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If you’re anything like me, you have “organized” piles of craft supplies lying around for all those various projects you wanted to try but never did.  I have supplies for paper crafting, beading, photography, card making, scrapbooking, painting, sewing, embroidery, knitting, crocheting, etc., most of which I bought at a super discount or received free from friends. I just never have time to really use all my supplies, but they are there if I need them, right?

This week, my husband told me we had an invitation to a house-warming party and my first thought was, “what should we bring (thinking of proper house-warming-party etiquette)?” My husband did not think it necessary for us to take anything.  I felt the need to at least take a small gift and promptly started looking around the apartment for various “treasures” I could share.

We ended up giving our friends a small carafe of cinnamon syrup for coffee, but I used my dusty paper crafting supplies to dress it up with a custom gift bag and card.  Sometimes the wrapping is just as fun as what’s inside, especially if it can be re-used by the party you are giving it to.

If you do not have the same supplies I used, don’t worry, just use what you do have. Find ribbon, scrap colored paper or tissue paper, glue (like tacky glue) or double-sided tape, a plain gift bag or brown paper bag, stickers, printouts from the computer, bows, or anything else you have lying around.

My supplies:

  • Plain brown gift bag
  • 1 sheet of Natural paper or any decorative paper
  • 4 brads (paper fasteners)
  • 1 vellum saying (don’t need this or you can print a saying from your computer on regular paper)
  • Tacky glue (it was dried out but I used my finger to smear it anyway)
  • Piece of tissue paper for the inside of the bag (this was re-used from a gift someone gave me)
  • For the card: piece of colored card stock and an envelope-mine is cut to be a 5″X5″ card

Making the Bag

First cut your decorative paper in 5″ wide strips (or whatever works according to the size of your bag).  Then I attached the saying to the paper with four brads, one at each corner, BEFORE gluing the paper to the bag.

I glued paper to the front of the bag first, and then did the side seams last to make sure the paper lined up.

The nice thing is I never even used a ruler! I just eyed it and “centered” it according to what looked good.



As long as your decorative paper strips are the same width, you should be fine.  If you are using a plain brown sandwich bag, use ribbon or raffia to make handles.

Making the Card

I cut a 4 7/8″ X 9 3/4″ rectangle from a decorative piece of card stock and folded in half to make the card. I had a square envelope, but if you don’t you can print a template for one or use a rectangular envelope. I found a free square envelope template at another awesome blog, Paisley in Paris.

Tips for gifts:

  • It is okay to give something you are never going to use, like a candle, special jar of jelly, etc. Just don’t give it to the same person that gave it to you.
  • Making a gift is just as frugal if you use what you already have. Make a set of stationery, or a set of gift bags or homemade wrapping paper. Make a candle holder from an old jelly jar or tin can with holes punched in the side.
  • Free or homemade is not equivalent to cheap or poorly made. Homemade crafts can be immensely more beautiful than store-bought items.  If you are not a crafty person, find something you can do! Design something on the computer and print it out or ask a friend for help.
  • Use the internet for ideas. There are many free templates you can print or pictures to give you ideas.