As a native Northeast Ohioan, you might think I’d be sick of snow by now. And you’d be partially right: after New Year’s Day, I’m ready for blizzards to buzz off.
But during the holidays, snow is magical. A Christmas with grass showing in any capacity just does not feel right. And quite frankly, our lack of snow this year has done nothing to put me in the holly jolly spirit. Paper For Gift Bags
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So when I saw DIY paper bag snowflakes making their rounds on Pinterest this year, I knew I needed to give them a try. I love how simple they looked to make while still creating a huge impact. Plus, capturing the beauty of snowflakes without the cold and other nonsense that comes with them — for me, it was a win-win.
I loved them so much that I began to think about all the variations I could put on them. Sure, there’s the classic brown paper bag, but what about white? Would thicker bags make them hold up better? Do more intricate designs make a bigger statement? I decided to run my own little experiment and find out.
It was the perfect opportunity for me to visit one of my all-time favorite stores: Hollo’s. This Brunswick craft store is a paper lover’s dream, filled with everything from pads of paper, pens and stationery to craft paper, cardstock and handmade paper. It’s well worth the trip for anyone looking for a fun, independent craft store with reasonable prices.
Anyway, back to the snowflakes. With an entire room at Hollo’s dedicated to paper bags, I decided to purchase a variety to find out which ones worked best.
The basic way to make these snowflakes is this: Glue around nine to 11 paper bags together, all in the same direction and orientation, by applying a strip of glue down the middle and then another horizontal strip toward the bottom (forming an upside-down T shape with the glue on each bag). I used Elmer’s glue and let them dry overnight. Then, make cutouts with scissors and unfold your masterpiece. You can attach string, twine, ribbon or raffia in the middle before connecting the two ends.
In my experimentation, I did discover a few things:
● Thicker bags are not better. They quickly add up and make cutting very difficult, if not impossible. If you do work with thicker bags, I’d recommend gluing a few bags together at a time, making your cuts, and then gluing them all together at the end.
● Speaking of cutting, make sure to use the sharpest scissors you can find. They help with making more intricate cuts if you decide to go that route.
● However, intricate doesn’t always make a more showstopping snowflake — at least in my opinion. I found that simply cutting out a point at the top (like an upside-down V) is just as charming as those with more details.
Here are a couple of other tips for snowflake success:
● Unfold the bags before you make your cuts. Some glue may seep through, and it’s easier to unfold them as full paper bags rather than after they’re cut up.
● Once you’ve finished cutting and need to attach the two ends together, you can glue them, but I prefer to use tape. That way, if you want to save them for next year, you can simply unattach the ends, unfold them and store them flat.
Each snowflake is fairly quick to make, and by incorporating varying shapes and sizes, you can quickly turn your home into the winter wonderland that we’ve been missing this year. Personally, I plan on adding these to any nook and cranny of my home that’s lacking Christmas cheer.
If you, too, are missing the snow this year, I’d highly recommend giving these a try.
Email your questions to Theresa "Tess" Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org and keep up with Tess on Instagram @homewithtess
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