Tuesday, 21 September 2010

How to make a recycled Gift Bow

I hate to throw anything out, ANYTHING, but this is something that a lot of people won't throw out. What am I talking about? Gift Bags, you know the ones with ropey handles that have been reused one too many times & have a few too many creases, but still, I can't throw them out. Then they start to build up & I know that eventually I'll make something with them, right? Well no, not until I have to!

So bring on a weekend when I'm not feeling the best & I have a present for a children's birthday party but no Gift wrap. Finally I decide to use one of my old gift bags and try to make a bow or something that resembles a bow to dress up the present a little bit.

Here's the step by step:

1. Tear off the handles, sides & base of the gift bag (Try not to keep them, throw them in the recycle, ah go on). You can use one side to make one bow. Cut the bag into five equal strips of approx. 13 x 1.25 inches. I used a fancy punch (you can just make out what the image was on the gift bag in picture 1.) but I'm sure it will work just as well with straight solid strips.

2. Take the first strip in your hand, curl it & stick edge at the half-way mark.

3. Turn the whole thing around & repeat step 2.

4. You should end up with the loopy 3D figure 8 shown in picture 4. Make four more of these loopy figure 8s.

5. Put double sided sticky tape at the back of each loopy figure 8

6. To make the centre of the bow repeat step 2. but stick the edge at about the quarter-way mark, keep your thumb holding it together.

7. Curl the strip around your thumb.

8. Loop the tail edge & stick it in the middle. That's your centre done.

9. Turn two figure 8's upside down facing opposite directions and stick together.

10. Stick the next loopy 8 on top right side up facing a different direction from the last two.

11. Stick the last loopy 8 on top right side up again facing a different direction from the last three.

12. Stick the bow centre in the middle in between all the loops.

If you want to see the step by step in larger pictures you can find them on my facebook page in the album How to make a recycled Gift Bow


  1. Brilliant! I love reusing things, so this is perfect! I wonder if an ordinary hole punch will do? Must try it :)

  2. A hole punch to fancy up your strips? I don't see why not & you could thread a real ribbon through the line of holes you punch for a different texture.

  3. Wow this looks brilliant Letizia, well done! You're a great recyclist ;)

  4. Great idea, I've been wondering what to do with the gift-bag mountain!!! Although I DO get palpitations reading the bit about throwing out the handle and sides !!!!!!!!

  5. Whoops Emily didn't mean to cause health problems. Pulp up the sides & base to make your own paper & use the handles for bows on cards or scrap books ;D