Turn Your Hoarded Gift Bag Collection Into Something Useful

Lindsey - December 9, 2023

Btw In a world increasingly aware of the environmental impact of our choices, people seek out creative and sustainable ways to repurpose everyday items. One such versatile item ready for reuse is the humble gift bag. Beyond its initial purpose of cradling presents, a gift bag can embark on a second life, contributing to a more eco-conscious lifestyle in myriad ways!. Let’s explore unexpected ways to breathe new life into these colorful carriers, transforming them from single-use items into a source of endless creativity and sustainability.

Photo: Bookzoompa

Gift Bag Book Covers

Turning gift bags into bright book covers is not only a sustainable way to repurpose materials but a chance to infuse your personal style into your book collection. After cutting the bag to fit your book and folding the excess over the cover, consider enhancing the design further by incorporating additional elements like writing and stickers. This turns each book into a unique and visually appealing piece that reflects your creativity. Pro tip: This method works great for keeping children’s textbooks fresh, too!

Photo: Make Today Creative

Gift Bag Greeting Cards

Turn colorful gift bags into bespoke greeting cards? It’s a match made in heaven! Simply cut out interesting sections from the bag and affix them to blank cardstock. When you add your own messages and embellishments, you’re not just sending a card; you’re sharing a piece of personalized art that expresses your thoughtfulness and creativity.

Photo: The Crazy Craft Lady

Gift Bag Banners

Festive banners for special occasions can be both fun and low cost when you use vibrant designs of saved gift bags. Cutting out triangles or squares and attaching them to a string or ribbon transforms the process into a celebration of color and pattern. instantly turn any space into a lively and visually captivating environment for your special events (or add a little magic to your every day)!

Photo: My 100 Year Old Home

Decoupage Flower Pots

Terra cotta flower pots are great for soil drainage, but they don’t offer much visual interest. Give plain pots a touch of flair by decoupaging pieces of gift bags onto them. Cutting out flowers, shapes, or any design you fancy adds a personal touch to your garden decor. Once your design is complete, just seal the surface with an additional layer of decoupage glue to enhance durability and ensure your flower pots become enduring works of art.

Photo: In My Own Style

Gift Bag Placemats

Elevate your dining experience by crafting colorful placemats from cutouts of gift bags. Simply arrange gift bag cutouts in a pattern you like – perhaps for a holiday meal or birthday party. Then, laminate them for durability. This is a two for one sustainability option: you don’t buy single-occasion placemats, and you reuse gift bags as great additions to your table decor.

Photo: Better Homes & Gardens

DIY Gift Tags

Repurposing small sections of gift bags into unique gift tags adds a personal touch to your presents. You can cut out shapes or utilize existing designs. Then, by punching a hole at the top, and attaching a string, you create custom tags that become miniature works of art.

Photo: Mini Mad Things

Gift Bag Collage Art

Unleash your creativity and transform the various patterns and textures of your saved gift bags into a mesmerizing collage. Cut the bags into different shapes and sizes (and perhaps adding imagery from magazines and catalogs) and arrange and glue them onto a canvas or sturdy paper. You’ll have a great time and create a striking piece of art that becomes a unique reflection of your artistic expression and environmental consciousness.

Photo: YouTube – DIY Crafts

Upcycled Gift Bag Envelopes

Transforming old gift bags into distinctive envelopes for special letters or cards is an opportunity to add a personal touch to your correspondence. To get started, disassemble the bag, trace and cut out an envelope template, and secure the edges with glue or double-sided tape. Your correspondence will now have a special, custom flair!

Photo: Craft Klatch

Gift Bag Luminaries

Luminaries are a great addition to holidays or parties! Craft enchanting luminaries by cutting intricate designs from your gift bags and affix them to glass jars or containers. The soft and captivating glow emitted by candles inside each jar adds a touch of magic. You can also use the bag itself that you cut from, too – just drop a flameless candle inside for another luminary option.

