Decorating ideas for gift bags

Updated February 21, 2017

Gift bags are popular for gift giving. It is easier to place some presents, especially oddly-shaped ones, inside a bag rather than trying to wrap them. In addition, children can help with the wrapping when gift bags are used. You can also personalise gift bags to match the gift-giving occasion or personality of the gift recipient. There are as many ways to decorate gift bags as your imagination can dream up.


Before you begin decorating your gift bags, consider the recipient. If you aren't sure, think about how you might be using 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 design a variety of gift bags. The best way to decorate a gift bag is to personalise it as much as possible so that it reflects either the gift recipient or the occasion.


After you have decided on your designs or themes, gather together your materials. You will need something for the inside of the bag, such as tissue paper or paper confetti. Everything else will be for the outside of the bag. Your supplies might include ribbon, stickers, paint or markers, a hole punch, glue, glitter, old Christmas 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, if you are going to paint the bag. See the link in the resource section below for a creative way to paint a gift bag. Let the paint dry completely, then turn the bag over and paint the other side. Next, create the rest of your design. For a Christmas-themed gift bag, consider cutting out pictures from old Christmas cards and gluing them to the front of the bag. Add some glitter for a sparkling touch. Stickers are also a quick and easy way to decorate a child's gift bag by using their favourite cartoon characters. To finish off the bag, fold the top over and use a hole punch to punch two holes in the folded-over lip of the bag. The holes should be about 2 to 3 inches apart. Then, thread a ribbon through the holes, and tie the ends of the ribbon into a big bow.

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