DIY Decorative Gift Bags

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

‘Tis the season to be giving. But when it comes to wrapping gifts it can be costly. Decorating your own kraft paper gift bags can be an inexpensive way to wrap gifts and it adds a personal touch. Christmas isn’t the only time of year to make your own gift bags, they can be used for any gift-giving occasion.

Before making your gift bags, gather everything you would like to use to decorate them. Ribbons and bows, scraps of wrapping paper or cardstock, stencils, and glitter are a few things you can use. I purchased the kraft paper gift bags on Amazon. Be creative!

In the photo above, I used a stencil to trace flower outlines on the blank side of two pieces of cardstock (for the bag on the left). Next, I cut out the flowers and glued them to the blank gift bag. For the bag on the right, I used a piece of cardstock that with a picture of a large flower. I trimmed the cardstock and glued it to the center of the bag.

Below, I have shown a few of my own ideas to give you inspiration.

What you need:

  • kraft paper gift bags
  • scissors
  • glue
  • wrapping paper or cardstock
  • bows and ribbons
  • glitter
  • markers or colored pencils
  • anything you like to decorate with!


This is a simple design using a piece of cardstock and and scissors that cut a decorative edge.

  1. Measure and cut a piece of cardstock or wrapping paper to fit the bottom half of the bag.
  2. Using scissors, cut a decorative edge along the top of the paper.
  3. Glue to paper to the bottom half of the gift bag.


I used Mod Podge and glitter to give this gift bag some sparkle. Because glitter can be messy, use old newspaper to cover your worksurface.

  1. Using a small paint brush or sponge, paint Mod Podge over the bottom half of the gift bag.
  2. Sprinkle glitter over the glued area.
  3. Allow to dry. Glue will be clear when it is completely dry.


I used some spare ribbon, cardstock and stencils for this fun geometric design.

  1. Measure and cut ribbon to fit along the top edge of the bag.
  2. Glue the ribbon to the bag.
  3. Using stencils, trace and cut out shapes using different colors of cardstock. In the photo on the left, I cut out different sizes of squares in two different shades of blue.
  4. Glue the shapes together, and glue them to the bag.

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DIY essential oil perfume and cologne spray

Photo by Kathleen Quandt

In a previous blog post I showed you how to make roll-on essential oil perfumes and colognes with a carrier oil. In this blog post, I will show you how to make the same essential oil perfumes and colognes in a small spray bottle using distilled water and witch hazel. I have measured this recipe for 10 ml glass spray bottles using 2 parts distilled water and 1 part witch hazel. The same formula can be used to make larger bottles of perfume or cologne.

Making your own perfume or cologne can be quick and easy! Try mixing different essential oils to suit your mood or occasion. I used a combination of vanilla, jasmine and lavender essential oils that I found on Pinterest.

You Will Need:

  • your choice of essential oils
  • a mini plastic funnel
  • measuring spoons
  • 2 1/2 tsp. distilled water
  • 1 1/4 tsp. witch hazel
  • labels
  • 10ml glass spray bottles


  1. Using the measuring spoons and small funnel, fill the spray bottle with 2 1/2 tsp. distilled water and 1 1/4 tsp. witch hazel.

2. Next, add your choice of essential oils, replace the spray cap, and shake well.

3. Label your spray bottle and your finished! If your label doesn’t stay on the spray bottle, try covering the label with tape.

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DIY Key Fob Wristlet


This Christmas, I wanted to make a small gift for everyone that was not only handmade but useful. These key fob wristlets were the perfect solution. Who isn’t always looking for their keys or a way to keep track of them?

I found the cotton webbing and key fob hardware sold together on Ebay.  I bought each roll of ribbon for $1 and Stitch Witchery at Michael’s. Putting it all together required dusting off the sewing machine and brushing up on some simple sewing, but, it was fairly easy!

The cotton webbing I used was 1.25″ wide so I chose ribbon that was 1″ wide, so there would be a border on both sides of the ribbon. My key fob hardware was also 1.25″ wide. The key fob hardware should be the same width as the cotton webbing.

Materials:                                                                                    IMG_3171



sewing machine



cotton webbing

Stitch Witchery

key fob hardware


1. Measure and cut the cotton webbing. I measured mine to be 12″, but feel free to make yours as long or short as you would like.


2. Measure the Stitch Witchery and ribbon to be as long as long as the cotton webbing.

3. Follow the directions on the Stitch Witchery to bond the ribbon to the cotton webbing. After ironing the ribbon on to the cotton webbing, allow time for it to cool or dry.

4. With a sewing machine, sew a straight line down both sides of the ribbon for the entire length of the cotton webbing.


5. Trim any stray threads from the ends of the cotton webbing. Fold the cotton webbing in half so the ends are even. Using the sewing machine, sew the two ends together.



6. Evenly place the sewn ends of the cotton webbing into the key fob hardware. Use pliers to firmly clamp the hardware onto the cotton webbing. You may choose to use a cloth to cover the hardware when you are using the pliers. This keeps the hardware from being scratched by the pliers.

7. Attach a key ring.


DIY Crate Pet Bed


My cat had been sleeping in a cardboard box for years and was due for an update. I came across this DIY crate pet bed on Pinterest from a blog called Meet the B’s. This blog was about The Great Crate Challenge, where several bloggers purchased the same crate from Michael’s and came up with different ideas for repurposing the crate. I decided to give this one a try myself.



wooden crate

wooden pegs (for the legs)

paint brush

wood glue

gray wood stain

Americana Decor chalky finish

permanent marker



Using a hammer, remove the top two pieces of wood to create the “front” of your pet’s bed. Next, paint the crate with wood stain, let the stain sit for about 10 minutes, and wipe away excess stain with paper towel.

IMG_3022 I also followed the “white wash” technique from this blog. Just mix 1/3 paint with 2/3 water.

Paint the crate with the “white wash” and wipe away excess with paper towel. Don’t forget to use the same techniques on the legs.

Once the paint is dry, glue the legs to the bottom of the crate. Allow time for the glue to dry.



To get the design on the front of the crate, I chose a font from Microsoft Word and typed the word Kitty (choose anything you would like for your pet) in large letters onto a blank document and printed the document. To get the scroll design, I searched “scroll typography” online, and chose a design I liked from “images”. Print out your image also.

I learned this wonderful transfer technique from the blog as well. First, cut out your words and designs to fit your crate.

1. Using a pencil, scribble on the back of the word and design, covering the entire area the you want on the crate.

2. Place the scribbled side down on the crate, positioning the design where you would like it to be.

3. With a pencil, trace the outside edges of your words and design. This will press the scribbled pencil onto the crate and give you an outline of your design.

4. Lastly, fill in your words and design. I used a black Sharpie, but feel free to use paint as well.

For the finishing touch, place a blanket or pillow in the crate and you’re done!