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Make Christmas gifts more delightful with festive gift bags made from decorative paper, recycled materials, and small embellishments.
Fancy little totes made from clip art and filled with small presents -- gift cards, cash, jewelry, and other trinkets -- might make Scrooge himself smile.
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Elegant Gift Bags
By adding simple embellishments, ordinary brown paper bags are transformed into elegant wrappings. Lace ribbons through two small holes in the flap of a bag, and tie a millinery fruit into the knot.
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Pleasing Paper Bag
Slipping an item into a paper bag is one of the most basic ways to wrap anything. Start with a colorful lunch sack, and dress it up with a band of patterned paper. (Trim the papers with the pinking blade on a rotary cutter, and attach with double-sided tape.) Then run the top through a sewing machine set on a decorative or zigzag stitch.
Photography: William Abranowicz4 of 11
Recycled Gift Bags
Gift bags can hold all sorts of goodies. Dress up plain ones by cutting the top of a colorful paper bag with scallop-edged scissors and gluing on a card cutout. Then punch one or two holes and tie on a ribbon.
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Make holiday gift bags with a twist. Embellish felt sacks with rickrack handles and a bright ornament.
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Familiar materials, like paper bags, are easily made into sophisticated packaging with ribbon. Fill with soaps, candy, or any other little treat.
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Add a personal touch to presents with a holiday gift bag crafted from rice paper, tissue paper, and handmade rosettes.
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Laced Ribbon Gift Bag
For a charming package, lace ribbon through slits you've made along the flap of the bag.
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Purse-Shaped Gift Bag
This package is made from a sheet of heavy, textured paper folded around a tissue-wrapped gift. The outer layer is a 12-by-27-inch piece of Japanese kozo paper (commonly known as rice paper and available from specialty paper stores) backed with green paper. Use a ruler or bone folder, available from art-supply stores, to make neat creases 9 inches, 12 inches, and 21 inches from a short side of the paper. Enclose the gift, bind the package with a green satin ribbon, and finish it off with a slim brown ribbon tied in an elegant knot.
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Button Gift Bag
Adorn two buttons on a small paper bag for cheery, inexpensive packaging.
Sew first button 4 1/2 inches from the top of one side of a small paper bag. Then, fold top over twice (about 1-inch folds), toward the button side. Align second button with first on the second fold and unfold to sew second button. Refold, and wrap twine in a figure 8 around both buttons.
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Cuff Link Gift Bag
White paper bags decorated with a cuff link and ribbon offer beautiful packaging and a ready-made way to carry a gift home.
Make two buttonholes in ribbon so that when it's draped over a folded bag, the buttonholes line up on the front and back; cut a small hole in the bag where the buttonholes fall, and secure with a cuff link. Glue the ends of the ribbon to bottom of bag.