by Lori Craig

Just in time for the gift giving season, make your own gift bags in a flash.


  • 9" x 12" White Catalog Envelope
  • Paper Trimmer with Scoring Blade
  • Bone Folder
  • Extra-Strength Adhesive
  • Ribbon
  • Stamps & Embellishments to decorate
  • Corner Rounder optional


  1. Step 1

    Trim 3" from envelope off of the open end.

  2. Step 2

    Remove orange cutting blade from trimmer. With the opening of the envelope at the top, score in 2" from the right, left and bottom edges of the envelope.

  3. Step 3

    You will have a 2" square in each bottom corner, score from inside corner to the outer point.

  4. Step 4

    This is the point at which you decorate the front of your gift bag, staying inside the score lines.

  5. Step 5

    If desired, use decorative scissor or corner rounder to scallop the top of your gift bag.

  6. Step 5 (Optional)

    If desired, use decorative scissor or corner rounder to scallop the top of your gift bag.

  7. Step 6

    Crease the score lines and pop the envelope into a bag, carefully bringing the bottom corner squares into a point on each side.

  8. Step 7

    Use bone folder to give points a crisp fold.

  9. Step 8

    Apply extra-strength adhesive to flaps that will fold in to the bottom of the bag.

  10. Step 9

    Fold flaps in to form bottom of the bag. Bottom will measure 5" x 4".

  11. Step 10

    Punch holes through all layers of top edge for ribbon closure.

  12. Step 11

    Embellish the front of bag for gift giving.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Bag-A-Lope. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

I have a question. In the first photo under "Supplies", the catalog envelope flap/open end is on the shorter side of the 9x12. But in all of the later pictures, the flap/open end of the envelope is on the longer side of the 9x12. Am I seeing things? My question is: does it make a difference for this project which side the opening is on?
Mary  |  Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 7:34 PM
X9Mt4o enkhnuha1,
zxevil170  |  Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 8:59 AM
Does anyone have instructions for this on a smaller level--using a #10 business envelope? I know it's around somewhere, but I can't seem to find it on the web.
mawrogers  |  Thu Jun 5, 2008 at 6:55 AM
I make these pretty frequently. Just use the same margin on both sides and the bottom, never more than 1/3 or 1/4 or so of the original size of the envelope or it gets a little boxy.
Denise  |  Sun Jun 8, 2008 at 5:07 PM
Oh, I meant to add, for the narrow envelopes (like business size), seal the envelope shut first, then trim off what would be one side, and that becomes the TOP. Then score the same margin on the 2 sides and bottom, crease and assemble.
Denise  |  Sun Jun 8, 2008 at 5:12 PM
I love this! I've made bags before...but never out of an envelope! Look out holidays! Here I come! smile thanks for the instructions!
Kelly  |  Mon Jul 21, 2008 at 10:58 AM
I'm always looking for practical ideas. This is a perfect gift bag for those last minute parties.
Da' Bratt  |  Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 4:01 PM
The Bag-a-lope is such a useful item and with the many and varied ways to decorate makes receiving gifts tucked inside a treat. Can you help me with some advice as to how to turn the top of the bag into a man's shirt that can then be decorated with a tie? Really wanted this for Father's Day but hubby's birthday is coming up and as he is so generous in allowing me a lot of latitude with spending at Stampin' Up I would love to surprise him with a hand made gift.... with Roses from Kbelle
Kbelle  |  Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 6:23 PM
Right in time for Valetine Day.
Thank you so much.
Martha  |  Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 10:07 AM
where can get these envelopes?

and what measurements do u use for smaller or bigger bags?

could u do a tutorial for an a4 sized bag and i assume this is a medium sized one and then a tutorila( or atleast measurements for a smaller one

ninajeanette2  |  Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 2:40 PM
This is such an AWESOME idea! Simple,simple simple! That is what I like. What a great Thank you, Get well or Thinking of you gift for anyone to enjoy! BRAVO on this one! PS MY step 9 had no diagram picture. Same with anyone else?
ps iluvu  |  Sun Feb 1, 2009 at 10:13 PM
very simple to make yet adds a very personalized touch to any present, making it more special. smile
jacqueline  |  Tue Feb 3, 2009 at 2:06 AM
I still need help; i havent dared doing this yet as i cant understand how to do this with a normal envelope and i cant find the size which has been used here. Also is there a difference between a catalog envelope and a normal envelope?
Can someone please explain more of creating this bag.
I know i might be asking daft questions but i really want to make these so i need help and to get help i have to ask,lol

ninajeanette2  |  Wed Feb 4, 2009 at 1:23 PM
Nina, don't panic...crafting is fun...
any envelope will work. the one the tutorial is based on is 9x12. She cut off the top, scored the sides and bottom, and opened it up. then she flattened what became the bottom of the bag and folded in the points and glued them down. A standard envelope will be licked and sealed shut. then turn it sideways. cut off the top (which is actually one side of the sealed envelope). Next score 1.5" at both sides and the bottom. Mountain and valley fold all three score lines. Gently stick your hand inside the envelope and open it up like a lunch sack, gently flattening the bottom. tuck the two triangles at the bottom in. Ta-da! Now, flatten it back out and decorate it. Then turn it back into a bag, and this time when you fold the two little end triangles in, glue them. I hope this helps.
Denise  |  Wed Feb 4, 2009 at 6:36 PM
Hello, I was wondering where you got your adhesive gun.
Jessica Ying  |  Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 6:55 PM
Thank you for that extra imformation. I was having the same questions as Nina and you done a wonderful job at clearing that up for me. I will soon post my Holiday bags I'm making for the kids at church. Thanks A Bunch!!!
God Bless, JoAnn
JoAnn Higginbotham  |  Wed Dec 9, 2009 at 3:06 PM
This is a cute bag!!
Katrina  |  Sat Jun 12, 2010 at 12:14 AM
very nice! great job!
Patricia Kettlewood  |  Wed Aug 4, 2010 at 8:45 PM
I am needing ways to make the fancy folded cards I still do my scrapbooking" and cards making if anyone knows the easy way to fold cards let me here from you.
lena  |  Wed Oct 5, 2011 at 10:19 AM
I just found this Bag-A-Lope Tutorial tonight and find it interesting but while going thru the directions I find some pretty odd characters for the measurements in step 1,2,3, and two sets in step 9. Can you please tell me what they are suppose to be.
Margaret  |  Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 11:14 PM

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