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October 20, 2013

Well Read

Hello from Washington, DC! We made it and so did all of our "stuff". I've been super busy with unpacking and getting our new home in order. One of the first things I unpacked was the fall welcome sign for our front door. Little seasonal touches make it feel a lot more like home!

The festive front door of our new home in Washington, DC
I am working on a moving post, with moving tips and tricks I've learned along the way. In the meantime, I wanted to share a few blogs I personally read regularly. 

The Evolution of Mom blog is written by a fellow military spouse I met when we were both living in Virginia (about 3 moves ago) and another Rachel who is not me. (Sometimes when she e-mails me I get confused because her e-mail comes up as Rachel N and my middle initial is N and I'm wondering why I e-mailed myself.) They write topics about real life and real life parenting. Plus they do lots of giveaways, which I am a huge fan of! They have a giveaway going on right now and you can win an iPad!

Another blog I've been following lately is Sally's Baking Addiction. I'm not sure how I found this blog but she posts some amazing recipes! I'm especially excited to try some of her peanut butter recipes. She has a cookbook coming out soon which is awesome and I know what I want for Christmas!

And of course, my sister's art blog, Multicolored Veins. Hannah does giveaways often too, and I just won one recently!! (I know, I know, she's my sister, but she chooses winners at random so I won fair and square!) 

So now you have three new blogs to check out, and plenty of reading until I post my (hopefully) super helpful moving tips! :D What's your favorite blog? Leave a link in the comments so I can check it out too!

Until next time,


September 22, 2013

What's New

Hello, poor, neglected blog! Someday I'll get better at blogging. But I'm so overwhelmed that my blog has had over 32,000 views!! Most of them have come from my tutorial on how to make a gift bag out of a catalog or magazine, and I'm so glad so many people have been able to use that info and even make it their own. A lot of people have also found my Sesame Street birthday party post on Pinterest. I hope to be able to provide more helpful and fun posts in the future (to include the next birthday party for my little love, which I plan to make just as awesome as the first!)! But for today, I have an announcement to make.

If you are a fan of my Etsy shop on Facebook, at, then you may have already heard that my family is moving, and that means the shop is moving too. As I mentioned in my bio, my husband is active duty Air Force so moving was always in our future. It's bittersweet, as we love Tampa, Florida, but we're excited to get to experience Washington, DC as well. Not that it affects this blog so much, as we can always connect here! But it's worth mentioning that Sparkle & Pop won't have much going on for awhile, and in fact is currently closed. I've had to pack up all my craft supplies so I won't be able to re-open until we get settled and unpacked in our new home.

Craft desk all packed up and ready to be moved
So the military does move our belongings for us, and we even have our things packed up for us, so that takes a lot of the work out of it. However, if we want things to show up at our new home in an organized fashion, there is some work we do on our end. Personally, I've become a major fan of plastic zip top bags! I have bagged up all my supplies so that they don't just get all jumbled up in boxes. I plan to post some moving tips here once we get settled and we see if my bright ideas actually help. :)

Well the movers are coming in this week, so until we get settled in our new home, you can connect with me on Facebook, I will post updates about our move and about the shop status. You can also follow me on Instagram.

Thanks again to all the visitors to my blog, and I hope you'll come back and visit me again. :)

<3 Rachel

July 14, 2013

Sparkle & Pop Giveaway!

It's been a good week for Sparkle & Pop, my Etsy shop, which you can visit at I had a custom order which turned out great, and finally hit 100 "likes" on my Facebook page! To celebrate, I'm giving away two glitter votive candles! These are the same candles you can find in my shop.

Enter to win these!
To enter the giveaway, just go to the Sparkle & Pop Facebook page and enter using the purple Giveaway button at the top. Make sure you like my page before you enter. Thanks and good luck!

June 27, 2013

Sesame Street Birthday Party

Today my sweet little girl is 18 months old! It's her half birthday! I never did share her magnificent first birthday party so I thought today would be the perfect day to do so. Her birthday party was a ton of fun, and both the kids and adults who were there loved it! A first birthday party is as much a celebration  for the parents (we made it a year and everyone is still alive!) as it is for the little one. I had a blast creating this fun party!

