How to Make a Paper Bag Scrapbook

Can you guess the best way to make a scrap book? Out of scrap, of course! I’ve been enamored with paper bag scrapbooks ever since my son’s pre-school teacher made one for each of her students a couple of years ago. Such a great use of materials and the results are a weight and feel that I just love. Surprisingly, we don’t see very many of the around so I thought I’d try to spread paper bag scrapbook love by offering some simple instructions.

Making a paper bag scrapbook is very easy and would make a great project to do with your children on a rainy day. They generally make a good project for just about anyone!

Simple Instructions:

  1. Place a few paper bags – shopper  no more than 4 or 5 – on top of each other in alternating directions (alternating open ends and closed bottoms).
  2. Fold your stack of paper bags in half.
  3. Staple along the fold about 1/2″ from the crease – this creates the spine of your paper bag scrapbook.
  4. Embellish the spine to hide the staples – 4 options:
    1. Cover the staples with a strip of ribbon, paper, cardstock, fiber or other embellishment that you think suites the theme of the paper bag scrapbook you are creating.
    2. Punch holes along the spine and run with ribbon or fibers – tying knots and/or weaving in and out of the punched holes.
    3. Sew a line through the fold in the paper bags (note: this is my favorite way to bind a paper bag scrapbook)
    4. Be creative – eyelets, snaps, rivets and other scrapbooking tricks can be used to make an excellent binding for you paper bag scrapbook.
  5. Once you have embellished your spine, you’ll want to get creative with the use of your scrapbooking skills. Photo treatment, journaling, embellishments including decorative papers, borders, rub-ons, paints, fibers, ribbons and fabrics can all be used just as with a traditional scrapbook project – to create lasting memories in a unique presentation.

3 Tips Unique to the Paper Bag Scrapbook:

  1. Most importantly, remember that a paper bag scrapbook is essentially made of very cheap paper that is not acid free. So this will not be an archival quality project. Be sure to use copies of your original photographs or inkjet prints on photo paper.
  2. The open end of each paper bag ‘page’ can be used as a unique pocket space for journaling, photos, slide out cardstock pages and other dimensional items.
  3. The closed end of each paper bag ‘page’ can be utilized in much the same way by lifting the folded flap to reveal your additional journaling, photo, etc. You could also trim the closed end of the paper bag ‘page’ to make another open end.

Angela is a work-at-home mom and founder of and loves to share her techniques for preserving memories as much as she enjoys sharing the memories themselves.

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