How to Create Envelopes from Paper Shopping Bags

Paper bags can be used to make a whole host of crafts, from the fun to the functional. One idea that ticks both boxes is envelopes made using paper bags. This can be a great way to turn any spare paper bags into something new, especially if you need to use them for a special purpose. If you have any younger family members with birthdays coming up, for example, they’ll probably love having their cards come in handmade brown envelopes.

So, start by gathering together your supplies. Find a brown paper bag, liquid glue, a ruler, a pair of scissors, and a craft paint brush.

You’re now ready to begin, so start by taking the paper bag and unfolding it. Carefully following the lines created by the bag’s natural folds, cut out one side, leaving the bottom of the bag intact, then repeat on the opposite side. You should have one long piece of paper bag. Keep the bottom against your working surface, and think of it as the back of your envelope.

Next, fold the length up horizontally at the middle, leaving around an inch of space more at the back so you can see it while the paper is folded. You can then fold the back piece over the top. Fold marks will be visible, so gently open up the bag and fold a 1-inch flap along either size. Cut off the smaller folds on each side up to the large central fold, then fold the top flap over the back piece. Brush glue along the sides, then fold everything down to create your envelope.

After you’re finally done, make sure you leave your new paper bag envelopes to dry overnight; after all, you don’t want to risk the glue coming apart. If you’re using them to spice up a letter to a friend or for a birthday card to a younger family member, try adding a personalised touch by drawing on some colourful designs with pens or paints. Once you slap on a stamp, you’ll be good to go.