Design team member of Alpha Stamps, moderator at Craftster, lover of ephemera and junk.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Flashback: Cute Gift Bag Tutorial

Here's a tutorial for cute, eco-friendly gift bags. This tutorial was first posted on Craftster in 2009, well before I had a blog, and well before we renovated our kitchen and got rid of that fruity wall paper! Sadly, the parent company that owns Craftster is no longer supporting the forum, so I decided to move this tutorial over here.

It's easy to make these little gift bags out of newspaper. Plus, it's a great way to recycle! Pick a good section of your paper (the comics are always fun), or use a foreign language paper for added interest. If you're wrapping a small housewarming gift, it would be fun to use the real estate section of the paper. Here are a couple of examples I made:

And here is how they're made.
Supplies needed:

PVA glue. This is a bookmaker's glue and can be found at most art supply stores. Elmer's will work as well.
Newspaper. For the example bags above, I used a Japanese paper that measured (when folded) 11 1/2" wide and 15" tall, and the comics of my regular paper, which were folded and cut down to 11" by 11".
A hole punch and a grommet setter or a Clikit tool. I found my Clikit tool at a discount store. If you google "Clikit" there are several entries.
Ribbon or string

Here's how they're made. For this example, I used the Japanese paper:

1. Take the folded paper and fold the already folded side down about 1".

2. Run a line of glue on the top of that folded area and fold down again. This will make a sturdier base for the grommets so the bag won't tear when filled. This folded side is the TOP of your bag.

3. Next, glue down one SIDE of the bag. You are going to open out the two layers on the opposite side and insert this glued side in, making a paper tube of sorts. Glue and insert about 1" so it will be sturdy. Make sure you insert the side so it's straight. Glue this both inside and outside.

4. Fold your tube flat, using the glued side as a guide. The glued side should be straight down on your fold.

5. Now we'll make gussets on the narrow sides of the bag. Determine how wide you want your gussets to be. They can be as wide or as narrow as you wish. Once you determine how wide you want them to be, fold the bag flat again and crease the second side of your gusset. (The gusset will be the area between your folds.) When you open your bag up, it should be box-like.
6. Bring both edges of each gusset together and crease so the bag will be able to fold flat. 
Once you have done this step, your bag should look like this:
7. Measure how wide your gusset is, and fold the BOTTOM of the bag up that same measurement. Remember, the bottom is the side that is NOT folded. On the bag shown, the gusset is 2" wide, so I have folded the bottom up 2". After you fold it once, turn the bag over and fold it up the other side as well so you get a good crease there.

8. Now you're going to create the bottom of your bag. Fold both of the gussets in as if you were wrapping a box. Use your previously made fold lines as guidelines.

9. Glue the flaps well. Put one of your hands into the bag to give you something to fold against, and fold each glued flap in to form a square bottom.

10. Here's a Clikit tool. It's great for punching holes and setting grommets. If you don't have one of these, though, you can punch holes with a hole punch and then set your grommets with a regular setter.

11. After your grommets are set, thread a coordinating ribbon through and tie knots on each end. String, yarn, or raffia would work as well. Done! Now you have a cute little gift bag.

The final product:
Wasn't that easy?

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Quick and Easy Ornaments, with quick and easy tutorials

Need more ornaments? These wood ornaments from Alpha Stamps are so quick and easy to decorate! I'm going to use mine for gift tags, so it will be like giving two gifts in one!

For the first snowman couple, paint the ornament holder silver, then cover the circular part with scrapbook paper and an image from the Silly Snowman collage sheet. Layer on a "Merry Christmas" greeting from the same collage sheet. Glue a beaded trim around the edge. Add some holly, some tiny snowflakes, and a pretty ribbon, and you're done!

The second snowman couple is made in the same way, just using a bit of a different palette.  Its Christmas greeting came from the Small Retro Xmas Tags & Labels collage sheet.

I love this mitten! Covered it with a patterned scrapbook paper, with red paper at the top and bottom. Use a grey Copic marker to draw ribbing around the cuff. Glue on a loop of pretty red ribbon and a paper rose, and you're done. Easy peasy!
For a complete list of supplies, click here!
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