DIY Tropical Gift Bags (with Video)


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We just had a really unique and fun “tropical staycation” party with some friends and it was such an easy, stress-free experience that I wanted to share it with you right away in case you have some birthday planning of your own coming up!

I also made some cute DIY Tropical Gift Bags for our guests’ goodie bags so check out the video for that tutorial below!

DIY Tropical Gift Bags, a quick and fun DIY gift bag for a Moana party

Birthdays are a big deal in our house, but with renovating our home recently and a bunch of crazy travel and work commitments, hosting everyone at our home (plus cleaning it before and after) was the least appealing idea ever this summer.

For something a bit fun, we decided to rent a suite at a local hotel that opens onto a tropical courtyard – complete with themed pool, waterslide and waterfall – and invite a few friends for an evening of pizza, swimming and even a hotel sleepover!

I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was kind of like taking a bunch of my daughters friends on vacation to a tropical country – complete with humidity! It was so relaxing (ok, maybe not the part about watching 8 children performing various theatrics in a pool) and it was awesome being able to give the kids such a unique experience on a budget.

I also wanted to make attending the party relaxing for our guests – mostly healthy food (no sugar highs), a night off for the parents, and no need to wrap presents or even shop if they didn’t want to beforehand.

Before the party, I grabbed all of the snacks and an assortment of American Greetings cards, gift wrap and gift bags from Meijer.

I let guests know that gifts were optional, but that I would also have Ella’s “Travel Jar” with us and some cute birthday cards on hand so if giving a bit of money to her travel fund was easier, we would have cards for them to fill out at the party and they could just pop the money into the card or the jar.

They had a huge variety of cards – licensed options and ones for almost any birthday theme – it was really hard to choose so I made my mom do it for me!

I also put out gift wrap, scissors, tape, ribbon and a couple gift bags so even those bringing gifts wouldn’t have to worry about wrapping before they came.

For the goodie bags, I like to give items that the parents will be happy to see the kids come home with – this time around, we sent home fairy wings, balloons, costumes and DVDs.

I made these cute DIY Tropical Gift Bags to stay on-theme using American Greetings gift bags and ribbon, plus a few fake tropical flowers.

Check out the video below to see how easy it was to whip up a bunch of these DIY Giftbags in less than 20 minutes!

Materials to Make DIY Tropical Gift Bags

You will need:

  • Plain American Greetings gift bags
  • American Greetings curling ribbon
  • Hot glue gun plus glue
  • Scissors
  • Assortment of fake tropical flowers

How to Make Easy Tropical Gift Bags

Cut one of each color of ribbon to about 1 foot long. Layer them and tie around one handle of the gift bag.

Take the blade of your scissors and sandwich each ribbon string individually in between your thumb and the scissors and pull tightly to curl. (Watch the video for a tutorial if you’ve never curled ribbon before.)

Assemble the flowers on the gift bag to plan where you want to secure them. I used one fern leaf and one hibiscus for each bag and it had the look I was going for.

Secure the flowers to the gift bag using hot glue and let dry before filling the bags.

I also used American Greetings tissue paper to top things off after I had added all of the goodies!


Pin this awesome DIY Tropical Gift Bags tutorial and fun staycation party idea!

DIY Tropical Gift Bags and a Tropical Staycation Party Idea. Perfect for a Moana-themed party or a fun sleepover party theme

For more awesome birthday inspiration featuring American Greetings cards, check out this collection of inspiration.

We love throwing awesome children’s parties – if you’re planning a summer party of your own, check out our Mermaid Party on a Budget or our Fruity Summer Popsicle Party.

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