My daughter loves Sesame Street so it was an easy choice for her first birthday party theme. I searched every corner of the internet for Sesame Street birthday party ideas, and there were TONS out there!! But what I noticed was that a lot of the ideas out there were from fancy people who could afford to outsource every last piece of the party. I'm talking they hired someone to make the invitations, someone else to bring in a candy table, another person for catering, etc etc. So I gathered a few ideas, tightened my belt a little, and set about to make our party a total DIY affair. Hopefully these ideas will help others as they scour the internet for Sesame Street themes they can do themselves.

To start with, I created my own invitation, and honestly, I just did it in Word. No joke. I sent it via e-mail because stamps are expensive and it would get thrown away eventually anyway. BUT I am a big proponent for buying handmade, so if you can't make it yourself or don't want to, check out Etsy for lots of invitations you can buy.

I created the invite in Word, including the striped background.
A lot of the planning and creating was done in advance so that we could just enjoy the party and our daughter's birthday. I think goodie bags are optional, but I wanted to make them because I was just going all out with this Sesame Street theme and had too many extra ideas. All my leftover ideas got thrown into goodie bags :P

I kept the theme and created tags and labels with the same background as the invitation. If you know much about Sesame Street, these favors will make more sense to you. 
Included in the goodie bags were goldfish crackers (stored in a clean baby food container, way to up-cycle!), crayons, bubbles, candy necklaces, a rubber ducky and a couple extra balloons. Most of the things came in party favor packs so they were pretty inexpensive.

I also decorated in advance. It made it especially nice because the birthday party was two days after my daughter's actual birthday, so I was able to decorate so her birthday was special and then leave it up until the party. I blew up balloons and let them cover the living room floor so that she could play with them. She had a blast and the other kids who came to her party enjoyed it too! Helium might be fun and look good, but hot air is free and makes the balloons more accessible for little kids to play with.

I can't take credit for the "Happy Birthday" banner; it's from Target and it's fantastic. I did hang the streamers and create the signs. The picture frames are just the simple ones from Target, and I used them for regular photos after the party.

I did make the famed Sesame Street cupcakes. I had never even made cupcakes before *gasp* let alone decorated them. I don't like cake so I don't make it very often. But I found a bunch of ideas on the interwebs, and this video was quite helpful as well. Then I just added my own personal touch. I think they turned out quite well. Except Abby Cadabby. She's quite scary. I won't give you a close up because you might be scared. :P

Elmo, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch and Grover cupcakes. I'm especially proud of Cookie Monster and Oscar!

I made these the night before and covered them. That gave the icing time to set and freed up my morning to do the rest of the preparations. In case you would like to re-create these in the same way I have, I'll list some of the ingredients. I used the spray can icing and candy melt wafer eyes, just like she did in the video. The mouths are Oreo cookie halves, cut carefully with a serrated knife. Except Cookie Monster, who has a Chips Ahoy cookie in his mouth. I did serve the leftovers of these at the party so none went to waste. Elmo's nose is a peanut M&M and Grover's nose is a gum ball. Oscar's eyebrows are pink icing (used from Abby Cadabby cupcakes) mixed with a little chocolate syrup. I hope that helps!

Here they are all lined up and ready to be eaten! See, I told you Abby Cadabby is scary! To be fair, she is really hard!
I wanted my daughter to have a fun first cake experience, but I am not a fan of the huge "smash cake" for kids. Too much cake gets wasted when the kid (hopefully) doesn't eat it all. I made her her own little cupcake with considerably less icing than the characters. She loved it and I got video of her eating it so I am a happy mama!

The actual birthday party was only a few hours long because little ones get tired and need naps. She only had two other child guests, the rest were family and friends who came to celebrate her with us. When the guests first arrived they all got a party hat. These were from Target and just happened to match the striped designs I had already created. Then I printed and cut out the Sesame Street characters and stuck them on. Voila!

Easy DIY Sesame Street party hats, and they cost less than the licensed ones you can buy in the store.
We all stayed in the living room and played with the balloons on the floor. I checked out a Sesame Street DVD from the library that was all about birthday parties and we watched that and colored as well. I downloaded free printable coloring pages from, which has a ton of other resources as well.

Yes, this stuff was all over the floor in no time, but everyone had so much fun, it was worth it!
After the Sesame Street DVD was over (it was only about 45 minutes long) and everyone had their fill of coloring and balloons, we moved into the dining room for snacks. Of course, I did themed snacks too, and tried to have a good variety of things that the little ones could eat as well as things the adults could enjoy. And candy. Every birthday party needs candy.

