A large piece of newspaper
A 3 by 5 notecard or similary sized piece of heavy paper
Piece of string, twine or ribbon for handle, about 2.5 feet long
Take the large sheet of newspaper and fold it on the crease, just as it comes so that you have two layers of paper.
Fold the left and right sides so that they meet in the middle and overlap by about half an inch. You could staple these together, but my stapler is quite small and so I chose to use scotch tape on both the top and bottom of the overlapped portion. You should now have a large continuous loop of newspaper. To make sure the seam will be on the side of the bag instead of the front, just roll the loop so that the join in near one of the edges. Now flatten your loop and lightly cease the edges.
Take the right edge of the flattened paper and fold over two inches. Crease well. Repeat on the left side. You have now made the three creases you will need for each side, though they are not all pointed in the correct direction. You can fold the edge portion toward the back to establish a crease in the opposite direction.
Tuck the center pleat in toward the center of the bag and firmly crease the new edges which will be the corners of the bag.
Cut your note-card in half lengthwise (hot dog, not hamburger) and tuck it up between the two layers of the bag centered on each side. This will reinforce the area where the handles will attach. I found it really hard to get a photo, but there is half a note-card tucked up there near the top fold of the bag
Use several staples to secure the bottom of the bag. Make sure your side pleats are carefully tucked inside.
Further reinforce the bottom by folding the stapled portion over and covering with tape.
Almost done now! Take the bottom portion and fold up two inches. Crease firmly. Again, one side is creased in the correct direction and the other is not, fold in both directions to help the paper crease the right way.
This is the magic part! Carefully open each pleated side and and flatten the bottom.
Put your hand inside the bag and use the table to crease the edges nicely and square up the bottom. Punch two holes along the top edge, about 3 inches apart centered on each side.
Loop the string through all four holes and tie decoratively. Sydney was my handle maker and did a great job! She even inserted a decorative tag on the handle of each bag.
Tada! You have made an adorable gift bag out of something most people just toss. Try matching the section of the paper to the personality of the recipient. Cartoons for the kids, sports pages for the athletes, sales circulars for the shoppers....
Please let me know if you try the tutorial, I'd love to see what you make.