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How to Make Gift Bags Out of Old Newspapers

Last-minute birthday parties got you running around town for a gift bag? Make your own eco-friendly bag out of recycled newspaper and leave your mark on the green scene.


  • Step 1: Open the bag and fold the bottom edges along the crease you just made. Form triangles at the corners and glue into place.
  • Step 2: Flatten the bag with the side pleats pointed inward. Fold the bottom of the bag upward 2 1/2 inches and press firmly to create a crease. Repeat with the other side so the crease is on both sides.
  • Step 3: Fold the base flaps inward to form the bottom of the bag and glue into place. Flatten the bag to double check all of the seams.
  • Step 4: Punch holes at the top of one of the long sides about 2 1/2 inches apart. Thread string or twine through the holes and knot securely on the inside of each hole to form a handle. Repeat on the other side.
  • FACT: Gift bags to Academy Award nominees have included an $85,000 African safari, a $14,500 trip to Monaco, and gift cards for shopping, phones, and skydiving packages.
  • Step 5: Allow the glue to set overnight if possible. Fill it with that special gift and don't forget to include a card, so everyone knows who made that awesome bag.
  • TIP: You can use a ruler with the edge laid along the center of the length of the short side to help make a precise crease.
  • Step 6: Turn the bag so that one of the shorter sides is facing you. Take the two edges of that side and fold into the middle with the sides pointing inward. Repeat with the other side to form the side pleats.
  • TIP: The strips will not span the entire length of the newspaper.
  • Step 7: Fold the glued edge down 1.5 inches from the top and then fold back to use the folded line as a guide. Place the card stock strips side-by-side along the fold line starting at the far left side of the paper. Glue the strips down and then glue the fold over the strips.
  • Step 8: Fold the left side of the paper to the end of the first strip. The fold line should be where the two strips meet. Fold the right side of the paper where the strips end to overlap the first flap.
  • Step 9: Glue the first, or left-hand flap, between the two sheets of the right-hand flap. Press down to secure and run your finger along the two folds to make the creases crisp.
  • Step 10: Open the bag and make a fold 3 inches from the original fold. Press the bag flat and repeat on the other side of the bag. Open the bag to make sure you have a nice rectangular prism.
  • TIP: Be sure to only place glue where the two sheets overlap and not any further.
  • Step 11: Lay the newspaper sheets on top of one another and glue them together along one of the long edges.

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