come home with all of these bags. And then they just stay under your sink. And you don’t know what to do with them. So, I wanted to make a tutorial to show anyone that has the same problem how to reuse these bags to wrap your Christmas presents!




This year I wanted to try and challenge myself to only wrap my presents in reusable or upcycled things. So, if you’re getting a present from me this year, it’s gonna come in one of the below package varieties.


Aaaand if you make any or all of these bags please share and tag #haupachimade so I can see them!


Before we get started you’re gonna need to quickly download this marking guide pdf for the measurements of each gift bag.




supplies list

  • Marking Guide: download this PDF for the measurements!

  • Scotch Tape

  • Glue (Elmer’s Rubber Cement + Gorilla Glue)

  • Binder Clips or Sewing Clips

  • Credit Card or something similar

  • Scissors

  • Hole Puncher

  • Pencil / Erasable Pen

  • Twine, Ribbon, String, etc.

  • Scotch Paper Tape

  • Measuring Tools (Ruler, Tape Measure, Quilter’s Ruler)

  • Paper Bags

  • Cardboard (optional)



which bag do you want to make?

click below to navigate




rectangle eurotote gift bag


END DIMENSIONS: 12 x 10 x 6.75-in



Start with a BLANK paper bag like this one (14 x 12 x 6.75-in). Remove handles.


Mark 4-in from top of bag. Repeat on the opposite side. (Note: This could be higher or lower depending on how much you’re trying to conceal.) Cut down to this mark and fold the bag inward.


Mark bag at 4-in and 8-in, 1-in from the top of the bag, on each side. These will be the holes that your handle will be inserted through. Use an Exacto knife to create these holes. If you haven’t already, download this PDF for the marking guide.


Cut two pieces your twine, string, or ribbon to the desired length. I cut mine to 24-in. I used this strip of fabric that I serged. Push your choice of handle through the holes you created and tie a knot, or knots, so that it does not slip out of the hole.


Erase any visible markings.


DONE.



If you’re gifting something heavy, you could put some cardboard reinforcement in the bottom of the bag. Just measure the bottom of the bag and cut your cardboard accordingly. The bottom of this bag is 12 x 6.75-in.


You could also stamp the bag to apply some holiday cheer. But, because I hoard all of these bags, I like keeping the bag blank because then it can be reused to gift something to someone else!




wine bottle gift bag


END DIMENSIONS: 13 x 5 x 3.5-in


Before making this bag, make sure you measure the height of the wine bottle you are wrapping! Unless you are okay with the stem of your 14- or 15-in wine bottle sticking out of the top...







STEP 1. DECONSTRUCT BAG

  • Start with this Market of Choice bag (17 x 12 x 6.75-in). It has this garland holly print on it. Cute.

  • Tear off handles.

  • Tear apart bag bottom. This doesn’t have to look all that nice but you’ll wanna make sure you have enough of the bag to salvage. We’re actually making two bags out of this--a wine bag and an envelope.

  • Find the overlapping portion of the bag and cut the bag open.


STEP 2. MARK MEASUREMENTS + CUT

  • Cut paper to 18.5 x 16-in. Save the leftover paper if you want to try and make an envelope after you make this wine bottle bag!

  • If you want to use the print make sure you cut this piece with the print facing up. In my tutorial, you’ll see I made the mistake of measuring and cutting this piece with the print side facing down.

  • Download this PDF for the marking guide. These lines are a guide for where you will fold to construct the bag.

  • You’ll want to make the markings on the wrong side of the paper (the side of the paper that will be on the INSIDE of the bag). For this tutorial, the wrong side would be the plain side of paper because I want that to be on the inside of the bag. Alternatively, the right side of the paper would be the printed side.


WRONG SIDE = PLAIN

RIGHT SIDE = PRINTED


  • Mark guides on top and bottom of the bag and connect the lines. Mark vertical lines, then mark horizontal lines, then mark guide for the bottom of the bag.


STEP 3. FOLD BAG

  • Fold bag bottom first. We’ll come back to these later.

  • Fold all vertical guides.

  • Fold horizontal guides. Glue the top of the bag down. Trim the corners of the bag ever so slightly.

  • Flip the bag right side (printed) up and create the permanent folds. You can use a credit card or something similar to really crease these folds. I use my IKEA Family card.

  • Glue ends together. Hold in place with binder clips and let dry.

  • Enclose the bottom of the bag by folding ends in so it looks like an envelope. It’s easiest to tape these folds down as you crease them (I don’t know why I didn’t do that in the video tutorial). I tape the bottom of the bag using one strip of Scotch Paper Tape.


