By Judi Kauffman
Solid color or patterned mini shopping bags are inexpensive and easy to find, but these two happened to have come from shopping trips and both had logos printed on the front. To upcycle them into holiday gift bags, I covered the printing with an embossed Shimmer Sheetz rectangle.
Adding a large, lush wire-edge ribbon bow at the top of the rectangle creates the look of a gift box on the front of the bag! Our brains are so used to seeing a big bow on the top of a box, it’s what we see even when that’s not precisely what is in front of us…plus the big bow draws the eye upward, kind of like wearing an interesting scarf or jacket with a fancy collar that would draw attention to our face (rather than our hips).
Use a traditional color combination or think outside of the box. I intentionally picked patterns and palettes that can be used all year, giving the recipient the option of reusing the bag, and so could the person after that…
**Alter the embossed Shimmer Sheetz with StazOn or other inks formulated for non-porous surfaces (like Tim Holtz’s Alcohol Inks); lightly sand to tone down the sparkle a bit if subtle is preferred over super sparkly.
**Instead of a simple rectangle, die cut an oval, circle or other shape, making sure it is large enough to cover the printing.
**Start with a solid color or patterned bag. This project is just as much fun even if you’re not upcycling a bag you’ve saved!
**Tuck glittery tissue or paper shreds on top of the gift to hide it.
**Instead of a knot, use fine metallic braid or thread to secure the middle of the bow.
**Sheer ribbon looks great with double loops and long flowing tails. Opaque ribbon looks better with single loops and shorter tails.
Mini shopping bags (shown: 5.25” x 8.5”)
Big Shot or other machine to use with embossing folders
Optional: StazOn or Alcohol inks; ink applicator tool
Wire-edge ribbon (shown: 2.5” wide)
Bag filler (shown: Glittery tissue, paper shreds)