I recently had the opportunity to order paper and crafting supplies from JAM Paper and Envelope. They asked me to prepare a craft tutorial for you with some of their products. I received paper bags, neon paper, metallic stickers, map paper, and a heart punch. My mom suggested this was like a craft version of the television show Chopped. I think the paper bags were my mystery ingredient here. What do you make other than a puppet?
Several years ago I took a college course on book making (no this was not a traditional college class and no I didn’t also take underwater basket weaving as my husband likes to say). One of the instructor’s samples was a book made out of paper bags! I thought that was pretty crafty and have always wanted to give it a try. This is my version with a little variation for added fun with your kids. My 4-year old daughter helped me with this entire project and, as usual, much of it was her idea.
- Lunch bags
- Decorative or colorful paper
(I used this cool JAM Map Paper and Astrobrights Paper)
- Card stock
- Stickers or embellishments
- Paper hole punchers
(I used this heart hole punch)
- Folding bone
- Screw punch (or hole punch)
- Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
- Ink and letter stamps
Layer paper bags together into a neat stack. Use as many bags as you’d like for the desired page count. We used three bags. Measure the center and punch two holes to create the spine of the book. (See pictures above.) The easiest tool for the job is a screw punch but a regular paper hole punch would work. (An easy work around is stapling the pages together and skipping the ribbon.) Pull ribbon through the holes and tie a bow along the outer spine. Leave the tails long for decoration if you’d like. Use a folding bone or your finger to crease a strong fold in the paper bags. The basic book is complete! Now you just decide how you want to decorate it.
My daughter chose the colors she liked best and I cut them to fit the page. We used one colored page and one map page on each spread. Glue the paper to cover each page being sure to trim the semi-circle out so the pockets aren’t glued shut. Cut a piece of card stock to fit into each pocket (we made ours long enough to peak out of the pocket). We took a piece of scrap paper and stapled it to the top of each card stock paper to coordinate with each spread. Use your heart hole punch and embellishments to decorate your page. We punched hearts in the scrap paper and decorated each page. My daughter used the metallic stickers to mark each spread.
Use your finished book for any number of things. Maybe it’s a blank journal for a friend. You could make a teacher appreciation gift. You could fill it with all the reasons why you love you someone for Valentine’s day or any day for that matter. My daughter wanted to make an “Animal Game Book”. Challenge accepted.
She told me which animal she wanted on each page and I drew it for her. Yes, I have a fine arts degree but I kept these as simple as I could so she could color them in. Use a google image search for ideas to draw from. You could also cut out animals from a coloring book. We did some research together and wrote where each animal lives on the map page. Then we stamped the animals name on the card stock card and wrote what the animal eats. You could do any fun facts on these pages. Take the cards out later and challenge friends to match the name and fun facts with the right animal page. You could incorporate color, sight words or facts to solve the game.
For another great paper bag book tutorial (my pinterest inspiration) check out Pass the Cereal. They have some alternative binding ideas.
To buy your own paper craft supplies online visit JAM Paper and Envelope.