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.

A great idea for a project that 4H's,girl scouts etc to make. A real keepsake for mom or a friend
Betty Baker  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 6:48 AM
I love this project. What did you use for the flower onthe front? Seems to be a die cut? Please let me know.
lizette  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 7:27 AM
Oh my goodness, Jo, that is SO beautiful. What an amazing tutorial, too. You're amazing. Hugs!
Jody Morrow  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 9:19 AM
Loooove this so much! it's so pretty and just perfect!
Lisa Henke  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 9:29 AM
OMG!!!! How ADORABLE is this! I love this paper album so much and loved seeing your sweet photos, too. What a gorgeous keepsake and I know it will be cherished, too!
Eva  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 9:34 AM
Hi, Joanne,
What a great project! Thank you for the step by step tutorial, too....Your friend will absolutely love her very special gift!
Sandy  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 9:54 AM
Joanne, this is a gorgeous project! I love, love, love it! smile
Christina Fischer  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 10:23 AM
I would never know that scrapbooking is "not your thing" by this sweet book!!!! It's adorable!!!
Karen Motz  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 10:30 AM
This is SO gorgeous Joanne!! What a FABULOUS keepsake!!!
Jodi  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 10:32 AM
I love this Joanne! Can't wait to give it a try!
Melody Rupple  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:02 AM
An awesome Tutorial, as usual. You've made it seem so simple, I really have to try it.
alma de la rosa  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:32 AM
What a fun and darling scrap book project! Your video is fantastic. Explained every detail! I plan to give this one a try. Thanks so much for sharing this great idea!
Susan from Colorado  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:43 AM
My 50 kindergarteners are making these for Mother's Day. We are using up my old scrapbook papers and then each page will have writing that they do such as "The best thing about my mom is _________________." Instead of sewing, we punch 3 holes and tied ribbons to hold the bags together.
Melissa  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 1:24 PM
I adore the project, but are wondering if there are limits to the use of these albums. Are the paper bags acid free or should they be sprayed with that spray that neutralizes the acids?
Lynn McDowell  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 2:35 PM
What happened to the video?
Beverly Polansky  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 4:10 PM
Great tutorial Joanne - your book came out beautifully!! smile
Julie Masse  |  Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 4:50 PM
An absolutely fabulous project Jo!!! I love this little paperpbag scrapbook. Thank so much for sharing your great tutorial:-D
Inge  |  Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 12:40 AM
I love it !!! thanks a lot for sharing this nice project
I'm gonna make it for sure
Je l'adore !! Merci beaucoup de partager le tuto
je vais certainement le faire bientôt
marie boissonnot  |  Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 1:39 AM
Pretty sure that you're not allowed to say you're not a scrapbooker after creating something this beautiful!! Gorgeous and the tut is fab too!!
Kerry J.  |  Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 5:24 AM
What a great tutorial!! So simple, yet so unique!! Heading out to buy some lunch bags right now.
Thanks for the great idea. Keep them coming!!!
Geri  |  Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 7:04 AM

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