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How to Use Tissue Paper in a Gift Bag (and Make It Look Good)

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Et al... is happy to share tips and tricks she's learned over the years.

This gift bag features tissue paper placed with the "fan method."

This gift bag features tissue paper placed with the "fan method."

Making Tissue Paper Pretty

Many people are choosing gift bags over the traditional and more time-consuming wrapping-paper alternative. These days, we are all in such a hurry, and the gift bag is a quick and easy method for "wrapping" your gift. However, many are at a loss about what exactly to do with the tissue paper. Everyone knows it goes in the bag, but just how do those boutiques and fancy department stores make their gift bags look so picture-perfect?

Two Methods for Fancy Tissue Paper

This article will illustrate two methods for achieving a professional look when preparing your gift bag. The techniques covered are what this author terms the "fan method" and the "wrist flick method." The fan method (shown above) takes slightly longer, but each method only takes a minute or so once you practice it a few times. Both are beautiful and look different—be sure to scroll down and view the finished look for the wrist flick method as well.

The fan method: step-by-step illustrations.

The fan method: step-by-step illustrations.

How to Use the Fan Method

  1. Lay a piece of tissue paper on a flat surface. Ideally, choose a colored piece that matches a color in the gift bag. You can even choose two or three colors that complement the gift bag's color and design.
  2. Grasp the tissue paper on the sides and bring them toward one another. You may either grasp horizontally or vertically, depending on the size of the gift bag and how long you want the tissue paper to stick out of your gift bag. In this example, a large gift bag is being used; therefore, the long sides are grasped.
  3. Gather the paper together in the middle so that you can hold it in your non-dominant hand.
  4. Hold the gathered paper in one hand while using your other hand to tug lightly on the edges of the paper. Doing so will begin to make nice little creases in your tissue paper. The more expensive the tissue paper, the easier it is the make the creases. Hint: If you have less expensive tissue paper, you may wish to help form the creases using your fingers as shown in the image containing yellow paper here.
  5. After you've worked your creases, you should still be holding the tissue paper, and it will look like a fan on both sides.
  6. Now, fold the sides together so that they meet to form a larger fan. Alternatively, you can fold them so that one fan is in front of the other and a tad lower.
  7. Repeat the above steps with several more pieces of paper—the more, the better. Three to five sheets often suffice. As you create a sheet, tuck it into the gift bag. Tada! You have a beautiful finished product.
The wrist flick method: step-by-step illustrations.

The wrist flick method: step-by-step illustrations.

How to Use the Wrist Flick Method

  1. Grasp a piece of tissue paper in the middle.
  2. Make a flicking motion with your wrist and arm. The paper in this image is a wee bit old; the newer the paper, the better it will "poof up" when flicked. However, this older saved tissue paper will still make a beautiful gift bag, as you shall soon see.
  3. Smooth the whipped piece of paper in a downward motion with your other hand.
  4. Turn it upward, and it should be ready to place in the gift bag. If you feel it necessary, you can tug lightly on the edges a bit to get the paper to look as you wish; however, don't do too much tweaking or the paper will begin to look used and unfresh.
  5. Repeat the steps above with four or five pieces of color-coordinated paper. Place them all in the bag. Voila! You have a beautiful finished product that only took seconds to create.

Ask Me Questions and Share Comments!

Madison on October 22, 2017:

This worked great :D

wanda on April 10, 2011:

Thinks so much for the help. My Daughter in Law does this for me but the gift was for her.

doodle on February 22, 2011:

i just used the wrist flick to wrap a present for a game at my party: everyone brings a present and people take turns taking them from a big pile or stealing them. everyone wanted mine and it was stole 11 times! thanks so much :-)

almasi on February 22, 2011:

Thanks. Love the fan style.

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Read More From Holidappy

strawrose on February 11, 2011:

Thanks for the tips! I used the wrist flick method all the time, but I think I prefer the fan method now.

paul on December 22, 2010:

maybe cause I'm a guy, but I still couldn't get it to look so neat and professional. The designs on my tissue paper looked too crumpled when I finished. Lol.

But it was easy to do.

Et al... (author) on December 02, 2010:

I'm so glad this article helped you guys! It's almost got as many comments now as my article on how to pop your back using the bathtub. Ha!

Lil on September 04, 2010:

Thanks for the instructions. Now we know the right way to make a good impression.

Shree on August 12, 2010:

Thanks so much. This is such a help. I had been trying to make a few gift bags look nice with the tissue paper but was unable to get the desired effect. will try your methods Right Now! :-)

Peter on June 05, 2010:

I couldn't get the fan method to work right... mine was larger and extremely cheap tissue paper. But, the wrist flick method worked really well! Thanks for giving two methods!

A. Talford on October 07, 2009:

I love the tips!

Thank you Thank You especially the fan folding!

G on May 09, 2009:

I have been struggling to make gift bags look nice for years, thanks!

moonlake from America on December 27, 2008:

I bought large bags this year and everything in one bag for each person. It saved lots of time and paper. Granddaughters loved pulling out each item and looking in to see if there was more.

kiwi on September 30, 2008:

Great tips - my bag now looks like a bought one. Many thanks!

Janet21 from New York on August 02, 2008:

Great info! I always end up just pushing it all into the bag and it looks terrible. I will definitely give your tips a try.

sharese on July 26, 2008:

Oh wow! I am so glad I found you guys the fan design worked perfect and look so pretty for my baby shower gifts.

rebel on July 18, 2008:

just what i was looking for! thanks!

anabsoluteangel from North Carolina on July 11, 2008:

Something else to remember is that you can buy gift bags and tissue paper for close to nothing at $1 stores and discount stores like Family Dollar, Dollar General. You can also buy greeting cards for close to nothing in these places.

joli on June 21, 2008:

So easy! why didn't i think of it before!! Thankyou so much!

Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on June 01, 2008:

Really creative tips! I would guess that if you are giving a number of small things at one time, like jewelry, little chocolates, and lipsticks, you could tuck each into its own wrist-flicked piece of paper.

Thanks for the ideas and the excellent illustrations.

Jeremy Mcmurray on April 30, 2008:


Amy on April 27, 2008:

It really worked! I used the flick method and the bag looks really professional! Thanks!!

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on November 23, 2007:

Good advice...Thanks, I like the fan style will use it for the next gifting...

Great HUB

regards Zsuzsy

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