How To







Lunch Bag

The humble, brown paper lunch bag is the foundation for the trio of glittery paper flowers featured on this gift bag. In fact, the textured background paper under the flower trio is also just another tricked out brown paper bag.

By the way, the yellow gift bag I used here is recycled from a shopping trip to a local wool store. Yellow seems to be the ‘it’ color for me this year... it’s showing up in my wardrobe, my decor and in items coming out of my craft room. You can imagine how thrilled I was when the ‘wool lady’ bagged up my scraps of wool in this cool, yellow bag.

While there is a subtle hint of glitter in the dye mist used to color the paper flowers, the finished product maintains a simplicity and a naturalness about it. The thin, light brown paper bag lends itself well to creating a flower, as the petals seem to curl up a tad - just like the real McCoy. I have been drawn to using brown, kraft paper again and again in my stamping projects over the years because I love the natural look of the finished project.

In the photos that follow, you’ll notice that I used a Tim Holtz die cut for the flowers. I ran the lunch bag and the flower die through my ‘Big Shot’ die cutter. I then used ‘glimmer mist’ to color the individual flowers each a different color. I leave the mist soaked flowers to dry on their own. It takes a while... so, be patient. Quite often, I'll leave them to dry overnight.

The misting mat is the pink, plastic mat seen underneath the various stages of the glimmer 'mistification' of the flowers. I use a paper towel to wipe up spray dye and at the end of session use a baby wipe to pick up any excess. By the way, I also use baby wipes to clean ink off my rubber stamps.

Once all the parts of the flower are dry, I use a swipe of a glue stick in the center of each flower to put it together; leaving the petals unglued as they are stacked on top each other.

Onto the background. I used another brown paper bag for this step. I stamped the bag using an textured background stamp ( listed by name in case you want to pick one up ) and then came back with another spray dye - (lemon zest) to give the background more of a pop. Again, just let it dry.

The background sheet does double duty here, as it covers the store name of the recycled bag, as well as providing a texture backdrop for the trio of the flowers.

Finally, I painted a clothespin to add just a tad more style to the gift bag. The first coat of paint was just a cream acrylic paint. The second coat of paint is the saffron color listed below. It gave the clothespin a slightly distressed, shabby chic kind of look and I finished it off with an oversized flower in neutral tones so as not to compete overly much with the paper flowers.

Painting the clothespin can be a tad tedious as you’ve got to paint it one side at a time with the cream acrylic and then repeat the entire process with the saffron paint. There’s always a ton of little chores calling my name around here ... namely laundry, and so, you can check on the progress between tasks; because as you know, watched paint never dries.