A lot of the stuff we buy from the department store comes in a paper bag. Sometimes (not always!:-) these bags are pretty sturdy and of good quality, plain in colour, with a handle.
Perfect in fact, for giving gifts in. It seems a waste to just throw these bags away, especially since we often end up buying plain paper gift bags, to put gifts and other stuff in.
Then again, these bags often have logos, slogans or store advertisements on them, so they may not be suitable as gift bags. Hmmm....
Then I got the idea to use paper scraps and cuttings, basically the stuff I use to make cards, to decorate paper bags as well - thereby creating my own personalised gift bags!
First, hunt down some paper cuttings and scraps that match the background colour of the bag, and then cut out shapes that are large enough to obliterate any visible logos, slogans or other markings. You may want to keep some of the existing designs on the gift bag visible, if they kind of "blend in" with your paper scraps. Stick them on with glue or cellophane tape, secure them in place by covering them with strips of cellophane tape, and ...voila! Your own upcycled personalised gift bag! :-)