Photo: A Fabulous Fete

Gift Bag Coasters

It’s easy to transform your old gift bags into delightful coasters, too! Cutting out small squares or circles and adhering them to sturdy cardboard or corkboard – we’d recommend the latter for longevity and condensation. These decorative coasters will protect surfaces and add a touch of personalized style to your living space or holiday decor.

Photo: Sheri Silver

Gift Bag Origami

Unleash your creativity with gift bag origami! Use colorful and patterned sections to craft beautiful shapes and figures. Whether you’re a seasoned origami enthusiast or a beginner, these repurposed gift bags can bring a unique and artistic flair to your home decor, offering a sustainable and visually appealing way to express your artistic side.

Photo: In My Own Style

Gift Bag Drawer Liners

Elevate the aesthetics of your drawers and keep things tidy by lining them with drawer liner cutouts from gift bags. Beyond adding a pop of color, these liners protect your drawers from scratches, ensuring a stylish and practical solution for organizing your belongings. With each drawer, the repurposed gift bags find a new life.

Photo: Wikihow

Gift Bag Pom-Poms

If you have a gift bag destined for the trash, consider turning its scraps into vibrant pom-poms. Cut the bags into strips, attach them to a central string or wire, and use these colorful pom-poms for party decorations or even bows for other packages, adding whimsy to any occasion.

Photo: The Spruce Crafts

Gift Bag Collage Gift Wrap

Ditch traditional wrapping paper and create a personalized touch to your gifts with a collage of various sections from gift bags onto plain kraft paper. This unique gift wrap not only showcases your creativity but also makes the gift-giving experience even more special, as each wrapped item becomes a work of art. It’s a great way to use gift bags past their own present-wrapping prime!

Photo: Please Not Paper

Gift Bag Garland

For a fun party trick, infuse your celebrations with color by cutting long strips from gift bags and creating a festive garland. String them together for an eye-catching decoration, instantly transforming any space. The repurposed gift bags evoke a sense of sustainable festivity.

Photo: Macaroni Kid

Gift Bag Puzzle

For gift bags with pictures, consider creating a DIY puzzle activity by cutting a gift bag into puzzle pieces. This not only recycles materials but also provides a fun activity during quality time with friends and family. As you piece together the puzzle, you’re not just solving a game but creating memories with repurposed materials.

Photo: I Review U Read Tumblr

Gift Bag Scrapbooking

Avid scrapbookers could use gift bag pieces to enhance scrapbooking projects. The unique patterns and textures can elevate the visual appeal of your memories, making your scrapbook a captivating keepsake. Each repurposed gift bag piece adds a layer of meaning. Including pieces from cherished gifts adds to the memory of each occasion.

Photo: House of Mahalo

Gift Bag Wall Art

If you have an especially beautiful bag, consider turning framed sections of gift bags into captivating wall art. Arrange different patterns and sizes in a cohesive manner to create a striking display that adds a touch of originality to your living space. The repurposed gift bags become a statement of sustainable creativity, showcasing your commitment to both aesthetics and environmental consciousness.

Photo: Better Homes & Gardens

Gift Bag Plant Markers

Bring a touch of whimsy to your garden by repurposing gift bags into colorful plant markers. Cut out various shapes from the bags and attach them to small stakes, creating unique and eye-catching markers that add personality to your outdoor space while helping you identify your plants effortlessly. Just write down the name of each plant on the plain side of the cut out.

Photo: Wikihow

Gift Bag Confetti

With a hole punch and a dream you can craft an array of colorful confetti from your repurposed gift bags. Sprinkle this vibrant confetti inside greeting cards to add a delightful surprise or use it as charming table decoration. The upcycled confetti becomes a unique and sustainable way to spread joy and color!

