The Art of Customizing Paper Bags for Special Occasions

Calling all crafty parents and kiddos! Brown paper bags – those ubiquitous things lurking in your pantry – are a treasure trove of creative potential.  They're inexpensive, readily available, and perfect for unleashing a child's imagination.  So ditch the screens and dive into the world of paper bag crafts!  Here are some fun and easy DIY projects that will keep your little ones entertained for hours:

Adorable Animal Puppets:

Transform a paper bag into a friendly farmyard friend or a majestic jungle creature!

  • Materials: Paper bag, construction paper, scissors, glue, markers, googly eyes (optional).
  • Instructions:
    1. Decorate the paper bag to resemble your chosen animal. Use construction paper to cut out ears, noses, tails, and other features. Glue them onto the bag.
    2. Use markers to draw facial features and details.
    3. For extra personality, add googly eyes or buttons.
    4. Slide your hand into the bottom of the bag and wiggle your fingers to animate the puppet!

Let's Get Buggy! Creepy Crawly Paper Bag Buddies:

Materials: Paper bag, paint (optional), pipe cleaners, googly eyes, markers.


  1. Paint the paper bag a solid color, if desired. Let it dry completely.
  2. Use pipe cleaners to create legs, antennae, or wings for your bug.
  3. Attach googly eyes and use markers to draw a friendly face.
  4. This craft is perfect for a variety of bugs – ladybugs, butterflies, spiders (not-so-spooky, of course!), and even friendly centipedes!

Blooming Beauties: Paper Bag Flowers

Materials: Paper bags (different colors for petals!), scissors, tape, pipe cleaners, markers.


  1. Cut the paper bag into strips of varying widths to create your flower petals.
  2. Round off the ends of the strips for a more petal-like shape.
  3. Layer the strips on top of each other, securing them in the center with a piece of tape.
  4. Crumple up a small piece of paper bag to create the flower center. Glue or tape it to the center of the petals.
  5. Wrap a pipe cleaner around the base of the flower to create a stem. You can bend the pipe cleaner to create leaves.
  6. Use markers to add details like flower spots or pollen dots.

Going Under the Sea: Paper Bag Fish

  • Materials: Paper bag, scissors, paint, markers, googly eyes, hole punch (optional), string or yarn (optional).
  • Instructions:
    1. Decorate the paper bag with paint to resemble your favorite fish. Glitter or sequins can add some sparkle!
    2. Let the paint dry completely.
    3. Use markers to draw fins, scales, and a mouth. Add googly eyes for a playful touch.
    4. (Optional) If you want your fish to "swim," use a hole punch to make two holes near the top of the bag. Thread a piece of string or yarn through the holes and hang it up.

Beyond the Basics:  Embellishments and Fun Twists

  • Get Textured: Feel free to use different materials to add texture to your paper bag crafts. Tissue paper scraps, felt pieces, or even buttons can give your creations a unique look.
  • Let's Recycle!: Upcycle other recyclables like cardboard tubes, plastic bottle caps, or leftover yarn to create additional details for your paper bag masterpieces.
  • Story Time!: Turn your paper bag creations into characters for a puppet show or use them to act out a story you make up together.

Paper bag crafts are a fantastic way to spend quality time with your kids, encouraging creativity, fine motor skills development, and a sense of accomplishment. So grab a bag, unleash your imagination, and get crafting!