By Noreen Doll.
Mini gift bags are perfect for holding small gifts, including gift cards, small pieces of jewelry, and money.
To make one, you need 1 envelope and a few colorful decorations, such as buttons, flowers, and even colorful paper strips.
This is a project kids can work on, and they could draw on the envelopes – before crimping, or add stickers.
You could easily make a bunch of mini gift bags ahead of time, and then store them flat until you need to use them.
Here’s a cute Reindeer gift bag.
What You Need
Decorations, including scraps & strips of colorful paper
Double Sided Tape
Ruler & Pencil
What You Do
1. I’m using an envelope that is 5 inches by 7.5 inches.
2. Seal the envelope. I use double sided tape and apply it all the way to the corners.
Then I rub over it several times to make sure it will stay adhered.
3. Turn the envelope so the long way is vertical.
For this project the envelope sides are actually the top and bottom of the bag.
4. Measure down 1.25 or 1 1/4 inches from the top of the envelope. If you are using a smaller envelope you may want to cut only 1 inch off from the top.
If too large a piece is cut from the top, it will overlap the bottom part of the envelope too much. It will make the bottom smaller and leave you less room to decorate the bottom, and less room inside for your gift.
The envelope on the left is the same size as the one on the right. See how much smaller it is once you cut off the top and use it to overlap the bottom.
This photo shows 1 inch cut off the side. A larger strip would make the finished bag too narrow.
Using decorative scissors (if you have them) cut off the top (or side) part.
If your envelopes are the same size and in coordinating colors, you can swap tops which will give each finished mini gift bag a two-toned look.
5. Lay the top piece over the bottom piece about where it will sit, so you can see how much of the bottom part needs to be decorated.
6. If you are going to stamp, color, or apply stickers for your trim, you can apply them before you crimp the bottom part.
7. For most embellishments, you need to crimp the bottom BEFORE you decorate it as they will not fit through the crimper.
Make sure you crimp in the right direction, as crimping makes the bottom just enough smaller that it easily slides into the top piece.
Crimp now. Crimp from side to side if the top slides off.
Crimp from top to bottom when the side slides off.
8. Look closely at this attractive waffle weave. It can be achieved by crimping the envelope bottom in the wrong direction first and then in the right direction!
I learned that totally by accident!
9. Embellish. I found strips of colorful paper actually work better than some ribbons (and are way cheaper) for creating an attractive mini gift bag.
Even a white envelope becomes quite decorative when you add colorful paper accents.
I creased the strip of paper just where it folds over to the back of the bag, and it stays in place quite nicely while you tape it.
10. Instead of taping the paper strip or ribbon down, I overlap the ends and tape it together there. Then I can slide the band on and off to use the mini gift bags.
It will still hold the side or top piece in place, but it is much more usable.
If you don’t have decorative scissors, you can either cut straight across, or cut a wavy or decorative line.
Decorative scissors are very inexpensive, especially if you watch for a sale or get them with a 40% off coupon.
If you are going to cut off a piece from the side instead of the top, you will need to crimp the large piece in a different direction.
Great embellishments are buttons, bows, flowers, craft foam shapes, paper cut in various shapes and sizes, and other small decorations.
Look at this wild bag!