Decorating Ideas for Gift Bags

    by April Sanders

    About the Author

    April Sanders is a writer, teacher and the mother of three boys. Raised on an organic farm, she is an avid gardener and believes that good growth starts with a rich, supportive foundation -- a philosophy that serves her well in both gardening and teaching. Sanders has written for Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, Smarted Balanced, PARCC and others.


    Gift bags are a widespread alternative to gift wrap. It is easier to place oddly-shaped presents inside a bag than it is to wrap them. In addition, children can help with the wrapping when you use the bags. You can also personalize your bags to match the gift-giving occasion or the personality of the recipient. There are as many ways to decorate gift bags as your imagination can conceive.


    One way to decorate a gift bag is to personalize it as much as possible, so that it reflects either the gift recipient or the occasion. Before you begin decorating your gift bags, consider the recipient's personality, interests or hobbies. Another option is to think about how you will use the gift bags. Will you use them for children's birthday parties? Christmas? Will one of the bags hold a gift for a teacher? Maybe you would like to make a variety of gift bags to keep on hand.


    After you have decided on your designs or themes, gather your materials. You will need a filler for the bag, such as tissue paper or paper confetti. Your supplies for the outside might include ribbon, stickers, paint or markers, a hole punch, glue, glitter, old greeting cards, stamps and person-specific items, such as a golf tee for a bag for Dad on Father's Day, or a small button in the shape of an apple for a teacher's gift bag.


    Lay the bag flat for decorating. First apply paint to one side, if you are going to use paint. Let the paint dry completely, then paint the other side. Next, create the rest of your design. For a Christmas-themed gift bag, consider recycling pictures from Christmas cards by gluing them to the front of the bag. Add some glitter for a sparkling touch.
    Stickers are a quick way to decorate a child's gift bag. Use decals of their favorite cartoon characters or other favorites like sports, dance or music stickers.


    To finish the bag, fold the top over and use a hole punch to punch two holes through all of the folded layers. The holes should be about 2 to 3 inches apart. Thread a ribbon through the holes, and tie the ends of the ribbon into a big bow. You can also leave the top open, and let tissue paper peek up above the edge to add even more color and texture to the gift.