For those of you who shop at Trader Joe’s, have you noticed how beautiful the holiday edition of their paper grocery bags are this year? I adore the look of the white ink printed onto the brown paper bag. I’ve had a stack of them sitting around the house and I keep telling myself I should re-purpose them somehow since they seem too pretty to throw away. Last night, I finally thought of something creative to do with them…
…I made Christmas stockings!
At the beginning of the year, Susie and I had the idea to design a line of cards that paired vintage graphics with humor about the recession. We all needed a good laugh at that point. We put a call out to our friends (who are much funnier than we are) to submit funny sayings to use in the cards. If we used their sayings, we would pay them a royalty. Our friends really came up with some great lines and our Retro Recession Card Collection was born.
The year is coming to a close (and hopefully the recession!) and it’s time to pay them their dividends. I wanted to come up with a cute, thrifty way to send the money to them…a way that embodied the sort of frugal, finding-new-ways-to-do-things-with-less spirit that seems to have defined this year. And so my recycled paper bag stockings came to life!
I love how each one is completely different, depending on what part of the bag is used, and also how the pieces cut from the sides of the grocery bag have the fold marks on them.
This project is really quick and easy. Trace a template onto the bag, cut your shapes out, punch holes and then use embroidery floss to sew the bags together with a quick whip stitch.
Download the stocking template I created and instructions for the project here.
You don’t have to use bags from Trader Joe’s. You can use any sort of heavy paper or cardstock: the front of a cereal box, old greeting cards, wallpaper scraps. Get creative!