Photo: Simply (Darr)ling

Gift Bag Mobile

By cutting out shapes from old gift bags, you can create a simple, colorful mobile decoration. Suspend the shapes from a hoop or branch to fashion a lively and whimsical ceiling decoration. Perfect for a nursery or playroom, this dynamic and personalized decoration captivates the imagination and adds a touch of playfulness to any space. Each dangling shape tells a story.

Photo: Etsy

Gift Bag Bookmark

Always using your place in your book? Craft unique and durable bookmarks from long, narrow strips of gift bags. For added durability, laminate these bookmarks, ensuring they withstand the test of time. Make them your own – transforming your reading routine into a visually appealing experience.

Photo: Crafting Cheerfully

Gift Bag Tote Bag

Merge multiple gift bags into a sturdier and more fashionable tote bag. Reinforce the handles with additional materials to enhance durability, creating not just a functional accessory but a stylish and eco-friendly statement piece that reflects your commitment to both fashion and sustainability.

Photo: Crafting Cheerfully

Gift Bag DIY Notepads

Discarded gift bags can be turned into vibrant and unique notepads. Simply cut them into uniform-sized sheets, stacking them, and binding them together. These colorful notepads become a canvas for jotting down quick notes, ensuring that your ideas and thoughts are captured in a visually appealing and personalized way.

Photo: Try Slow Bro via Pinterest

Gift Bag Mosaic Tray

Up the creativity of your serving ware by using food safe glue to adhere carefully selected pieces of gift bags to the surface of a plain tray. This DIY project transforms an ordinary tray into a stylish mosaic-style serving piece. The repurposed tray becomes a conversation piece, a functional work of art that adds a unique touch to your entertaining.

Photo: PA Country Crafts

Gift Bag Photo Frames

You can also update tired photo frames by cutting out interesting patterns or designs from gift bags. Adding a pop of color and personality, these repurposed gift bag decorations breathe new life into your framed pictures. It’s a great way to update the look of your frames stead of buying new ones.

Photo: The Maker’s Map

Gift Bag Garland Wreath

Craft a festive and colorful wreath by attaching sections of gift bag strips to a wreath form. Perfect for holidays or special occasions, this lively decoration adds a touch of whimsy and celebration to your space. The wreath, made from repurposed gift bags, becomes a sustainable and joyful symbol of celebration, radiating warmth and creativity.

Photo: Paper Kawaii

Gift Bag Fashion Accessories

If home accessories aren’t your thing, embrace your fashion-forward side by repurposing gift bag material into stylish accessories like bows, hair clips, or small purses. The vibrant patterns add flair to your style, and each accessory becomes a unique statement piece that showcases your commitment to sustainable and creative fashion. It’s a sustainable solution to dressing seasonally without purchasing more accessories, too!

Photo: The Classroom Community Copilot

Gift Bag Magazine Holders

Are loose magazines and newspapers cluttering your living space? Old gift bags offer a stylish and eco-friendly solution. By removing their handles, you can repurpose these bags into convenient magazine holders. Organize your publications by year, genre, or any other preference, transforming your reading materials into a neat and tidy display that complements your home decor.

Photo: Garden Betty

Gift Bag Seedling Pots

Looking for a sustainable alternative to traditional seed-starting cups? Gift bags can be transformed into seedling pots. Although it’s crucial to note that these shouldn’t be planted directly into the ground due to the dyes and laminated parts, making them less biodegradable. This creative solution does repurpose gift bags, though, providing a practical way to nurture your seedlings before transplanting them into the garden.

Photo: Made Everyday

Gift Bag Name Tags

Gift bags find another purpose as name tags! Create unique and personalized name tags for your holiday or birthday party by placing a table of decorative options and markers and stickers by the entryway. You can also reuse give bags as actual gift tags, cutting out foldable strips to write inside.

Photo: Mina and Maud

Gift Bag Ornaments

Additionally, consider making woven paper ball garlands for festive decorations, which can be utilized beyond Christmas, making them suitable for various celebrations throughout the year. Whether it’s for the holiday season or a birthday party, repurposing old gift bags into charming ornaments adds a touch of eco-friendly flair to your festivities.