The food table before the party
Some of the food items had the plush Sesame Street character next to it. 
In the interest of making sure this post is not a mile long, I've grouped all my photos together in collages. I hope you can see them ok. I made a tag for each food item so that guests not as familiar with the show would know why I was serving it and which character it was associated with. (Overkill? Oh well)  Included in my Sesame Street themed food were "Oscar's friend Slimy and friends in the mud" (brownies), Cookie Monster's cookies, Telly's cheese triangles, Dorothy's goldfish, and Big Bird's chocolate covered birdseed. If you've never tried chocolate covered sunflower seeds you really should. I couldn't find any locally so I ordered off Amazon. Also pictured are the "singing vegetables" which I just added candy eyes and chocolate icing smiles to veggies I was going to cook later. There was also Abby Cadabby's magical pink punch and Elmo's favorite food, pizza (well, bagel bites). The picture at the top of the collage, Elmo and Jelly Bean, was done by my sister. She takes commissions, if you are interested in custom art. You can find her here:

We also had a dress up photo booth type thing at the party. I made Sesame Street themed accessories to dress up with. There was a Grover cape and helmet (helmet bought off of Amazon) and a Big Bird feather boa and feather mask. I printed out giant pictures of Elmo, Oscar and Cookie Monster's faces to use as masks. I also made Abby Cadabby and Zoe hair and found cute little skirts that managed to be literally one size fits all at the Target dollar spot. Everyone had a blast taking pictures.

My cute little family in Sesame Street costumes
Using accessories and making most of them by hand made it cheaper than getting full costumes, and then everyone could participate because they are one size fits all! I kept all of it so that when she gets into dress up she will have them to play with. I plan to make the Abby Cadabby hair and wands to sell on my Etsy shop, Sparkle & Pop, so keep an eye out around Halloween time.

After we were all done taking fun pictures in costume, we went back in for cupcakes and presents. It was such a wonderful party and our daughter was smiling and laughing the whole time! I will cherish these memories and I hope that some of this is helpful to you so you can make some awesome memories too. If you have any questions on any of the elements or want more direction for recreating some of it, leave me a comment and I'll try to help. :)

In conclusion, here is a picture of my dog in a party hat.

Don't forget to check out my Etsy shop, Sparkle & Pop and like me on Facebook for more fun stuff!

~ Rachel

June 18, 2013


Whew! Has it really been 2 months since I last posted? Apparently I'm bad at this. But in my defense, I've been busy. Haha! Well I do have a growing pre-toddler (is that a thing?) and she consumes most of my time always. We've been making weekly trips to the library, children's museum and music class... not to mention the at least twice a week trips to Target. She doesn't like to stay home. She will actually bring me my shoes so we can go out.

Anyhow, thanks for all the comment love on my gift bag post! It's quite popular with fellow Thirty-One consultants! And for good reason, we don't like to waste old catalogs! Well the good news is, I am going to be hosting a craft demo table teaching how to make these gift bags at the official Etsy Craft Party in my area!!

This is a worldwide event organized by Etsy
Since starting my Etsy shop, Sparkle & Pop, in the fall I have been involved with a great Etsy team for my local area, the Tampa Bay Etsy Crew . It's a pretty large group but I feel like we're some sort of functional extended family. Everyone is always very helpful and we try to meet up once a month. This month our awesome team leaders have helped to organize a Tampa Bay Etsy Craft Party Event.

The Tampa Bay Etsy Craft Party is going to be awesome! Like no other party you've been to. There will be food trucks, drinks, music and of course awesome local artists and Etsy shop owners selling their handcrafted goods. There will also be several make and take craft demos, including mine. The other demos available include knitting, crochet, paper crafting and make your own leather bracelet, which I hope I get a chance to do! I will be showing people who stop by how to make my gift bag but this time out of regular magazine pages.

If you live in the area, see the flyer below and come out and join us! If not, find a party in your area here:

~ Rachel

April 1, 2013


Hello blog, sorry for neglecting you! My life really is crazy, (or is it me who's crazy?) and I have been too busy to think of stuff to blog about. My husband was just in school for a month to become a Sergeant, so proud of him! And then it was his birthday, and doctor's appointments and errands and parties and Easter... whew.

But today I wanted to pick it back up with a post about awesome free t-shirts I got. I love free stuff. Who doesn't? But I think I love free stuff more than most. I am a member of the Crowdtap community. I have liked it ok so far, as far as survey sites go. But the best part, by far, is the free stuff I've gotten to sample and share. Now, it takes awhile before you'll get selected for these, but the more you participate the easier it will be.

