I constantly hear Digi-scrappers say that they don’t do hybrid… So, last month I did a small informal survey in the Digichick forum and there were 3 main reasons why Digi-scrappers avoid hybrid projects…
- We have no desire to purchase or store all the paper crafting gadgets and supplies
- The projects are too time consuming
- We lack experience/confidence in hybrid crafting
I wasn’t surprised by the responses; in fact, I pretty much expected them… So, I gave myself a challenge (yes, this was a self-imposed challenge) of coming up with a hybrid project that was: useful, inexpensive, required only typical office supplies; would not require a huge commitment of time or space, and could be done as simplistically or as lavishly as one wanted. And, I think I came up with the perfect idea; a “Lunch bag to Gift bag” project. (Don’t fret… we’ve got some alternatives for those of you in areas where lunch bags are scarce.)
And now, my challenge to you… Please, give this “Lunch bag to Gift bag” project a try. I am cordially inviting you to join us in the Digichick “Lunch Bag to Gift Bag” Hybrid Challenge (running from 11/1/13 – 11/30/13). The challenge is really quite simple… Use any of the techniques in this post (or come up with your own) to create a “digitally enhanced” gift bag or box.
For all the details, please click on the image below.
Before we jump into the instructions, I want to highlight the gorgeous digital kit I chose to work with… Shabby Couture Christmas Kit by Etc. by Danyale is one of my all-time favorite kits in the Digichick Boutique. I come back to it time and time again, for digi-scrapping and now hybrid crafting. The shabby, vintage feel and the gorgeous detailed papers in this kit are spectacular. And the traditional, yet soft, red and green holiday colors paired with black…aaahhhh. These colors work so well with the Kraft and the white lunch bags I have.
I also grabbed Christmas Sentiments 2 Digital Stamps by Arty Pants Digital Stamps from the Digichick Boutique. They are perfect for all the tags I want to make.
Okay, let’s talk about the supplies you’ll need for this project.
Absolute basics: (This will allow you to make the printed bags only)
- Digital Scrapbooking elements/kit(s)
- Photo editing software (I use Photo Shop Elements 9)
- Fasteners (any one or more of the following: staples, paper clips, binder clips, clothes pins)
- Lunch bag, or any type of plain paper bag. It can be Kraft, white or any color. If you have standard printer paper you could make your own bag (there are plenty of templates on the internet… just google: simple paper bag templates) or you could also decorate a plain box.
Recommended basics – all of the above plus the following (this will allow you to do all bags in this post):
- Standard printer paper
- Glue stick
- Hole punch (think school supplies)
- Twine or string (I used bakers twine)
- White card stock (fairly cheap at Walmart)… you could technically do without this, but I think certain items like tags, are so much nicer in card stock vs. printer paper. However, if you have construction paper (time to raid the kid’s craft supplies) you could use it to make a mat backing for a paper printed tag to stiffen it up a bit.
Nice to haves:
- Double sided tape
- Manual paper cutter (or a craft knife with a metal edged ruler)
- Misc. embellishments of your choice (buttons, glitter, brads, digital elements, etc.)
- A scoring tool
And here’s what I used… plus a ruler and scotch tape which I neglected to photograph. (And, I must admit, I did cheat and used my Silhouette to cut out my circle tags… I HATE hand cutting circles)
Okay, let’s get started!
When you think about decorating a plain bag, the options are endless…. So, please create what speaks to you. As a jumping off point, I am going to show you a few options and discuss some techniques. So, follow along and before you know it, you’ll have created your own gorgeous gift bag.
Regardless of the type of bag you decide to make, you will need a way to close it. So, I first want to discuss closures. In the size and placement of your overall design, keep in mind the type of closure you want to add… For example, if you are folding the top over, the length of your “design space” becomes shorter. If you have a 2 inch flap, you will lose 2 inches off the top of your bag. Then you need to consider that the flap will also hide anything that’s under it…. So, really, you are losing 4 inches off the top of your bag. Be sure to figure out where your “design space” is when determining the size and placement of any word art or image. Okay, on to closures… There are a number of ways you can close your bag, and below are the techniques I used:
Rolled top: Turn top down ½ inch, repeat, repeat. Seal fold to bag using a glue stick or double-sided tape.
Raw edge: Allow the raw edge to show. You can leave the raw edge at the top of the bag and add a fastener or you can fold it down to create a flap before adding the fastener.
Folded in: Form a crease in the bag 1 inch down from the top. Then open bag and fold inward on the creased line. This creates a nice smooth, reinforced edge. You can leave the edge at the top of the bag and add a fastener or you can fold it down to create a flap before adding the fastener.
Holes and twine fasteners: Punch two holes through the top of the bag. Feed the twine through and tie a bow (or add tags before tying the bow). Vary the distance between the holes for different effects. You could also use ribbon instead of twine for a completely different look.
Instant fasteners: You can instantly close bags with binder clips, paper clips, clothes pins, or staples. (And you can include tags under these fasteners, if desired).
