How to make a gift bag with eco printed paper

Hi Creative Mamas! It is no secret that I absolutely love eco printing in all its forms. I love that we can create amazing prints by simply using leaves and flowers that are around us.

It’s such an eco friendly craft and a very economical one as well! Specially when it comes to Christmas, birthdays and special occasions.

finished eco printed gift bag

Eco printing on paper allows you to create unique looking prints to make your own DIY gist tags, gift cards and gift bags.

You can create your prints in advance and have a stack ready for when you need to gift wrap your presents.

You can get really creative making your own paper by dyeing your paper with food coloring or tea staining your paper cards!

Cute paper bags

In this post I want to show you how easy it is to transform those amazing eco prints into one of a kind gift wrappings.

When you start gift wrapping in this way you get to add a special flair to your DIY handmade gifts and you will become a super popular mama among your friends and family!

Eco Printing with leaves and flowers

For this project, you will need your printed paper in order to decorate the paper bags. You can follow the instructions in this beginners guide to eco printing on paper.

Download your Eco Printing leaves and flowers list

Once you have a few prints you can get started decorating your gift bags.

Gift bag tutorial

Materials and equipment

  • Paper bags (I use the brown supermarket ones so that I can recycle them, otherwise you can check out other bags here)
  • Eco printed paper
  • Paper scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Old buttons
  • Twine or string
  • Pencil/pen

Let’s get started creating this super eco friendly gift wrapping paper bag.

Step 1: Eco printed paper

The first step is to gather your paper bags.

I have collected a variety of them in different colors. These are recycled bags from different shops and from the supermarket.

They are super strong and very good quality so whenever I get given one in a shop I make sure I keep them in my studio to use in my own gift wrapping.

paper bags in different colors. These are recycled bags from different shops and from the supermarket

Gather the rest of the materials and start by choosing one bag to work with. I have chosen a little brown bag because I want to wrap an eco printed silk scarf so I don’t need a big bag 🙂

a variety of materials needed for this tutorial. scissors, twine, paper bags, eco prints on paper and glue

You also need to grab your collection of eco printed paper in order to choose the one that you want to use on your paper bag.

a collection of eco prints on paper to choose from

For this bag I am choosing a print of an avocado leaf from my garden. I like that the color of the print matches the brown in the bag.

a brown paper bag, a variety of eco prints on paper, glue, scissors and old buttons

Step 2: Making the gift paper bag

Measure your paper bag and cut the eco printed paper to the right size, so that’s nicely fitting the size of the bag.

measuring and cutting the paper card to glue it on the paper bag

Measure the paper bag and place the eco printed paper in the middle of the bag.

place the eco printed paper in the middle of the bag

Using the glue stick, glue it in the center of the paper bag.

gluing the eco printed paper on the bag using a glue stick
placing the printed card in the middle of the paper bag

Step 3: DIY Eco print gift tag

Once the print is glued in place it’s time to add the tags to the bag. You will be able to write a little message in these tags.

It’s also a great way to identify the recipient of the gifts in case you have a few of these bags going into a christmas tree.

For this tag I have used a printed card and I cut it in thirds. I am using one third.

Make a little punch hole towards one end on the tag.

making the eco printed gift tags

Grab your twine. Cut a piece that measures 8 inches or 50 cms. Fold it and make a knot.

folding the twine to loop the tag

Loop it through the punch hole in the tag and loop it through the handle of the paper bag.

looping the tag through the paper bag

You can also add old buttons at this stage, let me show you how…

(Before folding the twine) Thread the twine through the button.

using upcycled buttons to include in the eco printed gift wrapping

Make sure that both end of the twine are touching and close it with a knot.

using upcycled buttons to include in the eco printed gift wrapping

Run this twine through the gift tag punch hole and make another

gift tag finished by using an upcycled button and a eco printed card

Write your little message on the printed paper.

writing a message on the eco printed tag
writing a message on the eco printed tag

Loop the gift tag through the paper bag handles and …Voila! here is my eco printed gift bag made out of watercolor paper and avocado leaves 🙂

The silk scarves inside the bags have been either bundle dyed or eco printed.

finished bag using printed cards and an old paper bag

Eco Printed Gift Wrapping

Another great option is to simple use the eco printed paper as gift cards and place them on top of the wrapping paper.

These cards were made by using coreopsis flowers and avocado leaves in combination with a more advanced technique that uses left over scrapbooking paper.


ideas on how to use eco printed cards on gift wrapping

Once you are done with your gift wrapping you can also make little eco printed handmade books which can be a gift in itself or something cute you add on top of the gift wrapping.

Another great idea is to complement the bag or box by adding a naturally dyed pom pom, or a hand dyed fabric twisted as a bow.

Also check out these creative sustainable gift wrap ideas!

If you are curious about natural dyes and their application for fabric or paper check out this beginners guide to the different natural colors that you can make using plants, insects and foods.

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ideas on how to use eco printed cards in gift wrapping

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