It is a fact that “brown paper packages tied up with string” are one of my favorite things. Every holiday season that has rolled on by has be hankering to buy rolls of craft paper and twine for all my gift wrapping, yet each year I’ve just settled for a mish-mosh of whatever-holiday-paper-I-had.
Not this year, friends!
Inspired by something I’d seen in passing on Pinterest (that maker and crusher of craft ambitions), I decided this was the year I’d embrace the brown paper. And to take it a step further, I wanted to recycle a bit, not just run out and buy loads of expensive wrap.
Thankfully, after a couple of refresher YouTube video tutorials on how to actually use brown paper grocery bags as wrap, I had my holiday wrapping nailed this year!
Reminiscent of my teenage years when wrapping your school books in brown paper bags was cool, I have the adult version – Holiday Gift Wrap featuring Trader Joe’s holiday grocery bags!
This really couldn’t be much easier and the end result is unique and quite stunning!
What you’ll need:
First off, you’ll need some paper bags. As I mentioned, I opted for Trader Joe’s holiday grocery bags because the red and white illustrations on the brown paper fit my holiday decor theme perfectly.
I stock piled for a bit, but probably could have loaded up on enough in one or two trips (they double bag their paper bags at the store, so you end up with a bunch).
You’ll also want the very important friend of all gift wrappers, clear tape.
Scissors are a must, unless you have a LOT of time on your hands…
Then it’s down to the fun bits and bobs to decorate your dreamy little bundles! I opted for a couple of twine/string options…
As well as some backup ribbon (just in case that naughty twine got me all caught up).
And some faux greenery, which actually was left over from my regular holiday house decor. I just snipped it up into 4-5 inch branches to use in place of bows.
Finally, some festive holiday tags (tie-ons and stickers!) to cover all my labeling bases.
Now, down to business. If you can’t quite recall how you turn a three dimensional grocery bag into a flat piece of brown paper by embodying your high-school version of yourself (which I really couldn’t for some reason), here’s a quick refresher!
STEP 1: Take your brown paper bag and first cut or gently peel the handles off.
STEP 2: Cut down the side of the now handless paper bag (starting at the top, cutting down a seam to the bottom rectangle).
STEP 3: When you reach the bottom rectangle of bag, cut all around it along the seam.
When you get to the last side, you should be left with something that looks this…
Just snip off the bottom piece and flatten out your former paper bag into one long sheet.
(See what I mean by the beautiful bag design? It’s so brilliant!)
You should experience a brief flashback at this point where you were at a similar point at the start of a school year, covering your Pre-Calculus textbook. Likely then you were placing the printed side of the bag on the inside of the book, however.
We’ll not be doing that with this festive paper bag! Instead, we’ll use the brown paper side as the “inside” to let the beautiful print show through.
All you do from here is treat your paper bag sheet like regular wrapping paper. Just measure your gift size and trim the paper to fit…
Wrap up your package and tape…
Tape it up.
PRO TIP: Crisp up the edges of your paper along all the edges after you wrap it to really make it look custom fit to your presie.
Now the fun part of dressing up this demure little cutie for a fun holiday party!
I used my string…
And tied it up…
Adding some greenery decoration and fastening it to the package…
Then, as just a little extra dash, I attached a red and gold tie-on tag.
All ready for the party!
One note I wanted to mention is that the paper bag wrap really only works for small to medium sized gifts. I did buy some rolls of brown craft paper to wrap up some of the larger gifts. The combination of the two, with the simple string/twine and greenery though, made for a stunning little display beneath the Christmas tree!
If you’re looking for a fun way to change up your gift wrapping this year, give this a whirl! Tag your wrapping decorations #ADashofSparkle on Instagram if you do try it as I love looking at wrapping ideas.