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Old chip bags to wedding gift tote: Free plastic bag craft instructions

When my cousin’s daughter invited us to her rustic wedding it Texas, I was so thrilled. Finally the perfect chance to see if a gift bag made from repurposed old chip bags could hold its own among wedding gifts.

Plus, how great to see relatives I hadn’t hugged for far too long! (Wait, are those priorities backwards?)

Here’s a test to see if plastic bag crafts can stand proudly alongside other wedding gifts, and look just as good.

plastic bag crafts: Turn old chip bags into a wedding gift bag

Ta daaa! Here’s a gift bag made from repurposed old chip bags. I’m all fired up to share my excitement to repurpose snack bags. I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm with my cousins, and you! Or anybody who’ll listen.

Well, let me tell you, turning trash into this tote bag made me feel bubblier than shook-up bottle of champagne. I mean, who knew that discarded potato chip bags could be turned into a functional and fashionable accessory?

As if by magic, our local grocery story carried a color-coordinating greeting card. The design featured two cute llamas, both wearing green saddles, trimmed in pom-poms that matched the gift bag perfectly. It was a match made in heaven.

Who else wants to weave together those chip bags and see the tote take shape before your eyes? Go ahead – try your hand at plastic bag crafts, and give new life to something that was once deemed worthless and destined for the trash heap.

If you want to get in on the fun of turning everyday trash into something beautiful and functional, these instructions show the basic steps:

How to make an eye-catching tote bag out of recycled materials


  • A box about the size of the gift bag you want to create
  • 40 or so potato chip bags (depending on the size bag you need) that are white on the inside, washed and dried
  • 4 snack bags that are an accent color
  • 2 or 3 snack bags that are another accent color
  • About 1 yard of twine
  • About 1 yard of nylon webbing for handles
  • Iron
  • Wooden board
  • Scissors
  • Metal or cardboard strip about 1/2 inch wide
  • Metal, wood or cardboard strip about 1 inch wide
  • Skewer or dowel about 1/4 inch wide


  1. Cut the white-sided bags into strips about 2-inches wide.
  2. Wrap the plastic strips around your 1/2 inch metal or cardboard strip, white side out, so the edges overlap by about 1/4 inch or so.
  3. Using the board as a firm work surface, iron the strips to join the plastic so that it does not unravel. Keep sliding the cardboard as you go, wrapping, ironing and sliding to form a continuous strip.
  4. Fit each strip to wrap snugly around the box. Cut the strip with about a 1-inch overlap, and insert one end into the other to form a loop. Iron the overlapping area to seal.
  5. Make 12 white loops as identical in size as possible.
  6. Make 6 loops of contrast color the same width as the white plastic, also the same size.
  7. Make 3 loops of another contrasting color using the skewer or dowel, so they are 1/4 inch wide. Make all the loops the same size, fitting them around the box.
  8. Arrange the loops horizontally on the box in this pattern, repeating this pattern 3 times:
  9. 3 white
  10. 1 color A
  11. 1 color B
  12. 1 color A
  13. End with 3 white strips
  14. Create about 12 1-inch strips from white plastic. Make them long enough to go from the top edge of the front of the box, around the bottom, and up the back, with about 3 inches left over on each end. Weave these perpendicular to the loops. Weave, using an alternating over-under pattern around your horizontal strips, until you have the whole box covered.
  15. Iron or sew along the top loop through all layers to secure the strips, and trim the free ends of the vertical strips.
  16. Iron a final loop of plastic around the top edge to hide the sewing.
  17. Lash the top loop into place with twine or a decorative cord or ribbon
  18. Attach handles made from your desired length of nylon webbing.

Enjoy gifting!

Do you feel uplifted when you find a creative and sustainable way to make something useful? Sharing that joy and excitement with others is like a spark igniting a flame – it just keeps spreading and growing.

You may well discover your own passion for turning old chip bags into something new and fabulous. Successful plastic bag crafts give you a feeling that I hope to spread far and wide, because let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good upcycling project? It’s like discovering a magical power to transform waste into something useful and beautiful.

Give this post a like and a share. You never know how much plastic you’ll keep out of a landfill, just by passing an idea along.

This project is my reminder that even the simplest materials can be transformed into something beautiful and special with a little bit of creativity and effort. And who knows – maybe this llama-themed gift bag and card will inspire a whole new wedding trend!

Related: How to make a shopping bag from recycled materials

Free bag pattern

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