Gift bags are often the last step when giving a gift for Father’s Day or a birthday. But they also add a significant cost to what you have already spent. Would it not be a relief save those extra dollars on paper or a bag that will be crumpled and tossed aside in seconds? Now you can make your own reusable gift bag for free. All you need are common items you already have, like the Sunday comics and an empty cereal box. Here’s how:
What You Need:
Cereal box, or other box, into which the gift(s) will fit
Sunday comics section from the newspaper
Plastic grocery bag
Colored straws or leftover ribbon
1. Choose an empty cereal box (or any box) and cut off the top flaps. Trim the box shorter if desired, leaving it at least 2 inches higher than the gift will be inside.
2. Take the Sunday comics and neatly wrap the bottom and sides of the box. Secure with glue or tape.
3. Trim the top edge of comic paper so that it is about one inch higher than the top opening of the box.
4. Carefully fold the comic paper over the edge of the box so that the cardboard is neatly covered. Secure inside with glue.
5. To make handles for the gift bag, you have two options:
Option A: Plastic Straws
Cut two lengths of about 6 inches from plastic grocery bag handles. Cut colored drinking straws (wash and dry if you are reusing them) into shorter pieces. Thread the straw piece onto the plastic handles. Cut two small, index card sized pieces of scrap cardboard. Staple each end of the handle to the cardboard. Using school glue or strong tape, fix the cardboard to the inside of the top edge of the box, so that the handle is up.
Option B: Ribbon
Cut two lengths of about 6 inches of leftover ribbon. Punch holes in the sides of the box. Thread the ribbon through the holes and knot the ends of the ribbon to secure handles. If knots are too small to keep handles secure, staple ends of ribbon scrap cardboard and glue inside as described in option A.
6. Cut one long rectangle of comic paper that is slightly smaller than the area of the bottom plus two larger sides of the box. Use this sheet to line the inside of the box. Use a glue stick to secure the top edges with glue.
7. To make mock tissue paper, cut one or two large plain squares of plastic from grocery bags, avoiding the printed areas. Note: White plastic usually looks more like tissue paper than plastic from colored bags.
The advantages of these reusable gift bags are many. They better for your wallet and the environment. You can be relieved to avoid the cost of disposable wrapping and perhaps have more money to spend on the gift itself. Even if you haven’t bought the gift yet, you can make this gift bag ahead of time if you know the size of gift you will get or make. And if you keep the bag in the family, whether it is a birthday, Father’s Day, or other holiday, you have a gift bag for your next occasion that is ready to go.