Many years ago when my daughter was in grade school she made a little reindeer out of a paper lunch bag. I still have it and it is part of my Christmas decor. It is a little worse for wear after twenty years, but it was the inspiration for this wrapping idea. I love this idea as it recycles a paper bag that would otherwise end up in the garbage. It is much easier to make this than to run to the store and buy a bag and it is kind of cute too.
If you are using a small bag you can do the same as my daughter did and gather up the top of the bag and tie it to make ears. When you are using a full size paper bag it is easier to fold the sides to make ears. Her eyes are glittered which is a great finish too. I made mine on cardstock and cut them out. I like the way Mandy used jute to tie the ears as it matches the paper of the bag. I can see the finished package with a burlap bow too. It would be a perfect finish. I do not have any burlap to use otherwise it would be my bow of choice.
I start out with a full size paper shopping bag. The hardest part of this whole project is to turn the bag inside out without ripping it. Most of the stores have their logo printed on the outside of the bag, so this puts the logo on the inside of the bag and an unprinted bag on the outside. The bag will be a little crumpled when you are done but it just adds character to the finished project.
I ended up with a couple of small tears in my bag, but I used the tears as part of the finished product.
You can see the printing is now inside the bag and the outside is just plain. The next step is to put your gift in the bag. I usually wrap the gift in tissue paper first as it looks nicer that way. I like to add a little bit of extra tissue, but this is totally optional.
You want to keep the gift no bigger than half the size of the bag. I have used this wrapping a few times over the years. It works very well for events like gift exchanges especially ones where you trade gifts before they are unwrapped. It just looks different than all of the square boxes with bows.
You want to remove the handles if your bag has them.
I then add four cuts, two on each side that are about five inches long. I used the tears in the bag and just made then a little longer. Do not cut it any deeper than the height of your gift. The cuts are going to give you a tab to fold down in the center, leaving the two sides up so that they can be folded to make ears. I folded the upper edge of the top tab so that the finished edge is nicer.
The center is folded down and taped and taped and the two sides are folded into triangular ears. I like to either use double sided tape or a scrap booking glue runner to keep the folds in place. That way you do not see the tape or glue. I then made a set of eyes on card stock. I have attached a copy of my eyes for you to print, or you can make your own. Cut the eyes out and glue them in place.
Reindeer Eyes A link to the eyes I made or make your own. I just Googled happy eyes and found this style to copy. I used brown for the eyes as it is makes soft animal eyes.
Using your scissors make a small hole for the nose. I used a small glass ornament for the nose this time. You can also use a pom pom. One year I found a flashing reindeer nose at the dollar store and I used it on my bag. I just turned it on when I arrived at the event. If you are using a pom pom just glue it in place. For an ornament stick the stem of the ornament into the hole in the bag and tape it in place on the inside of the bag. After the nose is in place, draw on a mouth. I used a black marker for this. As you can see from my daughters reindeer she added teeth. I left mine as just a simple black mouth. The choice is yours.
I used some branches from my yard to make my antlers. Just tuck them in the opening on each side of the package. You need two branches total. That's it you are done. I added a bow on one ear and a tag that just happens to have a reindeer on it.
Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoy this idea for wrapping. You could make this as a decoration if you wanted too. Just add a little bit of weight in the bag to help it stand up.