DIY: Making Wrapping Paper from Grocery Bags

21 Dec

I take reusable fabric shopping bags when grocery shopping but somehow quite a few paper bags still magically turn up at my house.  We try to recycle and repurpose as many things as possible so when staring at some paper grocery bags in my cabinet the other day thought hmmmm….wrapping paper!

If you want some earth friendly paper…or perhaps don’t have time to run to the store, here is a great way to make your own wrapping paper.

Paper grocery bags left plain and tied with raffia ribbon would make a natural and pretty look for wrapping paper.

I decided to jazz mine up with a little paint!

Here’s what you need.

Paper grocery bag, scissors or tool that cuts paper, tape or glue, paint and paint brushes.  I used leftover sample of house paint. Yes, house paint!  I used an old sample of paint I was planning to use on the exterior of my house. Any paint that adheres to paper will work.  You can use any type of paint brush but I wanted to use a sponge brush for a blotchy effect.

It’s okay if the bag is a little beat up. It just adds to the rustic look.

Cut along one side of the bag.

Cut the bottom out.

Cutting it this way maximizes the coverage area of the paper bag.  Now you have one long flat piece of wrapping paper.

If there are handles on the bag, remove them.

Cut out a piece of wrapping paper to fit your gift.

Now wrap gift.  I glued shut with a glue stick but tape can also be used.

Time to paint!

I don’t own a cutting machine like a Cricut or Silhouette so I made my own stencils.  I printed out shapes I liked on standard white printing paper and then cut them out with an exacto knife.

Lay stencil directly on package.  Paper bags are so thick, the paint will not soak through it.

I love how the sponge paint brush left this blotchy effect. It can be painted thicker if you prefer a solid look.

I also made some wrapping paper with stripes using painter’s tape. To do this, you must paint the wrapping paper before wrapping the gift.  However, making stripes takes more time and more paint. If you want to make some quickly, just use stencil.  I actually was more pleased with the stencil look anyway!

It is possible to use the same stencil over and over.  Just make sure the paint is dry before you switch colors.

Polish off with ribbon!

This would even be a fun project for children to do with crayons.

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2 Responses to “DIY: Making Wrapping Paper from Grocery Bags”

  1. Angie & Carrie December 21, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    What a great idea Angie! So vintage looking too, which I love!!!

  2. Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons December 21, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    This WOULD be awesome with crayons =) my fav!

    I think these are so darn cute! The stars add such a nice touch — you should save a few pieces for 4th of july! hehe

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