Recycled Bag Bows

I saw this on the  Martha Stewart a couple weeks ago and vowed to try it. I think I’m like a lot of people… I keep my shopping bags in our linen closet, hoping in vain that at some point in time I’m going to need 50 bags to carry stuff in (lol). Aside from the holidays when some of the bags get used for transporting gifts, these bags just get thrown out every year. This is a REALLY simple way to not only cut back on some of that waste, but to save some money while making your gifts look chic. I wrapped my mother’s day gift for my mom and my cousin’s birthday gift this week so I only took pictures of these two bows, but I have made a lot of them. Play around with the prints and colors and materials and you can make beautiful bows that are thoughtful, unique, inexpensive and friendly to the planet! 

Start off by dragging out your shopping bags… come on, I know you’ve got them!

Pick one that you’d like to use (this one was for my cousin’s birthday gift so I chose a more masculine black and brown). Cut off the handles and remove the bottoms so you can access the print better. Your going to need nine strips (all one inch wide): three that are 11 inches long, three that are 10 inches long, two that are nine inches long and one that is 4.5 inches long. Start with one of the longer strips, fold it in half and crease it so you can use the crease as your midpoint guide. Take one end and fold it to the middle crease, twisting it (easier to see it than it is to explain) and hot glue at a 45 degree angle. Repeat with the other end. Repeat with all of the strips except for the shortest one. Glue that one into a ring shape. Now you’re ready to start assembling the bow. Start stacking them one on top of another starting with the biggest, fanning them in a circle as you go. Glue each one in place in the middle with hot glue. Use the the ring shaped one to complete your bow and you’re done!

recycled bows

I wrapped this package with brown paper from a grocery bag, meaning I didn’t have to spend a cent on wrapping. For my mom’s gift, I wrapped it with some paper that I have from ikea. It’s 100% recycled and comes on a huge roll… it’s meant for kids to color on but I use it for my patterns, wrapping, etc. I made her bow out of a Victoria’s Secret bow and the great thing about their bags is that the handles are ribbon so it gave the gift even more of a decorative touch!