Christmas project: Homemade party bags

Ros Badger Party Bags

Ros Badger Party Bags

As you’ll know from all the wide variety of ideas featured in Issue 4, we think that nothing makes Christmas more special than handmade food, gifts and decorations. And if you’re having a get together, what better way is there to spread the love than sending your guests home with a party bag that’s filled with homemade treats?

This simple yet elegant project is from a really terrific book, Homemade Christmas & Festive Decorations: 25 Home Craft Projects by Ros Badger with Elspeth Thompson (Collins, RRP £5.99), which is packed with festive ideas. We’d suggest that you fill the party bags with shortbread, and you’ll find a classic recipe for it in Issue 4!

Homemade Christmas Ros Badger book cover

Party bags

Party bags leave a lasting impression of the party, so why not give people something really stylish? You can also make a feature of them as part of the birthday decorations by placing them in a wicker basket.

You will need

  • Craft paper
  • Binding tape
  • Letter stamps (optional)
  • Tea-stained luggage tags

To make

  1. Cut out a sheet of paper for each party bag. Our paper sheets measured 12 x 15cm (5 x 6in).
  2. Fold your paper in half.
  3. Stitch around 3 sides.
  4. Insert sweets, gifts or a mixture of small items.
  5. Cut a length of binding tape slightly longer than double the width of your bag. Fold the tape over the top edge of the bag, sandwiching the bag between the tape, pinning it in place as you work around the top. Stitch the tape into place.
  6. Make luggage tags by cutting out rectangular pieces of card to the size you want. Write your guests’ names (or stamp them on as we did, see right) or a simple ‘thank you’ on the luggage tags.
  7. Use a hole punch to make a hole in one corner of the bag and attach the luggage label.

Tea staining labels

To add a vintage feel, you could tea stain your labels. Put a handful of tea bags into a bowl of hot water (it doesn’t have to be boiling) and place your paper sheets or card into the water until they are stained. Then lay them flat in a warm place to dry.


For an easier finish, put the fillings in place then glue all the sides of the bag together, so each bag is completely sealed. Your paper bags could be made from crêpe paper or last year’s wrapping paper from your store cupboard. This allows you to theme your bag material to the party. Small versions of these bags made in white crêpe and containing silver-coated chocolates make pretty wedding favours. Another eye-catching way to display these bags is to attach them to a tree branch standing in a vase or bucket.

Ros Badger Christmas projects battenberg

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