Paper Bag Crafts
Turn ordinary brown paper bags into four fun, functional and kid-friendly crafts.
By: Rae Friis
Brown paper bags, both big and small, make fantastic craft supplies. If you don’t have an abundance at home, they’re inexpensive and easy to find at the store. So the next time you’re enjoying a lazy afternoon or the kids are looking for a project to work on, grab some bags and get busy crafting!
Use our list of materials and some creativity to create fun animal puppets, and then host a family puppet show on a rainy day!
Construction paper in various colors
Patterned scrapbook paper or wrapping paper
1. Cut pieces of construction or patterned paper to create the belly, legs and claws
2. Glue to bag
3. Bend a pipe cleaner in half and tape bent part to the back of the puppet — so each end sticks out — for the antennae.
4. Glue two googly eyes to bigger white circles, and tape them near the base of the antennae.
Tip : Get creative! Give the pinchers a 3-D effect and have them come off the bag.
1. Draw a large oval shape for the dog’s head, then use colored paper for the ears, nose, tongue, belly and tail
2. Glue circles of black construction paper for spots and tape white or black pipe cleaners to the bag for whiskers
3. Finish with googly eyes
Try your hand at making other animals such as an owl, pig, bird, butterfly, penguin or bunny using variations of the above instructions.
Create and hang a crafty banner using grocery bags. Personalize it and use it for birthday parties or celebrations.
Large (grocery size) paper bags
1. Pull bags apart, down the seam and cut the bottom off so bag lays flat
2. Using pencil and ruler, draw a 7-by-5-inch triangle in corner of bag to use as template
3. Cut out triangle and trace around it, making multiple triangles on each bag without overlapping
4. When all empty space is filled (you should have 12 or more triangles) have the draw patterns or letters using craft paint and brushes
5. Once paint is dry, cut out all triangles and make a one hole punch in each top corner
6. Thread the twine through the holes and hang in a fun place
Make a unique, beautiful flower arrangement that lasts all year. Put them in a jar or vase for a truly personal touch to any room’s décor.
Craft paint (optional)
Paint brushes (optional)
1. Cut off bottom of bag
2. Laying it flat, trim sides starting from middle to form a petal shape on the top*
3. Punch hole close to bottom
4. Repeat for three bags (for one flower)
5. Add double-sided tape on the bottom corners of one bag and stack another on top
6. Repeat until all bags are stacked and taped
7. Thread pipe cleaner through the holes and bend at center
8. Twist the ends at the bottom.
9. Fluff out the petals and repeat to make enough flowers for a paper bouquet
*Tip : Feel free to make scallops or zigzags with your scissors.
Tip : For added color and personality, paint your bags with craft paint and let dry before cutting them.
Paper Bag Houses
Turn bags into houses by stuffing them with tissue paper and folding the top down to make a roof. Cut shapes from construction or scrapbook paper to make a door, windows, chimney, flower boxes and anything else your little ones can imagine.
Tip : Take it a step further by making multiple homes and building and creating a little town, then let kids use toys to serve as citizens of the city.
With a little imagination and creativity, you can create some truly special and one-of-a-kind works of art with your kids — all with just standard crafting supplies.
Rae is a graphic designer and the creative director of Armommy.com. She spends her days working from home — usually with any one of her four lovely (and rambunctious) kids hanging on her side. She enjoys creating everyday adventures with her munchkins using ordinary things and making them extraordinary. Oh, and she also really loves clothes, chocolate, her husband, and her cell phone (in no particular order).