Can you reuse gift bags? 13 ways of doing so

In this article, we shall discuss how to reuse gift bags, and the various ways a gift bag can be repurposed for other activities in the house.

Can you reuse gift bags?

Yes, you can reuse a gift bag. You can use it for packing someone else’s gift in it, or you can simply repurpose it for other DIY crafts in your house.

What is a gift bag made of?

Gift bags are mainly made out of paper. Some of them can be made out of blended paper, which is blended with other materials such as plastic, in order to make the bags more durable.

Methods to reuse a gift bag

A Christmas season leaves behind a stack of present wrapping papers and bags, as well as dozens of images and some of the most beautiful memories.

After the visitors have left, clean up the mess and put away all of the holiday decorations. The presents are put to good use, the mess is cleaned up, and the stack of gift bags grows. 

Instead of tossing the bags into a dusty heap this year, do something new with them. With so many inventive ways to repurpose gift bags, your collection will be put to good use.

The following ways are some ideas for reusing a gift bag for other activities:

  • Wrapping Paper
  • Shopping Bags
  • Book Covers
  • Greeting Cards
  • Wall Décor
  • Origami
  • Coasters
  • Envelopes
  • Magazine Holders
  • Scrapbooking
  • Gallery Wall
  • Tiny gift Boxes
  • Seedling Pots

We shall discuss these in more detail.

Wrapping paper

What better way to recycle old gift bags than to turn them around and use them as wrapping paper? Simply remove the handles and go to town with it.

It’s ideal to use a thin paper gift bag for this. If the material is too simple for your tastes, consider putting little ornaments on it, such as the pompoms.

Shopping Bags

Repurposing gift bags for shopping and groceries is another popular option on our list of ways to reuse gift bags. Bring your own bag the next time you go shopping instead of asking the cashier for one, which is extremely wasteful. 

Why stockpile dozens of plastic bags in your home when you can easily avoid it while also helping the environment?

Gift bags have the added benefit of being far more durable than standard plastic alternatives, which is a great plus. Many of them are constructed of durable materials like canvas or jute. 

If you have a day of heavy spending planned ahead, it is advisable to bring a tote that is resistant and won’t break in the middle of your errand run. 

Book Covers

Another brilliant method to teach your family about sustainability is to make DIY book covers out of gift bags. 

It helps to minimise both paper and plastic waste by reusing an item and avoiding the purchase of plastic-made items. To get the greatest results, use gift bags with colourful patterns made of denser fabrics.

Greeting Cards

Any memorable birthday present must be accompanied by the appropriate greeting card. Why not create your own instead than spending hours in a store trying to decide? 

Gift bags are an excellent choice for this DIY project since they are available in a broad range of festive colours and designs. You’ll also get the opportunity to write a personal note on the inside, which is sure to make an impact.

Wall Décor

Wall décor may be replaced with gift bags of various forms, sizes, and colours. Cut out your own vibrant and unique patterns and adhere them on the bags, or use the bags to make one-of-a-kind photo frames. 

With a little inspiration and perseverance, you will be able to give your house a unique touch.


Why not repurpose old paper totes into amusing decorations for your home, while we’re on the subject of origami? Begin with simple patterns like the tulip, the boat, the fan, or the ever-popular crane, then work your way up to more elaborate decorations. To add some brightness to your house, use vibrant hues and one-of-a-kind prints.


Another example of repurposing gift bags to make something new is coasters. However, avoid choosing paper or cardboard ones because they are extremely vulnerable to water damage. 

In this circumstance, jute bags are a perfect solution since the bushy and fibrous woody substance is resilient and sturdy.

Polypropylene is another typical water-resistant material for such bags, making it an excellent choice for your DIY coaster project. If the final objects are too thin for you, glue additional portions of the bag together until you get the necessary girth.


Following that, we’ll look at ways to repurpose gift bags, namely paper ones, as envelopes. Pouches, taped envelopes, and origami envelopes are the three major types of envelopes you may make. 

Techniques will differ depending on the outcome you wish to achieve. Pouches, of course, are the simplest to manufacture at home.

Only a square or rectangular portion of the present bag, as well as some adhesive, are required. Glue together two of the open ends, leaving the top one uncovered. 

