Monday, January 14, 2013

Getting Crafty: How to Make an Altered Bag Book

I'm linking up to The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog Cruise.

I have a little confession. I have a strong affection for the Little Brown Paper Bag. They are just so cute! And versatile! And cheap!

The paper bag album isn't a new thing. There is even a fancy artsy name for it. The Altered Bag Book. That sounds so much more chic, doesn't it. I've taken the little "Altered Bag Book" idea and incorporated into our Homeschool. 

The options are endless. And they can be made for pennies. Your kiddos can use them to publish their own works of poetry or create anthologies of favorite quotes or poems. They can be used to document field trips. Or how about busy books for preschoolers?

In this case, I've used a the Bag Book for lapbooking purposes. We are going to be starting a new science curriculum soon, but in the meantime I wanted to show you this cute little book about owls we made.

 The book I'm going to show you now was inspired by this guy. 

He was spending some time under the eaves in my parent's greenhouse. My mom got this picture of him. Isn't he precious?

The books themselves (when using a standard sized lunch bag) are small. Did you know that you can change the scale when printing a PDF? That's exactly what I did. I found some lapbooking components at some of favorite lapbooking sites (I'll post my links later down). I scaled most of the pages 50-75%. 

Here are the steps...In pictures!!

you can use as many bags as you wish. I used four all together, but found I really only needed 3

You don't have to use scrapbookpaper or embellishments, but in my world the "more" is always better!

 I like making tabs or bookmarks for the books. They not only look cute, but allow for some organization.

I do this before I sew because I also like to stitch around the book.

(stitching around your book is completely I said...I like making things more complicated)

Just a note: You don't have to use a sewing machine to stitch the middle. Some other options are to staple up the sides or using a hole punch and tying the holes with ribbon or yarn. I just like to sew (mostly)

We normally use stick glue, but Josiah grabbed whatever was handy. Craft glue is messier. Just a warning! But messy is good, right?

We divided up our pages by different kids of owls, habitat, behavior, life cycle, etc.

The already-prepared lapbook components made this book easy to put together.

I printed the picture on a plain piece of paper. I really wish I would have done it on photo paper...lesson learned. Now for all those other lessons I'm still learning ;<)

Purty cute! It really is a unique little book.

Here are the links for the FREE Lapbooks we used.

Homeschool Share

Lapbook Lessons

This site is for owl enthusiasts everywhere. There are tons of free printables...even a gorgeous calendar to download and print. I even downloaded a screensaver for my laptop.

My Owl Barn

Happy Crafting!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. So sorry...I tried to edit and it deleted!! I originally said I though this was a cute idea and we should try it, but wanted to add that I LOVE your blog title. We should institute a similar "rule" around here!! LOL

    Visiting from the Blog Cruise.

  3. so cute! I've made paper bag albums before, but had not thought of using them for our school!

  4. Stopping by from the crew. Never thought of doing this as a lapbook. Great post!


Contact Form


Email *

Message *