I have gotten several sample and share opportunities, including two from Old Navy. Last time I got a free sweater. This time I got two free t-shirts! There are also always free things for your friends, so I gave a friend the other coupon for two free t-shirts.

This is what the most recent coupon looked like.

 I got two of the vintage tees, one in a dark grey and one in grey and white stripes.

Me in my new t-shirt, with a lego lady at Legoland.
They are super soft! I love the way they feel. And they are nice and loose, not too fitted. They are a bit sheer, especially in the lighter colors, and also a bit low cut so I wear a tank underneath. I am very happy with them! And the regular price isn't bad so I would definitely buy a few more.

I just got selected for another sample and share opportunity with Cottonelle and I'm getting a huge supply of toilet paper pretty soon, haha! If you're interested in joining, use this link:

February 17, 2013

Date Night!

Tonight I made a fun date night jar craft. I will explain, of course. This past Saturday night, Jesse and I were able to go out on a date night! We don't get to go out alone very often, since our cutie cute was born. But thanks to my sister and the gift card she gave us for Christmas and a good friend who watched the cuteness, we were able to go out. We went to the Tampa Museum of Art and then had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. It was so nice! But now we need to start planning our next date night, which will be in March, since we are able to go out about once a month.

So I made us cute and crafty date night jars! I can't take credit for the idea of date night jars, but I CAN and WILL take credit for turning it into a Sunday night craft! haha! You and your spouse each get a jar and an equal number of slips of paper. You each write down dates you'd like to go on, anything you want to do, and then put them in your respective jars. When you're planning a date night, you take turns picking date slips from the jars. BUT the wife picks from the husband's jar and vice versa.

For example, for our jars we will each have three slips of paper, which will equal six dates all together. These will last us for six months since we only go out once a month, but if you go out more, use more slips of paper. When we begin planning our next date, I will pick from Jesse's jar and we will do one of the dates he has chosen. Keep in mind that if you have enough slips to last you several months, the dates will have to be things that can be done anytime in that timeframe. Don't write that you want to go to a football game if it's not going to be football season in the next six months.

Ok here we go. To make pretty ones like I did you will need:
  • 2 containers of some sort
  • ribbon
  • hot glue gun and glue stick
  • slips of paper
  • a spouse :) (or you could do family versions and let the kids make their own)
We went to the thrift store today and I got two pretty little jars with lids for ours.

I also got this pretty little jar and the book below:

Such a cute little jar!

It's "Little Women" on one side and "Little Men" on the other!
My Goodwill haul

 I'd like to make a fun project with the book sometime. Maybe a book purse or an altered book project of some kind. But I'm getting distracted...

First I glued one some pretty lace I had laying around. I like the way it forms to the jar and looks oh so pretty.

No, I don't have sparkly hot glue sticks, that's just a pencil sticking where there should be a fresh glue stick... because I ran out and needed something to make the glue that is in there squeeze out. Don't judge.

Next, I tied some purple ribbon in a pretty little bow around the top of the jar. I twisted the ribbon first so it would fit nicely in the groove. If you're just making a pretty decorated jar, you're done!

I think dark purple looks so nice with a golden yellow.

Then I cut six, 2 inch strips of heart-y love paper and we each secretly wrote our secret date plans!

 And here they are all finished and pretty.

You can see how pretty the lace looks. I'm quite proud of them. 

So I'm excited to plan our next date night so we have something to look forward to! Doing date night this way helps us to do what the other person wants to do as well as see what kind of creative things we can come up with. Usually we just agree on something and it's mostly the same kind of things. This helps us to go a little bit outside of the box... and inside the jar. haha! Anyone want to babysit??

February 16, 2013

Thirty-One Orange Juice

I have mentioned that I am a Thirty-One Independent Consultant. It's fun and I like the extra money; we paid for Christmas with my commission this past fall. And I do so love the products! They are super functional and versatile as well. Well today starts a Thirty-One incentive for new consultants so I wanted to share it with my plethora of readers (haha!).

Anyone who signs up between now and April 1st can earn a $99 rebate, which is the cost of your enrollment kit! In order to earn the rebate, you will have to have $1000 in sales in your first 30 days. It's not as hard as it sounds. That can happen in one party, or as many as 5 parties, but it's definitely doable!

