How to Easily and Securely Close Gift Bags with Strings

how to close gift bags with strings

Gift bags have become a popular choice for presenting gifts, owing to their convenience and aesthetic appeal. They are versatile, easy to use, and come in a variety of designs and sizes to suit any occasion. Whether you’re gifting books, clothing, or delicate items, there’s a gift bag out there that can perfectly accommodate your present.

However, one aspect of using gift bags that can sometimes be overlooked is the closure. Unlike wrapping paper that is typically sealed with tape, gift bags often come with strings that can be used to close them. This not only secures the contents of the bag but also adds an extra decorative touch, making your gift even more special.

In this article, we will walk you through the process of closing gift bags with strings. We’ll cover everything from the materials needed, how to choose the right bag and string, and provide a step-by-step guide so you can master the art of closing gift bags with strings. So, let’s dive right in!

Materials Needed

To close a gift bag with strings, you’ll need the following materials:

  1. Gift Bag: Choose a gift bag that is appropriate for the size and nature of your gift. Gift bags come in a variety of designs, colors, and sizes. You can pick one that suits the occasion and the recipient’s taste.
  2. Strings/Ribbons: These are used to secure the top of the gift bag. Strings or ribbons can be found in numerous colors and materials, allowing you to add a personal touch to your gift. Ensure the string or ribbon is long enough to tie a secure knot or bow.
  3. Scissors: A pair of scissors is essential for cutting the string or ribbon to the desired length.
  4. Tissue Paper (Optional): If you want to add an extra layer of surprise and decoration inside your gift bag, consider using tissue paper. This can be used to wrap the gift inside the bag or simply added for a pop of color.
  5. Gift Tag (Optional): A gift tag allows you to add a personalized message for the recipient. Attach it to the string or ribbon for a finishing touch.

Choosing the Right Gift Bag and String

Choosing the right gift bag and string is essential in creating a well-presented gift. Here are some tips to help you make the right selections:

Choosing the Right Gift Bag

  1. Consider the Size of the Gift: Make sure the gift bag is large enough to accommodate your gift without being too roomy. The gift should fit comfortably inside the bag without the risk of it moving around excessively or falling out.
  2. Match the Occasion: Gift bags come in a variety of designs, patterns, and colors. Choose one that matches the occasion or the recipient’s preferences. For example, for a birthday, you might choose a vibrant, colorful bag, while for more formal occasions, like weddings, a more elegant design might be appropriate.
  3. Quality Matters: Check the quality of the bag. A sturdy, well-made gift bag will not only look better, but it will also hold up better, especially if you are gifting something heavy.

Selecting the Appropriate String

  1. Coordinate with the Bag: The string or ribbon used to close the bag should complement the gift bag’s design and color scheme. You can choose a color that matches or contrasts with the bag for an appealing look.
  2. Consider the Weight of the Gift: If the gift is heavy, choose a thicker, stronger string or ribbon to ensure it can hold the weight.
  3. Length of the String: Make sure the string or ribbon is long enough to gather the top of the bag and tie a secure knot or bow. It’s better to have a bit extra than not enough.

Preparation Steps

Preparing your gift bag for closure involves a few simple steps:

  1. Position the Gift: Start by placing your gift inside the bag. If the item is fragile, consider wrapping it in tissue paper or bubble wrap first for extra protection. Position the gift so it’s centered and stable. For multiple items, arrange them in a way that they fit snugly and securely to minimize movement.
  2. Add Fillers: If there’s extra space in the bag, consider filling it with additional tissue paper, shredded paper, or bubble wrap. This will help secure the gift in place and prevent it from moving around. It also adds an element of surprise as the recipient will have to go through the fillers to reach the gift.
  3. Arrange Tissue Paper (Optional): If you’re using tissue paper for decorative purposes, now is the time to arrange it. Take a sheet or two of tissue paper, gather it in the middle to create a pointed end, and stick the pointed end into the bag. The other end of the tissue paper should fan out, creating a decorative flourish at the top of the bag.
  4. Attach a Gift Tag (Optional): If you’re using a gift tag, attach it to the string or ribbon before tying the bag closed. Write your message on the tag first, then thread the string or ribbon through the hole in the tag.
  5. Prepare the String: Cut a length of string or ribbon long enough to gather the top of the bag and tie a secure knot or bow. As a general rule, it’s better to cut too much string than too little – you can always trim the ends later.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Close a Gift Bag with String

  1. Position the Gift: Once your gift is wrapped (if necessary) and any additional fillers or tissue paper are added, place the gift inside the bag. Make sure it’s well-positioned and stable. If the bag is larger than the gift, use extra tissue paper or fillers to prevent the gift from moving around too much.
  2. Gather the Top of the Bag: Hold the top edges of the gift bag and pull them together until they meet in the middle. Make sure all sides of the bag are gathered up so that the gift is securely enclosed.
  3. Wrap the String Around the Bag: Take your chosen string or ribbon and wrap it around the gathered part of the bag. Hold the string tight – it should be secure enough to hold the bag closed, but not so tight that it tears the bag.
  4. Tie a Secure Knot or Bow: Once you’ve wrapped the string around the bag, tie a knot to secure it. You can then tie a bow for added decoration. If you’re using a ribbon, make sure the shiny side faces outward when you tie your bow.

