Tuesday, 8 July 2014

How To Make Newspaper Gift Bags

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Five years ago, I purchased some newspaper gift bags to use as party bags for my son's birthday party. They were really unique and everyone commented on them.

At the time I remember thinking "I could totally make that", but it was one of those things which never got ticked off my to do list.  That is until this week, when I was clearing out some Lego Club magazines and felt inspired.

I had a couple of failed attempts at figuring out how to construct the bags, but they are actually quite easy to make once you know how. The method can also be adapted to make gift bags of different sizes and shapes. I've tried to make the instructions as easy to follow as possible.

Step 1. Select your paper. I took the central page out of the Lego Club Jr. magazine (be careful the staples don't tear holes in the paper), but you can use a newspaper sheet instead.

Step 2. Fold the top of the paper down - this creates a thicker and more durable gift bag. I used a glue stick to lightly tack the paper into place, as this makes it easier when you are folding it.

Step 3. Take the right side of your rectangle of paper and create a fold. I made the fold about 2cm thick. This will create a tab to secure your bag together when you fold it into your finished bag.

Step 4. Take the left side of the paper rectangle and fold it over by the same amount (2cm in this case). This is just to even out the sides of the bag. You could trim this part off if you wanted, but I just glue the tab flat as it creates a neater edge.

Step 5. The next stage is to think about how wide you want the sides of your bag to be (I wanted mine to be 4cm). Create a fold this distance from the right hand side. As you can see in the photo, it is actually the fold made in step 3 which I measured the 4cm from.

Step 6. Now you have to make the other side of the gift bag. Find the center of the paper (if you are following my method exactly, there will already be a fold where the middle of the magazine was). Measure 4cm to the left of this crease and create another fold. In the photo, the black line is the center of the paper and the new crease was made where my finger is.

Step 7. Lastly, take the bottom of the rectangle of paper and fold it up. This is going to form the bottom of your gift bag. Take whatever the width of the gift  bag's sides was and divide it by two, in order to determine how big to make the fold. In my case, I had to fold it up by 2cm.

Step 8. You are finally ready to construct your gift bag! Fold the sides round to create a rectangle. Put some glue on the tab which you created in step 3 to secure your rectangle into place.

Step 9. Once the glue is dry, create the bottom of your bag. To do this you need to turn the sides into little triangular tabs, just like you would do if you were wrapping a present with gift wrap. This is the trickiest part of the process, but not too hard if you created nice crisp creases in your folds.

Step 10. Glue your triangular tabs into place to form the bottom of the gift bag and flip the bag the right way up.

Step 11. To reinforce the bottom of your gift bag, add in a rectangle made from card stock (you could just cut this from a cereal packet). My rectangle was around 4cm by 13cm. I covered the card stock with magazine paper before inserting it into the bottom of the gift bag, but this is optional.

Step 12. The last step is to add handles. I used a hole punch to create the holes...

...then threaded through jute twine. You could use something like ribbon instead.

And here is the finished bag! It would be particularly good for filling with favors at a Lego party.

If any of the steps are not clear, please leave me a comment and I will do my best to clarify.

You might also be interested in:

lego pen pot
Lego Pen Holder
Tooth Fairy ReceiptPrintable
Tooth Fairy Receipt
lego crayons
Lego Minifigure Crayons
Lego party printables
Lego Party Printables


  1. Love these, and they would be great for so many things. I'm never buying a gift bag again!

    1. I know, right?! I always forget to buy a gift bag. Now I know I can just make one, rather than needing to rush out to the shop.

  2. Great job! Lovely idea! Thanks for sharing!
    Have a fabulous day!
    Hugs from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft

  3. Stopping over from Homework: The Inspiration Board. Love these bags and I love that it's using newspaper! Thanks for sharing. Live Inspired, Kristin

  4. Wow! I would feel really special to receive a gift in such cool gift bag,

  5. Very clear instructions. I have lots of papers & magazines couldn't bear to part with - now I can make them into bags!

  6. So cool! I've gotta make one of these! I'd love it if you shared this at "Worthwhile Wednesdays" http://thecraftiestallie.blogspot.com/2014/07/worthwhile-wednesdays-25.html

  7. This is awesome! I can't wait to try this out. Thanks for sharing! pinning to remember.

    Kristy @ 3 Peppers Recipes - Crafts, Cooking & Color

  8. You are a clever girl. Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I think I would like to try this some time, so I will save your instructions. It's nice to meet you through Inspire Me Monday! Have a tunetastic week!

    If you like music, then come join me on Monday's Music Moves Me

  9. This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing. Hello from Inspire Me Monday.


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