printed paper bag tutorial | meet Hayden from Haven by Hayden

Hello to all of you Perfectly Imperfect readers! I’m Hayden Norwood…Bama born, Texas raised, and a temporary transplant to Oklahoma. I’m an Interior Designer, lover of all things beautiful, Mommy to two little monkeys (2 and 3), and wife of a busy orthopedic resident. I’m so excited to be joining Shaunna in bringing you fun, creative ideas for your decorating your home, as well as DIY tutorials to use with your family or on your place of residence.
Growing up my husband would have a note each day in his lunch from his Mother. When we got married, I continued the tradition of jotting down a simple note of love or thanks…something fun for him to look forward to each day. As my boys are now getting older, I look forward to the day when I will be able to leave them sweet notes in their lunch, reminding them how special they are to me.
I decided to give printing on paper bags a try.   Seemed like a fun easy way to say ‘I Love You’ or ‘You are Special.’
Here’s What You’ll Need:
Computer with Word/Photoshop
Paper Bags (Brown or White)
Scotch Tape
Hole Punch
You’ll want to begin by creating a document in Word. You’ll need to change the paper size to fit your bag. For my Word program I went to File, Page Setup, and then Paper Size. You can then customize your size and save the paper size. The paper size I used was 5×10 for a standard lunch bag.
Once you’ve created your document, get creative! There are a ton of free fonts out there to download! I’ve created eight different printables for you. My bags were based on sayings that I say often or that I love. The two printables are available in 2 PDF files. Four four in black and four in color.
Now you’re ready to prep and print! In order to keep your bag from tearing or getting jammed in the printer, you need to use some Scotch tape. You don’t need much, but you need to tape the top shut, as well as, taping down the bottom flap.
When printing you’ll have to think through how your printer operates…do you need the printed side up or down? Do you need to have the bag going in bottom side first or top side first? For me I needed the printed side down with the top part of the bag going into the printer first. Once the bag is in (print one bag at a time) print your design of choice.
Once they’re printed, all you need to do is fold the top down (I folded mine to the front), hole punch, and tie your ribbon! And voila!
They were so fun to create and so easy to print! I joked with my husband that I wanted to print everything on a a paper bag now! These would be great for teacher gifts, Back to School bags for students, birthday bags, or party favor bags! The possibilities are limitless!!! Enjoy creating!
Isn’t that great?!?  Such a simple way to have fun with lunchtime!  Thanks again to Hayden for a great tutorial and for sharing it here at pi.  Be sure to check out her great blog and welcome her on board as a contributor here!  *P.S. I’ll be setting these printables up for you on our downloads page asap!

perfectly imperfect | haven by hayden

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41 Responses to printed paper bag tutorial | meet Hayden from Haven by Hayden

  1. Jan February 15, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    What a great idea! Love it! I am currently planning a “reveal” party. Think I will print bags with the saying “Ready to pop” and fill them with popcorn. Should be fun! Thanks for the idea.

    • Hayden February 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      What a cute idea Jan!!!

  2. Colleen February 15, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    Love this idea! So many possibilities! :)

  3. Nancy Mueller February 15, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Oh my gosh how adorable!
    I can see using those for party favors and other gift bags….great idea!

  4. Martha February 15, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    Fantastic idea! I might try running them through the extra slot in the back made for cardstock, that way they don’t have to bend to make the circle in my printer!! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sherri Farrell February 15, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Love it!!!!! What a cute idea!

  6. Carrie - The Corson Cottage February 15, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    What a cute idea! Wish I had a little kiddo to do that for. Thanks for the introduction to Hayden! By the way, Happy Birthday Shaunna! I saw the sweet post over at The Lettered Cottage & had to stop by to wish you well on your special day!

  7. Tonya @ Love of Family & Home February 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    These are adorable!! Thank you for introducing us to Hayden! So fun meeting all of your new contributers! I’m sure you are thrilled to have them coming on board! Happy Birthday again!!

  8. Cindy Riley February 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Love this tutorial and idea! How can we get the file to download? Thanks!

  9. Danielle February 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    Very cool. I wonder if my hubby will let me do this with the work printer?!?

  10. Courtney February 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    You are so extremely creative, Thank you for sharing!! I can’t find the link to the pdf? Am I missing something?
    Thank you again, how thoughtful to share!!!

  11. Elisabeth February 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    So cute. Maybe they could be used as party bags, too.

  12. Elizabeth Mason February 15, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Who knew you could print on paper bags?? Not me! Thank you for sharing this cool idea! I can’t wait to try it out!

