Crafting your own things is amazing. From making your own clay at home to your own paper envelopes. But what more can you create? Have you ever been in a situation where you need a good quality paper bag for packing something, but all you could find was a brown grocery bag? Yeah, we have been there too. Those brown paper bags are way too boring for most occasions. But, sometimes, a little bit of colour and style can make things look so beautiful.
Whether you need an attractive-looking bag or just want to make your child’s day with a beautiful lunch bag, you can do it using few craft supplies already available at your home. No, you don’t have to run to your nearby craft store. Here, we have an elaborated tutorial on making one at home, along with different craft ideas. In this tutorial, you will learn a great deal and that too without spending money on any extra art and craft supplies.
How to make a paper bag step-by-step
Making these bags is not rocket science. There are a few easy cutting and folding techniques that you have to follow to create a beautiful bag that can serve various uses. To make one at home, you will require a few items that you probably already have.
All the materials that you’re going to need
Here are the materials you will need for a DIY paper bag project:
- Large paper sheet
- Pair of scissors
- Glue or tape
- Hole punch
- Pencil and eraser
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Decorative material
How to assemble a paper bag
Spread out a paper sheet on a table and mark a 24 x 38 cm rectangle with the help of a pencil and a ruler. Make sure the markings are accurate, so erase any irregular lines. You can select any size according to your preference or need. If you are using wrapping paper, then start out drawing your rectangle on a corner.
The sides of a wrapping paper are usually straight, so it will save you a lot of time. You can also use a paper cutter along with a ruler for better precision. If your paper has a pattern, keep the patterned side facing the table to avoid markings from peeking through once your bag is finalised.
Place your paper in a landscape orientation and mark a spot 5 cm from the bottom end. Fold the lower end of the sheet upwards and make a crisp crease. Undo the fold and straighten the paper out. This part will become the bottom of the bag. If you are using a thin sheet to make your bag, use cardboard to add structure to the bottom.
In the landscape orientation, fold your paper in half from left to right to locate the centre of your paper sheet. Unfold your paper and bring the sides of your sheet to the centre till they overlap 1 cm on the other. Stick both ends together using tape or glue. If you use glue, let it dry completely before moving on to the next step. Once it is dried, flip the paper so the glued side faces the table. Fold each side inwards into a 3.8 cm accordion pattern. This step is an origami technique to give more holding capacity to the bag.
Now it is time to make the bottom of the bag. The 5 cm crease lines that you previously marked are what we are going to work with. When you open the marked area or the bag, you will see two inward triangles forming on the sides. Bring the outer sides inwards to create a smaller triangular shape and glue it in place. Once you have an elongated hexagon shape, overlap its top and bottom edges and glue them together. Form drip creases by pressing smoothly around the folds
Let the dry glue dry completely, then pop the bag open. With a hole punch, make two holes on the opening of your bag. If you do not have a hole punch, you can use a ballpoint to pierce a hole in the marked area. Punch the holes at least 5 to 6 cm apart, so the weight of the product inside your bag is evenly distributed when you hold it. Ensure you punch the holes, leaving a 3 cm gap from the opening to keep your handles secure.
Take a ribbon that matches the colour off your bag and slide each end of the ribbon in the holes. Next, tie a sturdy knot from the inside and repeat the process on the other side. The knot should be thick enough to not pass through the hole. Finally, secure the knots with tape inside to prevent any tears. If you have any old shopping bags lying around, you can detach the handles from them and reuse them in your new papercraft project. Using old shoelaces as bag handles is also a great idea to re-purpose useless things around your house.
Instead of adding ribbons or laces as handles to your bag, you can cut out an oval shape on the opening of the bag. Leave 3 cm of space from the opening and neatly draw an oval on your bag. Cut the oval shape using a shape paper cutter on both sides. When you are cutting an opening, your bag should lie flat on the table for a similar oval opening on both sides.
Once you are done with the basic structure of the bag, it is time to move on to the fun part, which is decorating your handmade bag.
Decorations and finishing touches
There is no fun without finishing your DIY crafts by bringing some glitter, embellishments, or paints in the picture. Here are six ways to add more personality to your DIY paper bag:
1. Add Glitter
You can never really go wrong with glitter. To add a little bit of glam to your bag, you can sprinkle different colours of glitter with a bit of adhesive on the paper. One great thing about having a festive bag ready at your home is that when you are looking for gift ideas for your friends and family, you will not have to spend any money on gift wraps or fancy gift boxes.
2. Hang Charms
Charms are small beads, stones, or pendants that are used to decorate jewellery items. However, these charms are not only used in jewellery making but this kind of crafts as well. So, whether you are making this bag a kids craft project or on your own, hang dainty charms with the handle to give it a more personalised touch.
3. Write A Message
What’s better than a heartfelt message that brings a smile to your loved one’s face? You can decorate your bag by writing a funny, heartwarming, or event-related message. The message will instantly remind them of an inside joke or make them feel special.
4. Use Paper Doilies
Paper doilies are the epitome of elegance when it comes to decorative pieces. You can use paper doilies with beautiful laser-cut patterns as decoration on the bag by cutting them into pieces. Or you can use them as a whole and write heartfelt messages to surprise your loved ones.
5. Cutout Patterns
Do you want to add a touch of creativity to your DIY bag without adding any embellishments? Grab a pair of scissors, and get working! Look for cute designs or shapes online, draw them on your bag, and cut them off neatly to create gorgeous patterns.
6. Try Origami
Making a bag requires a bit of basic origami when folding the sides, but you can add a touch of creativity by adding more folds. Do you want to add a fun twist to it? Add a couple of easy origami folds to turn it into a paper bag puppet.
Tips for making this project successful
Even though this is quite an easy craft project, there are a few techniques through which you can avoid any mistakes. To make these projects successful, follow these tips:
1. Use a cutting template
If you don’t want to mark your own measurements, you can find various free printable templates for making a bag. Simply place the arrangement on the paper and cut out the shape using a sharp paper cutter.
2. Go for a sturdy sheet of paper
Using sturdy paper is ideal for making these bags. Go for thick wrapping paper, cardstock, or paper box for a project like this. Have extra cereal boxes lying around? Use those to make some creative bags.
You can even make these bags in bulk, so whenever you are out of gift wrapping ideas, just take one out and present your gift in a unique way!
By following these steps, you can easily make different decorative gift bags and exciting lunch bags for your kids. These bags can also be used as reusable shopping bags. It is a fantastic way of recycling wrapping sheets, magazine papers, colour papers, newspapers, and any other sheet of paper lying idly around your house. If you want to keep your kids busy with different art projects, then making paper bags is the easiest option to go for!