Are ‘tweens too cool to recycle? Not with this idea!

What’s that you say? Your ‘tweens are a bit too old to make that gift wrap so beloved of grandparents, the “hand prints on paper bags” idea? They wouldn’t be caught dead doing things with tempera paint and grocery sacks? Well here’s something I (almost) guarantee a bunch of ‘tweens will enjoy:

Personalized shopping bag collages. You’ll need:

  • Fill a decouage gift bag with funky thrift store jewelry or an elegant consignment/ resale designer scarfShopping bags. The slicker and hoity-toitier the batter. These can be gathered from shopaholic friends. Plain brown Kraft shopping bags work too, but what kidwouldn’t love altering a bag from the latest hot shop in your area?
  • Collage material: magazines, catalogs, scraps of unusual papers (including any left over manufactured wrapping paper). Check your library’s Friends bookstore for old holiday magazines
  • More collage material ideas: fabric and trim scraps, bits of broken jewelry, odd buttons, silk flowers, ribbons. Ask at your favorite consignment shop; they often sell baggies of broken jewelry and such for craft projects. Thrift stores can be a gold mine of printed material: books, magazines, even posters.
  • Markers and crayons, scissors, glue. Rubber stamps and ink pads. Paint, glitter, stickers and anything else you can gather.

Now, you can have a theme (as in making their bags fit their, or a friend’s or a family member’s personality) or simply make it Celebrate the Holiday, or even My Best Gifts Ever.

This example's a journal cover, which is also a good idea if shopping bags collages don't appeal.

This example's a journal cover, which is also a good idea if shopping bags collages don't appeal.

The completed bags can be filled with tissue and a gift to give to a friend, displayed as under-the-tree or bedroom decor, or take this year’s place as their “Christmas stocking.”

Creative-example photos borrowed from HagitR on Flickr and from scrapbooking.com.
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