Thursday, January 11, 2007

HOW TO: Paper Bag Scrapbooks

Do you have mounds of pictures that you have been meaning to scrapbook? Are you looking for a creative, fun, and easy way to show of all those adorable pictures? A great gift?

Paper Bag books are the perfect solution! Stitched together and then bound with ribbon- all you have to do is add your pictures! Inside you will find ten pages with unique places to add photos- including horizontal and vertical pullouts. The sides open up to reveal three spots for additional picture pull outs. Lots of ribbons, tags, buttons, and embellishments make these my new favorite.

I have had a lot of requests for instructions on how to make paper bag scrapbooks. Following are detailed instructions:

Materials Needed:

~3 paper lunch sacks, extra large size
~Double sided, very sticky tape
~scrapbook paper
~hole punch
~stickers, ribbons, buttons, mini-brads, and other embellishments.

~Paper cutter, Corner Cutter,Circle Punch
~Sewing Machine (for binding, can use hole punch)

First, take out your three lunch sacks. Make sure the openings for the lunch sacks are alternating so that the cover of the paper bag book does NOT have a lunch sack opening. Line them up, and fold them in half. Press down so there is a middle line, and that will be the center of your book. Sew the binding, or take a hole punch and punch through all three layers. If you decide to hole punch the layers, you should have three holes total, about an inch and a half apart. Slip ribbons through the holes and tie so that the book stays in place while you work on it.

Now comes the fun part! Next, cut (12) 6 by 6 pieces of paper. This will serve as the background for your scrapbook. I like to decorate and scrapbook on all my pages before I actually place them in the book. So, decide what page will be your cover, which will be your back page. A couple examples of pages:

Many more examples for front and inside pages at The possibilities are endless! Pockets, inserts, minibrads, and cute sayings make each page special and unique.

Once you have finished scrapbooking all of the pages, staple ribbons to the top of the page and pullouts. I like to hot glue buttons to various pages. What once was the top of the lunch sack is now a spot for additional pictures or journaling. Cut (3) 5 by 5 pieces of paper. Attach two circles (about 1 1/4 and 1 inch in diameter) to the middle for an easy pullout.

Tape down the pages you just scrapbooked to the paper bags, making sure you get the edges really well. If you sewed the binding, tie a ribbon around the spine and add six more ribbons down the outside spine.

One note about paper bag books- The lunch sacks are NOT acid free, and have not been tested over time to see if they will break down photos. These are not meant to replace scrapbook preservation albums, rather they are just a fun little brag book or present.

Jamie's Hints:

  • The books are put together faster if you cut all of the pullouts you are going to use at once
  • Sewing the pockets on is an easy way to add depth and character to a page
  • Don't scrap so much on one page that you lose the focus- the picture!
  • Tape down the front cover last. It keeps it from getting bent

Have fun!!

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