What makes this gift wrapping idea for a handbag so unique is that it is a breeze to make, yet oh! so chic. It is constructed from a file folder, the kind you buy at office supply stores with a center tab. Target, Walmart and Home Goods also have some colorful and patterned ones that would look very hip, so let your imagination run wild. The bottom of the bag is already made for you where the file folder is scored on it’s spine.
This bag is small, but still perfect for holding a gift card, lipstick, book, or a piece of jewelry. The brass-plated chain I used is called #250 Hobby Twist Chain, but any chain sold at a hardware store by the foot will do. You can also use an old beaded necklace found at a flea market to coordinate with the color of the file folder or even a strand of old pearls that have a jump ring attached to each end so that you can attach it to the bag.
Who ever is the receiver of this bag will squeal, Ooh-la-la! with delight.
- 1 File Folder, with center tab
- 12-inches Chain
- 2 Brass Fasteners
- 1 Flat Gold Button (without shank)
- Craft Knife Pencil
- 1 Small Circle of Velcro (hook & loop)
- Optional: Gift wrap and spray glue
Download the Handbag Gift Bag templates:
The first template is in its whole form so you can see how it all goes together. It prints out smaller than a file folder which is about 11- 1/2 inches. The template can be printed to any size, but the bottom section will always be the same width that has to be lined up with the fold in the center of the file folder to create the bottom of the bag.
The other three templates are the same template, but broken into sections that you can tape together. I wanted to give you some options. If you have access to a photocopier, you can have the full template enlarged so it fits across the width of the file folder.
1. Print out template and cut out. Center template on folders score lines in the center of the file folder as shown and trace around the template onto the folder. Make sure to mark placement for handle and all score lines.
I made a reusable template from an old file to re-use to make many gift-bags. I am using it to show you the first few steps in this tutorial.
2. Using a straight edge and an open pair of scissors, line up ruler along the score line and run scissor tip along ruler to score. Do not cut. You can also score the folder with the opened tip of a paperclip. Fold. Repeat this for all marked score lines.
4. Use paper clips to hold in place until it is dry or use a thin line of hot glue.
5. Fold over top and punch holes where marked.
6. Place a brass fastener through end link on chain and put through punched hole. Spread fastener to attach. Repeat to attach handle to other side. You can see I switched from my brown template and am working on one made from a black file folder.
7. To cover fasteners, glue ¾” strip that is on the bottom right of the pdf. template to underside of top.
8. Stick Velcro dot on the front flap bottom center; close and stick other side of Velcro on the body of the bag.
9. Glue button on outside of flap to resemble a real handbag closure.
If you can’t find a file folder in a color or pattern you like you can cover the file folder with decorative gift wrap or scrapbook paper to the outside of the file folder before assembling. Use spray glue to attach the gift wrap.
To make a clutch style gift bag – click here: How to Make a Clutch Handbag Gift Bag