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December 3rd, 2009

recycled paper bag stocking

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!

- Heidi

24 comments to recycled paper bag stocking

  1. With Love ~ csunsweetie
    December 4th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I was thinking almost the same thing when I saw their bags last week. I love that they put so much design element into the paper bags (and of course the eco-friendly reusable kinds).

  2. Shauna
    December 10th, 2009 at 9:07 am

    This is just the cutest. I bet you could make cute tags and gift wrap with it, too! They are too cute not to use again! Great idea!

  3. Holiday Paper Crafts Roundup  |  paper crave
    December 21st, 2009 at 7:56 am

    [...] A Field Journal – found via Whip Up * Make Something Happy shares a neato idea for making paper stockings out of recycled grocery bags (thank you, Trader Joe’s!) * Find out how to make pretty little [...]

  4. Seasonal Recycling «
    December 22nd, 2009 at 7:51 am

    [...] and Heidi Bauer over at Rock Scissor Paper to transform this oh-so-pretty grocery bag into cute recycled paper bag stockings. Check out the photos below as well as on their blog Make Something Happy! Happy [...]

  5. shredding San Antonio
    September 21st, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Paper bags are more eco-friendly than the plastic ones and they can be reused for other purposes like the one shown above. It can be an art project for your kids or you can even do it for your own living room decoration during the holidays. Looking for creative ways to recycle used paper products is indeed helpful to reduce waste accumulation and so that people will value what they have more.

  6. Recycled Christmas decorations – our favourite ideas | How can I recycle this?
    December 9th, 2010 at 3:04 am

    [...] Brown paper shopping bags – particularly ones with a Christmas themed print on them – can be made into decorative Christmas stockings. [...]

  7. Recycled Christmas decorations – our favourite ideas
    December 9th, 2010 at 3:45 am

    [...] Brown paper shopping bags – particularly ones with a Christmas themed print on them – can be made into decorative Christmas stockings. [...]

  8. Recycled Christmas decorations – our favourite ideas |
    December 9th, 2010 at 11:35 am

    [...] Brown paper shopping bags – particularly ones with a Christmas themed print on them – can be made into decorative Christmas stockings. [...]

  9. Recycled Christmas decorations – our favourite ideas | Save On Energy Bills
    December 13th, 2010 at 12:14 am

    [...] Brown paper shopping bags – particularly ones with a Christmas themed print on them – can be made into decorative Christmas stockings. [...]

  10. Faith Elliott
    November 26th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    How do you begin and end your stitching? I am trying to do it with supplies I already have and not go out and purchase a smaller hole punch. We did ours with yarn. I am thinking of making them and then tucking in some handmade ornaments.

  11. heidi
    November 28th, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Hi Faith:

    I simply tied a small knot on the backside using the first and second stitch to start it and then a small knot at the end. I hope that helps!

  12. Elissa
    November 28th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I love these & have shared them over on my Site’s tutorial round-up,
    Three Things to Make Monday.

  13. Pretty Pink
    December 17th, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Beautiful Xmas Stocking. Loves it so much.
    I’m from Australia have no recycled paper bag :( xo

  14. Rachel
    December 17th, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    What a GREAT idea!!! We are doing a stocking exchange at work and this will make the perfect gift!!!! Thanks!

  15. Natalie P
    December 20th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Great idea, thank you! I made a “full-sized” stocking and it worked so well I now I have to go buy more stuffers. The thing is massive and seems to be as sturdy as, well, a grocery bag - ha!

  16. wrap it up! « trendypotluck
    December 21st, 2011 at 3:33 am

    [...] {via} [...]

  17. Recycled Paper Bag Stocking D.I.Y - ScrapHacker
    December 23rd, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    [...] got yourself a handmade special surprise for your special someone(s). The hack was spotted at the RockScissorPaper blog – full step-by-step tutorial [...]

  18. Patricia ann
    October 11th, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Such an excellent nd creative reuse of th drab paper bag it suddenly spells magic Save our trees nd reuse paper It’s our contribution to saving mother earth. Well done let’s all make a little step in this direction cheers

  19. 50+ Things to Make From Paper Bags — Saved By Love Creations
    October 23rd, 2012 at 3:16 am

    [...] that the kids are sure to love.Take advantage of seasonal graphic shopping bags to create festive recycled paper Christmas stockings with Rock Scissor Paper.  What a cheap way to bring a unique, handmade touch to your holiday [...]

  20. 12 DIY Christmas Stockings - Handmade Holiday Inspiration
    November 2nd, 2013 at 11:41 am

    [...] DIY Recycled Paper Bag Stockings – Rock Scissor Paper [...]

  21. Kat @ KaydeeBunz
    November 3rd, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    We currently live in an rv and I left all our stockings in storage!! This is a great alternative to buying them!! Thanks so much, great post! :)

  22. It’s In The Bag: 23 Recycled Brown Paper Inspirations | - Organic Living
    November 9th, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    [...] your recycled brown paper Christmas stockings by the chimney with [...]

  23. 10 DIY Holiday Stockings | DIY | ClubFlyers Magazine Articles on DIY
    December 12th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    [...] Paper Bag [...]

  24. recycle crea…. | ~ * Pagan Ouderschap / Pagan Parenting * ~
    December 13th, 2013 at 6:04 am

    [...] paper bag stocking <- tutorial: this can be done with those fancy holiday edition bags you see at this time of the [...]

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