Brown Paper Packages

by Natalie McConnell

The simple phrase "brown paper packages, tied up with string" can bring a smile to your face and a sparkle to your eye any time of year. But the magic of brown paper doesn't stop with wrapping presents! In the "Brown Paper Packages" feature article in the Creating Keepsakes November/December 2012 issue, the designers unwrap the possibilities of using brown paper bags on their layouts. And here, as a holiday bonus for you, are even more ideas!

Create a Fun Advent Calendar for the Holidays!

Tina Walker used brown paper bags to chronicle the steps in her daily routine, but you could easily scraplift this idea to create an adorable holiday advent calendar. Decorate a set of miniature brown bags with stamps, masks, or fun holiday embellishments, then mount them to cardstock or sew them onto stiff fabric. Fill the bags with candy or small ornaments that your family can pick out each day. This will be a fun tradition to start for the whole family!

Daily Routine by Tina Walker, as seen in the Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine.


Use Brown Paper Bags as Scrapbook Backgrounds.

By printing an image on a brown paper bag, you can create a one-of-a-kind patterned paper that is completely unique to you! In the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of Creating Keepsakes, Jill Cornell used vintage sheet music paper to create a background for her holiday layout. You can easily create a similar look by printing sheet music (or any other image) on a brown paper bag. Simply follow the directions below.

The Gift of his Dreams by Jill Cornell, as seen in the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine.


Adhere a lightweight brown paper bag to a piece of computer paper using removable adhesive. Double check the image on print preview, and then feed the paper/brown bag through your printer like normal.


Tip: You may need to print on more than one brown paper bag to create an entire background for your layout.


Use Negative Space

Creating negative space on a brown paper bag is a fun technique to try for scrapbook layouts, that also works well for holiday neighboor gifts and wrapping presents! Simply punch holiday shapes through the first layer of your bag (make sure not to punch through the entire bag). Trim a piece of patterned paper to fit the bag and slide it in! The patterned paper will shine through, giving your bag a great dimensional look!

Holiday Negatives by CK Natalie McConnell


To quickly and easily add dimension to a layout, store journaling cards or memorabilia in small brown bags, like Mou Saha did on her layout in the Brown Paper Packages feature.

Letters to Santa by Mou Saha, as seen in the Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine.


From embossing to using bags as backgrounds, the many ways simple brown bags can be transformed is amazing -- hopefully these ideas will give you something to be merry about! Have fun experimenting, and may your holidays be warm and bright!



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