April 24, 2024


I Fall For Art

Paper Bag Albums – Making Scrapbooks With Secrets!

Making a Paper bag album is economical, fun and easy to do. You wind up with an album where you can have decorated public pages as well as pockets for your hidden journaling or memorabilia. You can use both the insides and the outsides of your paper bags when you use them to make an album.

Here is how:

How to Make a Paper Bag Album

First gather your paper bags. You will need one bag per page. Ordinary brown paper lunch bags are fine but you can use any paper bags as long as they are the same size. The size of the bags will determine the size of your album pages and pockets.

Now stack your paper bags evenly on top of each other with the edges all facing in the same direction. Next, bind together the closed ends of the bags (on the left) so that the open edges of the bags wind up being on the right side of your scrapbook album to form the pockets. These will be your secret compartments.

You can then bind your bags together in an album in a number of ways, such as with book binding rings, punching and stringing the bags together with yarn, ribbon, twine or wire, using leather cording, stapling, sewing, using book binding glue and so on.

Now you are ready to decorate your pages with cardstock and designer paper or anything else you wish. The embellishments and papers can totally cover the paper bags so that it is difficult for someone looking at your finished scrapbook to tell what you have used to make the pages. Alternatively, you can make the paper bags a feature of your work and let parts of them show through.

Using the Pockets

The secret compartments in a paper bag album allow you to slip lots of things inside. You may choose to include some hidden journaling. In this case, you could write your journaling on cardstock and slip it into one of the bags without adding any obvious way to pull it out. People who look at your album may only notice and take those inserts out by invitation. You could even add some punched holes and ribbon to the edges of your pockets to ensure the items you want to stay hidden do so.

I like to use the compartments for many things. If I want people to pull the elements out of the pockets, I add tag edges to my inserts and tie something like ribbon to the tags, allowing the ends to trail
out of the pockets as an invitation to look further. Sometimes I add extra pictures to tags like this so that they can be handled by the viewer separately.

There are so many ways to use the pockets. Imagine making a scrapbook of your favourite recipes. You could show a picture of your dish on the public page and have the recipes on tags in the pockets, just waiting to be taken out and used by the cook! You can add other memorabilia to your paper bag album too. Record songs, poems or stories about your scrapped pages on a DVD and keep it in one of the pockets.

Some people have printed out special emails or letters and placed them inside the pockets. Keep little bags of special items inside the pockets. For example, make a baby album and keep a decorated cellophane bag containing baby hair from their first hair cut in one of the pockets.

You could include such items as movie tickets, concert programs, reports, awards, certificates, or trophy ribbons with ease in a paper bag album. With the cost of making one being so low, you can make as many paper bag albums as you like. They make great gifts for Christmas or birthdays as well. Your paper bag album can contain as many secrets as you wish!