Upcylce: Blank Cards from a Brown Paper Bag

Oh the brown paper bag.  One of my loves in life.  I am pulling one out for one reason or another quiet often.
I had planned on making cards with the preschoolers this week and wanted some thing sturdy to use for the cards.  No way am I buying blank cards; those are spendy!  So I whipped out the old brown paper bag and was shocked at how many cards came from it.
4 – 4.5′ x 5.5′
8 – 3.5′ x 3.5′
3 – 4′ x 3.5′
Now, I know most of the cards aren’t huge but they would be perfect for gift tags for presents or little cards for your neighbor goodie plates this Christmas.  Big enough to be cute, but not so big you feel obligated to write a short story to fill in the space.
Here’s how to get the most bang for your paper bag buck:
Things you will need:
Paper bag – the big grocery size
Scissors
Small paper cutter, optional
Start with a fresh and crispy bag.  Just ask the checkout lady for a few extras.  I’ve never been told no.
When it’s closed you’ll see this fold.  You are going to cut along it until you reach the magical natural crease in the bag created by the bottom of the bag.  You’ll know when you get there.

 Are you with me?

Now pick up the top sheet – you’ll see where the bag is glued together.  Cut on both sides of that strip so that it’s not included.  You will end up with 2 large rectangles – fold in half.  You know have your first 2 cards!

Under the top layer are your two prefolded flaps (which would be the sides of the bag if you were looking at it like a bag). Cut each into thirds.  Now you have your next 6 cards.

You bottom layer is the same size as the top except it has the little cut out at the top-

 Cut it the same as the top, except cut the bag an inch up so that you remove the little dimple.  Then fold as you did the top – these will be just a hair smaller than the top 2 because you cut out the dimple.

Here’s an over view: 
Red = cut
Green = fold.  
Do not confuse red and green. 🙂

 Now for the top flap of the bag:  You are essentially cutting out the two corners as indicated above.  There are natural lines to follow in this area because of how the bag folds flat.

 Here is what each of those corners pops out to –  Can you see the two cards?  My thumb is that the top crease of one card, and the other is the top crease that is very prominent – cut accordingly.

Keep looking for cards and they’ll pop out – I ended up with 15!  All of them were “prefolded” from the creases in the bag except the 4 big ones that we cut out at the top.

 This is all that’s left of the bag.

 You’ll have these left too but I’m sure we can turn them into some kind of box.  I’ll get back to you on that!

 And here are the cards showing what was left of the bag wording.  I didn’t feel like any of it was too much – none on the fronts or inside and this was all on the back.  If I got a card with the bag printing on it, I would think the giver was handy. And thrifty.  And really smart.  That’s just me though; recycle them if they aren’t your cup of tea.

And now if you are feeling very fancy – square them up with a paper cutter.
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3 Responses
  1. Smart Idea Marseille! I’m planning on making these again! The preschool kids painted on them too and they held up great and you couldn’t tell which side was printed on in the end either!

  2. And, of course, these would be an ideal surface for STAMPING and glitter and embossing and mica and lots of it!! wow…how fun. Totally trying this right away! some of our customers have asked for upcycle ideas so I’ll link to your site on those!

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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