Clever and Crafty Uses for Brown Paper Bags

Put Your Large Stash of Bags to Good Use

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 ideas, and you'll wish you had even more paper bags to repurpose.

Storage Boxes or Home Organizers

paper bag boxes
denise carbonell/Flickr

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

Wrapping Paper

paper bag wrapping paper
Jessica Torres/Flickr

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 shows your loved ones you took the time to make their gift special. More

A Paper Bag Wallet

paper wallet
Use all types of paper to create a wallet. Lynoure Braakman/Flickr

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. More

A Miniscrapbook

My Blogger Friends Brown Bag Scrap Book
Betty/Flickr

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

Sturdy Envelopes

Return envelope, back
Ian Collins /Flickr

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 More

Lovely Luminaries

paper bag Luminaries
Keith HInkle /Flickr

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. More

Compost Material

someone throwing out compost
Use paper to break up compost. Francesca York/Getty Images

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. More

Book Covers

Books with office supplies.
Utamaru Kido/Getty Images

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

Ripen Fruit

Mandarin oranges in paper bag
Kroeger/Gross/Getty Images

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

Store Mushrooms

Fresh mushrooms in a bag
Westend61/Getty Images

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

A Vase

Close-Up Of Flower Pot Wrapped In Paper Bag
Katherina Kolupaeva / EyeEm/Getty Images

Share flowers with a friend without giving up one of your vases. An empty drink bottle tucked inside of a paper bag looks great. Or use the bags themselves to make vases to give as gifts or to house your own indoor plants. More

Flypaper

Flies on Flypaper
T. Hoenig/Getty Images

Don't waste money on products to get rid of pesky—and disease-bearing—flies. Use a paper bag instead to get the job done. Cut the bag into strips and make your own flypaper in a few easy steps. More

Weed Blocker

Agricultural worker weeding crops
Nicola Tree/Getty Images

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. More