Paper Chain Decorations

Your newly crafted ornaments would pair nicely with paper chains as well. Why spend money on new Christmas decorations when you can repurpose old gift bags for DIY paper chains? With the right glue and a bit of patience, you can turn your discarded gift bags into festive paper chains to adorn your home or Christmas tree. This sustainable and cost-effective approach adds a personal touch to your holiday decor and contributes to a more environmentally conscious celebration. It’s a creative way to breathe new life into old materials and reduce waste during the festive season.

Photo: The Crafty Gentleman

Gift Bag Plush Toys

Sometimes you’ll luck into a cloth gift bag or gift tote. If you already have too many around the house, consider repurposing cloth gift bags into unique plush toys. After cutting out charming animal shapes, stitch or glue them together, and fill them with stuffing to bring to life quirky and eco-friendly stuffed animals. These repurposed toys not only provide endless entertainment but also contribute to a sustainable approach to crafting playthings.

Photo: Mommy Poppins

Gift Bag DIY Piñata

Add a personalized touch to your celebrations with a homemade piñata crafted from vibrant gift bags. Fill the bags with treats, seal them securely, and shape them into your desired piñata form. Decorate for an extra festive touch at your next gathering, ensuring that your piñata not only delights but also reflects your commitment to creative and eco-conscious celebrations.

Photo: This Grandma is Fun

Gift Bag Seed Bombs

Foster greenery and sustainability by creating seed bombs from shredded, biodegradable gift bag material mixed with wildflower seeds and a bit of soil. Roll the mixture into small balls, let them dry, and toss these eco-friendly seed bombs into barren areas. Witness a burst of unexpected greenery as the seeds take root and grow, leaving a positive impact on the environment. Note that for this craft, you’ll need to use biodegradable gift bags – nothing with glitter or foil. Brown paper bags work best for this!

Photo: torta gialla

Gift Bag Mini Flags

Express your creativity by cutting gift bags into small triangles or rectangles and attaching them to toothpicks or small dowels to create unique mini flags. Whether used for decoration, labeling, or even as unconventional bookmarks, these repurposed mini flags add a touch of whimsy and sustainability to various aspects of your daily life.

Photo: Instructables

Gift Bag Sunglasses Case

Give your sunglasses a bespoke home by creating a custom case from a repurposed gift bag. Precision-cut to fit your shades, secure the edges with tape or glue, and consider adding a button or Velcro for a secure closure. This unconventional case not only safeguards your eyewear but also does so with a touch of individualized style, making a statement every time you reach for your sunglasses.

Photo: Art Room Happenings!

Gift Bag Mosaic Stepping Stones

Can your garden use a bit of extra flair? Concrete and gift bags might be the answer! Elevate your garden or walkway with a touch of artistic flair by cutting gift bags into small, irregular shapes and embedding them into a concrete mix to fashion mosaic stepping stones. The vibrant patterns of the repurposed bags will not only add color but also a unique, textured element to your outdoor space, turning it into a personalized haven of creativity.

Photo: Kid Made Modern

Gift Bag Pinwheel Garden Decor

Infuse your garden with whimsy and charm by crafting vibrant pinwheels from the patterns found on gift bags. Attach these delightful creations to dowels and strategically arrange them for an ever-spinning outdoor display. Your garden transforms into a lively and enchanting space, filled with the playfulness of these repurposed pinwheels. Just make sure to weather seal them and – if possible – use biodegradable materials in case they get swept away by the wind.

Photo: Barley and Birch

Gift Bag Puzzle Mat

Foster creativity and playfulness for kids by transforming gift bags into a DIY puzzle mat. Cut the bags into puzzle pieces, securing them to a soft backing. This not only provides a visually interesting play space but also offers a tactile and interactive experience for children, encouraging learning through play.

