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Easy Ways to Make Gift Bags Feel Extra Special

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate summer, but birthday parties are one of the best. Near the end of the school year, my daughter received an invitation to a July birthday party. She’s so excited and can’t wait to go. I love finding simple ways to make kids feel extra special, so I had fun personalizing her friend’s gift bag.

Bright and colorful birthday gift bag and part decor #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias #Shop

This gift bag tutorial is perfect whether you are attending or planning a summer birthday party. It’s a great way to add a special touch to your child’s present plus make it obvious where guests should drop off their gifts as they arrive. You can apply the same tips to make party favors with smaller gift bags.

You will also find a tutorial to make colorful party decor that can do double duty as centerpieces and party favors. Either way, I got you covered!

Easy Ways to Make Gift Bags Feel Extra Special

Over the weekend I headed to Meijer to pick up a few groceries, the birthday present, and the rest of the party supplies I needed. Since I’m not actually planning this party, I didn’t need to pick a theme. However, as I browsed the American Greetings party supplies, I was drawn to the fun and colorful paint splatter cups and plates.

Card and party supplies aisles at Meijer #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias #Shop

So, I grabbed them, put them in my cart and then focused on how to make the birthday present look fabulous.

Variety of American Greetings kids birthday cards #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias #Shop

The first step was to find the perfect birthday card. Meijer has a variety of American Greetings birthday cards for kids. There are general cards, milestone cards (such as 6th birthday), and they have cards featuring popular licensed characters.

The three birthday cards I picked out #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias #Shop

I spent time browsing the cards and picked out three because it’s always smart to have a couple blank birthday cards on hand! I will admit, it was hard for me to narrow it down to one because they were all a good fit for my daughter’s friend.

After picking out the cards, I grabbed a few solid color gift bags, bows, stickers, and a big pack of tissue paper in assorted rainbow colors. (My husband laughs because I almost always seem to misplace my tissue paper supply when I need it for a gift. So I’m always buying more. I shouldn’t misplace this one though!)

I used to work in a gift shop and one of my favorite job duties was wrapping presents. I’ll share a couple tips for gift bags with you:

  1. Try to use two different colors of tissue paper.
  2. Place your items inside the bag, then take one corner of tissue paper and tuck it under the present.
  3. Arrange the paper around the sides of the gift.
  4. Repeat on the other side. Keep the tissue paper stick straight up out the top of the gift bag.

My daughter came home after I was done making the gift bag and centerpieces. She took one look and her eyes got big, “Wow! Did you make these, Mom?

They made her happy, so these are kid-approved!

Easy Birthday Gift Bag Tutorial

Birthday cards often get lost inside of gift bags, so why not make them part of the bag? I recommend signing the card first, if possible.

Supplies to make a fun birthday gift bag #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias #Shop


  • American Greetings Birthday Card
  • Gift bag
  • 2 sheets of tissue paper
  • Stickers
  • Glue


Step by step tutorial to enhance a kids birthday gift bag #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias #Shop

Step one: Apply glue to the back of the card and glue it to the gift bag. Firmly press it in place then let it dry for a little bit.

Simple ways to enhance gift bags #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias #Shop

Step two: Apply stickers. You could also draw on the bag with markers, cut shapes and glue them on, or anything else you want to add.

Step three: Pick two sheets of tissue paper with colors that coordinate with the card. This will help pull it all together.

Step four: Place gift items inside the bag and arrange the tissue paper around it.

Step five: Tie a sprig of ribbons in matching colors to the handle. It’s more about the decoration and less about keeping the bag closed. I purchased a bow and carefully tied it around the handle. You could also cut and curl your own ribbon.

Bright and colorful decorated gift bag #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias #Shop

If you don’t like the way the card is slightly open, you can use a little piece of tape or a sticker to keep it closed.

Easy Birthday Party Favors Tutorial

These simple centerpieces brighten up the table and double as party favors. My kids are always asking if they can take home various birthday party decor so why not have those pretty decorations do double duty?

Supplies for simple bright birthday party centerpieces #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias #Shop


  • American Greetings party plates
  • Party cups
  • Tissue paper (multiple sheets in assorted colors)
  • Large straws or craft sticks
  • Party favors


Pick at least two tissue paper colors that coordinate with the plates and cups. You can mix it up – they don’t all have to be the same. You can even skip the tissue paper and just glue or staple the party plates together if you want!

Tip: Cut and fold both colors at the same time so they are about the same size.

Simple party decor tutorial #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias #Shop

Cut about six sections of each sheet roughly into squares. Bunch and fluff them, then glue to the back of one plate. Continue all the way around the plate. Arrange the tissue paper how you want it, then attach a large straw (glue, tape, or staple) or craft stick (glue or tape) to the bottom of the plate. Put glue on the back of another plate and position it on the tissue paper. Hold in place for a few seconds and let it dry.

Easy tissue paper birthday decoration tutorial #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias #Shop

Another option is to cut a rectangular section of tissue paper. Fold them like an accordion. Tie, staple, or tape the middle, then fold in half. Cut the ends at an angle to give it a point. Fan them out and glue the edges together. Repeat if you want to make a complete circular design. Apply glue to the back of the plate and carefully press the tissue paper in place.

Fill party cups with candy to use as decor and party favors #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias #Shop

I chose to use brightly colored candy to help fill the cups. I didn’t want to fill the entire cup with candy though, so you can add other party favors in the cup too. Or, ball up half a sheet of tissue paper and put it on the bottom of the cup, then cover with the candy. It makes the cup look full without giving the kids too many sweets!

Simple colorful birthday centerpieces #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias #Shop

I hope these ideas on how to make gift bags feel extra special and party favor centerpieces provide inspiration for your next summer birthday celebration! I love how easy it is to get party supplies from Meijer whether you are attending a birthday party or planning one.

[AD] Brighten up summer birthday gifts and birthday parties for kids with these fun ideas! Check out this tutorial for easy ways to make gift bags feel special. Also find a tutorial for a simple centerpiece that also doubles as a party favor for birthday party guests! #BirthdaysMadeBrighter

Cathi Crismon

Tuesday 11th of July 2017

Such a fun way to jazz up an ordinary gift bag! I needed this right now. I seriously just looked for a box to wrap a baby gift and decided to go with a plain gift bag. Well... my gift bag will no longer be plain thanks to your bright idea! Thanks!!

Darcy Zalewski

Wednesday 12th of July 2017

I'm so glad this inspired you, Cathi! Would love to see how you personalize the baby's gift bag. :D


Tuesday 11th of July 2017

Thank you for the ideas, I am never good at wrapping gifts when it comes to tissue paper and bags. I'm better with wrapping paper. I love how simple it is to decorate the tables!

Darcy Zalewski

Wednesday 12th of July 2017

You're welcome, Kathleen! I love wrapping paper when the gift is in an easy shape like a box. Gift bags are my go-to for more odd shaped presents or if there are multiple items.


Tuesday 11th of July 2017

This is such a great way to personalize gifts. It's perfect for my nephew's birthday coming up.

Darcy Zalewski

Wednesday 12th of July 2017

Thank you, Becky!


Tuesday 11th of July 2017

I love gift bags! Your ideas are super cute. Thanks for the tips and tricks.

Darcy Zalewski

Wednesday 12th of July 2017

Thank you, Connie!


Tuesday 11th of July 2017

I love this idea. My girls can help make them for friends too.

Darcy Zalewski

Wednesday 12th of July 2017

Yes, this is a great way for kids to help wrap presents for friends and family!