It can be hard to find the perfect gift for your loved ones. A great idea is to make a handmade paper bag album to showcase beautiful photos and mementos. Here is a very simple way to make a unique album that will be cherished for years to come.
4 or more lunch bags (must be an even number)
Adhesive (recommend glue and mounting tape)
Personal paper cutter with cutting blade and scoring blade
3 strips of cardstock- 2″x 5 ¼”
8 pieces of patterned paper (2 of each pattern) – 6 ½” x 5 ¼”
2 pieces of patterned paper – 7 ¼” x 5 ¼”
4 pieces of patterned paper (2 of each pattern) – 3 1/3″ x 5 ¼”
4 pieces of cardstock – 5″x 6 ½”
Start with the four lunch bags and leave them folded with the bottom fold facing up. Glue the bottom flaps of the lunch bag. You’ll want to cut the tops off of all the bags to give them all a clean even edge. Fold over the bottom of the bag and make a cut at 6 ½” on all four bags.
Next take the three strips of 2″ x 5 ¼” cardstock and score them all down the middle. Flip them over and add adhesive strips to the back on the right and left sides of the score line. Now take two of the paper bags both with the bottom of the bags facing up and then fold the bottoms over. Set them side by side with the one on the left having the open end to the farthest left side and bottom fold facing the middle. The bag on the right should have the bottom fold towards the middle and the open end on the far right side. Now take one of the 2″x5 ¼” strips of cardstock and place the left side of the strip down on the paper bag on the left. The strip should be positioned on the far right edge of the bag where the bottom fold is. Then place the other half of the strip on the bag on the right side along the edge on the far left where the bottom fold is. This will bind the two bags together. You will end up with a long page, two smaller pages in the middle and another long page. Do the same with the last two bags.
Now you need to bind the two sets of paper bag pages together. Set the two sets of pages side by side with the open ends facing out. Next take the last 2″ x 5 ¼” strip and bind the middle together by placing the left side of the strip on the far right edge of the bag on the left and the right side of the strip on the far left edge of the bag on the right. Now that the bones of the album are finished, you will need to decorate the album with papers and embellishments.
Then glue the 6 ½” x 5 ¼” patterned papers to the larger pages of the paper bag album. Make sure you keep your 2 like pages together in the book. The front and back cover should be the same pages and then on the inside of the book you should keep your two like pages together as well. The 4 pieces of patterned paper (2 of each pattern) – 3 1/3″ x 5 ¼” will go on the smaller pages from the bottom of the bags. They will go on the front of the first small page and on the back of the second small page. Then one of the pieces of patterned paper that is cut to 7 ¼” x 5 ¼” will go in the middle of the two small pages. Do the same for the second set of small pages.
The 4 pieces of cardstock cut to 5″x 6 ½” will be the insert pages that go inside the pockets that are made from the natural openings of the top of the paper bags. Decorate these cards with papers and embellishments.
Finally when you have added all your papers then add embellishments and your pictures. Or leave out the pictures and give the album as a gift for someone else to fill in with their photos and memories.