Holiday Gift Bag Decorating

For the holidays in 2019, Westmont Public Library staff taught patrons several techniques to decorate gift bags. Participants got to decorate and take home three bags. All supplies were provided.

This could also be offered as a virtual program with participants picking up a materials packet in advance.

Advanced Planning

We sat down about a month in advance to order supplies. We ordered the following from Amazon:

We also used supplies that we already had on hand, including scissors, glue-sticks, hot glue guns, markers and ribbons.

A week before, we prepared all of the materials, including samples. We used lever punches in the shapes of circles to make the shape of ornaments and small lever punches to make stars and snowflakes. We also used our in-house vinyl cutter on three different-sized trees to save time from cutting them out by hand.


We included the information in our quarterly newsletter. Normally, we would promote on our digital boards, social media and our website; however, the class filled within a couple of days, including a wait-list, so we didn't do need any additional promotion.


We planned for 15 attendees, plus the samples that we made. 

  • 25 5-by-3.75-by-8-inch brown bags, $9.99
  • 25 5-by-3.75-by-8-inch white bags, $9.99
  • 6-pack of washi tape (we also had extras in-house), $11.99
  • 1 roll of red and white twine, $6.99
  • 3 rolls of wrapping paper, $14.99 
  • 1 pack of glitter cardstock (40 pieces, 10 different colors), $10.95

Day-of-event Activity

Two staff members ran the program from 1 to 3 p.m. on a Thursday. We did a square-shaped table set-up for attendee seating and put out three bags at everyone's seat. There were two tables up front with all of the other supplies. We brought in wipes to remove any glue that got on the tables.

Program Execution

We started by showing participants our sample bags. We explained all of the materials to be used and let them know they could get creative with their own designs. We assisted them when needed but no one really needed much help. 


Since there were 15 patrons and each got three bags, we set up a station for each bag and planned on rotating by groups of five. Patrons got anxious/impatient thinking they would miss out on certain materials, and some went up and grabbed materials for bags they "weren't supposed to be working on." We were EXTRA prepared and had plenty of supplies to go around. Once they realized this and started working they seemed more at ease, had fun, and got VERY creative.

Supporting Materials