Home About Press Crafts Recipes

Monday, April 4, 2011

Upcycle Craft: Paper Gift Bags

Over the weekend I visited Kinokuyiya, one of my favorite bookstores. I was in search of some crafty inspiration and found it in the most unusual place. It wasn't a craft book that inspired me but instead a paper bag that the store places your purchase in. I've always found these kind of bags charming. Perhaps it's the simplicity of the bag or the feel of the paper that appeals to me. I'm not sure. I just know I like them and decided to make a few for myself.

Paper - Could be from catalogs, magazines, newspapers, maps, etc.
Pinking paper scissors
Glue stick

Decide where you want the front of your bag to be. Fold flaps back to center the image. Make sure flaps overlap in the back. There's no specific measurements for the folding since all paper and positioning of pictures will be different.

Glue the back flaps together. Gut the bag at the bottom to the length you want plus one extra inch. Fold up one inch, unfold. (refer to picture on right).

*Click on images for a larger view.

Fold corners into the fold you just made in the last step. Fold back up and glue in place (right picture).

Trim the top of the bag with pinking paper scissors. Done.


Unknown said...

A great way to recycle paper. I like that pretty pinked edge on the top too!

allyn said...

What a great idea! I'm a paper saver and never thought to make the simple bag. Thanks for sharing!

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

These paper sacs are really lovely and the project has so many applications - you can play with a punch on top. I have some old Town & Country magazines with great images or old maps would be really nice.

PS That bookstore sounds really interesting too!

Caca said...

I made lots of this using wrapping papers. It saves my time on last minute gift wrapping.

zakkalife said...


I like your idea of using wrapping paper. Good idea for those tiny leftover scraps.

Thanks for sharing :)

Novi On The Go said...

The gift bags look so special, I like the idea of using materials on hand, thanks for this. I'm thinking somehow this would work with pages from worn music scores or old novels, if used with modern bright colored magazines it would have a unique look.

Michelle L. said...

Easy and great! I love your glammed out Barbie one!

zakkalife said...

Michelle L.,

I got that Barbie image from the Barbie Collector catalog. You can order the catalog for free. If anyone's interested, here's the link:


frau said...

So simple and so beautiful. You are really great talent.

Rebecca said...

Lovely! And yeah for Kinokuniya! I'll be heading back soon. Ahem. :)

B. said...

They are great! I love to recycle paper, and this is another great way to do that. :)

carla said...

Thanks for sharing this idea with us. It's a very do-able project (no expensive, difficult-to-obtain materials). I plan on using this one a lot!

Shuriken said...

Where did you get your cameo in the last picture from? I have been looking for one for ages!

zakkalife said...


The cameo was my Great Grandmothers so it was passed down to me. If you want a real carved cameo, I recommend visiting an antique store.

Zakka Life has moved to a new site!

Click here to visit the new site.