In the Bag

I am on the record as not being a huge fan of the gift bag – those horrible mass produced bags with uninspiring patterns and a cheap gloss finish. Perhaps it is a bit harsh, but using one of these for a gift wrap seems a little but lazy to me. Like everything in life though, there are exceptions and recently I came across a genuine gift bag exception.

I was in the Reject Shop when I cam across these highly textured off white bags for $1.50 each. I am not ashamed to say I  do trawl the Reject Shop and while there is quite a bit I would not buy there, there are quite a few bits and bobs that I do purchase. The handles of the bags were in a bright white non matching nylon cheapo cord so I took them out and replaced them with a beautiful grosgrain blue and white striped ribbon.

I then decided that I would add a bit of gift bag zjoosh with some navy matching tissue. As any gift bag officianado will tell you,  there is an art to how much tissue you use and how you put it in.  The bag should be two or three times larger than the gift.  You can put  tissue paper to the bottom of the bag as a filler if you are working with a the bag is deep.

For an average sized gift bag ( measuring 30cm x 20 cm) you will need two sheets of tissue paper. Open one sheet of the tissue paper out, find the mid point, pinch it at the mid point, pick it up and wave it about. You will get a lovely settle of the tissue – like a petal hem. Twist the pinched end a bit to help the settle stay where you want them to and then place the tissue in one side of the gift bag. Repeat the process with the other piece of tissue. Once placed, the tissue should come up no higher than the handles of the bag for ease of carrying.

For an extra zjoosh on the zjoosh – you can go with two different tissue papers placed one on top of each other when which you then pinch and wave as before. I  have seen this done with sheets of metallic tissue paper and it is truly beautiful.

There are a couple of really good short, sharp videos on this little technique. Have a squiz at the one from  Nashville Wraps or a slightly longer version at Premier Packaging 

Once you have this tissue technique in the bag, you may look at gift bags in a new light. Tissue can’t save a cheap and nasty gift bag but it sure can elevate a textured, prettily patterned or plain white or kraft one.

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