Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Experiment: Paper Bag Journal

Assignment: Handmade birthday present for 14 year old artsy granddaughter

Budget: Practically non-existent
Materials: paper lunch sacks, twine, tea-dyed index cards and notebook paper, scrapbook paper, bits and pieces of trims, scrapbook sticker set my Mom had (thanks Mom), decorative edge scissors (thanks again Mom), and glue.
Result: My first shot at a funky altered art/scrapbook paper bag journal.

Here's a look a the page details and inserts:

I like the way it turned out, and more importantly it was well received by my granddaughter, so, mission accomplished. One of the best things about making this project was the freedom I felt as I jumped in. I decided up front that there would be no rules, that I would just cut and glue and put things together in a pleasing way and have fun as I went - and I did. I learned a lot too, and I decided that I want to make more of these cute little journals, but with materials and colors that are a little more to my colorful cottage-y vintage taste.

To that end, I am working on a Valentine's digital clipart kit that will include cute background papers, sticker-doodles, various other elements, and printable labels, tag and inserts. The kit will be perfect for creating these paper bag journals plus a host of other Valentine crafts and layouts. I'll let you know just as soon as the new kit is ready..SOON I promise!

I have lots of other ideas for new printable kits, plus new ways to use the existing kits I have, and I can't wait to share those with you here too!

  I encourage you to jump in to a creative project that you've put off maybe because of fear of failure or lack of skill - hands on learning is the most effective and it can be really fun if you let yourself off the perfectionism hook and just dive in for the sheer fun of it! You may just be amazed at what you can create and at how much fun you can have doing it!!


  1. I loved this post. I am one of those "lack of skill" but I like to try crafty things anyway. I am looking forward to your Valentine's clipart kit and ideas for existing kits. I would like more posts showing how you do things. Thanks, Becky, and wishing you lots of sunshine and smiles in your life. Anita

  2. This is awesome! You should do a tutorial so the rest of us can try this. You know, even though the budget was nonexistent, you made something so special for your grandaughter. I can't remember most of the store bought gifts I got as a kid, but I remember every doll dress, play outfit and sunday dress my grandmother ever made me. Those things made with love mean the most.

  3. As I rummaged through my remnants of fabric today,ironing some as I went,I was imagining all sorts of ways to use every teensy piece.So many pieces are so pretty, but too small for much, but the examples you've showed me here are super.I have a huge collection of paper bags saved for whatever reason, I was not sure,but you have inspired me to make name and gift tags from some of the bits of fabric and paper,and other pretty items I've saved,and I am sure other ideas will pop into my head as I work.

  4. Very cool! I love it! I think I might try to make one for my daughter--maybe even myself! Thanks :)

  5. That is so neat! What a fabulous idea! Thanks for sharing it! I can't wait to sit down and try my hand at it.

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  6. Oh my goodness. That is simply fabulous!

  7. Anonymous4:24 PM

    I think it's marvelous! You did a great job and way to re-use ;)

    Jamie :)

  8. Becky!! GULP!! This is like one of the best journals I've seen... Ahhhh! So creative!! I love that you had no rules and just freely did your thing... it's awesome!

    @ Creative Ambitions

  9. A paperbag journal?!!! Wowsie! I love it. You are so creative and talented Becky. Do you have a tutorial on how to make these somewhere?

    ♥Lee Ann


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