I must be more adventurous or something (I'm not even sure what to call it), but all I used was newspaper and scotch tape. They turned out wonderful and I used them on all my presents this year for christmas! While making them, I had some other ideas cross my mind that I'll probably end up trying for birthday presents or next year for christmas. Instead of magazine pages or newspaper, you could make them with ribbon or even contruction paper or scrapbooking paper. With ribbon you would need to staple it, but this is just some ideas to get your mind wandering on other great ideas :o)
Here's how mine turned out:
I cut my strips a bit wider than they were suggesting. I also did something a little different in addition to my bows; since it's christmas, I added snowflakes over the tags! With the white bows, I made a newspaper bow too. All in all, I think they turned out great.
To tie it all together, I made a gift tag with just a square/rectangle of newspaper (white printer paper with the newspaper snowflake) and wrote their name in a fun font.
To me, this gives a personal touch to my gifts and is also cheaper (always a bonus). Happy crafting!