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How To Put Tissue Paper in a Gift Bag: Step-by-Step Guide

Wrap like a pro and add the finishing touch that will make your gift all the more striking.

Gift bags may be easier to use when wrapping awkwardly shaped presents (or even if wrapping is just not your forte). But you don’t want to end up with an average-looking gift bag. The easiest way of adding some pizzazz to your gift bag is with tissue paper.

And we’ve gathered all the cute ways on exactly how to put tissue paper in a gift bag. From figuring out how to arrange oddly shaped gifts to using the fan method, we’ve got your gift-giving skills covered.

How To Choose the Right Size Gift Bag

Ever ended up with a gift bag that’s simply too small for the gift? We have. Follow these tips to make sure it doesn’t happen to you!

  • Always choose a gift bag that’s bigger than the gift you’re placing inside.
  • Add half an inch to two inches to the width of the bag, especially when the gift is bulky.
  • Tiny gifts will get lost in an oversized gift bag, so don’t overcompensate.
  • Make sure to keep the gift type in mind. Wine bottles like to stick out of gift bags, so they need more length, while clothes fold up and need less.

How To Put Tissue Paper in a Gift Bag

There are different options on how to use tissue paper in a gift bag. Add a fancy finish to your gift-giving this year with one of these techniques.

What You’ll Need

  • Gift bag.
  • Tissue paper.
  • Scissors.
  • Ribbons, bows, or other cute decorations (optional).
  • Gift cards or tags (optional).

Wrapping Tissue Around the Gift

1. Preparation is Key

Gather your supplies and ensure you have a large, flat surface to work with. Prepare your gift for packing, remembering to remove any price tags.

2. Protect the Gift

Fold layers of tissue paper over all sides of the gift, one side at a time; there’s no need to tape it. Make sure there are enough layers, especially if the gift is small or fragile.

3. Add Color

Place several sheets of colored tissue paper on the flat surface. You can alternate multiple colors that fit the occasion and cut the paper if the gift is smaller. Place the gift in the center of the tissue paper at an angle that prevents it from popping out.

4. Position the Gift

Lift each corner of the tissue paper, so they join above the present. Lift the gift to place it into the gift bag. Be gentle, so the tissue paper doesn’t rip or tear in the process.

5. Add More Tissue Paper

If there is too much space around the gift, fill it with more tissue paper. Be careful not to overfill it, as it could cause the tissue paper to lose its shape.

6. Add Decoration

Arrange a curling ribbon around the gift bag’s handles or stick a gift bow on it, so the gift bag looks its best. Add a small gift card or tag to finish.

Adding Tissue Paper First

  1. Prepare: Place the tissue paper on a flat surface.
  2. Pinch: Pinch the paper in the center using your thumb and forefinger.
  3. Flip Over: Flip the tissue paper over, so it looks like a bouquet.
  4. Place: Place it gently into the gift bag and adjust the pieces, so they are evenly spaced and look their best.
  5. Add gift: Place the gift in the center of the tissue paper.

Fan Tissue Paper Method

  1. Preparation: ​​​Lay one or more ​pieces of tissue paper on a flat surface.​ You can choose colors that complement the​ gift or the bag itself.
  2. Grip: Grab the paper together in the middle and hold, either using the long or short sides. This should create a triangular shape both above and below the center, where your hand is gripped.
  3. Shape: ​Use your other hand to tug ​gently ​on the tissue paper ​edges, which should create some creases.​ ​Do this for the tissue paper sticking out above your hand and then below it.​ ​Once the creases are made, the tissue paper should look like a fan above and below your hand.
  4. Join: Join the ​two shapes together so one big fan of fluffy tissue paper is aimed upwards.
  5. Display: Tuck the finished product deep into the gift bag, but make sure plenty of the fluffy folds stick out on display.

Fancy Tissue Paper Wrapping Ideas

If just knowing how to fold tissue paper in a gift bag is a bit too simple for you, then it’s time to take it up a notch. These creative tissue paper wrapping ideas can save the day.

