D.I.Y. Project,

Hi fellas and ladies! This is Mandi with a useful and fun DIY project for you. I'm constantly packaging goodies for my vintage shop customers and friends across the world, but buying packaging products is expensive and also contributes to environmental waste. I wanted to find an inexpensive and sustainable way to personalize pretty packages without paying for envelopes, tape, and labels.  I ended up coming up with a kraft package made from recycled grocery bags. To obtain supplies, all I need to do is say "paper" instead of "plastic."

2For this project, you will need:

1 paper shopping bag
1 pair of scissors
1 black gel pen
A sewing machine with thread

Leftover rub-ons (optional) These are made by Hambly Screen Prints.

Step One:

Cut open the sides of your bag and fold the flaps over to maintain an even width across the length of the paper. Then fold the bag into thirds, or however many times you need to obtain the desired size of your package.

Step Two:

Use some leftover rub ons from past scrapbooking or craft projects to decorate your paper. I like to match my rub ons to the color of the thread I will use to close the bag.

Step Three:

Now stitch all but one open side of your folded bag. Try some different stitch settings for variety and added decoration.

Step Four: Trim the uneven sides of the bag

Step Five:

Using a gel pen, write out the return address and recipient's address in the prettiest handwriting you can muster. I always think a handwritten address is much more lovely to receive on a package than a printed label. Then, insert the goodies being delivered and stitch closed the opening.

That's it! So easy. And such a small footprint in your wallet and the environment. I can't tell you how much money I have saved since I started making my own packaging materials. And the best part of all are the lovely notes I sometimes receive thanking me for taking a little extra time to make a simple package extra special.

Project Notes:
I have received returned packages in the mail, and was delighted to see that they survived splendidly the rough and tumble delivery process. Also, I have incorporated bubble wrap into the package creating process for items with harder edges, like purses and shoes. It helps the package survive the delivery and also keeps the goodies safe.
Thank you, Mandi, for this adorable and very practical D.I.Y.! XOXO. elsie


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