Basic Bagalope

By Noreen Doll.

Learn to make a fast basic bagalope – a gift bag made with an envelope – that can be finished in many different ways.

A bagalope is quick and easy to make and perfect for small gifts. All you need to create one is an envelope, scissors, ruler, and pencil – all items most people have already.

You can find instructions for these all over the internet, and here is my version.

I made this basic bagalope with a regular size (3 5/8 inches by 6 1/2 inches) envelope.

What You Do

1. Seal the envelope all the way from the fold to the tip of the flap and to the fold on the other side. Use a bit of glue or double sided tape if you need to near the fold.

2. Turn the envelope so that the long way is up and down, and cut about 1/8 of an inch off the top. You can cut off more if you want your envelope shorter. Use decorative edge scissors if you want your bag to have a fancy top.

3. Score 1/2 of an inch in from the edge on each side and on the bottom. On the bottom corners, score from the corner in to where the lines intersect.

You can score more or less than 1/2 inch if you want to change the size of your bag. Here bags are scored for 1 inch and 3/4 inch also.

This photo shows the differences between the bags, all using the same size envelope but scored differently.

4. Fold the bag on the score line and crease it. Fold it back the other way and crease it. Do this for all the score lines.

5. Decorate or embellish the basic bagalope before you open it up.

To finish this basic bagalope, cut a rectangle from a brown paper bag using fancy edged scissors.

Cut out a colorful picture a little smaller than the brown rectangle.

6. Attach the brown rectangle to the front of the bag.  Center the smaller colorful rectangle on the brown bag rectangle and attach with glue or double sided tape.

Add 2 colorful buttons that coordinate with the colors in the picture.

If you are using this bag for your business, you could stamp your information on the front or attach your business card.

6. Open the bag. Reach inside to help open the sides and bottom. Fold the bottom corner triangles under the bag and use double sided tape to hold them in place.

7. To close the bagalope, fold the top down an inch or so to the front or back (depending on the look you want) and punch two holes about an inch apart in the center. Thread ribbon, twine, or yarn through the holes from the back so you can tie a bow on the front.


 Stamped Basic Bagalope

You can stamp it. Or attach a greeting card, wrapping paper, designer paper, a map (see map bagalope) or book page to the front. Add ribbon, buttons, brads or any other embellishments.

Have your kids draw pictures on your bag, or stamp it and let them color it, or add stickers to it.

Use one or more stamps to stamp a design all over the front and sides of the bagalope.

Cut the top edge with decorative scissors to give it a fancy look.

Use colorful tissue paper in the bagalope after adding your gift.

 Noreen Doll

Crafty Journal

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  1. VERY, VERY clever!!! Looks relatively easy to make, yet looks so effective. I have so many envelopes that I could do this with. Hope you don’t mind, but I’m pinning this. I’d love you to share your Bagalope.

  2. These bagalopes are darling! You are very creative. I haven’t seen these around. I have found tutorial for making bags out of paper and card stock but not these. I love them! So simple and cute. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tutorial.

    Have a wonderful day,

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