STEP 4. COMPLETE BAG

  • To reinforce the bottom of the bag, cut a piece of cardboard to 4.25 x 3.25-in. Glue/tape to bottom of the inside of the bag.

  • There are two ways you can finish this bag. You can wrap it like I did by using this strip of fabric scrap for the bow (35-in). Tape the top of the bag together and wrap the bow around the middle of the bag. You can also use ribbon, twine, string, etc.

  • Alternatively, use a hole punch to puncture the top of the bag 2-in in from each side. Use twine to enclose the top of the bag. I also taped the sides of the top of the bag so it maintains that triangle silhouette from the side.

DONE.



envelope


END DIMENSIONS: 9.5 X 6-in


*** skip to 9:31 ***







STEP 1. CUT + MARK GUIDES

  • Using the remaining paper from the Wine Bottle Gift Bag, cut paper to 13 x12-in.

  • If you haven’t already, download this PDF for the marking guide. These lines are a guide for where you will fold to construct the bag.

  • You’ll want to make the markings on the wrong side of the paper (the side of the paper that will be on the INSIDE of the envelope). For this tutorial, the wrong side would be the plain side of paper because I want that to be on the inside of the envelope. Alternatively, the right side of the paper would be the printed side.


WRONG SIDE = PLAIN

RIGHT SIDE = PRINTED


  • Mark guides on top and bottom of the bag and connect the lines. Mark vertical lines, then mark horizontal lines.


STEP 2. FOLD ENVELOPE

  • Cut corners out.

  • Fold guides.

  • Flip the bag right side (printed) up and create the permanent folds. You can use a credit card or something similar to really crease these folds. I use my IKEA Family card.

  • Trim top and bottom flaps at an angle.

  • Glue flaps down.

DONE.




square gift bag


END DIMENSIONS: 10 x 9.5 x 5-in


The process of making this bag is very similar to that of the Wine Bottle Gift Bag. So, if you were able to make that bag then you will definitely be able to make this one, too.






STEP 1. DECONSTRUCT BAG

  • Start with this Fred Meyer bag (14 x 12 x 6.75-in).

  • Tear off handles.

  • Tear apart bag bottom. This doesn’t have to look all that nice but you’ll wanna make sure you have enough of the bag to salvage.

  • Find the overlapping portion of the bag and cut the bag open.



STEP 2. MARK MEASUREMENTS + CUT

  • Cut paper to 31 x 16-in.

  • If you want to use the print make sure you cut this piece with the print facing up. In my tutorial, you’ll see I made the mistake of measuring and cutting this piece with the print side facing down.

  • If you haven’t already, download this PDF for the marking guide. These lines are a guide for where you will fold to construct the bag.

  • You’ll want to make the markings on the wrong side of the paper (the side of the paper that will be on the INSIDE of the bag). For this tutorial, the wrong side would be the plain side of paper because I want that to be on the inside of the bag. Alternatively, the right side of the paper would be the printed side.


WRONG SIDE = PLAIN

RIGHT SIDE = PRINTED


  • Mark guides on top and bottom of the bag and connect the lines. Mark vertical lines, then mark horizontal lines, then mark guide for the bottom of the bag.


STEP 3. FOLD BAG

  • Fold bag bottom first. We’ll come back to these later.

  • Fold all vertical guides.

  • Fold horizontal guides. Glue the top of the bag down. Trim the corners of the bag ever so slightly.

  • Flip the bag right side (printed) up and create the permanent folds. You can use a credit card or something similar to really crease these folds. I use my IKEA Family card.

  • Enclose the bottom of the bag by folding ends in so it looks like an envelope. It’s easiest to tape these folds down as you crease them (I don’t know why I didn’t do that in the video tutorial). I tape the bottom of the bag using one strip of Scotch Paper Tape.


STEP 4. COMPLETE BAG

  • To reinforce the bottom of the bag, cut a piece of cardboard to 4.75 x 9.5-in. Glue/tape to bottom of the inside of the bag.

  • For the bag handles, mark 4-in in on each side of the bag, front and back. Use a hole punch to create these holes.

  • I measured my jute twine to be 25-in. You can also use ribbon, twine, string, etc. Loop these through the holes and tie them to your liking. I also taped the sides of the top of the bag so it maintains that triangle silhouette from the side.

DONE.



Rememberrrrr, if you make any or all of these bags please #haupachimade so I can see them!