This Easy Hack Turns Trader Joe's Bags Into Adorable Gift Bags

Although the most environmentally sustainable gift wrapping is no gift wrapping at all, per Popular Science, sometimes we just can't help ourselves. Fortunately, we also shop at Trader Joe's, where not only are the paper shopping bags attractive enough to upcycle seamlessly into clever gift wrapping, but also the bag design changes from time to time. That means that you can hold onto your Trader Joe's paper bags throughout the year so that by the holiday season, you'll have built up a nice selection. 

As it turns out, we're not the only ones to have come up with this (brilliant, if we do say so ourselves) idea. In fact, just last year, someone went ahead and made a tutorial on using TJ's paper bags as wrapping paper. And on December 20, TJ's Instagram superfan, Trader Joe's List, offered a tutorial on turning TJ's paper bags into sweet little gift bags. The video footage was originally shared on the Insta-account Everything But The Bagel

The hack is perfect for small, adorable gifts because it creates small, adorable gift bags. Think about using this trick to wrap gifts of fragrance or toiletries such as beard oil or bath fizzies or any other gift that you can hold easily in your hands — because it's actually as easy as it is brilliant. 

Why you need the Trader Joe's gift bag hack

Trader Joe's paper bags make "perfect wrapping [paper]," according to the Everything But The Bagel Instagram account, by way of its caption for its easy video tutorial on the simple hack that turns a Trader Joe's bag into an adorable gift bag. Trader Joe's List seconded EBTB's enthusiasm in its caption for the borrowed video tutorial: "It really is the best wrapping paper." But if there's any doubt, just check out the comments, which range from "This is such a great idea!" to "I love doing this" (and everything positive and delighted in between).

All you need is a Trader Joe's paper shopping bag, preferably one of the pretty holiday ones if you're wrapping holiday gifts, scissors, a roll of tape, a hole-punch, and a shoelace-sized length of yarn or ribbon. And what if your particular TJs doesn't have the festive bags on hand, which can happen at times, according to Instagrammer Samantha Sanguino? The plain ones can still be used for wrapping paper, this user advises, although she does admit that she can't always be so crafty, herself (in which case, she recycles rather than upcycles). 

Here is your step-by-step guide on this easy Trader Joe's gift bag hack

If you're ready to learn this hack, grab a Trader Joe's paper shopping bag, and gently pull off the little paper handles. From there, open up the bag with the bottom facing down. Using scissors, slice vertically down one of the bag's four vertical corners. Then cut off the bottom of the bag, and flatten the bag horizontally in front of you. 

Fold the left side toward the center. Do the same thing on the right, and tape the right edge over the left. Fold the bottom two inches of the bag up horizontally, then open the folded portion up like a book. Bend the bottom righthand corner of the "book" 45 degrees, as shown, pressing the edges crisply. Fold down the top of the "book" so that you're creating a single triangle shape with the fold, pressing the edges gently. 

Now, position the folded bag flat on a surface in front of you with the opening away from you. Fold the bottom inch of the "book" halfway up, and fold the top inch down. Tape securely, as this will be the bottom of your gift bag. Now all that's left is to wrap your gift in tissue paper, slide it into the bag, and fold the top inch of the bag over to close it. For the coup de grâce, punch two holes in that top flap, thread a length of yarn or ribbon through the holes, and tie the ends into a bow. Et voila!