Plain Jane Paper Bag to Glam Jane Gift Bag




About: I'm an artist, environmentalist, animal lover, gardener, recycling nut, a high school teacher, crafter, Mom, Christian and widow who reads a lot in between figuring out how to do things.

I like to wrap gifts.
Really I do.
But sometimes you don't have enough time to do it properly, especially when your neighbor pops by unexpected with a nice fancy smanchy gift. So I love gift bags because not only are they quick, but you can SAVE THEM AND REUSE THEM!!!!

I admit it, I'm kind of closet collector of boxes and bags....oops I just came out didn't I?
Well to totally come clean, I've got a bag of bags. It's sorted into birthday type, holiday bags, and store bags with names on them which I'll be using for my instructable.

Now admit it, haven't you reused a pretty bag yourself? I know my neighbor did because she brought our gift in the same bag that I'd received from the neighbor across the street (now I had two!!)

But since I don't like being caught recycling, I usually store them and reuse them the next year-- because who honestly remembers from one year to the next?

Yet, occasionally you need a slightly bigger bag.
So I thought, why not use wrapping paper to make a bag?

Then I checked the wrapping paper and it seemed too lightweight to make a bag that would hold anything. So then the inspiration hit me: Why not reuse a brown or a store name bag into a prettier version?

Step 1: Selecting the Plain Jane

I apologize right now if your name is Jane. I love that name. And I really think plain is a wonderful thing. But anyway.

I searched through my bags and found some bags that were slightly bigger and had some use left. One had a rip in it. I don't know why I still had it other than my subconscious mind knew that later I would use it for this instructable? Yeah….I’ll keep that explanation rather than the real one which is that I save everything and it is only through mutterings from my sister and husband that I wouldn’t end up buried in my saved stuff.

So I took the bag apart and measured and even wrote down the measurements. (Later I tossed the measurements in the recycle paper bin. It is easier to toss later when you know you don’t need, than to wonder if you should’ve written down the measurements.)

Step 2:

Since I was doing two bags, I cut the paper in half. Drew a straight line with my T-square and cut both papers at once with the fancy cut scissors. (Clip the papers together with a couple of binder clips to keep the slippery paper from shifting out of line.)

Then I laid the paper bag on top of the wrapping paper and glued with a glue stick. I used white glue on the handles because I wanted extra strength there and then put under a couple of books to dry.

Use the original bag folds as your guide and crease the wrapping paper the same direction. Glue down the bottom flap securely by pressing down hard with your hand on the inside. My students frequently tell me—the glue doesn’t work! I reply “you haven’t pressed it down hard enough” as I know that the secret to good adhesion is pressure.

I trimmed the edge of the paper a scant ¼” extra with the fancy cut scissors and then glued down this edge.

Step 3:

Now my plain bag is a glam bag with good bones too!



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    8 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I really love this idea. I wonder if I could reference this for an upcoming instructable?

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, I was just going to direct people to this page and use your instructable for personal reference. :) I'd love to make one! :)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is one classy bag! I love the name plain Jane! Thanks so much for sharing this. I always learn something new on Instructables! Have a Beautiful day!

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! Me too-- I'm always looking up things here first!
    I thought of wrapping this with fabric, but decided for the challenge wrapping paper was also good!