DIY: Nightmare Before Christmas Gift Bag – Jack Skellington Gift Bag

I have a super awesome friend who had a birthday back in July and I decorated her gift bag in the theme of The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Specifically Jack Skellington.  This is a recreation of the bag I made her.

Supplies: Clear ruler, gift bag, black paint, paint brush, medium tip white paint marker, black red and white foam sheets, x-acto knife, tape, crafter’s permanent adhesive, pencil, printing paper, ruler.


If you can’t find a black gift bag at the size you need it just paint one black.  Once painted, mark the middle with a pencil.  Go over that line with a white medium point paint marker and draw more lines in half inch increments.  You made need to adjust this depending on the size of your gift bag.


Fold your printing paper in half and draw the lapel.  Use your scissors to cut the lapel, then tape it to the black foam sheet.  Use the x-acto knife to cut along the outside of the lapel.  Don’t cut the inside just yet.


The shape of the vest depends on the size of the gift bag.  Be sure to leave room for the button and his bow tie.  Draw more white lines in half inch increments at an angle.  The angle depends on the size of your gift bag.  Judging from the pictures I’ve seen of Jack Skellington the pin stripes should be more horizontal than vertical.  Replace the template then cut out the inside.


Tape down the center that was cut from the lapel pattern on the white foam.  Cut about 1/4″ outside of template.  Glue lapel on the WRONG SIDE around edges and place on top of (white foam) tuxedo shirt and trim away excess.  Don’t adhere the lapel/shirt piece to the bag yet.


Fold your printing paper in half and draw the cat for Jack’s bow tie.  Once you’re happy with your template, cut it out.  Tape it to the black foam and cut out your cat.


Draw the eye of your cat. Cut it out with the x-acto knife, then tape each eye to a scrap piece of white foam and cut it out.  Use the adhesive to tape the eyes to your cat’s face.  Place it on your bag to position it, but DON’T ADHERE IT DOWN.


Use the cat face template to trace a pattern on your printing paper which has been folded in half long ways first to see the center.  Place the cat face in the top center of the lapel then place then printing paper underneath according to the outline.  Mark the edge of the paper along the side of the bag then draw another line a couple of inches out past the initial line.  This will vary according to the dimensions of your gift bag.  Draw the outline of the whiskers.


Tape the whiskers outline to the black foam and cut it out with the x-acto knife.  Check the length.  Once you’re happy with your whiskers flip the template over and tape down and trace it on another piece of scrap black foam.  Use a paint marker to draw white lines on the whisker foam.


Adhere your lapel to the gift bag then adhere the cat face.  Adhere the whiskers.


Draw a circle on the white foam.  Cut it out with the x-acto knife then adhere it below the lapel.


This step is optional but I used it as a way to show who the gift was from.  Draw a heart on a folded sheet of printing paper.  Once you’re satisfied with the shape, cut it out and tape it down to the red foam.  Use the x-acto knife to cut out the heart then use the adhesive to tape it down the bottom right corner of the gift bag.


And there you have it! Perfect ghoulish gift bag for any lover of things Halloween.  Especially if they like a little Jack in their life.

Watch the video!


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