Gift Bag Filler

  1. Fold: Fold a few stacked sheets of tissue paper twice, making a square, and then in half to form a triangle.
  2. Make an airplane: Fold each side of the triangle outwards, so that you have the beginnings of what looks like a paper airplane.
  3. Fold again: Fold the entire airplane in half lengthwise, forming a long, narrow triangle.
  4. Cut: Either round off or cut the open end of the triangle into a point. Cut low enough so you include all the excess layers of tissue paper.
  5. Fan: Unfold the tissue paper and spread the sheets out.
  6. Pinch: Pick up a single sheet at a time and pinch the paper in the center to form a bouquet.
  7. Add: With all the pinched points in one hand, flick the paper out and add it to the gift bag. Fluff the pieces further as you desire.

Top Tip

The narrower you make the ‘airplane’ before cutting, the smaller the pointy or rounder edges will be.

Tissue Paper Flowers

  1. Begin: Put a few sheets of tissue paper on top of each other on a flat surface.
  2. Fold: Fold the sheets like an accordion, alternating between backwards and forwards folds.
  3. Cut: Unless you’d like a really large flower, you can cut the accordion in half, so you’ll end up with two smaller paper flowers.
  4. Fold: Fold each of the pieces in half.
  5. Secure: Secure the middle of each of the folded accordions by looping string, wire, or a pipe cleaner around them.
  6. Shape: Round off the edges of the tissue paper with scissors.
  7. Time to bloom: Separate the layers of the tissue paper, so the flowers “bloom.”
  8. Attach: Once fluffed up, you can tie the tissue paper flowers to your gift or gift bag.

Scrunched Tissue Topper

  1. Cut: Cut the tissue paper into small squares.
  2. Fold: Fold each square in half and then in half again. You’ll end up with a diamond shape.
  3. Join: Use an embroidery needle and thread to string the diamond-shaped pieces together as if you were making popcorn garland for a Christmas tree. You’ll use more pieces for a larger gift than for a smaller one and can alternate colors for a stand-out look.
  4. Wrap: Tie the string around the box twice, as you would a ribbon, with enough tissue paper pieces on display on the top of the gift towards the center, like a bow.
  5. Finish: Scrunch and fluff the tissue paper pieces. The tissue topper can be used on a gift box, gift bag, or gift basket.

How To Fill a Gift Bag Without Tissue Paper

Here are some fabulous ways you can fill your gift bag if you’re out of tissue paper or are just looking for unique ways to gift wrap:

  • Newspaper and magazine pages: You can stuff your gift bag with pages from a periodical or craft book that fit the gift and the person you’re giving it to.
  • Small balloons: Extra party balloons do a wonderful job of filling up small or large gift bags, and all you need is a strong set of lungs.
  • Craft materials: Whether you like to sew, design clothes, or are a craft person, any excess materials are perfect to stuff into gift bags with whatever colors or textures you’ve got on hand.
  • Extra wrapping paper: Here’s the answer to what to do with all those extra pieces of mismatched wrapper paper. They’ll look awesome as filler for your gift bag and cost nothing.
  • Confetti: Confetti is ready for anything, and it works for filling up a gift bag, especially when it’s a small gift, like jewelry.


Is Tissue Paper the Same As Wrapping Paper?

Tissue paper is not the same as wrapping paper. Wrapping paper is made of kraft paper and often comes in a roll that’s anywhere from three to eight feet long. It’s significantly stronger and thicker than tissue paper, which is very thin and flexible. Tissue paper also rips much more easily than wrapping does.

How Do You Put Tissue Paper In a Small Gift Bag?

You can cut the tissue paper, so you don’t have too much excess paper. A good rule of thumb is for it to be twice the size of the gift bag before folding. If the bag measures six by four inches, your tissue paper can be approximately 12 inches by eight inches.

How Do You Put Tissue Paper In a Large Gift Bag?

Once you have your large gift bag ready, you can place a few pieces of tissue paper on a flat surface. With your thumb and forefinger, pinch and lift the paper in the center. Turn your hand right side up, so the more bouffant part of the tissue paper is now on top. Place it gently into the bag. You can adjust the individual flaps of tissue paper as you like.

How Do You Wrap a Round Gift With Tissue Paper?

To wrap a round gift with tissue paper, place it in the center of the tissue paper. Make sure to use multiple layers of tissue paper, so the gift is completely wrapped. Slowly pick up layers of the tissue paper and gather them together above the gift. Once the gift is totally covered, you can secure the tissue paper with a ribbon and add a bow to finish.

Headshot of Maryana Vestic

About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.