Saturday, January 26, 2013

Repurposed Gift Bag

This morning I did a DIY "craft" that was so easy and came out so cute that I had to share. It also solved two problems I was having in one fell swoop, which is immensely helpful!

A little background to my problem. I have these two great, leather-bound journals that I LOVE. They are super useful, fit well in a purse and are well made. The problem? The front cover is emblazoned with the logo of my former employer, as these were gifts for all employees during the Summer Olympics to advertise that the company was an official blah blah blah of the US Olympic Team. So I love the notebook, but don't love advertising for the company every time I pull the notebook out (I'm not a bitter former employee, I'm just not looking to advertise for them!).

The second issue is that I received an adorable gift bag at our house warming party-- brown paper with cute owls on it. This bag has been floating around my office for months, but I haven't wanted to use it to give to someone else, because I liked it so much. Of course, I couldn't think of anything to do with it, so it basically became more clutter.

As I was working on the office this week, I had an epiphany; I could use the owl bag to re-cover the journals.

So today, I got together my supplies (bag, journal, scissors, and tape. I had a pencil too, but didn't end up doing any marking), and channelled my Jr. High self. Minus the arguing with my mom over how lame it is that I have to cover my book in a plain brown bag from ABCO, because she's so mean and won't spend money for me to have a Lisa Frank or New Kids on the Block book cover like everyone else and she's like basically ruining my life forever as a result of this indignity. (Jr. High was SO fun, right?)

Anyway, if you have ever covered a book in a brown bag, this process will all come rushing back to you. I'm not exactly reinventing the wheel here.

First  you want to cut down one side of your bag and then cut away the bottom of the bag so that you have one long piece of paper.

Then, if you have a specific pattern like I did, lay your book on the bag and figure out the best alignment. Then trim to 1-1.5" taller than your book and about 2" longer than your book cover. Stand the pages of the book up to get the best fit.

Then make a fold at the top and bottom of your covering paper, so that the edges of the cover line up with the edges of your book.

Now fold each of the sides over so that they are snug around the book.  You have created a little pocket with the folds.

Slide your book cover into the creases and tape the fold in place. This part is a little hard to explain, (and, of course, I didn't take a photo) but on the top of each fold, place a piece of tape and fold it around to the front of the book, so that if/when you remove the book from the cover, the cover doesn't unfold. Don't tape the cover to your book, because it won't allow the cover to move as it needs to when you open and shut the book.

Now you have a nicely covered book. Ooh la la!

My journals are now cute, I'm not advertising for my former employer, I don't have to give away a bag I really liked, the bag is no longer cluttering up my office, and I have created a cool way to repurpose an item, rather than tossing it into a landfill! Hooray!!

Have you done any creative repurposing lately?

The Chicken Chick


  1. Great use of an adorable gift bag!!! I will never look at a gift bag the same way again. LOL Maybe I will cover some of my books on my bookshelves with cute gift bags and they will all look the same! Awesome idea...thanks! Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. The possibilities become endless! Enjoy your weekend of plotting book recovering! :)

  2. What a great idea. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick


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