Take a tetra pack [which our local authority won't take in recycling bag even though the recycling plant my end of the county does take them], chop off the top, pull open the bottom flaps so you can wash and dry properly. Stick back the bottom flaps - unless you want a flat gift bag. Pull in the tops and try to make nice shape on sides, doesn't always work - one of these [provamel] better than the other. Make some holes, tie up the top once item inside.
I bought the orange recycled string from the lovely Recycled Paper Supplies people - friendly and wonder range, including gummed paper
Of course foreign ones seem more interesting than the ones from home