Make a flap, insert the letter or card, and fasten the flap. Tape envelopes and origami envelopes both involve a lot of folding, but if you’re looking for a challenging DIY project, they’re worth it.

Magazine Holders

Do you have a lot of magazines and newspapers strewn about your house? If you answered yes, you may be in desperate need of a system to arrange them all and keep your living space tidy. 

This is when old gift bags come in handy. Simply remove the handles from the magazines and sort them by year, category, or anything else interests you.


Scrapbooking is an invaluable method to keep significant memories alive while capturing only a sliver of the great sentiments and emotions that accompany every memorable occasion.

Your scrapbook may become a universe unto itself by combining images, drawings, clippings, diary entries, and other memorable mementos.

Use reclaimed paper and fabric from old present bags to design this contemporary and innovative homage to your own history. 

They’ll look lovely and elegantly commemorate a special occasion without generating any paper or plastic trash. Furthermore, this practice is advantageous to both you and the environment.

Gallery Wall

There’s nothing easier than that if you have gift bags that you’d like to utilise as part of a home gallery. Only the gift bags, a pack of stretched canvas for the frame, and imitation leather or felt for the frame are required.

Wrap the canvas over the leather and secure it, then affix the present bag scrap to the homemade frame. The finished product may even be better than what you can buy at an art and craft store.

Watch the video below to learn how easy it is to transform those charming gift bags into a lovely gallery wall at home. Your friends and family will be blown away.

Tiny Gift Boxes

Another technique to breathe new life into your old present bags is to transform them into beautiful gift boxes. The best part about these boxes is that they are handmade by you and are one-of-a-kind since no two are the same.

The tutorial below shows how to transform Christmas greeting cards into little gift boxes, but the technique may also be done using gift bags or leftover gift bags.

The good news is that these crafts can be marketed if they are truly amazing. Another significant bonus is that they’ll fit little Christmas stocking stuffers well and save you money on pricey gift paper.

Seedling Pots

Gift bags may simply be transformed into seed-starting containers. 

Many DIY techniques on the internet utilise newspaper since it is biodegradable, but you can replace the newspaper with gift bag paper that you no longer need for a more durable option.

A huge plus is that you don’t need to be an origami master to make a square seedling container out of paper (the Japanese art of folding paper). 

Paper seedling pots, unlike professional planters, may be as large as you want them to be. As a result, you won’t have to worry about your little plants outgrowing them before planting time.

Unlike newspaper seed-starting cups, gift bag seed-starting cups should not be planted with the seedling. Gift bags are less biodegradable and healthier for the soil than your regular newspaper because of the colours and laminated portions.


Gift bags are a commodity present in almost every house, as more and more people make the shift from gift wrappings to gift bags.

One may accumulate a lot of gift bags, especially in the holiday season or during festivals. Since all can’t be gifted out, it is evident that there needs to be a way to repurpose them for other uses around the house.

Luckily, given the nature and composition of gift bags, they can be repurposed into a plethora of other articles, from seedling pots to wall decor, and everything in between.


Can gift bags be recycled?

Yes, gift bags are perfect for recycling. Paper gift bags can be thrown away in the trash. Gift bags made of plastic or cloth, on the other hand, should be reused because they cannot be thrown away in the trash. 

If your paper gift bag contains rope handles, glitter, or beads, you must remove them before throwing it in the recycling bin.

Are shiny gift bags recyclable?

If you have glossy or shiny gift bags, don’t recycle them. When gift bags are constructed of a paper-plastic blend, they can seem shiny. Because the paper and plastic can’t be separated economically, this form of waste can’t be recycled.

How long can you reuse a gift bag?

You can reuse a gift bag as long as you would like. Gift bags are usually made out of paper of good quality, or paper and plastic blend.

Due to this, these bags can withstand physical stress quite well, making them an ideal candidate for being reused. 

In fact, gift bags can also be used for carrying purchases from a grocery store, which helps to reduce the requirement of bags, and in some cases, reduces the amount of plastic waste generated in the process.

Can one use a gift bag for covering journals?

You can make a gorgeous gift bag into a hardback for your journal by repurposing it. It requires a little more time and attention than the last DIY book cover, but the end product is definitely worth it.

Glue, tape, two pieces of chipboard, and, of course, an old present bag are all the materials one would require for transforming a gift bag into a journal cover.


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