Here's a shocking true confession: I hate buying gift bags! They're so expensive, and often not very good quality. The good news is, I have Eyelet Outlet washi tape and embellies, so instead of buying pre-made gift bags, I buy inexpensive plain bags in bulk and personalize them!
This bag was made for my sister, Amie's, birthday gift. And I confess it was made a bit last minute, so I needed a few Ninja tricks to speed up the process. Trick #1: Washi tape covers a lot of ground quickly. Standard sized (5/8") tape is great, but at almost 1.25" our many beautiful EO Wide Washi Tapes are even better, and the Wide Lines Washi I've paired my butterlies with is 1.75". The latter has so many colors and patterns, it matches nearly every tape in my collection! Trick #2: Use a shoebox to hold the gift bag open. This will make it much easier to apply the tape, since the empty bag will want to keep folding up on you. You really needn't cover the entire bag; a few strips around the top of the bag add loads of interest. You don't have to take the tape 360 degrees, either, but the nice thing about tape is, it's one lonnnnnnnng piece that already has adhesive! So if you decide you do want to go all the way around the bag, it's easy! However much or little tape you decide to use, you'll want to start and end in the "folds" at the side of the bag, so you never see the ends of the tape. Apply one strip at a time, and if you're not confident enough to "eyeball" a straight line, a tiny pencil mark at each edge will keep you on track!
Trick #3: An oversized monogram is a really fast way to personalize your bag. My giant letter A is almost 5 x 8" and I printed it as an outline, on plain white cardstock, using a free font called "Storybook". I applied the same tapes I used on the bag, but you could use a coordinating-- or even a contrasting-- design to get different looks. Trick #4: Since most washi tape is translucent, you don't need to pre-cut-out a monogram to use as template! In this case, I just applied the tape right over the outline, and as you can see, it was still perfectly visible for me to trim up afterward. I use an Xacto knife for interior cuts (like the triangle at the top of the A) and regular scissors for the rest.
Trick #5: A coordinating mat makes your monogram stand out even more. Having said that, the "ghost effect" of the un-matted dimensional letter gives a totally different, but equally cool look. In this case, though, I did use a mat, which I chose to go with the Solid Color Paper Flowers I added for a little more color and interest. Since they come in nine colors, it's not hard to find a shade that will match perfectly! Trick #6: Green flowers are an awesome addition to your collection, because you can snip the petals apart and make them into leaves, as well, like I've done here.
Again, this is hard to beat for speed and ease: I attached the flowers to the monogram with some beautiful oversized Pearl Brads and affixed the monogram to the bag with a few strips of foam tape, for extra dimension. Finally, I applied a strip of extra tape to a scrap of cardstock and fussycut a few extra butterflies to perch on the flowers.