Close Window Print Document

Paper Bag Book with File Folders
By R. Lynn Baker

All the Things I Learned in Kindergarten
Materials Needed

(3) Large paper grocery bags

Standard sewing machine
Double-sided tape
Assorted papers (I used Seasons Printed Papers by Paperbilities; School Ruled Paper by Making Memories; and Shades of Blue by Karen Foster Designs, but any appropriately themed papers can be used.)
Assorted letter stickers (I used Alphabets Sticker Flip Pack by Remember When and Varsity Letter Foam Stickers by Fibre-Craft.)
Foam letter stamps
Primary colored acrylic paint (I used Scrapbook Colors Kit, Childhood by Making Memories.)
Ribbon cut to 8 ¼” in length (I used Rainbow Stripe ribbon by Offray.)
Glue Dots
Tape measurer (I used a tape measurer cardstock sticker by Flair Designs, but a real tape measurer may also be attached using Glue Dots.)
Letter-size file folders
Label maker with multi-colored tape (Dymo)
Assorted envelopes
Assorted ribbons
Work samples, artwork, report cards, certificates and photos (I took photos of my son actually creating some of the work and art samples that I included in his Paper Bag Book, and included then on the pages with the samples.)

Choose how many pages you would like your book to be-- you can figure out how

2. many bags you will need using the following simple equation: number of bags x 4 sides – 2 covers = number of pages. So, in this example, I used 3 bags to create 10 pages. (3 bags x 4 sides = 12 – 2 covers = 10 pages.)
3. Stack bags by alternating the direction of the gusset on the bottom of each bag. (Lay your first bag flat with the gusset up and to the left; second bag with the gusset down and to the right; third bag with gusset up and to the left.)
4. Carefully bind bags together using a straight stitch from a sewing machine down the center of the stacked bags. (Another option for binding these books together is with the use of ribbon. Simply punch holes down the left side of the bags using a ¼” circle hand punch by Fiskars, and bind with ribbon tied into slip knots.)
5. Fold bags together down the stitched center to create a book.
 6. Cut colored paper to fit the back cover of the book. Using double-sided tape, cover the back of the book with the colored paper, wrapping the paper around the spine of the book to cover the stitching on the spine.
7. Decorate the cover of the book with chosen papers and stickers. (I incorporated techniques such as paper tearing, double matting and layering to add dimension.)
8. Open the bag book to the first page, and lift the gusset of the bag-- this will become a pocket for work samples. Cut colored paper to fit under the gusset to create a nice colored background for your pocket. Adhere paper under the gusset using double-sided tape. Adhere the top and bottom sides of the gusset to create a pocket.
9. Cut paper to fit the page created by the top of the gusset. Decorate page using papers, stickers, work samples, letter stamps and paints, and photos. Adhere ribbon using Glue Dots to divide your page into sections.
10. Decorate the opposite page to match.
11. Continue decorating each pocket and page in the same fashion to complete your book. Use assorted envelopes to hold work and art samples on each page as needed. Adhere envelopes straight to the decorated page using double-sided tape.
12. Create dividers using colored file folders. Cut file folders down to fit inside the pockets created by the open ends of each bag. (I cut the backside of each file folder off and used it to slide into each open bag.) Label each file folder using the label maker and tape to create specific sections of your book.
13. Slide art work, certificates, work samples and other important papers into each open ended bag.
14. You have now created a wonderful keepsake full of fun memories and accomplishments that your child can cherish for years to come! (Note: Most grocery bags are not acid-free. If acid is of concern, bags can be pre-treated using an acid-neutralizing spray.)

Close Window Print Document