Gift Bags from Old Envelopes

I love to recycle and reuse whatever and whenever I can. I also love a beautifully wrapped gift, so I've been trying to combine the two.

It’s easy to make gift bags from old envelopes. 

gift bags from old envelopes

You can make these from new envelopes in any size or colour but as I like to recycle I am in the habit of opening nice large coloured envelopes carefully - just slice the top or one short side off with the scissors like this:

open envelope carefully.jpg

Now measure and mark with a pencil in from the edge on all 3 closed sides. It can be any distance but all 3 sides must be the same. This envelope was 14cm x 20cm so I marked 2.5cm in from the edge.

measure from edge.jpg

By magic the envelope has changed colour! - Don’t worry this is only because the red envelope photos were fuzzy!

Score a line down each of the 3 sides where you have marked.

score lines.jpg

 Fold along the line forwards and backwards.

fold sides.jpg

You may have a little unstuck bit at the top like this:

glue flap.jpg

Just stick it down with glue.

If your envelope has writing on it you can cover it up with something cute/pretty. 

I save bits from old cards and use them for all sorts of things, I have quite a collection now!

old cards.jpg
possible embelishments.jpg

If you do want to stick embellishments onto the bag,now is the time to do it, whilst it's flat and easy to press down on.

attach embelishment.jpg

When you are ready pop your hand inside the envelope to open it into a bag shape.

open bag out.jpg

 Fold the bottom corners flat like this:

fold corners.jpg
make gift bags from old envelopes

Fold the sides inwards at the top edge like this:

fold side inwards.jpg

Now glue the corner flaps down onto the base.

glue corners .jpg

I hope this picture is not misleading, that is the base of the bag you can see there.

Now stand the bag up with something reasonably heavy in it to hold the flaps until the glue dries. (like this handy vase)

press till glue sets.jpg

(It looks like I punched the holes in this one before glueing the base, I made loads of these so may have mixed the order up a little here. It doesn't really make much difference)

Punch holes in the top with a hole punch. This one has a paper doily trimmed to the same width as the bag folded in half over the top of the envelope bag. I just punched through all 4 layers.

punch holes.jpg

If your envelope of narrower than your hole punch just measure, and mark with a pencil dot, an even amount from each edge.

punch holes 2.jpg

Then punch one hole at a time (the other hole will be punched into mid air!)

punching holes.jpg

Now you just need to pop in a pressie and then tie through the holes with ribbon or thread to finish.

Gift bags made from old envelopes
gift bags upcycled from old envelopes

Coloured envelopes are not usually made of the thickest quality paper so obviously these gift bags are not especially robust. They are perfect for little light presents: jewellery, sweets, a tie, a keyring, that sort of thing. The thicker the envelope was to start with the stronger the bag will be.

new sig 1.png

I'll be linking up this project at all these lovely link parties