Finding the perfect party decorations can sometimes be tricky business. Take it from me I’ve thrown lumberjack themed birthday parties, decorated Christmas trees for Record Store Day and even had a Game of Thrones Viewing Shin-Dig. That being said I am no stranger to crafting up party decorations! These adorable DIY paper bag stores are EASY, inexpensive, make a big impact AND are completely customizable. Like you can marble them!
DIY Party Decor
And all this time you thought those little gift bags and plain brown sacks were just for lunch and birthdays. Oh no! I’m going to not only show you several different ways you can make them into DIY party decor by transforming them into hanging paper bag stars I am also going to show you how to marble the bags for a little something extra! All for craft week!
Please note this post contains affiliate links, purchasing via these links helps support this blog. Also, today’s post is sponsored by CRAFTWEEK. Make sure to stop by their Instagram to enter the giveaway!
Craft Week Giveaway
But wait what is craft week? I’ve teamed up with a bunch of rad crafters and we are having ourselves a week long celebration complete with a giveaway for an Amazon gift card. Every day is a different theme with different crafters. Today the theme is party and nothing says party like giant paper bag hanging stars! Craft Week is brought to you by…
- 30 Minute Crafts
- 100 Directions
- The Country Chic Cottage
- Pineapple Paper Co.
- Shrimp Salad Circus
- Tried & True Creative
Paper Bag Hanging Stars in my New Book!
Yup, these fun DIY paper bag hanging stars are another fun project in my new book Easy Arts and Crafts For Kids: 50 Fun Projects to Make, Wear and Share. BUT this post is full of variations because let me tell you there is more than one way to paint (or in this case marble) a gift bag!
Paper Bags – An Underrated Star of the Craft World
Let me start by saying that bags are good for a lot more things than just being bags. That unassuming brown paper lunch bag sitting in your pantry could be painted into party perfection like the Paper Bag Hanging Stars on Page 121 of my new book. Other ideas include…
- Gift Bag Upgrade – Sure gift bags are good, but they could be great when you paint them.
- Haunted House Pinatas – 10 Ideas for Halloween pinatas including a gift bag haunted house.
- Log Cabin Goodie Bags – Ever notice how brown lunch sacks look like log cabins? No? Just me?
Supplies for Making Paper Bag Party Stars
- Paper Bags
- Decorative Edge Scissors
- Disposable Pan
- Hot Glue and Hot Glue Gun
- Marabu Marbling Medium
Consider mixing and matching the colors and sizes of your bags, but they all need to be the same ‘lunch sack’ style bag.
Step 1: Prepare For Marbling Your Paper Bags
Fill a disposable pan with water. Shake the marbling medium well and sprinkle across the top of the water. Add as many or as few colors as you want. I am using Marabu brand because I am familiar with it AND it is super easy to use – pour in water, dip, done.
Open the paper bags you plan to marble. Remember, once we start assembling the paper stars you will mainly just see the sides of the bag not the front or back. Depending on how you intend to hang the stars you may only need to marble one side.
Swirl The Marbling Medium
Once you have sprinkled your marbling medium into the pan you can give the pan a gentle shake to create the marbled effect.
Dip The Paper Bags in the Marbling medium. Remember you only need to marble the sides of the bag for these paper stars.
Dip The Paper Bags in Marbling Medium
Quickly dip the sides of the gift bags into the marbling medium. When you remove each bag press it into the water a bit to break the seal created by the marbling medium floating on top of the water. Pour out any excess water that got in the bag and leave open to air dry.
Continue Marbling Paper Bag Stars
Each set of bags that cover the entire surface of the pan will use all the marbling medium. So in the above picture you can see that these two paper party bags take up majority of the real-estate in the disposable pan. When I pull them out they will take the marbling medium with them and I will need to marble again before inserting the next set of bags. Got it? OK good!
Allow Marbling Medium and Bags to Dry
Your bags will now be wet, possibly soggy and maybe even a bit wilted looking BUT NEVER FEAR as they dry the paper will stiffen right back up!
Easy Arts and Crafts For Kids
While you wait for your paper bags to dry it’s a great time to pop over to Amazon and pre-order a copy of my new book Easy Arts and Crafts for Kids: 50 Fun Projects to Make, Wear and Share.
Not only is there a paper bag star project inside there is also a kid friendly paper marbling technique using a couple of supplies you probably already have around the house!
Refold The Paper Bags
Once the bags have dried completely. Mine took overnight, refold the bags to their original shape. You might realize, like I did, that based on the direction the bottom of the bag folds to you have marbled different sides on different bags. No worries, just refold the direction of the bottom and make sure all the bags are the same.
Assembling the Paper Bag Stars
On the flat side of the bag make a T shape of glue. You can use craft glue, a glue stick or my favorite hot glue! Attach between 7-12 bags to one another in the same pattern.
Attach the Ends of Your Paper Bag Party Star
When you are at the last bag add another T of hot glue and unfold the bags to bring the first around to the last.
Get Ready For a Room Full of Paper Bag Party Stars
Oh snap did you just make a DIY party decoration? Ya you did. Do you suddenly want to marble ALL the things? Ya you do.
Let’s Talk Variation
Wasn’t that easy! Think of making jumbo one with large brown grocery bags or wee ones with smaller gift bags. I marbled these, painted bags in my book and have used patterned gift bags before to make Halloween party bag stars. I’ve got a few more ideas to spice up your party stars…
Turn Your Paper Bags Into Snowflakes
If you cut your paper bags on the sides you will get a really cool snowflake effect. Gives your party stars a little sumthin’ extra. Be sure to cut the bag on both sides so you can see through.
I just traced a glass onto my paper bag and cut out the 4 half circles.
Snowflake Hanging Stars
Mix and match your bags! Throw in some cut out brown paper lunch sacks with your new fancy marbled bags and call yourself a professional party planner. The brown makes the vibrant colors in the marbling really pop.
Decorative Edge Scissors
FINALLY a use for that 25 pack of decorative edge scissors you bought 10 years ago that you were just sure would come in handy. They finally are! Cut out a simple triangle shape in the tops of your bags for a more pointy star like vibe.
Everything is Better With PomPoms
Have I mentioned in this post yet that everything is better with pompoms? That goes for hanging party stars made from paper bags too.
DIY This With Jennifer Perkins – Paper Bag Halloween Decorations
Like I said this is not my first time at the paper bag star rodeo. Think you might like a video tutorial? I got you. Check out this episode of DIY This With Jennifer Perkins on the DIY Network for a step by step Halloween themed version.
Paper Bag Party Stars
You may never look at paper bags the same way again and I’m okay with that. I can’t wait to make a ton for spring and oh the Easter eggs I plan to marble. I can hardly wait! Leave me a comment and let me know if you make one!
YOU MADE IT TO THE END! Let’s talk about that giveaway and all the other amazingly talented bloggers participating in the Craft Week blog hop! Today’s theme is PARTY and you can check out other party related posts from…
The Giveaway will be held on Instagram and you have a chance to win on each of the bloggers IG accounts! All you have to do is like their Craft Week post on Instagram and tag a friend in the comments. Giveaway ends 3/13/20 at 11:59 PM PST. Winner will be notified via Direct Message. This contest is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Amazon or Instagram. To enter, you must have an U.S. shipping address.