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DIY: Simple and Sustainable Paper Bag Stars

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DIY: Simple and Sustainable Paper Bag Stars

December 19, 2023

These brown paper bag stars are a simple holiday crafting activity that take the humble two-dimensional snowflake up a level. I first saw these last year at my friend Layla Zaa’s house. Layla is an interior designer and consultant with an eye for for sustainable styling ideas. At the time, she promised me a how-to for Christmas 2023, so without further ado:

the brown paper bag star: a striking three dimensional design that&#8\2\17; 17
Above: The brown paper bag star: a striking three-dimensional design that’s a cinch to make.

Materials

we used \13 x 8 x \24 cm bags, but all sizes work provided they are flat bottom 18
Above: We used 13 x 8 x 24 cm bags, but all sizes work provided they are flat-bottomed.

You will need:

  • 9 brown paper bags
  • Glue
  • Ribbon or string
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch

Step 1:

Get your equipment together and select three paper bags. Apply glue to the bottom of the first paper bag and a vertical stripe of glue down the center of the bag.

we&#8\2\17;ve used plain paper bags, but if you want to get the kids involv 19
Above: We’ve used plain paper bags, but if you want to get the kids involved, you can try painting them and letting them dry before gluing together.

Step 2:

Stick the second paper bag on top of the first, and repeat the glue until you have three paper bags stuck together. (Any more and the shape will become too thick to cut through.)

Step 3:

Sketch a shape for the arms of the stars. You can embellish the design with small nicks in the arms of the star, or keep it plain and simple. Cut out the shape.

layla added two simple nicks to either side of the design. 20
Above: Layla added two simple nicks to either side of the design.

Step 4:

Once you have cut through the shape, continue glueing three more bags on to your design. Using your shaped bags as a template, cut the next three bags out. Repeat with the remaining three bags until all nine bags are glued together and shaped.

shaping the star &#8\2\20;arms.&#8\2\2\1; 21
Above: Shaping the star “arms.”

Step 5:

Now, open your design to reveal your paper star shape.

the big reveal. 22
Above: The big reveal.

Step 6:

Using a hole punch, make a hole through two points of the star. Thread with jute twine or thin velvet ribbon.

threading the ribbon. 23
Above: Threading the ribbon.

Step 8:

Tie two knots in the ribbon: one near the hole you’ve just made and another towards the end of your ribbon.

if you&#8\2\17;re crafting several stars, cut the ribbon at various lengths 24
Above: If you’re crafting several stars, cut the ribbon at various lengths so the stars hang at different levels.

The Finished Look

Your star is ready to hang. If the joining folds of the star don’t sit flat together, you can secure them with a paper clip.

the first of many brown paper bag stars. 25
Above: The first of many brown paper bag stars.

For more holiday DIYs, see:

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