Guilt-free gift tags

Don’t spend a lot; use what you’ve got

By Laura M.

One of my favorite artists, Courtney Adair Johnson, operates on the principle of using what you’ve got. No need to spend a lot of money on fancy supplies. You’ll find that I apply that principle to a lot of the crafty things we do with this blog. I hope it gives you some great ideas of what you can re-use in your own home.

For our gift tags, start with a paper bag.

paper bag

Cut out the top part of the bag, including the handles so that you end up with this:


You’re gonna fold and glue:


You can use Mod Podge or a simple glue stick:


IMG_0044When I looked at this, I thought it looked like a lock. So I decided to draw in a keyhole. Look, I am not good at drawing and for anyone else like me, I highly recommend using a guide of some sort. Some might call it cheating. Who cares? I Googled “key lock” and came up with these images:

IMG_0045I settled on this one:


Then I took a pencil and drew in the keyhole:

IMG_0047Then I colored in using crayons:

IMG_0048What to do with the other side? Well, a key, of course! Google came up with these:

IMG_0049And I selected this one:

IMG_0050Then I drew the image in pencil:

IMG_0052And then colored it in using a brush marker. I found a really nice set of brush markers at Barnes & Noble. They sell them with their adult coloring books (which are super awesome, btw. Ellen got me one for my birthday and I ADORE it!)

I took another eye to the remaining cut-off handle and decided it looked like a purse. So…

IMG_0073And the back:

IMG_0076I still had other parts of the paper bag that I could use. The side of the bag has a natural fold:

IMG_0056So I cut and folded it:

IMG_0057Then I triangled (totally making that word up) the edges:

IMG_0058Tucked them on the inside of the fold and used a glue stick to seal it:IMG_0064

Then I took a hole puncher to it:

IMG_0066Put a ribbon through it:

IMG_0067And colored it!:



You can add any embellishments you have on hand, from glitter (I used some leftover hairspray glitter from Halloween) to random confetti-like snowmen and reindeer.

Here’s my assortment:


Let us know what sorts of odds and ends you used for your gift tags!


2 thoughts on “Guilt-free gift tags

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