Fashionable DIY Gift Bag for Women of All Ages

How to make a cute and feminine gift bag for ladies. It is perfect to place a small gift in like this DIY Barbie Shoe bracelet I made for my twin sister. The vintage looking clutch purse gift bag is made using a file folder and foil, but you can use decorative paper or even fabric to make the gift bag truly special.

Did you play Barbie when you were a little girl? One of the most stylish fashion accessories I remember as a child playing with Barbie in the 1960’s in her knock off Dior’s and Givenchy’s was a clutch style handbag that came with many of the outfits.

My twin sister and I always referred to it as “the Barbie purse“.

How to make a purse gift bag

We each had the silver version, but some of our friends had it in corduroy or gold lame. 

Girlfriend Gift Bag ideas

I thought I could make a fun gift-bag resemble the vintage “Barbie purse” that would make giving a small gift all the more fun.

How To Make a Gift Bag For Ladies That Looks Like a Clutch Purse

How to make a purse gift bag

supplies needed:

  • File Folder – any color
  • Print out template – below
  • Decorative paper or foil if you want to cover the file folder
  • Spray glue or a glue stick
  • Velcro tab
  • 1/4″ diameter Pearl bead, needle, and white thread or embroidery floss
  • 1/4″ width Red Liner double stick tape
  • Ruler, Scissors, Pencil, Craft knife
Template for Clutch Purse Gift Bag

1.  Here is the image of  the template.  Download the link below and size on a copy machine if needed, so it is as wide as a  file folder:  11-1/2″.

Use the link below to download a pdf. file of the template:

Pattern for Making a Gift Bag

2.  Trace the pattern onto a file folder, making sure to place the center directly over the  fold on the file folder. 

This will be the bottom of the bag.  Mark score lines (broken lines) on file folder.  Using a ruler and  the tip of a pair of scissors or the open end of a paperclip, score along the broken lines. 

Cut out the bag with a craft knife and ruler instead of a pair of scissors, you will get straighter lines

File Folder Handbag Gift Bag

3. Fold pre-made score lines that came on the folder and the ones you just made  towards you.  This starts to form the purse.

How to Cover the Clutch Bag with Foil, Paper or Fabric

How to make a clutch purse gift bag with a file folder

1.  Turn the clutch over so the outside of the clutch is face down.  Cut a piece of foil large enough to cover one side of the clutch, leaving at least  1/2″ overlap. 

Lay foil shiny side down on a work surface. Spray the dull side with spray adhesive.  Spray the back of the clutch.

Let it get tacky and then carefully smooth foil over the clutch, making sure there are no air bubbles or large creases.

Gift wrapping ideas for girls

5.  Turn clutch back over.  Trim foil by cutting tabs into the excess.  Run a glue stick on the outer edge of bag and fold the tabs over.  

Gift wrapping idea for girls

6.   Using another piece of foil, trace flap and cut the shape out of the foil.  Spray glue on dull side of foil and place on the inside flap.  Smooth and trim if necessary.

Gift wrapping idea for girls

6.  Place a piece of Red Liner clear double stick tape along one side’s tab and place front over matching edges to form purse.  Repeat on other side.

Gift wrapping ideas for girls

7. Sew a bead onto front of flap.  Place Velcro tab with loop and hook sides already joined to under side of flap to cover the stitches.

Close clutch so the other side of the Velcro will attach to the body of the clutch.  Make sure they are lined up.

Option 1: Add a Flower Clasp

How to make tissue paper flowers

Tissue paper flower instead of a single pearl clasp.

supplies needed:

  • 1 piece of tissue paper
  • bead or button
  • stapler
  • hot glue
  • scissors

1.  Fold tissue paper in half and cut in half. Lay pieces on top of each other and fold in half and cut again on fold.  Keep doing this step until you have a stack of tissue paper that measures approx. 3″ square.

Gift wrapping ideas for girls

2.  Staple center.  Using scissors, shape square into a circle.  Cut petals into circle by cutting from edge into center. Repeat cuts all around.   Fluff with fingers to make flower come to life.

Hot glue bead over staple.  Glue onto flap of Barbie clutch instead of the single sewn on pearl.

Option 2: Make a Beaded Bag

To make the Barbie Clutch Purse totally glamorous you can cover it with teeny tiny beads or glitter.

After cutting out the bag from the file folder, cover entire outer side, (except last scored line that will fold over) with a sheet of Red Liner clear double stick tape.  Remove the backing from the sheet.

Dip the clutch in a tray filled with teeny tiny beads or glitter. Roll it over and over to make sure all areas are covered.  Finish assembling bag according to directions.

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  1. Barbara Warner says:

    What a clever, cute idea! I look forward to making these ‘gift bag” purses and giving them along with gifts of jewelry, gift cards, make-up, etc to friends and family! Thanks so much for sharing this crafty idea!

  2. Diane, these Barbie ideas are wonderful. So creative. We did have fun playing Barbie as kids! Now my nieces are into her and I look forward to handing down some of my Barbie items I have collected through the years. Love the bracelet, so colorful. Great idea on the purse gift bag, I am already planning on using it!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Doray – XO – It was either you and Donna or Cheryl and Doreen who had the gold lame and corduroy Barbie purses. :-). Such fond memories. Carol still has all our Barbie stuff. I hope your niece loves the gift.

  3. Wait, you are using actual tin foil?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kat – Yes – basic foil from the kitchen :-). The gift bag tutorial was in a post with another project and readers could never find it, so I gave it its own post. I made and posted it years ago when I first started blogging and wanted to make a cute gift bag to place a bracelet I made for my sister. :-)