Saturday, May 10, 2014

Paper Bag Books - Due June 9th

Check out this little booklet made from brown paper lunch bags!
I recently made this book for a friend and had so much fun doing it I decided you guys might have fun with it as well.

Here’s how it works:
  • Use four small paper lunch bags
  • Fold each bag in half
  • Stack the bags on top of each other, alternating each bag so that two bags have the opening pointing left, and two bags have the opening pointing right.  (this keeps the book from being lopsided)
  • Use any kind of binding technique that you wish. I used a simple pamphlet stitch and waxed linen thread for mine.  You can find plenty of tutorials for this and other simple bookbinding techniques on YouTube or through Google.
  • You now have an 8 page booklet. 
  • Since I decorated my bags with paint, I found it much easier to paint them before I folded and bound them, but you may prefer to decorate after it’s been assembled to get a better sense of how the pages interact with each other.
  • Your booklet has 4 lovely pockets formed by the bag openings.  Consider how you can use these to your advantage.  I placed blank white cardstock in each one and created little tabs on the cards to make it easy to remove them from the pockets.  I imagine these blank cards as a place my friend can write, draw, collage or otherwise personalize those pages.  You could also use the pockets as a place to stick a note or treasure for your partner.
  • I fashioned a little closure for my book using paper circles, brads and a bit of baker's string.  It’s not necessary to have a closure on yours.
  • You can decorate your bag any way you want.  Search Google images for “paper bag books” and you’ll see lots of cool examples in all kinds of styles.

Here are some more pictures of the book I made:


Swap details:
  • I’m going to limit this to one book per person because it takes me a lot of time to photograph (or video) each book, and the packaging and mailing back is more labor intensive.
  • Make sure your name and/or email and/or mailing address is somewhere on or in your book so that your partner knows who created it.
  • Put your completed book in a sturdy/padded envelope and get it weighed at the post office so you know how much postage money you need to send me.  Please don’t guess on this one.  However much it costs you to mail it to me is how much it will cost me to send it to the next person, so either include the proper amount of stamps or cash in your envelope, or send me the money via paypal. (

  • Make sure you also include a mailing label with your name and address inside the package.  I will stick this label on your return package.

  • international swappers are welcome – email me if you need help figuring out how much money you need to send me for postage.  (it will depend on the size and weight of your book of course)
  • Get your package in the mail to me by June 9th. 

Karen Isaacson
PO Box 532
Shrewsbury, MA 01545 
United States

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