I am thrilled to be kicking off my new column, “Three Ways”, where I will share three (or more) party crafts using everyday items that you can find at the supermarket, office supply, or hardware store. First up… paper bags!
Brown paper bags are one of my absolute favorite everyday items to craft with. So many possibilities! I love the fact that you can buy packs of them at the supermarket, perfect for luminaries, puppets, last-minute gift wrap…and all the ideas I’m sharing here!
1. PAPER BAG VASES: Make a quick paper bag “vase” to dress up a potted plant or cut flowers to either use as a centerpiece or give as a gift or party favor. Acrylic craft paint gives the bag a leathery sheen and adds a little strength to the thin paper.
Paint a paper bag. After it dries, gently fold down the top one inch of the bag. If it rips while you are folding, add a small piece of tape to reinforce at the rip. Fold down a few more times until you reach the best height for your plant. You can put a potted plant or cut flowers in a jar inside. If it is a gift, add a tag by tying string under the fold.
2. PAPER BAG LEMONS: Paint a bunch of bags yellow and stuff them with crumpled newspaper to make some giant paper lemons for a summery party decoration. They’re great on a bar next to some lemony drinks or down the center of a table
Step 1: Paint all sides and bottom of the paper bags yellow. After they dry, stuff with crumpled newspaper and twist the top closed.
Step 2: Paint a few more bags green. After they dry, cut some fat lemon-leaf shapes. Fold them in half to give them a center “vein” and keep folding from the center out to add more “veins”.
Step 3: Cut an approximately 1″ x 8″strip off another paper bag. Add some hot glue to the twist at the top of the yellow bag and adhere the end of the strip. Wrap, adding glue as you go, to create a stem. Hot glue one end of a leaf to the stem and you’re done!
3. PAPER BAG HOUSES: Paper bags make cute, inexpensive favor bags and can be customized to any party theme. These little house bags are great for kids parties (like a dollhouse party!) or a housewarming or moving party.
Step 1: Fold the top corners down to the center of the bag to make a peaked roof. Tape in place. (This will be the back side)
Step 2: Turn the bag over and paint the roof. Allow the paint to dry and then add a tape door, window, and chimney.
Step 3: Gently open the tape and unfold the back. Add favors into the bag, refold, retape, and you favor bags are ready!
If you’re a paper bag fan like me, check out Oh Happy Day Shop’s fun bag collection!
Photos by Laura Stojanovic