  13. Adriane February 15, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    These are too cute! I love them so much! My heart skipped a beat when Hayden said she’d created printables, but like Cindy, I can’t seem to find a link to download them. What am I missing? Thanks so much for the adorable idea!

  14. Kerri (a simple princess) February 16, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    Love it!!! This would be great for a cookie swap at Christmas time too!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  15. Joanne @ Homestyling101 February 16, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Genius! I am having one of those “why didn’t I think of that!” moments….I am tagging this and I am going to do this for favor bags for my daughter’s communion in May! Love!

  16. Maria February 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    These are fabulous! I love pushing my printer to work with stuff other than paper. So cool!

  17. Suny February 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    My printer rejected the paper bag and just wouldn’t print on it. Bummer!

    • Janelle March 8, 2012 at 9:34 am #

      I found that my printer has the capability to flip the image so that I don’t have to tape the bag. I put the bag in bottom first and the printer flips the image so it prints correctly. You may want to check your settings and see if you can do that.

      I also found that setting the printer to “Envelope” for the type of paper helps it get picked up by the feeder…maybe because it is prepared for the increased thickness of the bag. I hope you are able to get it to work! =0)

  18. GG February 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    I am a newbie.
    Can you tell me what printer you use?
    I have an Epson 515 but want to up grade. I love scrapbooking and like to choose
    my own pictures and sizes but I am not real happy with this printer. Although I do
    like epson products as a whole.
    I love the lunch bag ideas. I have grandchildren who would love to get goodies in a fun treat bag.
    Thank you!

  19. Katie (Cayenne Paper) February 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Adorable idea! I think these would be great for party bags and sending treats to family/friends who need meals delivered to them (working on 1 meal right now, actually). Plus I’m thinking these are good bags for my hand-made stationery and invitations. Hmmm…. good thing I have a 100- pack of the brown ones just waiting for me!

  20. maureen February 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    Great idea and they are so cute! I can’t find the link to the printable though – can you advise how to download this please or where?

  21. Jean Harrington February 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    Thanks for posting such a versatile idea! These bags would be great in so many ways– lunch bags for my grands, gift bags, treat bags for Halloween, etc! I love the idea!

  22. combatmommy February 29, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    how cool!! My husband is deploying soon and I always suck at care packages…These will be great to separate things I send him….toiletries in one, snacks in another…I cant wait to get to the store and get some bags to test this out!! thanks for sharing!

  23. Kim March 9, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    Love, Love, Love this idea!!!

  24. Cindy March 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    These are great!!! Thank you so much for sharing…..can you tell me how I download these?

    Thanks again!!!

  25. Denise April 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    My bags are not getting jammed, but they are smudged with ink. Thought this would be an awesome & economical idea for the cookie bar at my daughters wedding. Will keep trying.

    • Stefanie May 4, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

      Hey Denise,

      There is a little tray where your ink cartridges sit when the printer is not in use– sometimes ink pools in that tray and then when you try to print something thick, you get blotches of ink. Try lifting the lid of your printer, sliding your cartridges out of the way and blotting that area with a paper towel (use gloves!). Sometimes I can soak several paper towels. The first few bags you try after that may still have some random ink, but it usually this helps after that. Hope you’re able to get it to work!!

  26. Denise May 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    I will definitely give this a try….THANKS!

  27. cindy cook June 24, 2012 at 6:05 am #

    great idea, thanks..will use this for my grandsons this summer when we do our weekly picnic lunches…

  28. ang July 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    i love these bags, but i can’t find the “downloads page”. Can you help me find that?

  29. Angela August 2, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Please help me find the download for these bags. I love them.

  30. Heather September 5, 2012 at 6:20 am #

    This is an awesome idea!!! I have my daughters birthday party coming up and these will be perfect for goodie bags to put a thank you note on it!!

  31. Caroline December 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    What a great idea, I plan to try it out for our Christmas workshop to put all craft things like a goodie bag to take home. Thank you again :-)

  32. andrea February 9, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    Wow! Such a great tutorial. I made invites to a Pirate party on Brown sacks. I burnt the perimeter and crinkled it up and then rolled it like a treasure map. It was a hit thanks to your inspiration. Thank you so much!!!

  33. Lori May 10, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Thank you for sharing!

  34. KT May 26, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    I just made a bunch of Ladmo Bags! Awesome!! Thanks!

  35. Jennifer July 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    Thank you for this great tutorial! I used it to create this paper bag project and linked to your post:

  36. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author.
    I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back very soon.

    I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have a nice weekend!

  37. Tangelia October 30, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    What an amazingly cute idea! Can you tell me how to find your downloads page?

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