Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How To Make A Paper Bag Banner

Posted by happayscrappay (Rachel):

The anticipation and excitement around Christmas is so fun to share with the whole family.  My youngest is just learning to read numbers and I thought he would enjoy a home decor item that would help him count the days as they pass until Christmas arrives.   I have decorated small kraft bags and hung them by clothes pins from a string of twine. 

The inspiration for this project came from a wedding seating chart and the project could easily be adapted to many situations (birthday countdown, party favors, etc) simply by changing the way the bags are decorated.  Inside the bags could be little sayings, candies, or other goodies. 

Here's a look at the supplies I used, mostly from Prima North Country, but also Kraft bags, Martha Stewart lace, and K&Co Evergreen Paper Tape and glittered clothes pins.

Each bag is decorated individually and plain clothes pins are also decorated to make them prettier and to match the theme of the banner. 

Decorative tape of any kind can be used on the clothes pin. 

Tear off a strip of the tape and lay it on the clothes pin.  I lined up the side of the tape with one side of the clothes pin, the side where the spring sticks out so I didn't have to remove excess tape from that side.

Using a file, I sanded the edge of the clothes pin through the tape.  This cut the tape and made it easy to remove.  I repeated the same process on the other side of the clothes pin.

I now had decorative clips to hang my bags with.  I made about 8 clips like this.  Another product I used was the North Country Resist Canvas from Prima.  This stuff is really, really pretty!  It is easy to colorize with mists and when you do, a pattern is revealed on the surface of the canvas.  I also tried using distress inks on the canvas and it worked well, too. 

Even I admit this is strange, but I apply ink and mists with a baby wipe alot of the time.  It is already damp so the color soaks in well and it is easy to distribute onto a surface.  On paper it gives an additional distressed appearance on the canvas it allowed me to blend colors with ease.  Below you can see what the deer looks like after a little distress ink has been applied in a circular motion.

It also helps the resist pattern to appear whiter and brighter if the canvas is wiped after the application of any color.  To decorate the bags, I used bits of patterned paper, flowers, the canvas images, glimmer mists, and lace. I decorated each bag first and then laid them out in a line to see which order of bags I would like the best.  I then applied the date with a stamp and some dark brown chalk ink. 

No two bags are alike but because all of them are decorated out of the same line, they are coordinated in color and pattern.

Some of the bags were folded over and some were left open and decorated that way.

Decorative tape was also used on the inside of the bag with the deer.  Other times, I added patterned paper to the inside of the bag so that it could be seen at the top of the bag.

Then, much like the stockings, the banner was hung by the chimney with care!  I cut a long piece of twine and hung it from the hearth.  The bags were all clipped to the twine.  Then, lace was woven behind and around the clips just to make it even more pretty!

We will be able to enjoy the banner as a whole and each bag individually when we take them down, one at a time, in December.  Overall, this project took me one afternoon and one morning to make.  You could make something similar, with less detail, but still plenty of visual impact in about an afternoon. 

Many thanks to A Cherry On Top for the products used in this project:

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