Friday, February 10, 2012

Four Fun Ways to Recycle Paper Bags

A few weeks ago I started on a bit of a mission to recycle all of the paper bags we've acquired from Whole Foods. While we found several ways, I have been lazy about writing the post. Thanks to finding the Tinkerlab blog and her Paper Bag Creative Challenge, I have been motivated to get it done!  

The first way was a classic: Paper Bag Vests! I remember asking for paper bags at the grocery store for weeks so that the children I taught in preschool could each make a vest years ago. I turned our bags inside out as they had a lot of writing on the outside, then cut spacious holes for his head and arms. I let him try it on before we decorated so he could understand what we were doing. Ty simply decorated his vets with markers and crayons as I knew he wouldn't have the patience to let glued pieces or glitter dry before putting it on, but you could get much more fancy!

 He was pretty happy with himself! He took his vest on and off many times, which eventually required taping as it ripped in places, but he didn't seem to mind.

The second way was simply using our bags as paper. Since it was so large when cut it open and lay out, I taped it to the wall for vertical work. I provided marker and crayons and let him go! I was surprised to see him tracing the creases in the bag. I don't recall ever seeing him trace something before.

The next way also includes using a paper bag as paper. One evening Tyler got quite into practicing cutting strips of my old scrapbooking scrap paper. We typically glue the pieces rather than throwing them away, but not only did I need a big surface area for him with so many pieces, but something thicker than the large paper we have as he tends to rip right through with the glue. Paper bag it was!

The paper bag had no trouble handling all of the glue he spread on!

We all have enjoyed the final result. This art hangs over his play kitchen and I notice him looking at it several times a day. We will certainly be using paper bags for gluing more often!

The final use for our paper bags isn't a brand new idea for us, but I had to take some photos and show you since I was creating the post. We like to take empty boxes, containers and Tyler's play fruit and set it up somewhere in the house. He pretends to go shopping, putting all of the items he wants (he wants everything) in his bag.

We then carry it to his kitchen and put it away and/or start some "cooking"!

If you're looking for more ideas for paper bag recycling or to wish to share your own, be sure to check out Tinkerlab! There's also a list of the upcoming challenges. Fun!

Also linking-up with The Imagination Tree


  1. Hi Jen!

    What a great post! I love how you used the paper bag in so many ways. I just pinned this to the creative challenge pinboard. Thanks so much for joining and look forward to seeing you in the next challenge.


  2. Jen these are all great ways for recycling paper bags. I especially love the suggestions to use them as a paper.

  3. Fantastic blog! I don't think I've seen all the bags of this subject the way you've pointed them out. I love seeing websites that realize the value of providing a quality information. Thanks for sharing this!
    Paper Bags