DIY Brown Bag Gift Wrap 4 Ways

I love the holidays! But it's also easy to feel behind and overwhelmed amidst all the hustle and bustle and Christmas parties, and that's when we tend to cut corners on our green routine. Today, I'm posting 4 ways to turn your basic brown grocery bag into charming, rustic gift wrap! This handy little DIY trick has gotten me out of many a bind with last minute housewarmings and Secret Santa parties. 

We'll start with the most minimalist, which is actually my favorite, and work our way down to the Most Extra. 


How to Turn Your Grocery Bag into Gift Wrap:

  1. Slit bag down one side seam, length wise.

  2. Cut along bottom seams of bag, recycle bottom of bag.

  3. Remove any handles and trim off any damaged edges of paper.

  4. Wrap gift, positioning printed side on inside of wrapping. Be aware of any existing seams or folds, according to personal preferences.


TA-DA! A present! 

Now, for Look 1. 

How last minute is this gift wrap? Were you supposed to be there 10 minutes ago? Is your hair still soaking wet? Ok, cool. Throw some ribbon, baker's twine, or embroidery thread on there with a little something from the yard or spice rack, and Martha herself wouldn't know the difference. 

I went with baker's twine because it is a staple in my house, and star anise because I love the textures and the scent! 


Got a little more time to work with? 

Look 2: Draw Your Own

Lay your grocery bag wrapping paper out flat, and grab a couple markers, a gel pen, or some craft paint. Get creative! This is a great option if you're trying to distract from a seam or fold.

I wanted something sweet and nostalgic and crafty for mine, something that would channel the endless arts and craft shows I went to with my mother as a child.

I hammered that design out in 3 minutes or less.

Could I have gotten frillier with it? Sure. But the whole point of this post is pretty eco-friendly paper in a pinch! 


And let's detour over to the eco-friendly bit, for a second. Here's why this is a better option than wrapping paper:

  1. This means you didn't get a plastic bag for your groceries, great work!

  2. You're not contributing to the supply and demand chain of wrapping paper, which is incredibly wasteful. Not only is wrapping paper a brand new, disposable single use item, it comes wrapped in cellophane with a cardboard center. None of that is necessary.

  3. Many paper bags are ALREADY MADE FROM RECYCLED PAPER! Check it out!

You GO, Harris Teeter!

And now, for all you Fancy Pants...


Look 3: Grab Some Glitter

Ok. I don't actually endorse buying glitter. It's definitely not eco-friendly (more on that after Christmas), but I already own it, so I might as well use it before it winds up in a landfill somewhere. Before I realized exactly how wasteful the life of the average person (aka, me) was, I had a serious thing for glitter. 


You'll need:

  1. White craft paint

  2. Pencil with eraser for stamping

  3. Glitter, if desired

  4. Twine (optional)

Dip pencil eraser in paint and use as stamp to create polka dots or "snow flake" patterns on paper. Shake glitter onto wet paint, if desired! 

Do I get bonus points if I confess the white "twine" on this package is actually the white plastic ties that held my live tree together in transit? 


And for the grand finale...


Look 4: Let It Snow

  1. Follow steps for Look 3.

  2. Trace and cut out circles on white paper, fold into quarters. Cut along folded seam to create snowflake patterns. Add glitter if desired.

  3. Use small piece of double stick tape to adhere to gift.

And there you have it! A beautiful and elegant wintery aesthetic that's made from recycled and recyclable found materials, that's sure to please. You've not only saved the planet, you've saved yourself a trip to the store... Which leaves you time to finish blow drying your hair! 

*This gallery contains affiliate links. This means that if you click through and give the product a whirl, I get a tiny fee for spreading the news at no extra cost to you. This helps me offset the enormous amount of time that goes into Compost & Cava.