Posted by: Michelle | July 4, 2007

Paper Bag Book How-to

It seems like a lot of people who come to my blog are looking for paper bag book ideas or possibly directions about how to make one. So, I figured I would go ahead and post directions for how to make one, just in case anyone is looking.


  • 3 paper lunch bags (less than 6-inches wide)
  • 5 (or more) pieces of 12×12 paper, 2 of which should be solid colored cardstock
  • ribbon cut into pieces approximately 7 or 8 inches long
  • coordinating embellishments
  • an anywhere hole punch of Crop-a-dile for punching holes
  • 12-inch paper cutter and scissors
  • Inks for distressing edges (optional)
  • strong tape (Tombo monoadhesive tape works great)


  1. Lay your three paper bags together, alternating so that the open end is on the right for the first and last and on the left for the middle bag.
  2. Fold the bags in half to create your book.
  3. Cut all of your papers into pieces 5 inches by 5 1/8 inches (or whatever size it will take to cover your pages – half of a paper bag). Save your scraps.
  4. Ink the edges of the papers and allow to dry.
  5. Select cut papers for the front and back of your book and tape them on lining them of with the open edges of the book.
  6. Choose another piece of paper for the spine of the book and tear along the 2 wide edges. Ink torn edges, if you would like.
  7. Fold over the spine end of your bags and tape down.
  8. Use your crop-a-dile or anywhere hole punch to punch holes along the spine edge of your book.
  9. Nest, put a piece of ribbon into each of the holes and know.
  10. Adhere one of the scrapbook paper pieces that you cut to each of the internal pages.  
  11. You can make this book with or without flaps. To make it with flaps, just measure the width of the flap and cut your paper down to that size. Tape in the background paper first by folding the flap back torward the end of the book. After that is done, fold the flap back down and adhere the smaller piece of paper that you just cut. If you don’t want the flaps, simply tape the cover down when adhering your scrapbook paper.
  12. Use 3 of the cardstock pieces to make tags that will then go into the open portions of the paper bags. You may want to cut them down just a bit so that the can easily slide in and out of the pocket. Punch holes in the center of the top of the tag and put ribbon through the tag by first folding the ribbon in half and pulling the folded edge of the ribbon through the hole. Then put the ends of the ribbon through the loop that you have created and pull tight. If you want to reinforce the hole, cut a small rectangle (approximately 1 inch by 2 inches) from one of your scraps and adhere it over the edge of the tag where the hole will be.
  13. Decorate and embellish your pages as you wish.

I hope that these instructions make sense and that you really enjoy making your own paper bag books.



  1. […] Bag books, scrapbook — scrappyhour @ 6:29 am Yesterday, as I was posting the directions for how to make a paper bag book (which I hope make sense), I was thinking about making one myself but didn’t know what I […]

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