Besides getting back the money you paid for your enrollment kit, you will of course still make your commission, which on $1000 in sales is $250! And all new consultants can earn their Start Swell rewards, which are goals set to help you succeed and get off to a good start. If you sell $1000 in the first 30 days, you will automatically earn your first Start Swell, which includes free product and business supplies to help you get started.

But wait, there's more! Haha! There is another incentive for all consultants going on right now. Thirty-One National Conference is at the end of July and consultants can earn the cost of registration, plus a special Conference kit and more. Even if you are just starting out and don't know if you can make it to the conference this year, you can still earn the conference kit for free. This incentive is done by a point system and there are extra points that only new consultants can earn.

Anyhow, the point is, now is a really good time to join Thirty-One. You are not only earning commission which is extra money in your pocket, but you are also working towards 3 different incentives that give you nothing to lose! Let me know if you or someone you know is interested in more information.

In the future I do plan to post info here and there about my Thirty-One business. Hopefully it's helpful to those who do read. But I will continue to mostly post crafty things and awesome food and all the adventures of Crazy Rachel.

Have a great long weekend!

February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day Treat

Last week I attempted to make Valentine's Rice Krispies Treats... and it was a major fail. I think the marshmallows I used were too old. They weren't expired, but just not fresh enough I think. So, as promised, I tried again today with new marshmallows and they turned out fabulously.

Honestly I had never made Rice Krispies Treats until a few weeks ago. But they are super easy. Just use the recipe from the Rice Krispies website: Valentine Cut-Out Treats Recipe. I had some leftover cupcake frosting cans from my daughter's birthday cupcakes. (I'll probably post about her birthday soon because it was awesome!) They were super fun to make, and I took some to my little friend when I dropped her off at her gymnastics class today.

Of course I had to make black ones!

I think this one is the prettiest... and I want to eat it right now!

And then there's this handsome mustache heart man

I used some of the mini hearts to make little sandwiches. So tasty!
A few tips:
  • Butter! Butter the pan or cookies sheet that you put the Rice Krispies mixture on, butter your hands so they don't get sticky while you press it all down, and butter your cookie cutters. 
  • After you use your cookie cutters to cut out all the shapes you can, squish the leftovers together, much like you would if you were making sugar cookies. As tempting as it was to just eat it, I was actually able to get a bunch more hearts out of it after I squished it all together.
  • Make sure to eat them within a day or so because they lose their "krispie" pretty quickly.
If you're looking for a last minute Valentine's Day gift, check out the pretty jewelry and candles in my Etsy Shop, Rachel's Craft Trove. Happy Valentine's Day! (in two days)

February 5, 2013

A Sweet Fail

I was going to post a fun Valentine's Day treat but that failed miserably. Probably next week I will try again. But I was so mad that it didn't work out so I made cookies instead. So I will share the recipe because they are the best cookies ever. I got them from, which appears to be broken right now. So if I post the recipe then I can come back and get it later, and so you can you.

The picture is dark because I didn't take the time to take a good picture because I wanted to eat this cookie immediately.

1 cup butter*
¾ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
⅛ tsp cinnamon
1 ½ cups quick oats

Cream Filling:*
2 tsp very hot water
¼ tsp salt
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow cream
½ cup shortening
⅓ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. With a mixer*, cream the butter, sugars, molasses, vanilla, and eggs.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and stir to combine; mix in the oats.
5. Drop tablespoon* sized scoops onto the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12* minutes, until just starting to brown around the edges. Be careful not to over-bake them; they will look moist.
6. While the cookies are baking, in a small bowl, dissolve the salt in the hot water and allow to cool to room temperature.
7. Combine the marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla and mix on high until fluffy.
8. Add the salt water and mix well.
9. Spread the filling onto the flat side of one cookie and top with another.

*My Notes*
The original recipe calls for unsalted butter but I didn't find it made much of a difference. I also like to double the cream filling recipe, but really I could probably just 1 1/2 it. It definitely isn't enough cream filling though. Original recipe also says to use your stand mixer, but if you can't shell out $200+ for a Kitchen Aid (like me) a hand mixer will work just fine. And my last note: tablespoon sized scoops of cookie dough are way too big. I used a teaspoon and sometimes those are still too big. The cookies will flatten out and spread. And definitely check the cookies at around 5 minutes, they burn very quickly.

Hopefully it doesn't take you three tries to get them right like it did me. :) But they are so good. And in case you can't find kidsinthesink anymore like I can't, then you can find it here. 

