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Personalizing gift bags.

Wrapping with paper bags is one of the easiest ways to pack holiday gifts--especially odd-shapped ones. Top off each bag with a large folded card and you've achieved two ends: a no-peeking closure that conceals the contents, and a personal touch that transforms otherwise plain packaging. All it takes is a little cutwork to tailor cards to the recipients.

What you'll need

You can find solid-color bags with handles in various sizes at stationery and gift-wrap stores for $1 to $2 each for basic colors, somewhat more for metallic or patterned bags.

To make the cards, we used a variety of paper stock--tagboard, construction paper, and solid-color heavyweight gift wrap--in colors that provided bold contrast to the bags. To cut outlines and features, we recommend a craft knife with a fine blade. Pinking shears and a hole punch are handy for decorative touches: we used pinking shears to fur the cat's face and a hole punch to dot the necktie and to suggest snowflakes (or stars, depending on your weather eye) above the treetops.

Making the cards

Measure your bag, then outline your card design (making it at least an inch shorter than the bag) on paper folded in half. At the fold, cut a slit slightly wider than the bag's handles.

Cut the card's outline through both layers of paper, using cardboard or plywood as a cutting surface and bearing down firmly on the knife to make clean cuts. Then cut out details, such as eyes and a nose, on the front; leave the back plain or make additional cutouts for a two-sided display.

Write your greeting and slip the card over the handles of the bag. Staple the card at the edges if you're determined to foil pre-Christmas peekers.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Special Issue: Best of the Holidays
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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