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Get creative – How to make a gift bag or box from old greeting cards


How to recycle and re-use your old greeting card? Check out these gift bag tutorials by Tara !

Throughout the year, we receive many greeting cards such as those for our birthday, right? Even though nowadays most of people probably prefer sending digital cards or birthday wishes on the internet, what is a birthday without a party and cards?

Anyway, if you’re anything like me, you will have stacks of old greeting cards gathering dust in the back of a cupboard or under your bed. And let’s face it, you are never going to read them again so why not do something useful with them and create a gift bag? Yes, a small wonderful gift bag that you can use to hold a present.


Paperbag Old Card


What you need to make this wonderful paper gift bag :

  1. Selection of old greetings cards
  2. Gift bag template
  3. Scissors
  4. Holepunch
  5. Cellotape/Stapler/Glue
  6. Ruler
  7. Ribbon/buttons (optional)


Decide on the theme of you bag/box and discard any cards or sections of a card that can’t be used. Then lets get started !

Tutorial 1

Print the gift bag template out on A3 paper or larger depending on the size you want your bag/box to be. If you want to make a box you will need all the tabs but tabs H and G aren’t necessary for a gift bag. ( Pay attention to the letter marking because we will recall them quite often in the tutorials. )


Tutorial 2

Study the template, cut around it and lay on a flat surface. Make a note of the measurements for each section and then use those measurements to cut out accurate shapes from the cards. But make the side pieces (D) an extra 1cm wider so you can fold them later on. Choose your cards ( colors and designs ) carefully, particularly for sections B, C and both D’s because these will be visible once the bag/box is finished.


Tutorial 3

Take both side pieces (D) and fold them in half vertically. This will form the crease in the side of the gift bag. Draw two lines at each end, forming a triangle. Use scissors to score these lines to make the folding process easier.


Tutorial 3

Lay all the card pieces face down and carefully begin to attach them together using cellotape. Try not to overlap the pieces. Instead allow several layers of cellotape to join the sides together. The flexibility of the cellotape will allow all the pieces to fold easily.


Tutorial 4

Once all sections are joined the bag / box will begin to take shape. Put Cellotable or glue on tab A and fold it over, attaching the sides together, forming an open ended box. If you are making a box avoid gluing this end tab because it forms the opening of the box; instead just close both ends instead using tabs E, F, G and H.


Tutorial 5

Close the bottom (and the top if you are making a box) using cellotape or glue. You now have your gift bag. Fold the sides to make the bag a better shape.


Tutorial 6

For the handle, you can use ribbon threaded through holes made with a hole puncher or attach the ribbon with a stapler. I’ve added a decorative twist to the ribbon by plaiting it.


Making gift bag tutorial – last step

You can tidy up the bag and hide any cellotape that might be visible by adding extra detail like ribbon or buttons.

Tag – This part is the easy bit. Find a card with something pretty on, cut out the section you want, hole punch just one hole and make a loop using ribbon or string.


Tip : If you are giving the present as birthday gift, you can use a birthday card / greeting as the tag. Just attach the tag to the bag and then all you need is a present to fill it.  You can even buy the greeting without leaving the house – just visit a site like Hallmark UK and get a personalised card to go with your personalised bag!

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2 comments so far

  1. Ines

    Thanks a lot. That´s a nice and easy to do Bag Paper Craft.


  2. Melissa

    Super excited to try this project, thanks so much for sharing!


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