I'm pretty sure most of you thrifty souls out there already know this way to recycle a handled store bag into a gift bag, but I'll show how I do it just in case there's still someone out there throwing them away. For this extremely easy project you'll need a handled paper store bag, a picture, old Christmas card or pretty paper to cover the bag logo, tape or glue or double-stick tape, and some scissors for any necessary trimming.
I brought this store bag home when I bought a gift at Bath & Body Works (and I always save their bags to recycle them because they're clean, usually unwrinkled, and all around nice to work with):
All you have to do with a store bag like this is cover up the logo with a seasonal image that has matching or complimentary colors. Here's a pic I printed out, trimmed, taped over the logo and also used it as the gift tag:
Or to make it a double-recycled bag, use the front of an old Christmas card to cover the logo:
Be creative with what you use as your cover image. A family photo would be terrific -- or how about a photo of the recipient instead of a gift tag? This is also a great project for kids, who can draw or color the cover pic for the bag.
For this one I salvaged this piece of holgraphic card stock with a beautiful snow flake from an old origami kit box:
You can also layer pics and things, like this variation with a piece of holographic paper and a snowflake I cut out from bond paper:
New gift bags can be costly, so every time you recycle a store bag this way you'll definitely save $$$. Get into the habit of saving your store bags, and you'll always have one ready to recycle for those times when you run out of wrapping paper, or have a hard-to-wrap gift, too.