When it comes to packaging, I try to use as many recycled materials as possible. One, it’s better for the planet to have less waste, and two, as a small business owner, I need to save money every chance I get! You should see me at my daughter’s birthday parties and at Christmas time, running around trying to organize all the tissue paper so I can take it home and wrap my orders up in it. ???? Using recycled materials can take a little longer than just going to the store and buying what I need, but sometimes I have more time than money, and honestly, I enjoy taking a crochet break here and there to make my Map Bags!
I make my Map Bags for local orders and I plan on making some for my craft fair this year! I get a lot of compliments from people about my map bags too! I think they love that they are handmade, along with the crochet goodies they have purchased from me. I have even had people say “well I’m going to have to buy something just so I can get one of those cute bags” haha whatever works! I thought you guys might like to know how to make them so you can use them in your businesses as well; they also make perfect gift bags!
Here’s what you will need
- Rectangular paper- I use old atlases. You could use pages from a big book, old maps, Newspapers, thick magazine paper, wrapping paper, basically any sort of strong paper (or paper-like material) you have lying around the house. You can also use square-shaped paper if you want, I just think the rectangular paper has a nice look to it.
- Tape- I use shipping tape, but desk tape will work fine too.
- Something to use as bag handles; You can use chunky yarn, ribbon scraps, or even crochet some handles out of scrap yarn! I use pieces of a dyed mop head I had leftover from a crafts class in college (I was an education major haha, we had crafts class)
- Hole Puncher
Step 1: Lay your paper out on your workspace. Fold the top of the bag down about half an inch and crease. Put a few pieces of tape along the fold just to hold it in place. This will be the brim of our bag. This fold helps structure the bag so your top isn’t flimsy and can hold the handles better.
Step 2: Find the center point and fold both sides of your paper in so they overlap each other, in the center. Tape down the length where they overlap. Pro Tip: I like to extend my tape past the top and bottom of my bag and fold it over into the inside, just to give it some more structure.
Step 3: Fold up the bottom of the bag. This fold will decide the width of the bottom of your bag. The bigger the fold the wider the bottom of your bag will be. This also will decide how tall your bag will be, the bigger the bottom of your bag, the shorter your bag will be.
Step 4: Fold in each corner of the bottom flap you just folded. Then fold in the sides in, just over the middle, so they overlap; tape everything securely. This is the bottom of your bag, you want it to be strong so your goodies don’t fall out!
Step 5: Flip your bag over so that you are looking at the front side. Punch 2 holes near the top of the bag for the handles to go into. You want to try to center your holes on the half-inch fold you made in step 1 and try to make them symmetrical. Be sure to go through both the front and back sides of your bag so your holes all lineup.
Pro Tip: It might be easier if you mark where you want your holes first before punching them out.
Step 6: Cut two handles the same length.
Step 7: Going from the outside of the bag into the inside; insert your handle material. Tie a big knot, so when you pull on the handle, it doesn’t pop back out. Put the other end of your handle material into the other hole on the same side of the bag. Tie a big knot. Repeat on the back side of the bag, keeping your handles the same length.
Pro Tip: To help keep your handles the same length, before you tie your second knot for your second handle, hold up the bag by the handles and see where you need to put the knot.
Step 8: Now you can decorate or embellish your bag any way you would like. I always just write “Thank you” real big on the front side. You could use stickers, stamps, jewels, buttons, the embellishing options are nearly UNLIMITED! Just get creative and make the bag portray your personality or business branding.
Voila! Now you have an adorable product/gift bag that is HANDMADE from recycled materials!! I hope you enjoy making these product bags for your business! I love when I buy something handmade and the packaging is out of this world. It makes me feel like the seller really values their craft and my business as a buyer!
You can make these bags in all different sizes to best suit your products, just start with different sizes of paper. I can’t wait to see y’all’s recycled product bags. If you make any from this tutorial please tag me in pics so I can see! I love seeing how creative you guys are!! You can tag me on Instagram or Facebook at @acraftyconcept. I can’t wait to see your recycled product bags!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask; I’m happy to help. Check out my social media pages for behind the scenes pics, new product announcements, new crochet pattern announcements, giveaways and MORE!