Clever and Crafty Uses for Brown Paper Bags

Do you have a large stash of brown paper bags? You have choices beyond recycling them. They are useful for many craft projects and household solutions. Check out these ideas, and you'll wish you had even more paper bags to repurpose.

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    Weave your grocery bags into sturdy (and stylish) storage boxes. You can also use them for making small gift baskets or as kitchen and home organizers and decor.

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    Stockpile brown paper bags and use them to wrap all your gifts. Personalize them with embellishments such as rubber stamps, paint, or ribbons. It's a look that store-bought paper can't compete with, and it shows your loved ones you took the time to make their gift special.

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    Quote Paper Wallet

    Lynoure Braakman/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Anyone can take home a new wallet in a paper bag. Not everyone can make one out of a paper bag: It's a fun, thrifty fashion statement.

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    My Blogger Friends Brown Bag Scrap Book
    Betty/Flickr

    Scrapbooking supplies can be expensive, and wouldn't you rather put that money into making the memories you are recording? Cut the cost of scrapbooking by turning paper sacks into mini-scrapbooks.

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    Return envelope, back

    Ian Collins /Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

    You can cut and fold your way to a steady supply of brown paper envelopes. They are so much nicer than boring white paper, especially for personal correspondence, and they are sturdy as well.

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    Paper Bag Luminaries

    Keith HInkle /Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Turn a pile of paper lunch bags into festive luminaries for your next party or ​holiday celebration. Use rubber stamps to personalize them, and they will add a lovely glow to your evening event.

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    someone throwing out compost
    Francesca York/Getty Images

    Do you need more brown to balance the green in your compost? If you have far too many food scraps and grass clippings and not enough dry leaves, you can use paper bags for balance. Shred paper bags, and add them to your compost pile for a boost of browns.

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    Books with office supplies.
    Utamaru Kido/Getty Images

    Go old school and cover your kids' textbooks with brown paper bags. As a bonus, your child can personalize them so that their book covers won't be like everybody else's.

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    Mandarin oranges in paper bag
    Kroeger/Gross/Getty Images

    You can ripen avocados, tomatoes, bananas, or peaches by sticking them inside a brown paper bag. This is a basic kitchen trick.

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    Fresh mushrooms in a bag
    Westend61/Getty Images

    Stick mushrooms inside of a paper bag and store them in the fridge to keep them fresh longer.

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    Share flowers with a friend without giving up one of your vases. An empty drink bottle tucked inside of a paper bag looks great. Or use the bags themselves to make vases to give as gifts or to house your own indoor plants.

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    Flies on Flypaper
    T. Hoenig/Getty Images

    Don't waste money on products to get rid of pesky—and disease-bearing—flies. Use a paper bag instead to get the job done. Cut the bag into strips and make your own flypaper in a few easy steps.

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    Agricultural worker weeding crops
    Nicola Tree/Getty Images

    Use paper bags in place of pricey landscape fabric. Just lay it down wherever you want to eliminate weeds and cut slits for your plants to stick through.