Although I mostly try not to take plastic shopping bags, I am actually always quite pleased when a shop has the brown paper variety. So many crafting options! (Yes, I am that sad). Here's a quick tutorial showing how I give these old bags a new lease of life as cheerful wrapping paper.
You will need:
- Old paper bags (the bigger the better)
- Paint (I tried both acrylic and poster paint - both work but I preferred acrylic)
- A paint pallet (an old plate or piece of cardboard will do)
- Cookie cutters of your choice
- Newspaper (to protect your table)
You want to start by deconstructing your bag down to a flat piece of paper. To do this, carefully pull apart where the seams have been stuck together, like so:
Do this until your paper bag is completely flattened out. You will also want to remove the handles, being careful not to tear the paper. At this stage, you can neaten up your sheet of wrapping paper by trimming the edges with scissors.
Next, you'll want to squeeze a blob of paint onto your pallet (or equivalent) and dip the top edge of your cutter into the paint. I then experimented with removing excess paint by dabbing on the newspaper - have a go and see what works for you.
Then it's just a matter of going for it! I use a mix of different shaped star cookie cutters to create my wrapping paper, but stuck to one colour.
Here's how it came out:
After my first go, I tried a few different paint and cookie cutter options, including this yellow, red and orange heart design:
And this white, red and yellow flower design:
I've never used cookie cutters as stamps before, but found it actually worked pretty well. You could also try doing a few layers of patterns, letting the paint dry completely between each layer, to create a busier effect.
Once your paper is dry, you can go ahead and getting wrapping! Paper bags are quite thick, so they tend to work best when wrapping squared-off presents like books, DVDs and boxes. I embellished mine with a little red ribbon:
I'm sure you could have worked out how to turn old bags into wrapping paper without my help, but I hope this tutorial has been of some use anyway! I like to reuse and recycle wherever I can (as well as save money!), so this is a perfect Christmas DIY for me :)