Bet you never knew there were so many cool things you could make with a paper bag! In this collection you’ll find paper bag crafts for all seasons and for all ages. Yep, there are even some classy ways for you to use a paper bag, Mom!
As you know, we love to craft with recyclables here in my home daycare. It keeps our crafting costs down, and it’s better for the environment when we craft with items that would be thrown in the trash otherwise. It also makes it very easy to pull a craft together when you don’t have to run to the craft store to buy your materials.
Today, I’m going to show you a ton of crafts that you can make grocery bags, lunch bags or whatever paper bag you happen to have on hand.
In my stash of craft supplies, I always have a variety of paper bags because they’re so versatile when crafting. They’re strong and sturdy, you can paint them and colour them, and best of all, you can scrunch and twist them into just about any shape you want.
I’m actually really excited about this round-up! I started off wanting to share our paper bag crafts with you, and then I got poking around the internet looking for more to add to the collection, and HOLY MOLY! There are so many fab paper bag crafts out there! I think of all the craft round-ups I’ve worked on over the years, this one has been the most fun to pull together!
So without further ado, I bring you…
35+ Very Cool Things to Make with a Paper Bag!
Please click on the links below the images to get the details instructions for each craft.
We’ve made a number of head pieces over the years out of paper bags.
Our paper bag tiara turned out beautifully. The preschoolers used low-heat glue guns and artificial flowers to make them. They’re perfect for dress-up play.
Our mermaid crown is another head piece that the hooligans use for dress-up play. A paper bag, some paint and a few shells, and raffia are all you’ll need to make one.
And our monster or alien head piece makes a great addition to a Halloween costume.
And speaking of costumes…
And speaking of Halloween, here are some really cute ways to use paper bags for your Halloween festivities!
If you’re holding a Halloween party or just giving out special treats to the kids you know at the door on Halloween night, these Halloween Treat Bags are fun to make and give. – Crafts By Amanda
Make these charming, little Paper Bag Bowls to hold your halloween treats! – The Long Thread
Have your kids use smaller paper bag to make a collection of quirky Halloween Hand Puppets. – Crafts By Amanda
Make a 3-dimensional paper bag pumpkin to sit on your front porch or to use as a decorative fall centerpiece. – Fun Family Crafts
And speaking of fall…
Use a paper bag to make a vibrant fall wreath to hang on your front door. – CBC Parents
Use a paper bag and a handful of painted puzzle pieces to make a colourful fall tree craft. It’s always nice to find a use for a puzzle that’s missing some of its pieces! – I Heart Crafty Things
We made this puffy paper bag heart last Valentine’s Day. Sewing the bag shut helps little hands practice their beginner sewing skills. Great for fine motor development. – Happy Hooligans
Paper bag nests are really quick and easy to make. You can paint them or leave them as is. They’re great when you need a nest to go along with a bird craft. – Happy Hooligans
Arrrr, Matey, do you want to make a paper bag pirate puppet? Well, you’re in luck! Crafts By Amanda will show you how!
And here’s a paper bag treasure map sensory bin activity! It’s kind of like an I Spy game! How fun is this? Kids LOVE pirates and treasure maps! – Counting Coconuts
Check out this gorgeous paper bag/gift bag over at Claudia Rosa’s! If you’re into scrap-booking, you’ll have no problem turning a paper bag into a gift bag that’s a gift in itself! – Rosa
Now here’s an idea I’d never thought of before! Use a paper bag as an art canvas! Of course! You could frame it, cover a book in it, or turn it into a piece of custom gift-wrap. – PamGarrison.com
And, speaking of gift wrap… I love how a few scraps of fabric and lace turn a brown bag into a charming and rustic wrap job. – Tweelingen Design (The site is not in English, but it’s gorgeous so have a look around).
Look at these incredible paper bag sunflowers! They’d be beautiful as a fall decoration at home or in a girl’s bedroom. They’d be lovely in a classroom too. They’re actually quite easy to make! Jennifer Decorates will show you how.
And here’s a paper bag windsock that even our youngest crafters can get creative with. – From ABC’s to ACT’s
Young children will love this one as well. A stuffed paper apple that can double as a festive fall display when your child has finished lacing it up. – Buggy and Buddy
Make paper bag fruit for your play kitchen or to display in your own kitchen! – Krokatak
With these lunch bag maracas, little kids can cheer on the team, make noise at a party or play in a musical band with their friends. – Fun Family Crafts
And, speaking of parties, here are a couple of terrific paper bag party ideas:
Turn a small paper bag into The Hulk and fill him up with treats or party favour for a child’s birthday party. – Crafts by Amanda
If your child wants a piñata but you don’t want the added expense, make your own piñata from a paper bag! Can you guess what Red Ted Art used for the feathers and fur on the pinatas above?
These twisted paper bag trees are just the best, aren’t they? We have a:
Snowy Winter Tree from Crayon Box Chronicles
A blustery Fall Tree from Crafts by Amanda, and
a paper bag Easter tree that your kids can decorate with small homemade ornaments.
Did you know you could pop popcorn in a brown paper bag? I had no clue until recently. All you need is a bag and your kernels! How cool is that? – Bless This Mess Please
Wouldn’t this paper bag turkey be a show-stopping centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table? It would be an attention-getting treat for a class party too! – Martha Stewart
If your class is learning about Native American art, have a look at the paper bag tepees made by Mr. Giannetto’s Grade 1 class! – Art with Mr. Giannetto
Make a bound notebook or a journal out of a brown bag! It takes just 5 minutes to make, and you can personalize it with your own artwork. – The House that Lars Built
And of course – one of the most classic uses for a brown paper bag… Oh, this one brings back memories! Remember doing this in school? I couldn’t find a source for this photo, but I fell in love with it, so please do tell me if it’s yours. I’ll be happy to give you a shoutout here and link to your blog post. In the meantime, you can find out how to make a simple paper bag book cover here, at Wiki How.
I adore the crisp, clean simplicity of these paper bag vases. They make beautiful take-home favours for guests at a wedding or a formal reception. Pop on over to Project Wedding to learn how to make them.
Here’s an awesome unicorn horn made from a paper bag! Great for pretend play, Halloween costumes and fairy parties. – Red Ted Art
And my last paper bag activity is really creative, and a whole lot of fun! We turned a brown bag into a magician’s hat, and filled it with all kind of magic-making accessories. The hooligans often use this homemade magic kit to put magic shows on for each other here in my daycare. You can read all about what we filled the hat with and how the hooligans play with this this magic kit right here on my blog.
Get the 3-5 Playful Preschool e-Book!
25+preschool activities by 25 bloggers, 10 printables, 50 links to activities not featured in the book all for $8.99!
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.