Turn a Lunch Sack Into a Gift Bag

About: I have always been drawn to making things, especially with minimal means. I have never had a workshop or a ton of specialized tools at my disposal, but I think that is part of what makes the process of creat...

This year, I thought I had all my gifts wrapped and ready to go, but then, I decided I wanted to give one more. I thought it would go best in a gift bag, but I didn't have any more and I certainly didn't just want to set it under the tree as it was.

To solve this, I decided to make a gift bag of my own. I wasn't really sure what I would use to do this until I saw a lunch sack lying around. It was perfect... well, it would need a little work, but then it would be! I set to work and I think it turned out really nice. I hope this instructable helps both you and whoever you are giving a gift to.

Step 1: Cutting It Down to Size

Begin by taking the folded lunch sack and place it on a clean surface where it can be written on. Measure 8 inches from the bottom of the bag (it doesn't matter which side is facing up), and draw a line there. This line will be for folding so make sure you don't cut it. Then, measure 1/2 inch further from that line (8.5 inches from the bottom) and draw a line there as well. Cut across this line, removing the portion of the bag above it. Don't throw this portion away as it will be used later for creating the handles.

Step 2: Folding the Edge

Now, use the first line you drew as a guide for where to fold the bag. First, fold the 1/2 inch section over the opposite side of the bag. Then, use the crease formed to fold it inwards to create a professional looking edge. You may choose to glue this fold in place, but after creasing it, it should stay folded on its own.

Step 3: Adding Handles

You should still have the loop of paper you trimmed off the lunch sack from step 1. This is what will be used to make the handles. Before you do anything else with it, cut it along one of the folds (it doesn't matter which one) so it is a strip rather than a loop. On this strip, use a ruler and pencil to draw two 2 cm by 8 inch rectangles. Proceed to cut them out.

Once cut, take one of the rectangles and fold it in half hot dog ways so it is now 1 cm in width but still 8 inches in length. Then, make two diagonal folds each roughly 3 inches from the closest end. It should end up looking like half the outline of a rectangle.

Do the same thing with the other rectangle. Use your first piece as a template for folding your second so they look nearly identical. Apply a small amount of hot glue to make sure the handles retain their shape. You should only need to glue the inside of the diagonal folds and the inside of the regular folds near the bottom (refer to pictures if confused).

Use hot glue to secure both handles to the inside of the bag on opposite sides so that roughly 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches of handle are visible above the outside edges. Regardless of how much handle you leave exposed, make sure you hot glue the handles to the bag itself and not only to the folded over edge. You should be able to eyeball where you want the first handle and line the second up with it.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

The transformation from lunch sack into gift bag should now be complete. Of course, I think some crumpled tissue paper to conceal the gift and a cardboard tag stating who it is for really complete the look.

I really hope you enjoyed this and I would love to hear what your thoughts are or see pictures of what you made. Also, feel free to ask any questions you may have. I hope you'll be here for my next instructable!

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    3 Discussions

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    mrsmerwin

    11 months ago

    You could also glue some festive cutouts on the outside of the bag or do a quick bit of painting. These are a really good idea. Thanks for taking the time to post.

    2 replies
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    blueckupemrsmerwin

    Reply 11 months ago

    Great ideas, and I'm so glad you liked it!

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    mrsmerwinblueckupe

    Reply 11 months ago

    I can usually figure out how to take a useful idea just a bit farther. I remember one year when the kids were little, I unrolled a whole roll of brown paper in the driveway one summer day. I have the kids markers, crayons, paint, etc. They were allowed to draw to their hearts content. Once it was dry, I just rolled it back up. I was set for wrapping paper for the year. Your bags made me think of that. You could have them decorate the bags--before or after you worked on making the handles.