Make a gift bag out of a cereal box
Sometimes you want the look and convenience of a gift bag but you’d also love the sturdiness of a gift box. With this next idea, you get the best of both worlds! This next option is one of my favorite ideas and one that I have made several times before. It’s fun, cheap, fast, and easy enough that even the kids can do it. It’s a great DIY craft and recycling project, and it provides endless possibilities for customization.
The idea is simple: convert a box that you normally would be throwing into the trash or recycling bins into a sturdy item that is a hybrid of a gift box and gift bag. For this project, nearly any lightweight cardboard boxes will do, and food boxes are great: a cereal box, fruit snack box, popcorn box, cracker box, you name it. The variety of shapes and sizes available means you can create a nice collection!
To start, take a clean, dry, empty box and make sure it can stand up on its own (if it’s too flimsy or uneven, your box won’t stay upright). Make sure you are using a box that is thin enough that you can cut through it easily with a regular pair of scissors. Ensure the bottom of the box is securely shut (you may need to add a bit more tape) and decide where you want the opening of the box-bag hybrid to be. In most cases, it’s easiest to just use the already open top as your bag top. For example, when using a cereal box, just cut the flaps off the top and you already have the open end to serve as the top. If you want to convert the box — in this case, to have the cereal box open horizontally instead of vertically — then close those flaps, seal them with tape, and instead cut one of the sides open to be your new “top.”
Once you have your box as you want it, wrap it completely with gift wrapping paper, leaving the top open and just tucking in the last strips of paper and taping them. Then use a hole punch to make two holes on each side, put some ribbon through the holes, and make knots on the inside (taping them down to keep them securely) and now you have your handles. If you want your box to look more like a bag than a box, you also can make some folds to give it more of a bag-like shape, as the video below demonstrates.
- Use a gift wrapping paper dark enough to cover the design printed the box.
- Make sure that the paper at the bottom of the box is smooth and taut, and glued or taped securely so the box can stand upright.
- These “bags” are better for lightweight items, but you also could put grommets after using the hole puncher, and sturdier ribbon, to make them a bit tougher.
- Be mindful of food allergies (this may not be a good option for gift recipients with those).
- Feeling fancy? Instead of using a ribbon for the handles, you also could buy a thin jewelry-making wire at a craft store and put some beads through it to create a beaded handle.
- Instead of using regular gift wrapping paper, you could use newspaper comics for a whimsical style, as the video below shows.
Next: Leave your print on the holidays
(click on page number 4 below)