Gift Bags from Newspaper

I love to recycle and re-purpose – if I can figure out a way to make something that would normally be trashed into something useful or beautiful – or both – I’m up for the challenge.

I’ve been thinking about this project for a while now and finally committed myself to actually having a go.  It came about this way…..

Do you remember I made a bunch of small gift bags a while back.  I wanted to make some really big ones, you know, the size of a good shopping bag and I had figured I would need six 12 x 12 sheets per bag.  Using quality specialist paper would have made the cost prohibitive – I mean $24 just for the paper and I haven’t even put the time in yet …. you can buy big gift bags at the moment for $2.50…..

With my creative mojo firing on all cylinders I had the genius idea I could make them from newspaper – the big giant ones.

I used the Otago Daily Times that I stole from YD’s place when I was cat-sitting the lovely Stanley.  [I stole it for this purpose, I don’t read papers – they rarely have anything good or uplifting in them and I don’t want to live with images of all the horrible stuff that the media calls ‘news’]

An open double page measures 80 x 57 cm – I’m sorry I can’t convert that off the top of my head for you non-metric folk…… perhaps someone else might in the comments 🙂  Anyhow, it’s big!

So a couple of evenings back, I covered the floor with more bits of newspaper and hunkered down with a container full of blood red poster paint, a brush and a water jar:

XmasBag1

I painted two double page spreads with a thick layer of paint and left them to dry overnight.

The next day I turned the paper over and ran wrestled a length of contact paper over the page.  [Contact paper is used to cover books and shelves – sticky on one side and a plasticky / wipeable finish on the other.]  I used this to give the newspaper some strength and durability.

XmasBag2

I worked out my score lines for width and depth and top and bottom ……. ooooh headaches!!

And made a pair of bags:

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I like that you can still see the newsprint showing through – but the photo is not true to the red I used – think blood red and you’ll be closer to the truth of it.

With the basic bag hanging together quite well it is embellishment time – Hurrah!!

I rummaged through my paper stash and found a 12 x 12 vintage collection that I purchased in a sale a year or two back and have never known what to do with – I chose two different pictures and roughly cut out around the images and stuck one on each bag.

XmasBag5

Using white, black and gold pens I highlighted the edges of the cut outs, faux stitched outside the edges and outlined different aspects of the woman.

Lace was hot glued all around the top edges and red organza ribbon employed for the handles

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Next I punched out some hearts using off-cuts from the vintage girl paper and shiny metallic gold and layered some:

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And stuck ’em on both the front XmasBag5a

and the back of the bags

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The hearts were given faux stitching in black pen.

So, looking good you say – finished?

Nope.  Remember, if a little embellishment is good, a lot is better…

XmasBagDetail

The fabric flowers are made from organza and curtain netting – great fun to make as it involves a lighted candle and charring melting ….. 🙂

The beaded flowers I learnt to make from someone on the internet two or three years ago and I’ve completely forgotten who it was – but they too are fun to make.  It’s just beads and twisted wire and they hang freely and move about which adds another layer to the whole thing.

I think they are finished – but there is still three weeks til Christmas, you never know what might happen to them between now and then…..

GiftBag Finished

I think they came out quite well for a first try  – I learned lots and know how to do it now….

Thanks for coming by today – I love that you did 🙂

More Gift Bags

When my lap top started playing up I retaliated by leaving it alone to sulk and put all the extra time I found I suddenly had into solving the mystery of making gift bags.

The original batch were posted about here

Once the mystery is solved you can get creative – but not without inspiration from others!

I remembered having seen a picture on Pinterest of some newsprint bags with doilies, and I set about making my own version.  Here they are all waiting about on the other work bench for whatever happens to them next:

Gift Bags 5

They are so pretty!

The doilies are cut from the die that you can see in one of the open storage cases in my previous post on storing dies.

You know how I love to re-purpose items?  In solving the problem of how to keep the bags closed I came up with the somewhat ingenious idea of using bobby pins – decorated and be-ribboned ………. which, of course, then becomes an added extra for the gift inside.  [Smiles smugly to self!]

With the trials all completed I set about making up the original order [remember YD asked for some for her Christmas packaging]

Here they are

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Close-up – so pretty!

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I imagine that when I get my gift on Christmas morning it will maybe look like this:

GiftBagsD5

By then I will have forgotten about them and may well say something like – ‘Oooh, that’s a pretty bag!’  [Don’t judge – it will probably happen just like that!]

And when I look inside the bag I will find this:

GiftBagsD6

Oooh, so excited!  I wonder what will be inside that tiny box……..?

🙂

Well, that’s the gift bag saga done and dusted – now I really must get back to the art journal!

Thanks for dropping by today – love that you did!

Toilet Paper Rolls, Lace and Pearls

If you take a brief stroll around pinterest you will inevitably come across some clever, ingenious idea for using empty toilet paper rolls – I keep thinking I should start a board and just collect them all!  Anyway, I got the idea for this project from pinterest.

With my latest hobby of doodling and zentangling joining in with journalling and sketching, it has become obvious I need to have a more mobile storage system for pens, pencils and assorted paraphenalia – I can then just doodle, journal or sketch away happily here, there or anywhere without constantly going looking for something I have decided I need.

Now, serendipitously [is that a word?], it happened that I had sitting in my craft room a disused cutlery basket dating back to at least the early nineties but possibly earlier – I have a vague recollection of purchasing it when I lived in the UK – it has wandered around the world with me since then, mostly unused but too nice to give away – you know one of those things that you keep thinking will come in handy one day…..

One day it and a toilet paper roll or two met up and voila – inspiration struck!

Last night I got out the paint

TP1

I painted inside and out and when they were dry I used an unmounted red rubber lace stamp and white acrylic paint [which I forgot to photograph] and gussied them up a bit.  When the paint was dry each roll got a coat of glossy mod-podge and as it was well after midnight and Orlando was crossly telling me he needed me to settle down so he could sleep on me, I went to bed!

This evening I decided some of them needed some pearls to pretty ’em up a trifle more as they would be centre and front stage

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Ready for their [slightly blurry] close-up

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And the finished very handy mobile carry all

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TP4

There are currently two mugs being utilised in there as well.  They will probably be replaced by re-purposed cans, just as soon as I can eat the foodstuff currently residing in them ….

So that was a fun way to spend a grey, wet weekend!

Earthquake post script for those who are interested:  There have been only two or three ‘strong’ quakes today, so it is quieter [which may or may not be a good thing]  Some say Full Moon is a likely time for big hits. Time will tell.

Thanks for dropping by, I hope your week will be a fabulous one!  🙂