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DIY: Gift Bags Made from Recycled Envelopes

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DIY: Gift Bags Made from Recycled Envelopes

By Jessica Jones, How About Orange

Find an envelope of any size. (I embellished these by printing a label on the front of them first. You can use my design if you want; these PDFs are set up according to how my printer feeds envelopes through. If yours is different, you might need to experiment. Download the label for a small A2 envelope or a larger 6×9 envelope.)

1. After you’ve finished printing a design on your envelope (optional), seal it shut.

2. Cut off one end of the envelope.

3. Fold one side in toward the center (maybe about an inch or slightly less). Do the same with the other side, then fold the bottom up by the same amount, making creases in the paper.

4. Put the bag over one hand. Use your other hand to shape a flat bottom for your bag, pushing the bottom center crease downward, causing the side folds to buckle out. Crease the corners of the bottom into triangles.

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Read more: Crafts & Design, Crafts & Hobbies, Green Gifts, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, , ,

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Veronica Peterson

Veronica Peterson has a background in green design and creative writing. She loves discovering and sharing sustainable ways to enrich life. Veronica is a happy urbanite, who lives above a produce market in San Francisco with her dog Winnie.


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1:41PM PDT on Jul 12, 2013

Thank you for the great idea :) will try it

2:02AM PST on Dec 18, 2011

I love these little bags. =) I'm a little confused though... the envelopes look new, and one of the directions is the "seal it shut" like it's never been used before... so it's not really recycled is it? It's just putting a brand new envelope to a different use.

Would this work as well with an actual recycled envelope, or would it look junky to have addresses and stuff scrawled onto it already? Would the stamp on a recycled envelope get in the way of folding it?

5:58AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

cool! really good idea!

8:34PM PST on Nov 26, 2011


3:51AM PST on Nov 26, 2011

you can adapt this pattern to recycled , good quality gift wrap, great for larger items. If they are fairly heavy, turn the top over insert some card and then put the handles through.

6:18PM PST on Nov 6, 2011

Cute! Cute! Cute! And way less expensive than the bags I always have to buy at the store!

11:05PM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

Thanks! This gave me some inspiration.

3:25PM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

Thanks! They look lovely, I should try it out myself. :)

11:14AM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

Very clever!!! Thanks!

4:48AM PDT on Aug 22, 2010

love this idea for kiddies goodie bags at parties, thanks.

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