Paper Bag Book

by Joanne Basile

Create a mini book out of lunch bags.


  • Three or more lunch bags
  • Sewing machine
  • Cardstock
  • Patterned paper
  • Embellishments
  • Photos


  1. Step 1

    Take three (or more) brown paper lunch bags, and set out on the table alternating the direction of the bags (open end up/open end down/open end up).

  2. Step 2

    Stack the bags on top of each other and fold over making a tight score line. This becomes the base of your book.

  3. Step 3

    Add a binding to secure your pages together using the center score line as a guide.

    You can machine stitch the pages together, or mark spaces with a paper piercer and the hand stitch with a needle and thread (or embroidery floss.) Or even use a hole punch and then thread with ribbon or baker's twine.

  4. This used to be the flap for the bottom of the bag, but we're going to turn it into a little pocket.....

  5. Step 4

    Simply sew just along the top and bottom edges.

  6. This will create a nice trim little pocket where you can slip in a removable page, photos or a journaling tag.

  7. Step 5

    What used to be the open end of the bag has now become an expandable pocket for journaling tags, ticket stubs, notes or small mementos

  8. Step 6

    Using your favorite pattern papers, stamps, dies and embellishments personalize your creation and fill those pockets!

  9. Step 7

    Decorate the front of your book.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Paper Bag Book. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

I Love this project-I had made one several years ago for all my dogs pictures. I put his licence and info- in the pockets. Your tutorial gave me more Ideas! THANKS SO MUCH!
Betty  |  Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 1:24 PM
I love paper page books! I often make them as gifts for family--so personal!! You did a phenomenal job here Joanne!!!
Alli Miles  |  Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM
How ADORABLE! I love this project! and the submissions were beautiful and so creative!
gracie  |  Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 3:35 PM
This is a great looking project. I have bookmarked it, and can hardly wait to do it.
Beej  |  Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 12:57 AM
This bag book doesn't have to be for scrapbooking. It can also be a card of a different sort. Tuck little gifts in the pockets and embellish the pages with die cuts or rubber stamping.

Patti  |  Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 9:32 AM
Your shopping bag book is lovely. I enjoyed making these years ago at my friends Scrapbook store! Thanks for bringing back fond memories!
Blessing ,
Carol  |  Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 7:09 PM
Wonderfull, i will try this!
I am sorry that we dont have stamping up in Sweden:(
maria  |  Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 12:43 PM
This is a super cute idea. I made two for mother's day and they were a big hit. The only hard part was sewing the bag, but that's mostly due to my user error. (I rarely sew and had to get the instruction manual out for my machine lol)
Aimee  |  Sun May 15, 2011 at 8:06 PM
So beautiful, I will be making this for sure, thanks for sharing it and the great tutorial.
Liza  |  Mon May 16, 2011 at 6:40 PM
Love this, gonna try my hand at this today!
Thanks so much, i'm new and learning!!!
Lola  |  Wed May 25, 2011 at 10:35 AM
This would be a great and inexpensive way to save "stuff" on a trip, too! Put ticket stubs, etc in the pockets; jot on the outside notes about what and when and any specific things you want to remember for later. awesome!
TessM  |  Wed May 25, 2011 at 11:52 AM

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