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It was a typical lunch in our house. My son was finishing up and we were about to return to our homeschool studies. Jujubee began to play with her mouse. Pouncing,rolling over and chirping in her unusual way, she captured our attention. How could we resist? We stopped and played a moment. I took a few photos and then , though Jujubee would have preferred more playtime, it was back to school.


Though none were present that day, Jujubee loves paper bags. I had recently acquired a kraft paper shopping tote and I had an idea for how I could adapt it to become a background for my layout.


Step One The tote came from our local hair salon and was designed to advertise a skin care product. I wanted to use part of the wording in the title. Using the bag presented some very simple challenges with easy solutions. My challenges were to cover up the brand logos, flatten the bag just a bit, and to remove the handle.


Step Two I opened the bag and cut it apart. By beginning to cut along the side, I was assured that I would not damage the front or back of the bag. I cut away one of the logos. The handles were gently removed and will be saved for trim on another project. Cutting away the bottom logo makes the front face of the bag a bit smaller and easier to place on a 12×12 canvas.

Step Three I stitched the bag to a sheet of 12×12 patterned paper, but left the top portion open and unstitched. This allows me to tuck small bits of ephemera into the top of the bag.


Step Four The design is quite simple. I want the title to go through the center of the two photo. My challenge here is to work around the image if the bottle. I placed a series of paper strips which will help anchor the photo while also covering part of the bottle. Part of the bottle design was still showing in the center and it looks a bit off. I matched some black paper to the black in the bottle and added small strips above and below the photos. Now it will look as though the bottle is part of a black strip of paper in the design.

Step Five The layout just needed some quick finishing touches. I tucked items into the top of the bag, added a few embellishments along with the title and journaling and then, I was done.


I love to Play by Christy Strickler |Supplies Patterned Paper: October Afternoon; Letters: Jenni Bowlin; Stickers: October Afternoon, My Mind’s Eye; Pen: Uniball Signo; Chipboard: Cosmo Cricket; Die Cut: Farmhouse Paper Co.; Other: Hello Kitty wood piece, twine, doily; created for #LOAD214

I will be able to use the back side of the shopping bag for another layout. I also have two paper twine style handles which can be used as trim on future layouts. The design was quick and easy to use. The whole layout was created in around 30 minutes.

Tips for Using Shopping Totes

The designs on each tote will vary. However, you will always need to take the following into consideration when working with paper shopping totes:

– Always remove the handle carefully. You don’t want to tear the front of the bag. Many handle can be reused as trim.

– Which portions of the design will you use? You will want to consider whether you will be able to cut away a logo or whether you will cover it with something. In some cases, You may want to incorporate part of the logo into your design.

-Have a clear idea of the basic design you will be working with before you start cutting the bag apart.

Supply Options




Additional Resources

 Motivated to Scrap: Christy Strickler Works with Everyday Materials, an article for Get It Scrapped

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Scrapbooking with Found Objects Pinterest Board






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