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Perfectly Imperfect Life..........

Friday, February 12, 2021

Making Paper Bag Albums

Paper Bag Albums/Scrapbooks
An oldie but a goodie!
Easy to make, inexpensive and tons of fun!

What you'll need:

4 lunch size brown paper bags, or more depending on the size you prefer
All you embellishing goodies for the theme of your book - 
this includes anything and everything

Lay the paper bags on top of each other
reversing each one opposite of the other
and fold in half

Next punch 3-5 holes for your binding area

I like to staple the sides of the folded bottom. 
It gives it a little more stability,
cuts down on the amount of give of the folds.
But it's not necessary.
Try to remember to do this before
covering the page with your background paper.
If you don't, no worries just embellish over the staples

If you want a deeper pocket (let's face it, who doesn't?)
just trim a tiny strip off where the bottom folds up

You'll be left with two pockets,
one shallow and one deep.
The open ends of the bags make a
great place for keepsakes, notes, tags, etc.

Now the fun begins.....
You can cover the brown paper.
Use papers, fabrics or whatever.
There are NO RULES.
Do what ever your heart desires.

Cover the area that you want to cover with glue,
mod podge, etc.

Flip one bag at a time over onto the wrong side of your covering
and press down all over.
You can also measure and cut to fit or do it this way, 
cutting off the extra around the bag -
whichever is most easiest for you.

Turn it over and trim any extra

You can cover two pages at once or each page individually.

I've done it both ways and each is just as easy.
Or if you want some of the brown paper showing
just cover part or even none!

Hold the pages up to the light and
 you can see where you need to punch your holes
through the "covering" papers

You can add anything you'd like - 
layer papers, add trims, found objects...

~ Examples ~


beads, buttons...

make pockets/tucks, add images...

and of course, make journaling spots.

In order to bind the pages together, you can use yarn, 
string, raffia, binder rings, strips of fabrics,
anything that will be able to keep the book together.

I stuff these with lots of tags and goodies, but there is always 
room for more. I add a button to the front and back edge 
along with a good length of ribbon. The end of the ribbon on 
the back is permanently fixed to the button. 
Then  bringing the ribbon around the open end of the book
 it can be tied or wound around the button. 
 It will adjust to the volume of the book
as you add to it, while keeping the contents secure.

Examples of ones I've made in the past, 
along with a few pages, to give you ideas...

"A Vintage Garden"

Made pockets, tags, and added fun trims.

''Garden Fairies''

some stories....

even a recipe.

"Spring Is Sprung"

Lots of florals.

I started on a series of vintage 
''Cookbooks" after finding boxes of 
old newspapers, clipped recipes, vintage appliance pamphlets, 
and TONS of old ephemera from my Grandmother 
while cleaning out our old farm.

Vol. 1 ~ "Holiday"

Stuck in lots of tags, old pamphlets,
old recipes....

used the old newspaper as background paper,
embellished with old buttons, rick rack...

even included an attached yarn bookmark
with XO beads on the end.
Lots to go through.

Vol. 2 ~ "Baking"
I used part of my Grandmother's old apron to cover
 the front of this one. I was lucky that I could fit the pocket
on the cover.

Included in the pocket were things
Grandma may have had in there
*note the date on the letter...1917

tons of old recipes, even an 
old order blank from the dairy...

"New Perfection Cook Stove"!

more treasure packed inside.

We have a friend that instead of exchanging gifts
at Christmas, we exchange pictures from that year.
This is one I made quite awhile ago.
A photo Album/Scrapbook for her.

With lots of photos tucked in,
lots of pockets were needed.
An old tea towel came into play...

stamp if you'd like...

farmer handkerchiefs...

can't say no to dried rose petals!

I hope that gave you enough inspiration to try one for yourself.
Just have fun with it!

Other posts similar here


  1. Hi Deb, I adore your bag journals and I will definitely give it a try! I just found a bunch of paper bags and coffee filters last night when cleaning out my crafting loft and where I keep my summer outside plants but bad new there. I have not watered them enough! Oh Well, I am an addict to cutting out magazine pages or content I love to use for something exactly like this! Thanks so much for the tutorial! It is much appreciated! Blessings, Cyndi

    1. Now you have a use for those paper bags! LOL So sorry about your plants :( I did the same thing to some of my succulents :/ Kept waiting for rain, it never showed up (going to be a rough Summer) in the meantime life went on and we had frost....all plants really need to be hydrated to survive the cold, even cold hardy ones. Hard to believe no rain and Spring is already here! Bees went into the orchards last month! Fruit and Nuts are budding out already!! Mother Nature isn't helping 2021 look any more hopeful :? Stay safe ♥

  2. so super cute one could be perfect for any occasion come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

    1. Thank you! They're fun and a good way to use what you have....boy do I have way too much! LOL

  3. Such a wonderful array of albums, I really need to get back to these kinds of projects.

    Thank you for sharing om omhgww, I appreciate that you take time to share your projects each week! I hope you find something special in your week!

    1. Thank you ♥ Love omhgww! so much inspiration

  4. What a sweet, old fashioned looking project!

  5. I've seen these before but I don't believe I've ever made one. What a cute idea! I like that younger kids could help make one - maybe a summer album or something.


  6. Great post, and very timely for me! I have been making signatures for an art journal - with pockets and embellishments, etc. It's great to see your art journals!

    1. Thank you Jeanne! I used to make signatures all the time. Lately I blink and the day is over! Must be slowing down in my old age....nah, that CAN'T be it! LOL Been doing a lot of "cheater/shortcut" methods lately - like these. Shame on me! LOL

      Have fun making your journal ♥

  7. These are so gorgeous, I've seen paper bag books before but never really thought about making them till now, yours are so inspirational. They'll be a feature at Handmade Monday later today :-)

  8. Your bag journals are wonderful, Deb. They are real labours of love and I'm so glad you shared them with the Hearth and Soul Link Party Community. Take care and have a lovely week.

    1. Thank you for such a sweet comment. Stay safe!

  9. How lovely! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

  10. Your albums are beautiful! Thank you for sharing at Party in Your PJ's - you are being featured on my blog Tuesday evening.

  11. OMG! Thank you Ann, I'm honored ♥

  12. What a fun tutorial and beautiful journals Deb.
    Thank you for sharing them at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring your paper bag albums at tonight's party and pinning too.

    1. Ahh, thanks so much Kerryanne! You made my rough morning much better! ♥


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