Friday, November 7, 2014

Brown Bag Scrapbook

Hi friends! We are enjoying a beautiful and warm fall. It's such a stark comparison to everything that was going on last year. We spent a weekend up in the mountains with family and I made a little miniature scrapbook to remember good times there. These paper bag books are my favorite kind of scrap books. They are cute, inexpensive, easy to make and kid-friendly. They would make a great project for a Girl Scout troop, or a soccer team, as a little memento of the year or season. They would also be great as a thankful book--all things you are thankful for, a Christmas scrapbook, or maybe a Grandma and Me book (Christmas present?). There's tons of possibilities so I thought I would share this before the holidays. 


Here's the quick run down of how to make one:

Paper Bag Scrap Book

Materials:
- 3-4 brown or white paper lunch sacks
- 4  12" lengths of different materials to tie with: twine, raffia, or thin ribbon (1/8"-1/4")
- hole punch
- scissors
- washi tape, stickers, glue, double sticky tape, photos --whatever you want to fill it with : )

Three bags will make a book with 10 pages (sides) inside, four bags will make 14 pages (sides). I would suggest not doing more than four bags, because it will get bulky. Stack the bags starting with a bottom facing the left, and alternating the direction of the bags: bottom, top, bottom, etc. Carefully fold all the bags together in half, crease well. 


Washi tape serves as a great hole punch reinforcement, you can use it on the edge of each page, I just used it on the cover. Take just the outer bag of the book and evenly space four holes with the hole punch (I eyeball-it). 


Then slip in the next page, line up the top and bottom and use a pen to trace markers for the punches on that page. Repeat with each page, until all pages are punched. 


Once all the pages are punched line them up and bind them together. Cut the ribbon or twine into 3" pieces and alternate what you use. Then go back and tie each hole with a second, different tie. The look here is kind of a frayed edge. You can do two or three ties in each hole. I usually only tie one actual knot per hole, then just tie the others on for pretty. You can trim up the length when all the ties are on there.


And that's a book! Ready for memories and some embellishments. The pages are small so keep that in mind when printing pictures. Walmart offers 4x6 collage prints for the same price as regular 4x6 prints so print some collages with 3-4 pictures on each and it will save you both money and space. The miniature photos will be prefect for your mini scrapbook.


Even though they are just made out of brown paper bags, they actually hold up really well. Here's one that I made for a cheerleading team that I coached about eight years ago (even though I was never a cheerleader myself. Don't tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor...). Anyway, the book still looks great and it's fun to look back at those sweet girls who are now in high school! The pages that are the top of the bag open to make a little pocket for extra pictures or mementos (see the bottom left below).


I haven't sent one of these yet, but I think you could make a version of this book to send to your Compassion sponsored child, if you just do 3 bags (to be sure the total thickness in not more than 1/4 inch, tie with raffia instead of ribbon, and place the book in a quart-size ziplock. You could send a book about your family or your town. You could also try sewing it instead of hole punching, like we did with this homemade book (see that post here), which we did send to our sponsored kids.

There's so many options with these materials. They are affordable enough to make for a whole team of people or kiddos and changing up the ribbon/ties can make them perfect for any team colors or holiday theme.

Happy memory making!

You are loved!

Haley
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