Natalie, a Washington state-based crafter and great blogger agreed to let me post this very fun and useful tutorial for everyone crafty out there. Enjoy!
Natalie writes: Yesterday, I sat down to design the new hang tags for the new Love, Natalie products. I was trying to think of something cost effective and earth friendly. Basically, I'm tired to running to Paperzone and paying top dollar for card stock. I tried to think of using something that well, didn't cost me anything! I thought the same way when I was thinking of a cost effective way to ship. I cut up my paper bags from the grocery store and used them as shipping paper. My brain clicked...what if I cut the paper bag to 8 1/2 x 11 and tried printing on it. Even though I have the cheapest printer on the market (thank you Costco) it worked! Here is how I did it. By the way, I don't think I reinvented the wheel by any means, so if you already know this method exists, please ignore!
Start with the paper bag, DUH. Cut it open so the whole bag lays flat.
Find a peice of letter sized paper, card stock works the best for tracing, ruler and your exacto knife.
You'll want to find the less wrinkly part of the bag with the least amount of creases. Trace the exact outline of the paper on the paper bag. Cut out with exacto and place in your printer correctly. One time when I was printing on the paper bag it got stuck, but its because I didn't place it in the printer with enough care, I just sort of stuck it in there lazily! So its got to be perfect.
And whala! A beautiful print. Now to cut all of these out for tags.
I hope I've sparked your imagination in some way with the idea of using your old paper bags as something other than a garbage sack or being forgotten about under the kitchen sink. I've also found that making envelopes works too. Cut it to size and tape or sew the edges. Cheap, creative, and green.