Photo: Smashed Peas and Carrots

Gift Bag DIY Party Popper

Party poppers (sometimes called crackers) make fun family traditions a little louder and more colorful! Cut the bags into small rectangles, fill them with confetti, and seal the ends. When the moment calls, pull the ends apart for a colorful explosion of celebration that adds a playful and memorable touch to your events.

Photo: Best Products

Gift Bag Wine Bottle Wrap

Transform the presentation of your gift by repurposing gift bags into distinctive wine bottle wraps. Cut and secure them around the bottle neck, and consider adding a ribbon or twine for an extra personalized touch. This repurposed wrapping not only elevates the aesthetic of your gift but also contributes to a stylish and sustainable gifting experience.

Photo: Small for Big

Gift Bag Windsocks

You can decorate the outside of your home without much expense by using gift bags, too. Add a dynamic and eye-catching display to your outdoor space by crafting bright windsocks from strips of repurposed gift bags. Attach them to a hoop or ring and hang these colorful creations outdoors. With every breeze, your garden comes alive with movement and color.

Photo: Cupcake Project

Gift Bag Muffin Liners

Turn your holiday baking up a notch! Enhance the look of your finished products by cutting small circles from repurposed gift bags to create unique and water-resistant muffin or cupcake liners. Beyond their original use, these liners add a splash of color and creativity to your baked goods and provide a way to keep cookies and other treats contained and separated within gift boxes.

Photo: seeLINDSAY

Gift Bag Stencils

Unlock a world of creative possibilities by transforming gift bags into custom stencils. Cutting out intricate designs from the bags opens the door to a multitude of DIY projects, from embellishing walls with unique patterns to personalizing fabric items with a touch of your own style. The durability of gift bags ensures longevity in your stencil creations, allowing you to explore various artistic avenues.

Photo: 100 Directions

Gift Bag Luggage Tags

Luggage tags are essential to keeping your bags safe while traveling. Add a touch of personalization by crafting bespoke luggage tags from gift bags. By carefully cutting and laminating sections of these bags, you create an identification tool and a distinctive accessory. Including your contact information ensures your bag can be found and returned if separated from you, while the unique patterns and colors make your luggage easily identifiable in a sea of standard tags.

Photo: Real Simple

Gift Bag Silhouettes

Capture the essence of people or pets through gift bag silhouettes by using the outline of gift bags. Create unique artworks that, when framed, become personalized and visually striking home decor pieces. The interplay of light and shadow against the backdrop of vibrant bag colors adds depth and character to each silhouette. These repurposed creations not only celebrate the beauty of simplicity but also offer a meaningful way to immortalize the profiles of loved ones.

Photo: The Pretty Life Girls

Gift Bag Suncatchers

Crafted from repurposed gift bags, suncatchers bring the radiance of sunlight into your living space. By cutting the bags into various shapes and sizes and laminating them, colorful masterpieces are created. Refracting sunlight casts mesmerizing colors across your surroundings. Hanging suncatchers by windows transforms mundane moments into dazzling displays, infusing your home with a sense of beauty.

Photo: Poppytalk

Gift Bag Mini Envelopes

If you’re a fan of snail mail, consider crafting tiny envelopes from repurposed gift bags. The process involves carefully cutting the bags into the desired size and sealing them with a sticker or a small piece of tape. Then, these mini envelopes become not just carriers of special notes or gift cards but expressions of thoughtfulness and care. The vibrant patterns and textures of the gift bags add an extra layer of personality to your messages.

Andrea’s Notebook

Go Forth and Create!

The journey toward sustainability often unveils itself in the simplest and most unexpected places. Gift bags, once destined for brief moments of celebration, can now be cherished for an extended lifespan through creative repurposing. From colorful coasters to whimsical windsocks, each idea reflects a commitment to sustainability and a celebration of resourcefulness. The next time you find yourself holding a gift bag, consider the myriad possibilities beyond its initial purpose. In these small acts of creativity, we discover the joy of giving back to the planet, one gift bag at a time.