Make a brown-bag album for your holiday photos

Scripps Howard News ServiceJanuary 25, 2013 

SH13A013HOBBIES Jan. 7, 2013 -- How about using a brown paper bag to make an album that holds photos and mementos.


Scrapbooking has become a popular hobby in recent years. Supplies are available almost everywhere, and the array is amazing. There are papers, stickers, embellishments, die cuts – the list goes on and on.

You can even create an online scrapbook.

We’ve always enjoyed the tactile experience of creating something by hand, not with a computer, so this album is right up our alley.

Our favorite scrapbooking projects are the ones that use everyday items in unusual ways. How about using a brown paper bag to make a photo album?

This nifty little album can hold photos and mementos. It even has spaces for journaling your memories of the holiday season. You should be able to find everything you need in your stash of holiday gift wrap, cards and ribbons.

Extra embellishments may also be found with your sewing scraps and button box.


• Five lunch-sized brown paper bags.

• Assorted ribbons (solids and patterned).

• Patterned paper or gift wrap.

• Embellishments such as buttons, tags, holiday cards.

• White glue.

• Paper punch.

How to

1 Stack the five brown paper bags, alternating the open and closed ends. Next, fold the bags in half by bringing the bottom of the bag to the open end. Crease the folds well.

2 To punch holes for binding, first make a template. Once you are satisfied with the placement of the holes, mark each bag and punch the holes one bag at a time while the bag is folded.

3 Bind the book using various colors and patterns of ribbon.

4 Decorate the inside pages of the album with pieces of gift wrap and cardstock papers. For additional decoration, you might also cut up old greeting cards. Designs can also be made from scraps of felt. Or how about stickers, buttons, fibers and other embellishments, making sure to leave room for the photos?

5 Use tags to provide an area to record your holiday memories. Punch a hole in one end of the tag and tie off with colorful lengths of ribbon. Place the tags in pockets you create or the open ends of the bags to provide for journaling space.

6 Create an inviting cover. This album should come together quickly. When filled with photos, mementos and written stories of the holiday, it will be even more meaningful.


Shari Hiller and Matt Fox host the PBS television series “Around the House with Matt and Shari.”

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