Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Recycle your paper carrier bags

Isn't it amazing how at first we did not know what to do with all our plastic shopping bags? Besides using them as bin liners we almost always ended up having a pile of them in the kitchen. There have been many crafters showing us ways of how to recycle them ~ now we treasure them like gold!
The time has come when we are being given paper carrier bags to protect the environment from harmful plastic, besides saving on the EcoTax on plastic! However, we are still faced with a recycling problem. We need to be aware of saving these bags and reusing them, thus saving our planet's supply of trees too. Unfortunately the idea in reusing them for shopping is limited or not feasible at all since they are not sturdy enough. So naturally of course we can use canvas bags or similar fabric carriers. So what are we to do with all our paper bags is one idea!

I have just finished recycling one of these bags and thought to take pictures to pass on this simple yet creative idea ~ I hope it will inspire you!

Cut two rectangles from your chosen wrapping paper a few centimetres smaller than the size of your carrier bag, that is one for each side.

Dab glue (I used a gluestick) on one side of your bag, again a few centimetres away from the sides, leaving a border of brown paper showing. Carefully place one of your sheets in place making sure the ends and corners are glued down well.
Do the same on the other side of your bag.

Find a suitable spot on your design and add a motif, for example a funfelt heart as in the picture or stars or maybe even a silk flower. You can also use glitter pens or other add-ons to decorate your bag. Do not over-clutter, remember less is more!

You can use PVA glue direct from a bottle with a nozzle or use a small paintbrush to attach your motifs. Do not use too much glue as the paper may tear or stain.

Once you have put your gift inside the bag you can secure the bag opening by wrapping a co-ordinating ribbon around the handles and fastening it into a bow to finish it off. You can also add a recycled gift tag (or one made from the same wrapper paper) to the handles if you wish.

Et Voila'! Here is your re-cycled paper Gift Bag!

You can use different wrapping paper for different occasions and seasons.
You can also re-use your old wrapping paper cutting out motifs or, if you have enough, cut rectangles as in the above illustration. This method is great for covering bags with shop adverts too!
This is a great idea for gift-giving especially if the gift is shaped in a way that is difficult to wrap.
Make sure that the bottom of your bag is secure, add tape to make sure the flaps on the bottom do not come undone.
Do not use for heavy gifts.


  1. Very neat idea! I always hold on to paper bags when I get them, which is very rare. None of the stores around here use paper bags. Glitter also helps pretty up a bag for a child!

  2. Never in a million years would I have come up with such an original idea!! Cool bags!!

  3. That's a very clever way of recycling those bags, thanks for sharing your idea.
    Doreen, please come over to my blog to pick up an award.

  4. What a great idea! You got my creative wheels moving. Now I can pair Christmas Cards and paper bags together to make a shopping bag for Christmas gifts.

  5. Thanks everyone for your input, I am happy to be an inspiration.
    Thanks Sue for the lovely award, I truly appreciate it : )
    Wishing everyone a great weekend,

  6. Oh how cute and easy! Where do you come up with all your great ideas?

  7. Thanks Tammi! I love recycling, searching for ideas on the net and I also try to use supplies that are on hand since we have limited craft stores on the island, also supplies here are very expensive so we have to keep our creativity on the go at low cost! LOL my DH always rolls his eyes when he sees that look he knows so well when he sees me looking at something from all angles knowing I am trying to see how I can recyle it LOL!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, your input and time are greatly appreciated.

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