Christmas Treat Bag Toppers with a Cricut
I am practically giddy over this holiday craft project! Not only are these Christmas Character Treat Bag Toppers easy to make with the help of a Cricut machine, but they might also be some of the cutest things I’ve ever made out of paper! If you’re looking for a fun way to package up small treats for neighbors, teachers, classroom kids, or even co-workers, settle in this season to make a whole collection of these jolly Christmas friends!
What are Treat Bag Toppers?
I think treat bag toppers are such a clever concept. Essentially, they are just paper rectangles folded over the tops of a plain bags/envelopes and stapled into place. And while they function mainly to keep a bag closed (and the included goodies safely inside!), they also provide a perfect opportunity for customization to any holiday or party theme!
These particular Christmas Character Treat Bag Toppers are really nothing more than a (fancy) rectangle of paper stapled over the tops of white bags. But what makes them so adorable are all the face details that create Santa, Mrs. Claus, an Elf, and a Reindeer. If you look closely, all four are variations on the same shapes: topper, cheeks, eyes, nose, and smile. They become the fun characters by swapping out a few accessories such as glasses, antlers, hats, and beards.
Admittedly, these Christmas Character Treat Bag Toppers are a bit tedious and do take some time (simply because there are so many little pieces to glue together). But the tradeoff is that they are super easy and inexpensive to make! So turn on a good Christmas movie and gather up the following supplies to get started:
- Cricut Machine – This project can be made on all Cricut Joy, Cricut Explore, and Cricut Maker models.
- Cricut Design Space File – I’ve done all the hard design work for you, so be sure to use my Cricut Design Space file for your project!
- Craft Adhesive – I like this glue for small details.
- Treat Bags – White | Clear
- Cardstock – To create the Christmas characters exactly as shown, you will need cardstock in the following colors:
- Light Pink – Faces
- Medium Pink – Cheeks*
- Red – Mouths,* Noses,* Hats, Berries*
- White – Hair, Beard*, Hats*
- Green – Holly,* Hat*
- Dark and Light Brown – Reindeer
- Black – Eyes*
*Consider using Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock or vinyl for the these smaller details. These products already have an adhesive backing, which will make it quicker to assemble all the little faces!
If You Don’t Have a Cricut Machine
These Christmas friends are not a particular Cricut “set.” I simply hunted and pecked through the Design Space Image Library to find the images and shapes that gave me the look I wanted. If you’d like to make these on your own by hand or in a different e-cutter’s software, here are the shapes and elements I used for each character.
Step 1: Open Cricut Design Space
If you are a Cricut user, I have the cut files all ready for you HERE. Beyond adjusting colors or adding some different accessories, the only change you may need to make is to the toppers’ size.
With each bag topper “grouped,” simply re-size it to fit the width of your particular treat bags. For example, if you have 4″ wide treat bags, make sure your topper is also 4″ wide.
Step 2: Cut Out the Christmas Treat Bag Toppers & Pieces
If you are making these for a class, team, office, or even the whole street, I highly recommend cutting EVERYTHING at once. Start by adjusting the Project Copies on the final cut screen in Cricut Design Space…
…and then run mat after mat through your Cricut machine until all the details from all the different colors are cut in the quantities you need.
I recommend cutting all the big pieces (as well as anything that will hang off the edges) from sturdy cardstock. This includes the bag topper itself, plus hats, hair, antlers, etc.
While you can certainly cut everything else from cardstock too, consider cutting the itty bitty pieces from vinyl or Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock. Instead of fussing with glue for the tiny eyes and smiles, they will go on just like stickers!
Step 3: Assemble the Treat Bag Toppers
Once you have everything cut out, it’s just a matter of glueing everything together with some craft adhesive. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Fold the base in half before assembling the character so you can be sure everything will be on the front of the treat bag topper once stapled onto the bag.
- Start by placing the cheeks in the corners of the bag topper and then build out from there.
- The personalities really come to life through the eyes and smile. Don’t hesitate to play around with the placement of these elements to give each one a slightly different look.
There is no right or wrong way to assemble these Christmas Treat Bag Toppers, but here is a visual breakdown of how each character comes to life:
Assembling Mrs. Claus
Assembling the Reindeer
Assembling the Elf
Admittedly, there are lots of little pieces to this project, which can get a bit tedious if you have lots to make. School-aged kids are the perfect assembly helpers, and setting up an assembly line with the whole family can help these come together much quicker!
Step 4: Attach the Treat Bag Toppers to the Bags
The final step is to fold the Christmas Treat Bag Toppers over the tops of goodie bags and staple them shut on both sides.
NOTE: When made with a Cricut, the treat bag topper has a score line across the middle. This allows it to fold and crease nice and evenly.
What to Put Inside Christmas Treat Bags
Even if you love the idea of making these adorable Christmas Treat Bag Toppers, you might be a little stumped on what to put inside little goodie bags. Here are some ideas we’ve used and love:
- Candy – M&Ms and Hershey Kisses both come in holiday colors.
- Snowman Soup – Marshmallows + candy cane + hot cocoa mix.
- Homemade Treats of All Kinds – Christmas cookies, fudge, etc.
- Snack Mixes
- Crafts – More on this below.
- Tiny Favors or Toys – Walk the aisles at Party City or the Target Dollar Spot to find some seasonal “goodies.”
I find, for kids at least, that you can’t go wrong with inexpensive art kits from the craft store. They are always on sale this time of year and are perfect for all the no food/allergy precautions common in schools these days. I found these pearler bead kits at Michaels.
Try This Instead!
While I designed these adorable Christmas friends to be treat bag toppers, they would also make super cute gift tags, gift card holders, or place cards for your holiday table. Just alter the base layer (the light pink topper design) to be a slightly different shape based on the project you’re making!
Even though it always feels like there are a million things to do this time of year, I really enjoy slowing down and making extra-special handmade things for the people/kids on our list. I think because I grew up with a Mom who made homemade stockings and ornaments, it just feels like the perfect time to bust out the paper and scissors to make something festive! If you too find yourself in a crafty mood this holiday season, I hope you give these adorable Christmas Treat Bag Toppers a try!