Scrapbooks are all the rage these days and scrapbookers can spend a lot of money on this hobby. If you don’t have a lot to spend but still want to be crafty and save your memories, making a scrapbook out of paper grocery bags is the way to go!
The first thing you need to do is to collect paper bags from your local grocery store. You could use paper lunch bags to make a very small scrapbook but if you can get the large ones used to bag your groceries, you will make a scrapbook with the finished cover size the same of about 8.5″ x 11″. Many grocery stores do not regularly offer these but do have them if you ask. When you get the bags home, make sure you flatten them and keep them free from holes. You will need 8-12 bags, depending on the size of your scrapbook. Each bag will make 4 pages of 8.5″ x 11″ size.
So once you have your paper bags, the only other things you will need is a hole puncher and some pretty ribbon or yarn that you can fit through the holes. Take two of the paper bags and put one on top of the other, making sure that they are both facing the same direction (i.e. the opening of the bags are at the same side). Fold the bags in half. Near the crease, you will be punching holes. 5 holes, evenly spaced but you can do more or less, depending on your tastes. Once the holes are punched, you can thread your ribbon or yarn through them but do not tie at this point.
You will want to repeat the above step, folding two bags, punching holes and then string them through on the same ribbon. You can stack up as many pages as you are comfortable with but I’d suggest no more than 12 paper bags worth or else it gets too bulky. Once you have all the pages you desire on the ribbons, you can then tie them off. You will want to tie them securely but not so tight so that you wouldn’t be able to turn the pages. Play around with the pages and the ribbon as you work on this step to get the right feel. Once your pages are all tied together, you are ready to decorate your scrapbook in any way you desire. I have a few suggestions!
For the cover, you will probably want to cover the brown paper bag with something a lot more colorful. You can use construction paper or you can use fancy scrapbook paper depending on your budget. A piece of construction paper will fit on the cover quite nicely and can then be decorated in any way you choose. The pages can be covered with a colored paper or used as is. In most cases, I chose to cover them but there were some places where leaving them grocery bag brown was appropriate as well.
One really great thing about this scrapbook is that there are pockets on some of the pages. One the sides where the bags would have opened, it makes a neat pocket when it is folded and made into a scrapbook. You can add mementoes that you may not want to paste on your page to these pockets. If necessary, you can add a small Velcro dot to keep the “pocket” closed so that you won’t lose any of your mementoes. It works out very well
This is a great project for kids. It can be done as a Scouting project and kids can add photos from their different scouting adventures. Or kids can make the scrapbook at Scouts and add pictures and decorate at home. Either way, it is a great way for kids or adults to keep their photos and other mementoes in a fun scrapbook that they made without spending a lot of money!!!