Gift Bag Wall Art (Christmas Reverse Canvas Tutorial)

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If you’re wondering what to do with old gift bags that you don’t use anymore, have you considered upcycling them to make gift bag wall art?

It’s so easy to do – and if you have some cheap canvases lying around, you could even do a Christmas reverse canvas to frame your gift bags.

That’s what I did with this super sweet handmade snowman gift bag. Doesn’t he make the most perfect wall art? I can’t wait to bring him out year after year!

Snowman Gift Bag Wall Art - Christmas Reverse Canvas Tutorial

What’s a Christmas reverse canvas?

A Christmas reverse canvas is the process where you expose the wooden frame underneath a canvas that’s usually used for painting, and use it to frame something else. In this case, something Christmassy like a unique gift bag.

Fancy giving it a go so you can upcycle your gift bags? Here’s how to do it.

RELATED: Meet Me Under The Mistletoe Sign | Christmas Reverse Canvas

Gift Bag Wall Art | Christmas Reverse Canvas Tutorial

Gift Bag Wall Art | Christmas Reverse Canvas Tutorial


  • Cheap art canvas (mine was about the size of a piece of printer paper)
  • Old gift bags you want to turn into some wall art
  • Strong ribbon or chain (for hanging the frame up)
  • Glue (a glue stick or craft glue will be fine)
  • Staple gun
  • Craft knife
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Wood primer (optional)
  • Wood stain or spray paint (optional)


Step 1: Prepare your canvas

Start by removing the canvas material with a craft knife – just like you can see me doing in this video.

It’s better to slide your craft knife along the back of the canvas material so that it’s no big deal if you slip.

And don’t worry about having totally straight lines as the wooden frame underneath is going to neaten everything up later anyway.

Step 2: Prepare your frame

It’s now time to prep your frame. This part’s up to you as there are a few different options, but you’ll always need to start with a light sanding first.

After that, you could:

  • Simply oil and wax your frame. This will give you a more natural rustic look like what you can see in my ‘Adventure Awaits’ reverse canvas I made earlier in the year.
  • Stain it. This is best if you want to go for a darker colour like black, walnut or mahogany.
  • Spray paint it. This is great if you want to try a metallic colour like silver or gold (perfect for a Christmas reverse canvas!) But you’ll always need to prime your frame if you’re going to go down this route.

If you’re making multiple Christmas reverse canvas pictures, you could even prep the frames together to save time.

Here’s a work-in-progress shot from when I was spray-painting three different frames all at the same time!

Spray painting canvas frames with metallic gold paint

Step 3: Prepare your gift bag

Once your frame is finished (and dry), cut out the part of your gift bag that you want to frame and glue it to the canvas material.

Gift bag wall art tutorial

Step 4: Frame your gift bag

Position your gift bag wall art inside the frame, flip it over and staple the canvas material to the back of your frame using a staple gun.

Step 5: Hang your gift bag wall art and admire it!

Staple some ribbon or chain to the back of your frame to help you hang it.

Small reverse canvas DIYs like this one are usually fairly light, so you can probably get away with just using some strong fabric ribbon.

But if you’re going for something much larger and heavier then you might want to consider using some chain from your local hardware store.

And you’re done! Don’t you just love your new gift bag wall art?

Finished snowman gift bag wall art

RELATED: Easy DIY Christmas Card Holder | Christmas Reverse Canvas

More Christmas Crafts You Might Like

If you enjoyed making this Christmas reverse canvas, why not take a look at my other Christmas craft tutorials?

You might also like my other reverse canvas tutorials like this Meet Me Under The Mistletoe sign or this travel-themed one.

I hope you enjoy upcycling your gift bags into beautiful gift bag wall art!

If you make anything inspired by this tutorial then I’d love to see it, so tag me on Instagram @houseofmahalo!

If you like this Christmas reverse canvas wall art, pin or bookmark this tutorial now and make your own picture later!

Gift Bag Wall Art | Christmas Reverse Canvas Tutorial
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