Tips on Making an Attractive Knot or Bow:

  1. Keep it Symmetrical: When tying your bow, try to make sure both loops are of equal size and the ends are even. This will make your bow look neat and balanced.
  2. Use Double Knots: If you’re worried about the knot coming undone, consider tying a double knot before you make your bow. This will provide extra security.
  3. Consider a Decorative Bow Style: Rather than sticking with a simple shoelace-style bow, consider a more decorative style like a florist’s bow or a rosette. There are plenty of tutorials online that can guide you through the process.
  4. Add Finishing Touches: For an extra special touch, consider curling the ends of the ribbon with scissors or adding a small decoration, like a charm or a sprig of holly, to the center of the bow.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Closing a gift bag with a string might seem straightforward, but there are common mistakes people often make. Here’s how to avoid them:

1. Using a String That’s Too Short or Too Long:

Mistake: People often underestimate the amount of string needed to close the gift bag securely and create an attractive bow. On the other hand, using too much string can lead to a messy appearance.

Solution: Before cutting, measure the string around the bag and allow extra for the knot and bow. It’s better to have slightly too much than too little. You can always trim the ends if necessary.

2. Choosing a Weak String for Heavy Gifts:

Mistake: A common mistake is using a string or ribbon that is not strong enough to hold the weight of the gift. This can lead to the string breaking and the bag opening.

Solution: Consider the weight of your gift before selecting your string. If the gift is heavy, opt for a thicker, stronger string or ribbon.

3. Not Securing the Bag Properly:

Mistake: Sometimes, in a rush to wrap the gift, people don’t secure the bag properly. The top of the bag may be loosely gathered, or the knot might not be tight enough, leading to the bag opening and the gift falling out.

Solution: Take the time to gather the top of the bag tightly and tie a secure knot. If you’re unsure about the knot holding, consider tying a double knot before making your bow.

4. Overlooking the Presentation:

Mistake: Some people focus solely on the function of the string – to close the bag – and overlook its role in the overall presentation of the gift. A sloppy or hastily tied bow can detract from the appearance of the gift.

Solution: Spend a few extra moments to tie a neat, symmetrical bow. If you’re using a ribbon, make sure the shiny side is facing outward. For an extra special touch, consider curling the ends of the ribbon or adding a small decoration to the center of the bow.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure your gift is not only secure, but also beautifully presented.

Creative Variations for Using Strings

  1. Ribbon: Ribbons are versatile and come in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures. Satin ribbons add a touch of elegance, while patterned ones can be playful or festive. Use a curling ribbon for a fun, party-like effect.
  2. Twine: Twine, especially rustic natural or brown twine, can give your gift a charming, vintage look. It pairs well with craft paper or simple, solid-colored bags.
  3. Yarn or Wool: For a cozy, homemade feel, consider using yarn or wool. This is especially appropriate for winter holidays or if the gift itself is handmade.
  4. Lace or Fabric Strips: For a unique, vintage-inspired touch, use lace or fabric strips instead of traditional string. This works well with floral or rustic-themed gift bags.
  5. Beaded String or Jewelry Wire: Beaded string or jewelry wire adds a touch of sparkle and glamour. This can be a great choice for special occasions like weddings or anniversaries.

Adding Additional Decorations

  1. Gift Tags: Attach a gift tag to the string before tying it around the bag. The tag can simply have the recipient’s name, a holiday message, or even a fun quote. You can buy pre-made tags or make your own for a personalized touch.
  2. Ornaments: Small ornaments, such as mini Christmas baubles, charms, or bells can be threaded onto the string before tying. These add a fun visual element and can be themed to match the occasion.
  3. Fresh or Fake Flowers: Tuck a small bouquet of fresh or fake flowers under the knot of the bow. This can add a pop of color and make the gift feel extra special.
  4. Feathers or Glitter: For a whimsical touch, consider attaching feathers or sprinkling a little bit of glitter on the string.
  5. Origami or Paper Cut-Outs: If you’re skilled in origami, a small paper crane, star, or heart can make a beautiful decoration. Alternatively, paper cut-outs (like snowflakes for Christmas) can be attached to the string.


Wrapping gifts is an art, and the way you close your gift bag can significantly enhance the overall presentation. In this guide, we’ve walked you through the steps to close a gift bag with a string, from positioning the gift to tying a secure knot or bow.

We’ve also addressed common mistakes to avoid, such as using a string that’s too short or weak for your gift, not securing the bag properly, and overlooking the importance of presentation. Remember to choose your string carefully, tie a secure knot, and spend a few extra moments on the bow to make your gift look as special as it is.

In addition, we’ve suggested creative variations for using different types of strings, including ribbons, twine, yarn, lace, and beaded strings. We’ve also provided ideas for additional decorations, such as gift tags, ornaments, flowers, feathers, glitter, and origami.

Closing your gift bag with a string not only secures your gift but also allows you to add a personal and creative touch to your gift wrapping. It’s a small detail that can make a big difference in making your gift stand out and making the recipient feel special.

So next time you’re wrapping a gift, why not try closing your gift bag with a string? With a bit of practice and creativity, you’ll be wrapping gifts like a pro in no time. Happy wrapping!

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