The brown paper bag has become a massive hit in the d.i.y. and fashion blogs of the world since the known fashion house of Jil Sanders brought it back into style last year. We wanted to do our version of the classic!
Most often the self-made version, as well as the original one by J.S., is made of leather, only mimicking the look of the classic brown paper bag, known from take away food and grocery shopping. But, as we at the Design & Paper blog are all about paper, we wanted to make our’s from actual paper, choosing SH Recycling 160 gsm.
First of all, you need to make the paper tear-proof, and that is achieved by coating the surface with silicone. Yes, you read right, silicone. That same stuff you can use for fixing up those drafty windows or kitchen tiles! A thin layer of silicone will make the paper waterproof, flexible to handle and it gives it that oilcloth feel. You can find it at any hardware store.
All you need is the paper you want to use, the silicone, scissors, and some strong glue. And of course remember to cover up the table or surface you’re working on, old newspapers will do the trick. Also, remember to do it in a well-ventilated room or place because the silicone will have a strong odor and you don’t want to be breathing it in!
Cut out a piece that is 80cm wide and 54cm high, this will be enough to make a bag of 29cm x 45cm. Measure and draw out the lines on the back side of the paper to make the folding easier later on. Spread the silicone on the outside of the paper with the help of a plastic spatula, or a piece of cardboard. Make it a thin layer, as too thick might start to peel off in use. Normal silicone takes up to 24 hours to dry, so take this into consideration.
The next day, when the silicone is dry you can finish the bag. This will only take a few minutes with the help of the lines you drew out on the back of the paper before. We used a special paper cutter by Purple Cows to cut the top end of the bag into a wavy pattern, just to give it a special look.
Start by folding the bag into shape, and gluing the long side together. You will need strong glue for this, as the normal paper glue might not stick to the silicone as easily. When the glue is dry, fold the bottom of the bag into shape. To give it a nicer look, cut the corners of the long sides into a triangular shape. Glue into place. You can use something to weight down the folds, i.e. books.
Now crumple up the bag to give it a more natural look. You can also use a string or a piece of ribbon to wrap around the bag. It’s a perfect statement accessory, which can easily carry your wallet, phone, and other necessities.