Tip: Vary the size of your bags by cutting some shorter than others. In my samples, I folded in the top edge, but you could also use decorative edged scissors.
Okay, on to the bags…
Print Directly on Paper Bag
- Measure the dimensions of your bag to determine what size to make your image or word art.
- In your photo editing software, select your image or word art or create your own word art, as I did. (I got the ideas off the internet… gotta LOVE Pinterest).
- Temporarily tape the bag bottom so it doesn’t create a paper jam in your printer.
- Insert bag into your printer and print. (I cut a piece of scrap paper into the size of the bag and ran it through the printer to figure out exactly how I should to feed it in… for most printers, it’s usually the way envelopes feed through).
- Add bag closure.
Tip: Save your ink… print on the standard printer paper setting, even if printing on card stock, or Kraft paper. I’ve tried the ink sucking “Best” quality or “photo” quality settings and while there is a slight difference, it’s not that noticeable, especially when ink usage is taken into consideration. The ink usage (at least in my printer) is drastically lower on the standard setting. If your printing looks too light, try increasing the saturation in your photo editing software, instead of using a higher quality ink setting.
Tags on Bags
- In your photo editing software, select a digi-tag or create your own. I created a bunch, so I could mix and match as I decorated my bags. I didn’t use them all, so they went into my stash for future projects. (A couple of them are definitely slated for the neck of a wine bottle).
- Print and cut out your tags (I printed on white card stock).
- Determine which ones will have twine attached. Punch a hole in the top of those and add twine.
- Fill the bag and attach the tag(s).
- Add bag closure.
Tip: Cutting by hand? Keep your tag shapes angular… much easier to cut angles than intricate shapes.
Printed Panels and Toppers on Bags
- For a front panel: Decide the size of your panel and create a new file of that size, in your photo editing software. Create your design.
- For a bag topper: Measure the width of your bag…this will be the width of your new file in your photo editing software (Mine was 5.25 inches wide, but be sure to measure because your size may differ).
Measure down from the top of the bag and determine the length you want your topper flap. Be sure to double this to accommodate folding it in half to create the back flap. This will be the length of your new file in your photo editing software. (I wanted a 2 inch flap on each side of my bag so I made the topper 4 inches tall x 5.25 inches wide).
When you create your topper design, be sure to rotate any design that will be on the back of the bag by 180 degrees. Otherwise it will be upside down when folded over ….(See the green tape measure element on my topper design below.)
- Print and cut everything out. (Print the panel on standard paper and print the topper on white card stock)
- Attach the panel to the front of the bag using a glue stick. Be generous in your glue application… you don’t want your panel to pull away once the bag is stuffed.
- Fill the bag and add bag closure (If you are adding a topper, fold the topper and attach to the top of the bag before adding your fastener).
- Optional: Add any additional embellishments (Tags, buttons, glitter, digital elements, etc.). I had a few cute buttons picked out, but totally forgot to use them. Maybe, I’ll add them later.
Tip: Cutting by hand? I know I said angles are easier to cut than curves but for some reason, scalloped edges seem to be an exception. They are pretty easy to cut if you don’t design them too small, and if they are a little “off”, it’s not that noticeable…. And they are really quite fun, aren’t they?
Band on Bags
- In your photo editing software, select your image or word art and position it on a 3 inch circle.
- For the band, create two strips that measure 2 X 11 inches each and two strips from a coordinating paper that measure 1 X 11 inches each.
- Print the strips on standard paper and print the 3 inch circle tag on white card stock. Cut everything out.
- Attach the bands together end-to-end (overlap 1 inch) to form one 2 x 21 inch band and one 1x 21 inch band. I used a Glue stick.
- Fill the bag and fold the top down ½ inch, several times. Seal fold to bag using a glue stick or double-sided tape.
- Wrap bands around the bag snugly and tape or glue stick them together on the back. Top with your sentiment circle using a glue stick or double sided tape.
Tip: This type of bag looks best when its “stuffed” and I use them for bulk contents, such as nuts, coffee beans, etc. For a loose gift, I recommend using bag filler or tissue paper around the loose gift to “stuff” the bag. If your bulk contents are heavy, just double bag it before you fill and close it.
These truly are fun and simple bags to create. I spent about 4 hours making a total of 8 bags. That’s only ½ hour per bag. I would have spent much more time on 8 digi-scrapbooking layouts. I kept my work space confined to my desk and “cleanup” was nothing more than sweeping up a few paper scraps and putting some office supplies away.
Let’s take one last final peek at these festive bags.
If you create a gift bag, I’d love to see it! Post the link to your bag in the comment section below, or join The Digichick November Hybrid Challenge and post your gift bag in the challenge forum.
Other Articles by Donnatopia:
- Trick or Treat Handouts: Quick and Easy Halloween Bookmarks - October 2nd, 2015
- Last Minute Gift Idea - December 17th, 2014
- Holiday Pop up Box Card Tutorial - December 11th, 2014
- City Sidewalks Wall Art: Quick and Easy - December 3rd, 2014
- The Hatchery: Gift Card Cutting files - November 30th, 2014