February 4, 2013

Productive Day

Today has been pretty productive! My husband took a few days of vacation this week so we are trying to get some things done. We cleaned the office! It had become a dumping ground, but now it's back to being where we pay bills, where I work on my Thirty-One business, and where the dog sleeps. Well it was always where the dog sleeps, but lately he had been trying to get out almost every night. Maybe it was just too much for him. Sorry buddy, it's clean now.

I also got a little crafty today. I made the earrings to match the set I was commissioned to make, which you can see here. Here they are:

If you want some pretty jewelry handmade by me, go visit my Etsy shop, That's it. I'm going to go back to enjoying my day! Stay tuned for a fun Valentine's Day treat idea!

February 3, 2013

Tutorial - How to Make a Gift Bag Out of a Catalog or Magazine

Hi again! Today I want to show you how to make a gift bag out of a catalog or a magazine. I drew the basic idea from this tutorial here about making gift bags out of newspaper. There are tons of tutorials on the interwebs for the newspaper kind. Today I'm going to make them out of Thirty-One catalogs.

As I mentioned in my profile, I am an Independent Consultant with Thirty-One Gifts and we have catalogs for each season. I always want to find new ways to use my old catalogs because it would be such a shame to waste them. One idea is to drop them off at the doctor's or dentist's office waiting rooms so that they are still working for you even after they are expired. I have done that before, but I thought this was a neat idea too. You can use them for a small hostess gift and card to give to your hostesses at your parties. You could also use them for giveaways. OR you could just use them anytime you need a small gift bag for any purpose and then you have a gift bag that advertises your business for you on the side!

Ok here we go. Materials you will need:

  • Thirty-One catalog (you can also use a regular magazine)
  • Staple remover
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Glue stick
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon of some sort
The first thing you'll need to do is remove the staples from the middle of the catalog so that you can separate the pages.  

Separate out the page you want to use and place the side that you would like to show on the outside of the bag face down.
I want the page that says "Accessory Bags" at the top to be on the outside of the bag so I am placing it face down on the table. 
Next you'll need to make your folds. For a Thirty-One catalog, measure from left to right, 3", then 5", 3", 5" and the last fold on the right will be whatever is leftover.

From left to right, the folds are made at 3", 5", 3", 5" and then the last fold is whatever is left, about 3/4".
If you are using a traditional sized magazine, the measurements will be a little bit smaller. As long as the two smaller folds and two larger folds are the same size it will work.

Next you'll need to fold the bottom and top. The top fold is about 3/4" and the bottom is about 2.5".

I drew black lines on the folds so you can see it a little bit better, hopefully.
Next, use your glue stick and apply glue to the smallest flap, the fold you made at the far right. Now is a good time to put glue on the top fold too. You're gluing it on the side of the paper that is facing you. After that you are going to form the bag using the folds you've made, and the right flap will overlap to form a tube.
See, it makes a tube.
See how the flap overlaps? And you've put glue on it so you just need to pinch it to make it stick and you'll have the body of your gift bag.
Next you will fold down the top flap into the bag. You may have already put glue on it in the last step, but if not you can put it on now. I just think it's easier to put glue on while the paper is still flat. This will be the top of the bag and helps it to be reinforced.
Top flap folded down into the bag
Next you will fold the bottom of the bag, kind of like you're wrapping a present.

Then put some glue on the insides of the new triangular flaps you have made so that they will stick to each other and to the bottom of the bag.
There's the bottom of your bag
Now your bag has a bottom. Mine isn't perfect, it will still work. You can also cut some cardboard to put inside the bag at the bottom to give it a more sturdy bottom. Here is what you end up with:

You can also poke your fingers in at the sides a little ways up from the bottom of the bag and crease it so that it can be folded flat and looks more like a gift bag you would buy in the store.

The last thing you will do is punch two holes on each side at the top of the bag and string some ribbon or hemp or whatever through. If you use thick ribbon you could tie knots at each end to secure the handles. I used skinny ribbon so I threaded it through the holes and then tied the ends together instead. And here is the finished product:

This was easy and quick and I will definitely be making more! Leave a comment if you have a question. Have fun!

*UPDATE* 9/5/13
I am just amazed at how many views this post has gotten and I so appreciate everyone taking the time to check out my tutorial. I'm glad so many people can use this information, and I love all the comments on how people have made it their own! I'd love to invite you to my Facebook fan page where I post info about my Etsy shop, Sparkle & Pop, as well as other fun info like this, giveaways and more! You can also find me on Instagram and Pinterest! Thanks again!