Clever and Crafty Uses for Brown Paper Bags

Do you have a large stash of brown paper bags? You have choices beyond recycling them. They are useful for many craft projects and household solutions. Check out these uses for them, and you'll wish you had even more:

Paper Bag Boxes Craft Project

Paper Bag Boxes
Paper Bag Boxes. Photo © Flickr user denise_carbonell

You can weave grocery bags into sturdy (and stylish) storage boxes. You can use them for making small gift baskets or as kitchen and home organizers and decor.

Wrapping Paper Craft Project

Brown Paper Gift Wrap
Brown Paper Gift Wrap. Photo © Flickr user jessicacasetorres

Stockpile brown paper bags, and use them to wrap all your gifts. Personalize them with embellishments such as rubber stamps, paint or ribbons, it's a look that store-bought paper can't compete with and it will show your loved ones you took the time to make their gift special.

A Paper Bag Wallet

Paper Bag Wallet
Paper Bag Wallet. Photo © Flickr user P^ul

Anyone can take home a new wallet in a paper bag. Not everyone can make one out of a paper bag: It's a fun, thrifty fashion statement.

A Mini Scrapbook

Paper Bag Scrapbook
Paper Bag Scrapbook. Photo © Flickr user She'sSewPretty

Scrapbooking supplies can be expensive, and wouldn't you rather put that money into making the memories you are recording? Cut down on the cost of scrapbooking, by turning paper sacks into mini scrapbooks.


Homemade Envelopes
Homemade Envelopes. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

You can cut and fold your way to a steady supply of brown paper envelopes. They are so much nicer than boring white paper, especially for personal correspondence, and they are sturdy as well


Paper Bag Luminaries
Paper Bag Luminaries. Photo © Flickr user burningkarma

You can turn a pile of paper lunch bags into festive luminaries for your next party or holiday celebration. Use rubber stamps to personalize them and they will add a lovely glow to your evening event

Compost Material

Compost Bin
Compost Bin. Photo © Flickr user solylunafamilia

Do you need more brown to balance the green in your compost? If you have far too many food scraps and grass clippings and not enough dry leaves, you can use paper bags for balance. Shred paper bags, and add them to your compost pile for a boost of browns:

Book Covers

Paper Bag Book Cover
Paper Bag Book Cover. Photo © Flickr user Evalia_England

Go old school, and cover your kids' textbooks with brown paper bags. As a bonus, your child can personalize it so their book covers won't be like everybody else's.

To Ripen Fruit

Avocados Ripening in a Paper Bag
Avocados Ripening in a Paper Bag. Photo © Flickr user nate_steiner

You can ripen avocados, tomatoes, bananas or peaches by sticking them inside of a brown paper bag. This is a basic kitchen trick.

To Store Mushrooms

Morel Mushrooms
Morel Mushrooms. Photo © Flickr user jimehle58

Stick mushrooms inside of a paper bag, and store them in the fridge to keep them fresh longer:

A Vase

Share flowers with a friend without giving up one of your vases. An empty drink bottle tucked inside of a paper bag looks great.

Fly Paper

Cut a paper bag into strips, and make your own fly paper:

Weed Blocker

Use paper bags in place of pricey landscape fabric. Just lay it down wherever you want to eliminate weeds, and cut slits for your plants to stick through.